Check your Strava feed around 2pm on a given workday and chances are you'll see many workouts from friends titled 'Lunch Run'. Why is this such a popular activity? Because RUNNING IS AWESOME. Okay but seriously, because running require little equipment and time to be an effective workout. Go for a lunch cycle and you'll barely have time to break a sweat. Running, however, is a more efficient way to get your heart rate up and burn calories. Most of us can easily fit a 3-5 mile run into the lunch hour, even more for the fast folk, which is a solid way to get a mid day metabolism spike and an ideal way to boost your mood (yay runners high!) before returning to your coworkers.
Of course there's a little trick to tackling this midday activity; still eating lunch, getting out the door quickly and returning to your desk without looking a mess.
Running on your lunch break doesn't mean not eating. Instead, aim to have a late morning snack like a banana, latte, or yogurt to sustain hunger levels until post run and boost energy supply for your workout. This run is short enough to not eat during the activity. However, this can be the hottest part of the day, so bring water and/or an electrolyte mix with you. Once finished, give yourself enough time to consume your meal (consuming it quickly is fine). On days you're lunch running, pack a meal that is simple to eat and requires so heating or extra work; a sandwich on whole grain bread with an apple is a great option.
Getting Out Quickly:
Have your bag of gear ready beside your desk so all you have to do is duck into the restroom to change and go. On days you plan to lunch run, dress in easy to take off and put on attire (no extra belts and layers to deal with). Remember this is a hot and sunny time of day, so take that extra moment to apply sun screen!
Returning to Work:
No one wants to sit around being sweaty and smelly but a full on shower is typically not an option due to time and/or facility. Give your face and body a quick towel wipe followed with a body mist spray and, if possible, allow for a few minutes of standing in the AC to cooldown before getting back into your work clothes.
My Lunch Run Essentials:
- SweatWellth Power Shower - Spray yourself & towel off for a post run showerless cleanse.
- LyteLine Hydration - Since lunch runs tend to be sweaty, I sip a bottle of LyteZone 0 calorie hydration prior to my run.
- CHI Dry Shampoo - If my hair isn't in braids, I use this to give my sweaty strands some life.
- FRÉ Protect Me - Formulated to handle sweaty skin, this lightweight SPF30 is ideal for quick runs in the sun.
- Power Bar Protein Plus - If I added an extra mile or two and am rushing to get back to my work, I quickly devour a protein bar and get to the rest of my lunch later.
- Secret Active Deodorant Spray - This spray works well to refreshen my scent and sticks to sweaty skin well.
- Playlist - Get away from the desk and pump some motivating tunes to keep you going. This is my current go-to short run playlist.
- Lululemon Tank - The light feel and techy fabric help keep the stink off.
- Nathan Pouch - I always run carrying this. I like having water, keys, phone and gel with me throughout my runs, even quick ones.