Training | How to conquer the self-powered commute

As lockdown starts to lift here in London I've seen more of my friends than ever before realise that our city can be pretty easy to navigate by foot or pedal and is a brilliant alternative to taking public transport.

I've been cycle and run commuting for many years now and love the freedom it gives me as well as it being a great way of clocking sessions when you have a busy work week.

With that in mind, here is my guide to take on the city as a self-powered commuter.

1. Be Safe 
City traffic is pretty notorious, if you're planning on commuting by running/walking or cycling make sure you are safe. Be cautious at traffic lights and if you are cycling wear a helmet. It isn't about your cycling skills, it's about those around you - if a driver has a lapse in concentration a helmet could save your life. I've got a nice one from Decathlon that's comfy and fits my head (another important thing!).

2. Be Seen
I also wear a high vis both on my bike and if I'm taking on particularly busy intersections, while running. I've got a snazzy one from Proviz and you can use my code BBFI for 20% off their stuff: Finally make sure you've got some lights if you are cycling - it's so easy to think you won't be out and about after dark and then suddenly the sun sets and you're stuck not able to get home.

My funky running high-vis was gifted by Proviz

3. Pick a better route
Yes - running down the main road is 0.2 miles faster. But is it really better for your lungs than running through the park? Allow yourself enough time and pick enjoyable routes that make your commute something you love not something you loathe. Check out the local cycle routes near to you and try different routes to see which ones you like. If you are running detour routes can be the best - I always detour to the top of Primrose Hill as I cut West to East on my commute through London and those snatched moments looking across London are one of the highlights of my day.

4. Invest in a good bag
Your back will thank you for it. If you're cycling think about one that is bright and will keep you lit up especially if you've invested in a bright jacket or high vis - there is no point covering it up! I've got a fluro orange one that helps people see me. If you are running consider your body type: girls get a female specific one! How much stuff do you really need? Can you leave your laptop locked at work? Can you keep shoes in a locker or under your desk? Weight savings make a massive difference. I tend to try and go super light (with no need to take my laptop home and shoes kept under my desk) I wear a decathlon 10 litre vest and I pre-pack my clothes in a plastic bag to keep them non-sweaty. If I need my laptop or shoes I have a brilliant female specific Gregory running rucksack. I've owned it 5 years and it's as great as the day I bought it. Invest in a good bag that is made for your shape and needs. Your back will thank you.

5. Take it easy
Don't have a shower at work? Me neither. Go slow. Take it easy. Walk if you fancy it. Try to leave a bit too much time and if you arrive really early why not treat yourself to a coffee? That £2.90 peak tube fare you saved should cover a flat white instead. Be kind to yourself!

Good luck and have fun out there.

Post in conjunction with Proviz Sports. 


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