Did you know that running during your workday can improve your workplace well-being, boost your productivity, and inspire more creativity?
Yes, that’s true. Although lunch break runs require moving some things around, the juice is worth the squeeze.
But how can you find the time to log in the miles when you’re busy juggling work tasks, handling meetings, and answering emails and phone calls?
By having the right system at hand, of course.
In today’s article, I’ll share with you the full guide to mastering the lunch break run.
The Benefits Of Running At lunchtime
I hate to state the obvious, but running and exercise, in general, has a lot to offer.
I’m not going to bore you with the details as I’ve already published an in-depth post on the benefits of running. You can check it out here.
As for the topic of today’s post, the runch, the term used to colloquially refer to the lunch run, can help you a lot.
Some of the benefits of running at lunch break include:
- Relieving stress
- Soothing pressure on your spine from endless sitting. This can also help with back pain
- Serving as both a physical, emotional, and mental break from work
- Improved productivity
- Increased energy
- Improved creativity
I can go on and on, but you get the picture. A lunch break runner is more focused, productive, and creative—traits of high-performing workers.
Top 7 Tips For Running During Your Lunch Break
If your job is demanding, you might find it hard to get alone time at lunch break, let alone go for a run. But keep in mind that you need is one hour – or maybe less depending on your readiness and run duration.
1. Planning And Scheduling Matter
The secret to running on your lunch break lies in planning ahead.
Before the week kicks off, check your schedule and plan which days you’re going to run at lunch.
If you want to devote a few of your lunch breaks to running a few times a week, plan these sessions out and schedule time out of your office for your run.
Make it a rule to prioritize your runs—otherwise, they won’t happen. That’s why, just like any other priority, schedule your lunchtime runs the same way you’d an important work meeting, then add it into your calendar.
Next, block out your calendar for your lunch run and pencil it down as an actual appointment on your calendar.
Think of it as a crucial meeting that you can’t afford to skip. The world will not break down into a million pieces if you leave your desk for an hour—promise.
At the very least, schedule around 30 to 45 minutes out of your day for a lunchtime run. This should be enough time to get changed clean up afterward.
Consider avoiding running on days when you have important meetings in the afternoon, especially if there are no shower rooms in your workplace.
Additional Resource – Running while constipated.
2. Have Your Running Bag
Before you step into the office, make sure your training gear is ready, so you can change quickly and head out. The less time you waste looking around for your running kit, the more time you’ll have to log the miles.
I’d recommend that you pack everything you need for your run the night before a lunch run. This also works well for those who are always short on time in the morning or prefer to run late in the morning.
- Sports bra
- Body wash
- Face wash
- Comb or brush
- Dry shampoo
- GPS watch
- Post-run underwear
- Running pants, leggings, or short
- Baby wipes, if you need them
- Small towel
- Fleece or running jacket
3. Prepare The Smart Way
What you do going to your runch can help make the most out of the workouts.
For starters, roughly one hour before you head out, drink 12 to 16 ounces of water—have your caffeine fix if you like coffee, too.
But, avoid eating anything in the two to three hours pre-run. Running on a full stomach can do more harm than good.
You should also plan your running routine. For example, if you can only spare 30 minutes for a run, make sure you know your running route.
Additional Resource – Here’s the full guide to feeling bloated after running
4. Warm-Up Properly
A good running warm-up can eat up a lot of time. Yet that’s no reason to skip it, as doing so may cause discomfort, injury, and premature fatigue.
Research has shown that sitting for an extended period can shorten your lower body muscles, especially your hip flexors and hamstrings. This, in turn, may lead to pain in your lower back, knees, and ankle.
That’s not the whole story. Sitting for a long time can also make you feel stiff and uncomfortable as you take in your first few steps. The feeling may linger.
Here’s what to do.
Start warming up indoors by standing for 20 to 30 minutes before you run. Take your calls on the go or have a standing work desk, if possible.
You can also do foot circles, calf stretches, leg swings, and let your body limber up.
5. Master The Quick Change
Changing up, both before and after running, can eat away at many a precious minute.
So even if you have a “flexible” lunchtime break, you’re better off making the most out of it by devoting your time to running, cooling down, and lunch.
You don’t want to spend a long time changing from one outfit to the next.
So what’s the best way to do so?
Pack your running bag in the order you will be putting your running kit on. This should help you save many a precious minute.
I’d also recommend that you wear your running outfit under your work clothes, then change up into clean underwear later.
Additional Resource – Here’s the full guide to running watches
6. Freshen Up
Serious about making lunchtime runs a regular thing? Learn how to clean up as fast as possible.
How fast you get cleaned up depends on the workplace.
If you have access to a shower, this part should be easy. You already know how to shower and all. You just jump in and out as fast as you can.
But what if your workplace doesn’t have one? Then A washcloth with some body wash can do the trick.
You can use a body wipe to remove sweat, dirt, and odor. Wiping the right way can also be cooling, especially you tend to sweat heavily. Just remember to bring your post-run supplies to stay clean and dry.
Consider using antiperspirant in prone areas, especially if you continue to sweat post-run—which is the case for most.
Use the stuff on your groin area, under your armpits and upper thighs, the backs of your knees, and your feet. Leave nothing for chance.
Before you schedule your lunchtime run, plan your meals for afterward.
So once you’re out of your running clothes and freshened up, it’s time to get in a quick meal.
I’d recommend packing your lunch in the morning before heading to work. This should save you time and effort during your workday.
Ideal post runch ideas include
- Salad and ham sandwich
- Chicken and vegetables
- Omelet and a banana
It’s really up to you. As long as you choose healthy items, you’re good to go, buddy.
You should also drink plenty of water following a run. This should keep you well hydrated, productive, and focused for the rest of the day.
Tips For Running During Your Lunch Break – The Conclusion
If you’re running a busy lifestyle, running during your lunch break is a fantastic way to help add more movement to your daily life.
Not only it’s a fantastic way to fit in a run during the day, but you’ll also get an endorphin rush, improving your productivity.
What’s not to like!