Official coach for the 2018 Income Eco Run, Ben Pulham, would really like runners to stick with the idea of doing their bit to reduce carbon emissions… by running home from work!
Still apprehensive about the idea of ditching the bus/train/car and start using your feet to get home? He answers our pressing questions about making a plan to do so.
Q: I would like to explore running as a form of commuting. What’s a reasonable distance that I should attempt running to and from my office, and have energy to survive the day?
Ben: From a distance perspective, it will depend on you how far you live from work, your athletic background, current fitness level and amount of equipment you need to carry. I’d suggest starting conservatively and building up the distance over time. If you’re finding it too long, it’s pretty easy in Singapore to get a bus, train or cab from anywhere.
More importantly, you’ll need to get the intensity you run at right. It’s the intensity of exercise that determines the majority of the benefit so getting it right is very important. Running hard places a lot of stress on your body and increases cortisol levels in the body. This will likely leave you feeling more tired than running slower but for longer.
Q: How should I pack my essential work kit to get to work? Isn’t running with a regular backpack bag cumbersome and bad for my back? How should I avoid potential load bearing injuries?
Ben: To begin, I’d suggest you get a specialist running backpack. These bags are designed to be light and to help spread the load of what’s inside them. Once you have that sorted, think about what is essential to take to work and leave out what is not. If it is possible, plan to keep spare clothes at work so you can alternate and not have to take clean clothes to work each day.
Q: How should I plan my route? I’m most familiar with the route the bus takes, but that isn’t always the safest for running.
Ben: With the technology available today, it is much easier to plan safe and beautiful running routes. Get onto google maps or mapmyrun and work out a route that will work for you. I’d suggest looking for routes that keep you off main roads like park connectors and back roads. I would also suggest looking for a route that is a little hilly so you can build some strength. Most runners are far more limited by their strength endurance and power than they are by their pure speed. Hills are a great way to build this important aspect of performance.
Q: Running as a form of commuting seems like extra work compared to taking the bus or train. Is it worth the effort?
Ben: Running home is most definitely more work than taking the bus or train so if you want an easy life – hop on. If you want a fulfilling life, take the path a little less travelled and lace up your shoes. While it may be hard to begin with, it will become easier with time. Eventually, it will become the new normal and you won’t have to think about. While all your friends are tired and putting on weight, you’ll find satisfaction in the fact that you’re not only getting fitter and faster, you’ll also be getting leaner, more energetic and healthy.
The Income Eco Run 2018 will take place on 29 April 2018 at the F1 Pit Building. For more information on #RUNHOMESG and to register for Income Eco Run 2018, check out IncomeEcoRun.sg