The Run Commuter

I just chanced upon a website and it has inspired me again to pick up commuting to work by running. I know it sounds like a crazy idea, but sometimes when you need to get all your mileage in on a busy week, these crazy ideas seem to crop up.

Many of the articles on the website are on the logistics such as the No Shower Cleanup – Mens Edition (lots of steps but it would seem to be very comprehensive and would leave no one guessing that you had just run to work). Unless you want people to know you ran to work, then you just have to skip a couple steps.


And of course there’s women’s edition too but I don’t have an opinion on how well that one works.

There’s articles on how to get in the right frame of mind to run to work in the morning.

There’s how to plan a route which is important if you want to incorporate it into your training, or you want to skip the traffic fumes.

And of course there’s lots of advice and reviews on clothes, lights, backpack, bringing your clothes to work wrinkle-free, etc.

Check it all out at

As this site says “Live to run, run to work

And we’ll see you (maybe) running on the road or trail commuting to work.

When do You Wave?

Running etiquette usually involves acknowledging other runners. Everyone does it differently. But how do you do it properly?

Some people do small waves, some do big waves. Some flick their wrists. Some nod their heads. Some shout something cheery. Some mumble something under their breath. Some look others directly in the eye, and others do everything possible to avoid eye contact. Some smile.


That all applies if you are running toward each other. But what if you are passing someone, or they are passing you? Wave as we’re passing? That can be awkward. Mumble something encouraging?

And how does a race situation change it? On an out-and-back race, rarely do the fastest runners acknowledge the rest of us coming the other way. But those not quite as competitive are more apt to be encouraging and friendly.

I have learned that runners definitely do not wave at cyclists. And if you are cycling, you do not wave at runners. This is especially hard to remember if you are training for a triathlon. Back when I was switching my running and biking every day and not fully conscious which sport I was doing that day, I occasionally had to swallow a wave (pretend there was a mosquito) to keep from looking foolish.

I suppose it is a cultural thing too. Different countries would develop different ways to appropriately acknowledge each other. It would be different for urban versus smaller town folks. City versus trail runners. I haven’t studied this in depth but I’ve passed a lot of runners. I’d love to know if anyone has any insight.

When I am doing my speed work I am more focused and less likely to acknowledge others. When I am on a lonely trail I am more likely to acknowledge someone than when I am on a busy urban pathway.

Does anyone have any rules of etiquette to share around?

Which are the friendliest cities to run in?

Should I Run Today? – Decision Tool

To run or not to run today, that is the question.

Have you ever had trouble deciding if you should go for a run? Well you aren’t alone. We all have those indecisive days.

Introducing this FREE simple tool to help you decide if you should run today.

Just input 7 factors including the weather (from “perfect” to “hurricane”), how you feel (“not feeling it” to “awesome”), how long ago your last date was, and the importance of the other things you could be doing instead of running.

The tool makes the decision for you.


Bonus feature: This tool can be used as ammunition to prove to your loved ones that yes indeed you do need to go on another run. “It says so, right here”

And it is fast enough that if you are lying in bed at 4:30AM trying to decide whether to get out on that run, you can find out in mere minutes before your brain kicks in.

So why not get started with these 7 simple questions.

Step 1) Click here to enter the decision factors.

Step 2) Come back to this blog page and refresh this post to find out below if you should run today.

We can’t leave these important decisions to our own hapless selves. Let a computer do it for you.

When is Too Sick to Run?

Flu season is awful. And we are in the middle of it, at least in our part of the world. If you’ve stayed healthy this far into the winter, there’s a pretty good chance you are not going to make it much further before hitting the meds and taking a few days off.

What do we do when we are trying to get all our training sessions in but sickness is threatening to derail the training. We are all worried about lost training days, especially the closer it gets to the event. And this time of year there are so many people ramping up their training for spring races.

Around here, the weather has been unseasonably warm for several weeks now, and the sun is inviting me to get outside as much as possible. But two days ago I woke up with a low grade fever and sniffles. It slowly got worse and today I am taking the day off work. I haven’t run in several days, even though my legs are aching to get out there. And my training has had a rotten start to the year so far. So I need to hurry up and get on with the regimented training. The pressure is on.

How do you decide whether to run or not?

Everyone has their own line in the sand when to cancel that run. The answer is not a simple one and can often be influenced by how critical a particular training run is to our running goals.

Here’s the rules of thumb that I try to stick with for myself, but aren’t necessarily true for anyone else.

Don’t Go – Throwing up, fever, coughing, dizzy. Take meds, go to the doctor, stay in bed. No brainer!

Go Anyway: Technically sick but…  “Just” the sniffles, foggy brain, low energy, “just” feeling rotten. Sometimes a short run will temporarily improve things a bit.

If it is not obvious whether to go or not, my rules:

  • if the cold is neck and above, get on out there. The fresh air does most of us a lot of good.
  • If it a lung / chest cold, better stay home. Don’t be coughing up a lung on a run.
  • Any level of fever – Stay home!

Remember that a few days (or even two weeks) of not running is not going to reduce your fitness. It may eat away at you psychologically but it is far better to get better first so you can put in solid training. A return to solid training after a few days off is way better than mediocre training when you’re feeling rotten.

Get better, and train on.


What are your criteria on when to cancel that scheduled run?


Biggest Year Ever

I calculated it all a little too late. My biggest year before this year was 3000 km. Back in November I was pretty confident I would break this record. In fact I did break it, by 5% (3161 km). I am very happy with this, but it could have been a “cooler” or rounder number if I had done some intricate planning a couple weeks ago. It would have been much more memorable to finish off the year with a number like 3500 km, or 3333 km, or 3210 km, or 3456 km.

Or 9 km per day average = 3285 km instead of 8.6301 km / day.

Or 60 km per week average = 3120 km instead of 60.5769 km / week.

Last week, I saw someone shooting for 2015 miles (3224 km) in 2015. That’s pretty cool, but I ended up being about 60km short by not pre-planning it.

I was born in 1971 which if it was miles, works out to 3154 km. This is pretty close to what I achieved this year. That’s a pretty cool number I guess.

I hope I am not becoming OCD to the extent that I pre-plan this next year. Don’t let me go over that edge!

Here’s to another great year of running to all you runners, wherever you are.

It’s not always pretty

Getting in a daily run during a run streak is not always prerty. Sometimes you need to pull out all the stops just to get it in.

Like yesterday.

My daughter needed to be at school extra early so I didn’t get a morning run in.

I didn’t remember my running shoes (or winter running gear) so I didn’t get a lunch run in.

I had to be home early so we could leave right away for our evening meeting, so I couldn’t get a pre-dinner run in.

We would be home after 9:00 and I didn’t want to run in our neighbourhood quite that late.

We got to our evening meeting 10 minutes early which was just enough time to squeeze in a 2 km run. But I only had my work shoes (Vibram insoles though), work shirt and heavy coat.

But I ran anyways.

And my daughter came too. But her “formal” evening shoes were bright green running shoes. It’s not fair that I can’t get away with that.

It wasn’t long enough or fast enough to really get all sweaty. But we did get it done.


It’s not always a great run, but it was a run, and runs have benefits.

Run streak day 18 (23 to go)

Drop everything, let’s do this

When your teen daughters want to go running with you, you drop everything.

This happened two evenings in a row. I am one lucky guy to have daughters who want to spend time with me and want to go running.

Not running, but spending time together

On Thursday I first took one daughter for a 5k jaunt, then when we got back the other was ready to go. My wife even took up the last leg of the run.

Then on Friday as I was heading out the door it was obvious one of them wanted to accompany me again. So we went 7km on the trails behind the house.

We do a lot more than just run together: camping, hiking, geocaching, snow ball fights and washing dishes.

I’ve got a pretty cool family.

Dodging the Rain

I’ve been really lucky with the rain this week. Tuesday I only got rained on for the last 200 meters. Wednesday it was down to the last 50m. Thursday was my day off of running and guess what? It was raining when I got up and rained all day. It looks like rain on Friday too and I could probably use another day off running. Hopefully by Saturday it will clear up again for another LONG run.

But last week I got drenched. On my 12k trail run, we got soaked but had a blast. On my weekend hill repeat run it was pretty lonely out there in the rain. Also, we went floating down the river and got hailed on and absolutely drenched. But at least I wasn’t running that time and wasn’t miserable all by myself – I had my family to be miserable with – that was a lot of fun.

When your schedule makes you run almost every day you have to take what comes. Grin and bear it, but have fun in the middle of it. It’s all part of the journey.

“This is the precept by which I have lived: Prepare for the worst; expect the best; and take what comes” – Hannah Arendt


Long May You Run

Sneezing, spider webs, mosquitos, sun burns, and mowing the lawn. All the things we forgot about when we were wishing for Spring.

But woohoo for long-lasting days! The long runs in the morning and well into the evening that do not require head lamps.

Long may you run! – Neil Young. Click here to hear it again and go down memory lane. It’s a pretty slow tempo to listen to during normal runs, but maybe while you’re collapsing on the couch.






Falling into bed after a long weekend – must have been a good one

You know it has been a good long weekend, when you fall into bed utterly exhausted from the weekend’s adventures. We took Friday off making it a four day weekend. So Friday we (including daughter #2) hiked up Ha Ling Peak (800m vertical) – 5 hour round trip of slow hiking due to the steepness. Saturday I drove daughter #1 to camp for the day and then ran 26 km in the driving rain. Sunday I ran 16 km doing hill repeats, went to church, and then did errands all afternoon with daughter #1. On Monday I ran 12km with 700m of vertical in the mountains, mowed the lawn, and then went on a geocaching bike ride with daughters #1 and #2.

Then late on Monday afternoon I had a sneezing fit and sniffles that lasted much of the evening and night which exhausted whatever I had left in me.

Tuesday I kept it a little easier and even drove to work for a change. I need to rest up to prepare for next weekend so we can do it again.



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