Welcome to the world of lunchtime running! Incorporating a quick run into your midday routine is a great way to stay active, energised, and refreshed throughout the workday. Whether you’re looking to improve your fitness, relieve stress, or simply break up the monotony of your workday, a lunchtime run is the perfect solution. With just a few simple adjustments to your routine, you can fit in a quick workout and be back at your desk feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of your day. Here are our top tips for running during lunch break.
8 tips for running during lunch break
Plan your route
Before heading out on your run, plan your route. When running during lunch break, you are limited to the amount of time you have available to you before having to return to your desk. When planning your route, aim to finish at least 10 to 15 minutes before the end of your lunch break in order to give yourself enough time to freshen up and change. There are plenty of route-tracking apps you can download on your phone to help you plan your route.
Dressing appropriately is so important. Running during your lunch break often involves shorter distances – unless you can extend your lunch break for a longer run. Having a set of clothes that you can quickly change into will give you extra time to run. Make sure they are breathable and sweat resistant this way you can freshen up quicker on your return. If you are running in the summer months, then it’s important you bring a hat and sunglasses to help protect you from the elements.
One of the most important things to consider whenever exercising is to keep yourself hydrated. Water helps regulate your temperature, hydrates your muscles, reduces fatigued, and maintains concentration. Always bring a bottle of water with your when going on a run, whether that’s running during lunch break or running in your free time throughout the day. If you are dehydrated when on your run, you’ll find it hard to maintain a consistent standard.
Fuelling up and having enough food in your system to perform to your optimum level is a competition we all have when it comes to running. A run during your lunch break often means you need to plan your meals accordingly, whether that be a snack or a small meal an hour before your run or when you return. If you are going to have your lunch after your run, then try to fit in a snack beforehand to help your energy levels for the run. Fuelling correctly can aid with your recovery time as well as make running in hot weather that little bit easier.
Running during lunch break isn’t the time to be breaking records and achieving PBs. It’s a great time for a recovery run or to simply stretch your legs and get some exercise in after a busy morning. This doesn’t mean you can’t push yourself, but instead, try to pace yourself at a good tempo that involves progress but not too much overexertion. Remember, once your run has finished you are going back to work for the remainder of the day – having aching legs and working is very unpleasant!
Don’t forget your stretches
You may be thinking you have a set amount of time, so to make the most of it avoid doing your before and after stretches. This is a bad habit to get into and should be avoided at all costs. Stretching is so important and should be done no matter the exercise you are doing. If you are short of time, try to incorporate some dynamic stretches whilst at your desk at work – perform them whilst walking to an employee or whilst approaching the toilet – when you have completed your run static stretches can be performed whilst showering or freshening up.
Invite a colleague
Running during lunch break is the perfect opportunity to catch-up with one of your colleagues whilst also getting some exercise in at the same time. It also helps add an additional level of motivation should you be thinking of canceling due to your work schedule or not being motivated to run that day. Reach out to your colleagues at work via email and see if anyone fancies joining you. You could do it on a set day each week in order to have a consistent routine.
Plan for after
After your run comes the time to freshen up ready to get back to work. This is something the more you do it, the better you are going to be at it. If you are lucky enough to have a workplace shower, have a quick wash on returning. If you don’t have access to a shower, bring some baby wipes with you to wipe over or flannel and some body wash.
Ensure you have a change of clothes to get into, deodorant, and aftershave or perfume, dry shampoo may be useful if your hair gets really sweaty. Make a list of any other toiletries that you require and have them packed and ready to go before work.
Our final thoughts on running during lunch break
- Try to run with a partner as this is a great way to motivate and push yourself. If you work in a large office environment, there are bound to be other who will join you.
- Pacing yourself is key. Don’t push yourself too hard when running a short distance.
- Ensure you always have a bottle of water with you to help you stay hydrated. The more you drink when running, the better.
What tips do you have for running during lunch break? Which of the above tips did you find most useful? Is there anything you think we should be adding to the list above? Let us know in the comment box below.