Couch to 5K
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Running from work - tips needed on bags, kit etc

I've run once part way home from work but apart from running gear (leggings, top, trainers) I don't think I'm that well equipped for it. A lot of people I see running after work have these sleek looking bags and certainly not the sort of bag you could shove a thick winter coat into.

With this in mind, I'd love to hear some running tips of how I can run like a pro after work of an evening. What sort of bag I need? What sort of coat is best to keep the chill off? Anything else I should know?

8 Replies

I've been thinking about doing this too, as I live just about 5K away from the office. I can't quite work out the logistics though: how do I get back to work on the next day?

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If you need a bag to take your 'to work' coat and work clothes in, then it will be quite big and not good for running with. If you can leave some things at work, then a smaller Camelbak or Osprey type bag may be worth looking at.

My other suggestion, would be to wait until the weather is warmer/dryer (yeah, right) so you have less to carry.

Regarding a running coat; I would suggest a windproof rather than a rainproof as you will quite simply overheat with a waterproof one.

Good luck, and take care with the traffic!


Rucksack with good adjustable shoulder straps and a waist strap. Line it with poly bag to keep clothes dry. Keep the contents light weight. When choosing a ruck sack go and try them on your back, they vary in size, shape etc. Also take the things you are likely to carry which will give you a good idea of the size you need. I ran to my gym for over 18 months, it wasn't that far though but was glad I had taken this advice from a runner who carried a pack.

The longest run I ever did was 8 miles on mountain tracks and the same pack was as comfortable when I finished as when I started off. Mine wasn't a specialist running pack it came from Sports Direct (Karrimor) but I still use it every other day for my new gym which sadly is too far away to run to.


There was a post on backpacks recently...

The Sports Direct Karrimor bag is only £8.50 here...

I'd second the comment on a windproof. Even one of Sports Direct's running jackets (£15-25) would get you started. Or what I mean to say is, it's got me started. Not the best, but I feel like a runner. ;)


When I'm running I feel that I can't even bear the weight of my car keys, let alone a backpack. I think I'd die

I'd leave my coat behind at work and just run in a light, water resistant running jacket (luminous day-go) Hat too of course! Whatever you sort out I wish you all the best. Happy running


Can I check I have this right? You are thinking about commuting to work by bus or train and running home - I presume you are thinking about running every second day? In which case you don't to carry your work clothes home, but will take them home the following day when using transport. But you are worrying about taking your thick winter coat home?

My suggestion is to ditch the winter coat on running days and substitute it for a thin fleece jumper with a thin running jacket over the top. Two thin layers over your work clothes could be warm enough for commuting on above 0C mornings. Plus hat and gloves, etc. You should be able to fit a thin fleece and jacket into a small running rucksack. I use a Camelback - I think the model is called MULE. It's only 3 litres in capacity, but is more than big enough to carry what I take when out running for up to 2 hours - spare gloves, hat, sweets, cereal bar, water, camera, phone keys, and water-resistant jacket. It fit very close to my back with a chest strap and waist belt and doesn't shoogle about at all when running.

I'd suggest choosing a running jacket - and fleece - first then taking these with you when going to try on rucksacks.


There’s an article on the Sweatshop website that you might find useful on running to work and what you’ll need:


Thanks so much for all your responses. It certainly looks like it takes a bit of planning, at least initially. I only work part-time and I sometimes take my (rather senior) dog to work with me so leaving stuff in the office for the next day isn't always practical. I was thinking about getting some sort of fleece but maybe I need to consider a windproof jacket instead of that, or as well as...? It seems easier all round to start once the weather gets a bit warmer, but if it turns out to be anything like last winter, that won't be until May! Thanks again, everyone :)


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