Does running with backpack burn more calories?

In short, the answer is YES, running does burn more calories, but there is more to learn.

It is essential that when choosing to take up running, you do so with our health at the forefront of your mind. Maintaining your running fitness is a direct outcome of regular exercise and nutrition. Running is a fantastic way to burn calories and to help your body become healthy and lean. 

Just like with any activity, for running to truly benefit your health, executing proper form (especially when adding weight ) is essential. Running with a backpack will burn more calories. 

Burning more calories

To touch on calories and running. The calories that are in food provide our bodies energy in the form of heat so that we can function. Our bodies store and “burn” calories as fuel. So, when we exert power by running our bodies are using our caloric fuel to keep us moving. The faster pace and the longer distance ran, means more calories burned.

Any extra weight while running will burn more calories. If you run to work every day, and you decide to carry a backpack holding your possessions, you will burn more calories than if you run without it.

Fat burning running with a backpack

To touch on fat-burning percentage and running with and without weights. So, the topic of fats and burning “fat” is complex and can be challenging to explain, mainly because of the way media portrays diets, and exercise and fats etc. 

In the most straightforward words possible, the calories in fats as well as carbohydrates, proteins and alcohol all provide the body with energy. The body uses both carbohydrates and fat reserves as fuel during all kinds of activities.

Depending on the type of activity, the percentage of energy coming from fat reserves will be higher or lower. Generally speaking, you will burn a higher % of fat during low-intensity activities. Running at a slower pace for a longer distance will likely burn more energy provided from fat reserves than running at a faster speed for shorter distances. Also, the more fit you are, the easier it is for your body to use energy provided by fat reserves as fuel.

IMPORTANT: Please remember that burning fat does not equate to losing weight. If burning fat is what you want to do, then you should run at a pace that you would be able to keep up a conversation. Plus, you must run for longer than thirty minutes to even begin that as your body will first reach into carbohydrate reserves to fuel energy expenditure than fat reserves. 

It is also important to note that when running with a backpack to burn more calories, you may not burn more calories from fat because of the extra weight. 

Extra endurance

Running with a backpack may help you to improve running form and breathing, which will increase your ability to run for more extended periods (endurance). Running with extra weight will also potentially help you to gain more muscle, which can eventually improve fitness. It is easier for a fit body to burn fat than it is for an unfit body to burn fat.

If you are interested in all of that science, feel free to follow the source links at the bottom for more available information on the topic. 

However, for this article, this article will be geared towards explicitly running with a backpack and how it burns more calories than running without one. This article also covers how to incorporate running with a backpack into your life. 

Benefits Of Running With a Backpack

  • It incorporates more aspects of strength training along with the cardiovascular benefits of running
  • It increases energy expenditure by 10-15% of what is generally without weights (that extra calorie burning!)
  • It increases heart rate by 5-10 beats per minute
  • It also increased by 10-15% is oxygen consumption (Oxygen intake provides energy to your body while exercising)

Safely Running With a Backpack

  • Take into consideration how much total weight you are safely capable of carrying on your back while running. Ideally, add no more than 5-10% of your body weight. 
  • Wearing an appropriate style backpack while running is necessary. Large, loose-fitting backpacks are a definite no go. A compact, lightweight pack is what you should try first. 
  • A belt strap help so that it fits your body snugly rather than bouncing up and slamming into your back every step you take. Using a backpack without a strap can cause more pain and damage to your body than burning the calories will do good for you.
  • Pack you pack accordingly. Start light and slowly increase the weight, almost so slowly that it is difficult for you to notice that you are even adding weight each time that you do. This ensures that your body gets used to running with the amount of added weight that you are. 
  • Being uncomfortable is normal when pushing yourself to exercise in a new way. Working new muscles or increasing your muscle mass, lung strength, and endurance will cause this. However, PAIN is never a normal or healthy experience while exercising. Especially from added weight while running. 
  • If you feel in pain because of the added weight of a backpack, find another way to get your belongings to work.
  • Always exercise with the proper running form of course. When adding weight while running even more, so be sure to practice the correct form. 
  • Another thing to note is that if you do not take the time to practice the proper form with the extra weight, you can cause your body more harm. You may end up burning fewer calories than if you were to run with correct form and dropped the extra weight. 

How To Refine Your Running Technique While Running With a Backpack

  • Shorten your steps

Carrying a backpack means that your legs will have to deal with extra weight and pressure every step you take. Shortening your steps will reduce the amount of force that will go through your legs as you run.

  • Set your mind to drive down forcefully with each step.

You may be tempted to slump forward and shuffle your feet while baring extra weight. Be conscious of this, so you are ably to avoid slouching and shuffling every step you take.

  • Chin up buttercup!

Intentionally keep your head up, and keep your chest forward. This will help you to engage your core. It is essential to always engage your core while running.

  • Squeeze your glutes

By engaging your glutes, you will be engaging your core, and you will be more conscious of the steps you are taking. Every technique you incorporate, positive or negative, while running connects when it comes to establishing your running form.

Keep as many of your work belongings at work.

If you must regularly travel with things such as a laptop, tablet, relevant paperwork etc. running to work may not be the best option for you. 

Regardless, if you desire to run to work, make arrangements for what you cannot carry comfortably in a pack, to store at your workplace if at all possible.

How to pack your backpack

Try to avoid aimlessly throwing items into the backpack you will be running with. Loosely packed items will bounce around and cause carrying a backpack to be uncomfortable and unproductive because things will be bouncing into your back, or even possibly falling out. 

Which brings us to another point, secure your items by tightly sealing your backpack closed! Be sure not to over-pack your backpack and have items jabbing into your back, neck or rib cage. 

An over-packed bag also makes it more likely to damage your bag, which should be a decent bag, that was probably not a cheap buy, so don’t ruin your valuable purchase!

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/running-with-weights#benefits

https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/1123/do-the-benefits-outweigh-the-risks-if-individuals-hold-dumbbells-in-their-hands-while-doing-step-aerobics-or-other-cardio-activities/?authorScope=29

https://www.livestrong.com/article/432700-how-to-run-with-a-backpack-to-get-in-shape/

https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/health/a762408/reader-to-reader-why-train-with-a-backpack/

https://www.livescience.com/52802-what-is-a-calorie.html

https://medlineplus.gov/definitions/nutritiondefinitions.html

https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/fatfacts.html

Posted on Categories Advice

What is the Best Women’s Waterproof Running Jacket in the UK?

Ronhill Women's Infinity Fortify

Introduction

Even in the summer the British weather can be unpredictable so having a good waterproof running jacket at your disposal can be invaluable. The last thing you want is to use the rain as an excuse for not getting your miles in, particularly if you have a race coming up. Of course, the flip side of this that the British weather has a habit of changing quickly so being light and packable are also good qualities when looking for a new jacket. So what else should you be looking for? Here is our guide to the best women’s waterproof running jacket available in the UK.

What will you use it for?

Different runners will have different needs and you need to consider why you are buying. For someone who is at the very start of their running journey and maybe only covering a few km at a time there is seems little reason to spend of £100 on one of the more advanced waterproofs. If you’re a regular parkrun attendee then different between smashing your PB and staying on the sofa watching Netflix box sets could be the jacket you’re now considering buying! One of the best things about parkrun is the weekly consistency so don’t let the rain put a damper on things, at this level you will want to consider something more durable, waterproof and breathable.

For those training for. Longer distances like half marathons, marathons or ultras you will want to ensure the jacket keeps you as dry for as long as possible while also being extremely breathable to allow sweat and moisture out. For the hours you will spend training (many of course through the winter months) you should spend wisely and invest in a top line jacket that will protect you from the elements.

Waterproofing

Everything these days seems to have test, of course they aren’t always easy to understand. From your point of view ‘waterproof’ means you don’t get wet while out on your run. Things are that simple of course there are varying degrees of ‘waterproof’ available. Add into this mix how breathable garments can be and the water becomes slightly murkier! Some coats will use the term ‘water repellent’ which maybe ok for shorter runs, but if you’re training for longer distances you may want to consider something more waterproof.

Hydrostatic Head (HH) is the common way the garments are measured for how waterproof the fabric is. Essentially it is a measure of how many millimetres high a column of water would need to be before water penetrates the fabric.

Waterproof Rating (mm)Water Resistance ProvidedConditions
0-5,000 mmNo resistance to some resistance to moisture.Light rain, dry snow, no pressure.
6,000-10,000 mmRainproof and waterproof under light pressure.Light rain, average snow, light pressure.
11,000-15,000 mmRainproof and waterproof except under high pressure.Moderate rain, average snow, light pressure.
16,000-20,000 mmRainproof and waterproof under high pressure.Heavy rain, wet snow, some pressure.
20,000 mm+Rainproof and waterproof under very high pressure.Heavy rain, wet snow, high pressure

Breathability

Across the world there is no universal or standardised measure for breathability. There are three common and different test in available to measure how much water valour is able to pass through a piece of fabric in any given time. For running you will need to have a higher level of breathability given your expelling more water vapour through sweat. One common measure for breathability is Resistance of Evaporation of a Textile or RET. The RET scale goes from 0 to 30 with a lower number being more breathable. The scores do go over 30, but at that point there really isn’t an breathable qualities that will help you while running.

 

RET ScoreBreathability Notes
0-6Extremely breathable. Comfortable at higher activity rate.
6-13Good to very good breathability. Comfortable at moderate activity rate.
13-20Satisfactory to acceptable breathability. Uncomfortable at high activity rate.
20-30Unsatisfactory or slightly breathable. Moderate comfort at low activity rate.
30+Unsatisfactory or not breathable. Uncomfortable and short tolerance time.

Fixed Hood or roll-away

For us this comes down to personal preference, but consider that there may be times that you just use the waterproof jacket to protect from the wind and low temperature so a hood flapping around unnecessarily will cause addition drag and wind resistance as you run. Not to say it would also a little annoying. The flip-side to this is that hoods that fold away do tend to offer let resistance to water in our opinion.

Pockets

Pockets, pockets, pockets!! This is definitely a ‘how long is a piece of string’ type of question. Really only YOU know what you like to carry when running. Many people favour taking phones, ID and money and there are definitely pocket options for you on that front. For those training to run longer distances may be supplementing your equipment with a hydration vest and so have less need for many pockets in a waterproof jacket. Consider the placement of the pockets as modern mobile phones can cause an awfully annoying swing in any baggy areas of the coat. Often a rear zipped compartment that is pressed close to you might be best.

Posted on Categories Advice

Choosing The Best Running Rucksack: 5 Of The Best Reviewed

So with an increasing number of people running to work (myself included) what is the best running rucksack you can buy in 2020? We take a look at what you need to look for when choosing the perfect running rucksack, particularly if you’re thinking of starting to run to work.

Choosing the BEST Running Rucksack

We’ve chosen to focus this article on rucksacks around the 20 litre size as anything smaller than this prevents you from carrying work essentials like a small computer.

While there are cheaper rucksacks out there you can buy, this article focuses solely on those rucksacks that offer the best materials and build quality so that you know you’re buying a pack that will go the distance and not let you down.

In choosing a good quality rucksack for running you need to first assess your own needs. Think about some of the following points.

  • What do you need to carry while running?
  • How far will you be running with the rucksack?
  • What kind of hydration do you need while running?
  • How stable will the rucksack be with all of your kit inside, does it have chest and hip straps?

See our article on 25 tips for running to work for more inspiration.

We’ve created a handy comparison table below for our best running rucksack shortlist.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

Running Rucksack Comparison Table

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Deuter Speed Lite 20 Alpine Running Rucksack

This is bag makes our best running rucksack list as it’s suitable for many different sports, but absolutely perfect for use when running to work. The pack has a sleek look to it and is extremely light eight. Two really good attributes for running! You will find there is able room for a small laptop like an iPad or Macbook Air. Built around Deuter’s Delrin U-Frame which helps to channel ventilation up the back and prevent excessive sweating.

The Deuter Speed Lite 20 features a height adjustable chest strap and hip belt so you’re able to tailor the position of the back pack once fitted. If you’re going to be running to work with this, you’ll also benefit from the wide padded shoulder straps.

The pack doesn’t come with one, but will accept up to a 3 litre hydration bladder should you need one.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text][easyazon_image align=”left” height=”500″ identifier=”B0047O39AI” locale=”UK” src=”http://www.thatrunningthing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/41Ai7154UvL-1.jpg” tag=”runningthing-21″ width=”333″]

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x. Montane Dragon 20 Litre Backpack 

If you’re looking for a very lightweight rucksack to use on your run to work then this could be the bag for you. The Montane is built around their Freelight chassis is a revolutionary design where the load is evening balanced across the user through a stretch form-fitting body harness. 

The Dragon 20 is constructed from ultra lightweight Raptor Zero fabric which give the pack an overall weight of just 375g. The seams are fully taped to provide a high level of protection from water. With the material being so light this also means it dry’s very quickly. 

The straps are constructed from highly breathable mesh material which still manages to maintain a very high comfort level. Hydration options come in the form of two custom Montane water bottle which attach to the straps. There is no option to fit a hydration bladder. If you intend to use this for a short morning commute, this shouldn’t be a problem .

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Osprey Talon 22 Backpack

If you’re after something which offers the greatest versatility then the Osprey Tallon 22 is the choice for you. The capacity slightly larger than other bags in our comparison at 22 litres, so if you think you’ll need that extra capacity, it is certainly worth considering.

The Osprey Talon 22 will be the perfect partner for your run to work, walk or cycle. You’re not therefore just getting a one-trick pony. While it is not the lightest pack here at 680g it more than makes up for it with features such as padded hip straps, plenty of compartments and large mesh pockets.

This pack is also one of the most comfortable packs in our review with an adjustable back so you can truly customize it to your own shape.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text][easyazon_image align=”left” height=”500″ identifier=”B00E0LGIOM” locale=”UK” nw=”y” src=”http://www.thatrunningthing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/41YzU4bNGnL.jpg” tag=”runningthing-21″ width=”281″]

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Vaude Splash 20 Running Backpack

The Vaude Splash 20 hasn’t changed much in the years it has been around. For very good reasons, why change something when it isn’t broken.

It features some interesting features such as Vaudes F.L.A.S.H system for adjusting the position of the backpack and the Aeroflex ventilation system that provides an open and stable space between the pack and your back to allow optimal air movement and reduce sweat.

This back pack features a zip system to allow you to expand the capacity to 25 litres if needed and have compression straps on the side to ensure stability is maintained. The pack is available in a wide range of colours: Black, Blue, Green, Red and Coconut (Yes Coconut!)[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text][easyazon_image align=”left” height=”500″ identifier=”B00PLI5ZV0″ locale=”UK” nw=”y” src=”http://www.thatrunningthing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/51rjmYpQfL.jpg” tag=”runningthing-21″ width=”374″]

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Salomon Trail 20 Backpack

The Salomon Trail 20 mixes a lightweight construction, excellent strength and fantastic ventilation.

The back pack includes strategically placed fabric on the straps to help to minimise the friction on your shoulders and neck, something you’ll really beenfit from if you use this backpack on longer runs.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text][easyazon_image align=”left” height=”500″ identifier=”B00SN4VQDK” locale=”UK” nw=”y” src=”http://www.thatrunningthing.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/51mEgFb8v3L-1.jpg” tag=”runningthing-21″ width=”372″]

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25 Running to Work Tips to get you started

25 Tips for Running to Work

 

So you’ve made the decision to start running to work, fantastic! This is the start of a new path to change and improve your life. RunnersWorld gives six benefits of running that improve your health which is backed up by a wealth of medical research. Running to work is a great way of maintaining your running fitness and losing weight. I’ve compiled a list tips to help you get started in your journey to work, literally! Please leave any comments below, share your own tips in the comments below and we might add them to this list.

Running to Work Tips

For ease, we’ve split the list into specific sections:

  • What’s Your Motivation?
  • Getting the right kit.
  • Preparing for the first time.
  • What to carry?
  • Getting to work.

What’s your motivation?

1. Why Run to Work.

Perhaps the first and most important tip is to figure out why you want to run to work. What is your motivation? Is it to get fit, train to enter a race or just lose some weight. Mentally you need to make running to work a life change rather than something you will just do for a few weeks.

Having some kind of goal will help tremendously before you start. It might be helpful to write this down as some kind of target. This definitely helped me when started as I wanted to get down to a certain weight so I was able to run quicker for a half marathon event I had entered myself into. Perhaps you could enter an event to challenge yourself?

Strava Logo2. Download a running app for your phone.

There are plenty of free apps for most phones (both IOS and Android) including Strava, RunKeeper or MapMyRun. All of these apps will help you to track your progress over time and motivate you more. I especially like the social angle of Strava, which allows you to get competitive with your friends over running speed and distance.

There are paid versions of these apps as well which offer more detail and analysis plus expert training plans.

3. Develop running routines and habits.

Consider that you have set some goals from point 1. There will be many bumps along the road in achieving those goals. You might get injured or your resolve weakens that Monday morning when it is pouring with rain.

If your goal was to lose X amount of weight then you should consider breaking this down in to smaller manageable targets. Losing the full amount could seem insurmountable at the start to give yourself mini-goals along the way. That way if you miss a day or too, you’ll still feel the motivation to get back out there.

If you’re struggling for ideas on goals, this post might help give you some ideas.

Getting the right kit

4. Buy a decent pair of running shoes.

…and I mean decent! I’ve been there and got the t-shirt trying to run with cheap shoes that don’t offer the correct support.

You will fall into one of three categories, over-pronation, neutral or under-pronation. This is all to do with how your foot moves as you land to absorb the impact. Runnersworld has a great article on explaining each of the three as it goes beyond the scope of this post.

In my humble opinion I advise having Gait Analysis at your local running shop. This will help you buy a pair of running shoes suited to your form which should prevent future injuries. This certainly helped me find a pair of running shoes I was comfortable with.

5. Buy a decent running backpack.

One of the most important pieces of kit you will need to invest in is a running backpack or rucksack (as we call them here in the UK!). First of all you will need to consider points 17-20 below to understand exactly what kit you’ll need to carry. This will different for every running commuter.

The backpack you choose needs to have decent straps and a waist band to increase stability. Do you need to carry equipment to work such as a laptop or iPad. Be sure to buy a bag that has the capacity for this as some of the smaller running backpacks don’t.

There are some backpacks which are made specifically for running (or cycling). You will want to look for one which has good padded shoulder straps, a chest strap and hip strap. All of these things combined will help to minimise the amount of jiggling around that happens when you’re running.

6. Buy more running kit

And then go and buy some more! You’ll find as you get bitten by the running bug that you’ll want to invest in more running kit. From a practical point of view, if you’re going to run to work five days a week then you will need to think about having enough kit to last each day. In reality you may find yourself also running at weekends too so the more t-shirts, tights and shorts the better.

If you regularly participate in running events, you’ll start to accumulate race tops which are always good for using on your daily commute. These have the added benefit of advertising your running prowess to passers by. This does no end of good for your ego!

You should invest in a pair of warm running tights as well to ensure that you have something to keep you warm if certain mornings turn out to be chilly.

There are plenty of places to buy new running gear to suit a wide range of budgets, we suggest trying places like Wiggle.

7. Invest in a running watch.

Ok this might not be the first thing you want to invest in but it would certainly be a useful addition as you get more experienced at running. If you are a regular runner and are just starting to run to work you may already own one.

One of the problem of running with just an app on your phone is the lack of ‘to-hand’ information. Most modern running watches use GPS and will give you up to the second information on speed and time. Adding a heart rate monitor also lets you know how are you’re working.

Popular brands of running watch include Garmin, Polar and Fitbit[/easyazon_link]. All have their respective advantages and disadvantages and it’s certainly worth doing more research into the one which best suits your needs.

running to work

Preparing for the first time

8. Scope out the best route to work.

So you’re ready to go, all of your equipment is in the bag. It is worth using a tool like Map My Run to work out which will be your most ideal route to run. In many cases this will be the route of shortest distance at first, but consider how busy the route is.

If you work in a major city or near to any major transport hubs it might be worth trying to navigate along side streets rather than the main roads. The advantage of this you’ll have less people to avoid as you run. You may also find that you have to stop less at major run junctions.

Another piece of useful advice is to chose a route with wide pavements to help so you’re not fighting your way through hoards of people.

9. Pick the right day to start

Trying to start running to work on days where you’ve been drinking the night before or had a particularly heavy meal will no lead to discomfort during the run. This is turn is unlikely to make the run enjoyable and more likely to stop you from doing it again.

Try to also pick a day when you know the weather will be favourable, you’re more likely to actually run!

 

10. Practise with a dummy run

It is worth running the route to your workplace one weekend before you actually do it for real. This is good for a couple of reasons. Firstly, It avoids having to clean yourself up in the workplace so there is no need to carry your back full of gear.

Secondly, unless you plan on getting the bus home again, you’re going to effectively run the route there and back so your confidence will be high safe in the knowledge you can actually achieve the distance.

11. Just run one way in the beginning

If the thought of having to run there and back puts you off, you could always opt to only run one way. If you don’t fancy having to tidy yourself up when you get to work then the obvious choice would be to run home from work.

The added bonus here is that you don’t need to worry about sweaty running gear in the office and you can just throw your work shirt into your running back pack and not worry about it getting creased.

running to work

12. Look for scenic routes

Look for routes which take you along footpaths or trails where there is less traffic. Perhaps there is a route through a wood, local park or along a river which won’t involve navigating as much traffic. Running these routes can be a wonderful experience and highly energising first thing in a morning.

13. After time, take the longer route.route

At some point you will want to vary your route and with increased fitness you should attempt to run further. Often it is hardest just to get your running kit on and make it out of the door on a cold morning, so why not extend that 5km route to 7km to maximise the opportunity each day while running to work.

14. Fuel your run to work

It might be tempting to not eat before your early morning run to work, but this will easily deplete your energy reserves. This leaves you feeling flat when you arrive or worst still causes you to stop on the way as your glycogen reserves are depleted. This is also known as hitting the ‘wall’.

Having experienced this a couple of times, it is not recommended!!!

porridgeIn an ideal world you should eat at least two hours before your run according to advice from the campaign group Run2work. This would usually involve some healthy carbohydrate-rich foods such as porridge, granola, pancakes, eggs, wholegrain toast or muffins, fruit or fruit smoothie, nuts, cottage cheese, low fat yoghurt.

If you’re anything like us though you won’t have two hours to wait before needing to leave so you have two options.

  • Eat a carbohydrate-heavy meal the night before, things like pasta, rice or potatoes or;
  • Try eating a small, light snack first thing which is full of quick releasing energy. Things like fruit, nuts or a shake. My personal favourite is a banana!

15. Make a playlist

We love nothing better that a good playlist to motivate our running even more, but there is clear pros and cons of running to music. There are those that suggest music can motivate you to run faster or to a consistent pace.

There is also an argument that having headphones puts you at risk of not being alerted to potential dangerous situations like traffic.

If you’re unsure which way to go on this, further research has shown that even listening to music before and after a run can help improve performance.

I’ll let you make your own mind up, but run safely.

16. When things go wrong (don’t panic!)

When picking the route you will take it is worth considering what you might do if the worst happens. If you turn your ankle over a kerb or simply hit the ‘wall’ how will you continue on your journey to either work or home.

For the first few weeks of running to work you may want to consider running along a transport route (bus or train) so that if the worst does happen you will still be able to make it into work in time.

It probably goes without saying that it is always important to carry a small amount of cash with you running. This can be very handy for an emergency bus ticket of stopping to refuel.

What to carry?

17. Minimise what you carry

The first thing to consider is what you will be able to carry and what you can leave at work. The plan here is to leave as much at work as possible!

This will very much depend on the dress code at your place of work. If you are required to wear a smart suit to work, it is worth leaving the suit and smart shoes there and simply take a fresh shirt with you in your backpack.

Your other option here is to consider taking a week’s worth of clothes to the office on say Monday using regular transport and then run to work the other four days.

Backpacks around 15 litres will carry a fresh shirt, a small coat and an iPad. You might squeeze a small laptop into it as well, but it worth checking.

18. Pack a couple of plastic bags

You will inevitably have to run in the rain at some point so it is important to be prepared. Even the sunniest morning can turn into a heavy downpour so never be fooled!

Many running back packs do come with a rain cover concealed in a lower pocket, but we advise to air on the side of caution and also wrap all of the clothes you need for work inside one of the plastic bags.

A second plastic bag is for your running kit when you get to work, if you’re not planning to run home (see point 25 below).

19. Buy a good waterproof

As mentioned above, you never quite know what the weather will throw at you so it is important to carry a waterproof jacket in your backpack. Ideally you one that packs down into a small space, especially if you decided to buy a back pack with a smaller capacity.

Some of the features you need to look for in a good water proof jacket include:

  • Breathability (lets moisture out so you sweat less)
  • Vents to all air flow around your body
  • Slim cut around your body
  • Mesh lining to prevent the jacket from sticking to your skin.

Below are some suggestions for both men and women:

One of the top mens running jackets is the Mountain Warehouse Adrenaline Mens Iso-Viz Running Reflective Jacket

For a cheaper men’s option consider looking this jacket from Time to Run

20. Hydration

You might think that running only a short distance you wouldn’t need to take a drink, but it is certainly worth while having a bottle of fluid in your back pack. This doesn’t mean a full bladder hydration system, although by all means try one.

For starting off however a simple round water bottle should suffice and most running back packs include mesh pockets on either side which are perfect for securing these.

If you’re the just starting out in your running adventure you will certainly be glad of a drink when you arrive at work so it’s good to have one to hand with you.

To go once step further, consider mixing in an electrolyte tablet which helps reduce muscle fatigue and cramping. Runner Connect have written a very thorough article on electrolytes if you want more information.

Getting to work

21. Find a storage place at work

You’re going to need find somewhere at your workplace to store a range of refreshing wipes and sprays to get you feeling fresh after your morning run.

This could be an office drawer or filling cabinet. If you’re really lucky your workplace will have lockers and showers. In my experience this still isn’t commonplace enough, maybe one day employers will catch on to the benefits of healthy employees…

22. Stock up the toiletries at work

If your workplace doesn’t have showers then you need alternative means to dry off and freshen up otherwise your work colleague will no doubt start to make comments about the smell! There is no getting away from the fact that people with short or no hair have a distinct advantage at this point.

Things to keep at work:

  • Deodrant spray
  • Shampoo / Dry shampoo
  • Scent-free baby wipes
  • Footpower
  • Small jug
  • Flannel
  • Towl
  • Hair products (wax or gel etc)

A quick note on the dry shampoo. This is totally a personal preference and definitely worth testing out before you actually use it at work. Some people sweat by it and some swear against it!

23. Use the disabled toilet to freshen up

Nearly all workplaces will have some kind of disabled toilet. The great thing for a commuter runner needing to freshen up is that these are single occupancy, have a larger floor space and provide more privacy to wash yourself and get changed.

Fill the basin in the toilet with hot water and proceed to wash your face, neck and ears thoroughly. Depending on gender you can then wash the rest of your body as best you can, removing as much sweat as possible.

Use the water jug just to pour water over your head if you prefer to use traditional shampoo, or apply the dry wash shampoo if applicable.

Dry yourself off with the towl and apply deodorant and foot powder before getting dressed.

 

24. Have a shower before you leave

While this tip might seem counterintuitive as you’re about to go on a sweaty run but it will wash away any sweat or smells accumulated from the previous day and over night.

25. Use clothes spray to freshen up your running gear

Make sure you have a bottle of clothes freshener in your work storage drawer. If you plan to run to work and back again you will need to dry and freshen your running clothes.

Hopefully your workplace has radiators where you can leave the clothes to dry, but this will only serve to annoy your work colleague with the smell. A quick spray with something like Febreze Lavender & Camomile Fabric Refresher 500ml will do wonders to dampen the odours as your clothes dry. Give them another spray halfway through the day and you’ll have dry and fresh running gear to put back on for the home run.

Conclusion

 

So there you have it, 25 tips and ideas to help you get running to work, I hope this inspires you to take up running to work.

Here at The Running Thing I’m keen to hear from you so please leave a comment below with your own experiences of running to work. I might even add them to this list in a future update!

Best Running Rucksacks: Top five Picks in 2020

Are you looking for helping in choosing the best running rucksack? In this article we’ll take a look at the best running rucksacks available in 2016. While there are a wide range of running rucksacks available in different sizes we have chosen to focus this article on those rucksacks around the 20 litre capacity.

Clearly there are rucksacks of all shapes and sizes. In terms of what you might actually want to use it for, the 20 litre size is a good starting point.

Any smaller than this and you’re going to be limited with what you can carry. Rucksacks less than 20 litres will not have much more room than for a waterproof, your phone and maybe some snacks. Fine if you’re just out for long training run, but if you want to use the rucksack to say run to work then you need the extra capacity.

It probably goes without saying that running rucksacks much larger than 20 litres will be too bulky and heavy once loaded up to be any use to run with. We’ve found that larger rucksack can be more unstable when running given their size. 

Things to look for when choosing the best running rucksack.

So what do you need to look for when buying the best running rucksack? A key requirement is going to be how stable and comfortable it is, but there may be other considerations depending on what you intend to use it for:

  1. What kind of things will you need to carry?
  2. What kind of distance will you be running?
  3. Do you need to carry water with you?

What kind of support and stability does the rucksack offer?

Running Rucksack Comparison Table

Deuter Speed Lite 20 Alpine Running Rucksack

One of the best running rucksacks we’ve come across and is super adaptable to a multitude of activities. Two things we really like about this rucksack, its lightweight (530g) and super comfortable. It’s not the absolute lightest rucksack in our top 5, but certainly still highly suitable for running.

Pros: Enough room to carry essentials to work like a laptop, channel ventilation to reduce sweating on your back, fully adjustable shoulder straps with padding.
Cons: Doesn’t come with an hydration bladder.

 

 

Montane Dragon 20 Litre Backpack 

 

If you’re looking for a very lightweight rucksack to use on your run to work then this could be the bag for you. The Montane is built around their Freelight chassis is a revolutionary design where the load is evening balanced across the user through a stretch form-fitting body harness. 

The Dragon 20 is constructed from ultra lightweight Raptor Zero fabric which give the pack an overall weight of just 375g. The seams are fully taped to provide a high level of protection from water. With the material being so light this also means it dry’s very quickly. 

The straps are constructed from highly breathable mesh material which still manages to maintain a very high comfort level. Hydration options come in the form of two custom Montane water bottle which attach to the straps. There is no option to fit a hydration bladder. If you intend to use this for a short morning commute, this shouldn’t be a problem .

 

Osprey Talon 22 Backpack

 

If you’re after something which offers the greatest versatility then the Osprey Tallon 22 is the choice for you. The capacity slightly larger than other bags in our comparison at 22 litres, so if you think you’ll need that extra capacity, it is certainly worth considering.

The Osprey Talon 22 will be the perfect partner for your run to work, walk or cycle. You’re not therefore just getting a one-trick pony. While it is not the lightest pack here at 680g it more than makes up for it with features such as padded hip straps, plenty of compartments and large mesh pockets.

This pack is also one of the most comfortable packs in our review with an adjustable back so you can truly customize it to your own shape.

Vaude Splash 20 Running Backpack

The Vaude Splash 20 hasn’t changed much in the years it has been around. For very good reasons, why change something when it isn’t broken.

It features some interesting features such as Vaudes F.L.A.S.H system for adjusting the position of the backpack and the Aeroflex ventilation system that provides an open and stable space between the pack and your back to allow optimal air movement and reduce sweat.

This back pack features a zip system to allow you to expand the capacity to 25 litres if needed and have compression straps on the side to ensure stability is maintained. The pack is available in a wide range of colours: Black, Blue, Green, Red and Coconut (Yes Coconut!)

Salomon Trail 20 Backpack

 

 

The Salomon Trail 20 mixes a lightweight construction, excellent strength and fantastic ventilation.

 

The back pack includes strategically placed fabric on the straps to help to minimise the friction on your shoulders and neck, something you’ll really beenfit from if you use this backpack on longer runs.

 

 

Choosing the Best Rucksack for Running to Work

If you’re are searching for the best rucksack for running to work but, not quite certain where to start? No need to be worried, we got you covered. Rucksacks can be found in numerous dimensions, each with an array of features made to suit different reasons. With the help of our guide, we’ll help you find the right bag. This particular article aims to offer you all the information you have to make an informed choice about which rucksack is most beneficial for your needs. Some crucial tips for finding a perfect rucksack are below.

1. Capacity

The first significant question to consider is what capacity of rucksack you will need. As a basic, you need to search for at least 20 litres in size whereas somebody having an established routine plus storage offered by work can reduce more. By growing dimension, the weight increases aren’t dramatic and can deal with the extra equipment that can require upon occasions.

Or even, once we prefer to think about it, it must be dependent on how much equipment you have to carry, which explains why many people shall require several volume packs for various occasions. Do you require overnight gear? It can put you in the 35+ litre range automatically.

2. The Straps

Shoulder Straps:
Strap padding and location are necessary. The major shoulder straps have to be padded plus broad to equally distribute the excess heaviness of the bag more than your shoulders. Slim straps dig in plus may rub. They also have to be nicely stitched at their becoming a member of the point at the very top and bottom part of the bag, as that’s where the majority of the stress will undoubtedly be placed.

Chest Strap:
The primary functionality of the chest strap would be to help take that weight of the bag sitting on the shoulder and spread this evenly over the upper body while assisting to keep the bag set up. It means that the upper body straps have to be not merely adjustable over the upper body, but additionally up along the shoulder so that you can discover the optimal tension point straps.

Waist Strap:
With the best of 1/2 of the bag secured right now, the waist straps cope with the underneath of the bag. This particular the heaviest section of the bag, this means the particular straps have to extend very easily around the upper body and become wide plus supportive – specifically on the lower back and hips. You would like to sense like you are in a position to wrap the particular waistline straps close to you prefer a belt. Once again, they have to become adjustable.

3. Sizing & Fitting a Pack Properly

Diverse from its carrying capability, finding the right size may be the single most significant detail about selecting a pack. Properly sizing rucksack is quite crucial to your comfort and ease and the pack’s functionality. If it is too big or too little, excess weight will never be evenly distributed and can put pressure on various areas of your body, making hiking and shifting painful and difficult.

When transporting smaller amounts of bodyweight, how big the group is much less important, but also for running or mountaineering you will need the right size for long-term comfort. Most producers provide a dimension variety saying the number of inches of upper body size each sizing range covers. So you have to find the best rucksack for running to work carefully.

4. Storage

This is the other primary reason behind investing in a running backpack typically. You decided what you’ll be making use of your pack for above already, so that should dictate just how much storage you need. You might want to read our 25 tips for running to work for more inspiration. Also, remember that you might want a few storage spaces to be accessible on the run. So having almost all pockets on the trunk of the pack or within an unreachable area might not be ideal.

5. Internal Frame 

The majority of the best rucksack for running to work today are internal-framework packs, meaning the support frame and rods are built into the backpack and concealed from view. Nevertheless, there some remain external framework rucksack made where in fact the fishing rods are individual through the specific pack plus stand out. A large clunky metal frame is available. Make sure you purchase rucksack having an internal frame. It only looks much better.

6. Waterproofness 

Few rucksacks are water-resistant because the stitches leak. So generally, you will have to use a waterproof rucksack liner to help keep your gear dry. The attract cord that pulls the primary area opening closed is fine. A deep snow-lock extension is better even. The majority of zips leak, therefore, choose those that are usually included in a surprise flip.

Low-priced sacks tend to be less long-lasting than their more costly equivalents. Lightweight sacks may also be often less durable. If you would like durability optimum search for two times stitching, difficult materials, dual layers associated with fabric (especially on the bottom), reinforced places and chunky buckles and zips.

8. Hydration

Choose a bag with container holsters and examine how accessible they are before purchasing. You don’t desire to battle to reach around for the beverage while on the road. Alternatively, you could choose or buy being an accessory; a bladder pipe to drink that possibly goes beneath the underarm or over the joint.

9. Safety

Last, but not least, is safety. We save security for last because almost all packs possess reflective strips or material included in the pack. The only scenario that may require a small extra consideration is running during the night. If you run when it is dark out after that, you’ll certainly wish to make sure your group includes a good part of reflective material onto it.
Numerous packs will come having an emergency whistle, or you can buy one and tie it to your straps just.

Conclusion

Running rucksacks are designed to be light-weight and versatile specifically, and also being comfortable if you are operating. Search for the best rucksack for running to work with an excellent selection of pockets plus stow places, and also effective shoulder and waistline straps. The running rucksacks have already been chosen with one of these features in thoughts, so you run along with the proper rucksack — whether you are running to work, around the recreation area or over hills! I think the above tips will be helpful to select the best one for your needs.

Deuter Race EXP Air pack

Deuter Race EXP Air Pack

Deuter Race EXP Air pack Review

This Deuter Race EXP Air backpack comes from German backpack experts Deuter and will certainly suit the commuting runner over those of you who run endurance or ultra events. Strong, light and very durable, this expandable bag will serve you well for many years.

Deuter Race EXP Air Key Features

  • Sternum Chest Strap.
  • Wet Pocket inside.
  • Pocket for valuables.
  • Side pockets (for water bottles).
  • Raincover included.
  • 12L capacity with expandable volume (3L extra).
  • Hydration bladder compatible.
  • Size: 47 x 24 x 22 cm.

Material and Ventilation

Honestly one of the most important thing you should look for a running backpack is ventilation. The Deuter Race EXP Air pack has an internal frame called the Air Comfort Flexlite System which prevents the contents inside the bag from meeting your back. This of course means less sweating and sticky tops which something which we all want to avoid!

Deuter themselves say this about the system:

“Twin-frame construction gives the Aircomfort Flexlite System its special lightweight properties at the same time as guaranteeing excellent flexibility and ergonomic fit. The secret lies in the combination of complimentary round and flat spring steel frame profiles. It easily follows body movements and transfers the load perfectly to the hip fins. It also gives the back mesh a stable tensioned platform for the patented Deuter 3-sided ventilation system.”

Straps

The Deuter Race EXP Air pack has shoulder straps which are made from an airy mesh material. This encourages ventilation circulates and prevent moisture buildup. The shoulder straps come with a sternum strap which helps to provide extra stability when running along. The bag also comes with a hip strap which gives you extra stability on hips as you run. These are fitted with anatomically shaped, sturdy hip fins to help transfer the load from the bag to the hips. You will really see the benefits of this when running on rough or difficult terrain or if you’re practicing sprints for example.

The rucksack is constructed using Deuter’s own Ripstop 210 material along with Hexlite 100 which have fibres woven into the nylon material to increase tear strength and add more stability to the bag. These materials will repel light rain but in case of a sudden downpour there is a rain cover included to cover the bag this is stored at the base of the pack in a separate pocket.

Size

The bag is quoted as having a 12 L capacity, which is great on its own but the Deuter Race EXP Air (EXP stands for Expandable) can be enlarged by an additional 3L using the zips on the side.  The overall size of the bag is small, 47cm high by 24cm wide and 22cm deep.


Weight and Capacity

The weight of the Deuter Race EXP Air is quoted as 870 g, although we found the actual weight slightly over this.  This is a very respectable weight to have achieved, but that comes at the expense of less internal dividers for your kit.  As mentioned above if you carry lots of small items or laptop this might become annoying. There is room for an iPad or Macbook and some shoes if you’re using the bag for a commute to work. You might have to think creatively about the rest of your work clothes and be picky about what you do take or leave at work! The front zipped pocket has dividing areas for things like your wallet or phone, very handy for quick access.

Unfortunately that the aforementioned frame is curving in nature so this is going to make carrying a laptop in the back difficult. The trade-off of this means that the frame gives a consistent feeling on your back whatever you side put into the bag.  What you will have to be aware of these items are moving around in the bag, something you might be able to solve by the addition of a jackets or a jumper

Hydration Options

There are a couple of options for carrying water with this bag with side bottle pockets. There is also an internal sleeve for a hydration bladder. The Deuter Race EXP Air does not come with a bladder fitted but these are sold separately so you can pick the required capacity. As with most backpacks in this category there are attachments on the shoulder strap for the hydration bladder hose.

 

Conclusion

Clearly you buy a backpack for a specific purpose and with the Deuter Race EXP Air you are getting a strong and dependable bag which will certainly last a number of years. This bag is definitely going to suit the casual runner getting to work and back each day rather than the endurance or ultra runner looking for a full hydration pack. This is not to say the Deuter Race wouldn’t have some uses in endurance running. I have certainly used backpacks on runs up to around 15 miles to carry additional fluids and energy coursesm plus any wet weather gear (definitely needed in the UK!).

Pros
  • Comfortable rucksack for running
  • Excellent Aircomfort Ventilation System
  • Raincover included
Cons
  • Limited volume for work commuting
  • Needs more internal compartments
  • Hydration bladder not included