Intervals! … and logistics of lunch running

Today I set out for another round of Tuesday Lunch Intervals.

We woke up to a pretty hefty snowfall this morning and it has been a mild day (-1C/30F) so this resulted in sloppy, slushy sidewalks. Some sections were relatively clear, but I was soaked to the ankles before starting my first 1600. Good times….

Target: 3 x 1600 at [goal] 10K pace = 7:38 (4:45/KM)

(1000m warm-up jog)
1600m @ 7:22 (4:35/KM)this feels pretty decent, but oops too fast!
(400m recovery)
1600m @ 7:22 (4:35/KM)can I hold on to this pace?? 1600 is sooo looong!
(400m recovery)
1600m @ 7:10 (4:27/KM)HOW! MUCH! FARTHER!?
(1500m jog back to the office)

Pretty sure I may have yelled “HELL YEAH!” as I hit the lap button after that last 1600. Maybe.


Many of you have commented on my previous lunch runs, asking how I make it work and often mentioning how nice it would be to have a shower at work.

Well guess what? I don’t have access to a shower! Aren’t you glad you don’t share an office with me?

I always pack my bag the night before so I’m less likely to miss something. I will never forget that time I neglected to pack a sports bra and socks, but I ran anyway.

In addition to the running essentials, here’s what I pack in order to freshen up as much as possible post-run.


baby wipes

body spray


translucent powder

It’s not ideal, but at least I’m presentable for the remainder of the afternoon. I try not to leave for more than an hour, so I have just enough time to change, run ~8K, freshen up and change again. (I eat my lunch at my desk when I get back.)

And there you have it! When’s your next lunch workout?


58 thoughts on “Intervals! … and logistics of lunch running

  1. I'm a teacher, so I don't have the option of running at lunch. That would be awesome! One thing is for sure though; I would not be presentable! I sweat SO much when I run…even if it's cold outside!

  2. I am so lucky to have access to a shower at work. Honestly, I need to take advantage of it more often. Where do you go to do your repeats? A nearby track?

  3. I could never get away with that here during the summer but that is exactly what I did the other day when I did my lunch run! Baby wipes are you're best friend, I learned that during Ragnar Relay! Shower in a tupperware. 🙂

  4. I definitely sweat too much in my hair to be able to look decent for the afternoon. Since I am the only girl in my group I think they would notice if I looked funny! Great job on those intervals! You are so fast Marlene!!

  5. lol!!!! your secret is out!!!!i could never do that. i sweat buckets. so even if i change clothes, my hair is pretty gross. i mean i guess i could put it in a clip or something… but i would just shower prob at the gym next door. i just don't have enough time at lunch.GREAT JOB on your miles!!!!!!!! can i get a HELL YEAH!!!!!!!! hell YEAHHHH 🙂

  6. Thank you so much for the tips! There's a shower at my office, but it's a bit grungy so I don't really want to have to use it. I'll definitely try out your tips when it gets a little nicer here. Things may become more difficult in the summer, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.1600m @ 7:10?! Holy crap, lady! 🙂

  7. Hey, if it works for you than all the power to ya!! I don't have a lunch built into my day so I can't run then but in the summer when I am off work, I can run whenever I want :). Nice mile repeats!!!!

  8. Youre awesome. My office has a shower but there are enough pervs here I would take a shower during lunch. And no shower after a run doesn't work that well for me. My hair gets drenched when I run! I would need a lot more supplies!

  9. You must have been reading my mind with this post… I was just thinking I should make tomorrow my run during lunch day (since I have to miss my Will Run For Wine Group tomorrow). And the lovely suggestions of baby wipes is a great idea! I will let you know how it goes!!

  10. Awesome job on your repeats! Great tips on how to freshen up after a lunch run. I agree that it isn't ideal, but if I don't have a big meeting in the afternoon then I don't really worry about how I look afterwards! At this time of the year if I didn't run over lunch I probably would never see the sun shine!

  11. Saw your 'FIRST' comment from tall mom blog and it made me chuckle, so had to come over and say hi.and love your post workout line up of what you do. I've heard baby wipes and the dove spray work well, and it's way less expensive then some of the Cr## that's on the market for the same purpose.nice;-)

  12. I love your shower get up! 🙂 Great idea! I run/exercise at lunch a lot! I work in a pool too so it helps– and i dont have to lather up all smelling great. A quick shower and hopping in the pool is just the ticket! Great workout- you nailed it!

  13. I've forgotten socks before and ran anyways. You are brave for going sans bra! I ran at the end of a work day but not during lunch yet. Maybe I'll give it a try using your tips before the desert heats up this spring!

  14. Haha! I always get asked about lunch runs, too, and am planning a post about it! Our little routines are quite similar. I hadn't though of the baby wipes, though, and I have PLENTY of those around. 🙂

  15. Wow! I definitely need a shower after a run, but I'm lucky enough to work from home on a fairly flexible schedule. Fitting in a run and a shower aren't usually a problem. I don't know if I could do it from a real office! Good for you!

  16. if I had access to some decent roads over lunch, I would totally do this! I usually jet out for the lunch hour to get out of the office anyway ( Trader Joes, Barnes&Noble/Starbucks, Target…heh, the list goes on) just to get a break – but have yet to come across any "safe" running routes. Hmm….I definitely admire your dedication to that run!! Fresh, slushy snow?? Oof. 😉

  17. Way to blow that last repeat out of the water!! Nicely done.There's a treadmill around the corner from my unit in the hospital – I should try getting some intervals in.

  18. I am lucky to have a shower! I usually make my work days longer to "make up" the time spent running but workdays already have been longer this week so I had to ditch the runs. I booked myself an appointment in my calendar for tomorrow so hopefully I'll be able to get out there 🙂

  19. I really want to do the lunch thing..I need to see if I use a hairdryer if I will short circuit the office. (knowing me this would so happen) The other option is a baseball hat which won't fly with my office attire. Sweet job on the intervals. I held between 5:15-5:20/km yesterday and was stoked. You are amazing.

  20. Great post and awesome job on the intervals! I'm in college..soon to have a desk job and I always wondered how people worked out during lunch. Even if you have a shower, do you go back to work with a wet head? I don't think I'd be able to do it!

  21. way to go! those were some rockin' intervals, and i know it's tough to squeeze in a workout over lunch. when i was back in the office i'd run over lunch in the winter. i still got a little sweaty AND we had showers… but i chose to run a little longer than get back in time for a shower 😉 hehe. so i agree with all your tips! towel off, and try to mask the smell as much as possible. i figure it's the winter and i don't sweat as much so it can't be that bad?

  22. When people say anything to me about workingout at lunch and not shower–I just say "I do it to keep people out of my office all afternoon" hahaha.I also found this stuff to help with acne that is a spray I can't remember what brand but I got it at Rite-aid or CVS.

  23. #1. Lightning girl! Wow.#2. You get those times while running on your own? Double wow.#3. When do you actually eat lunch if you are running during your lunch.

  24. That is a REALLY good idea! I've only thought of running before/after work, but running during lunch would be really smart since I usually bring lunch and everyone else goes out to pick up lunch anyway. I like the kit ideas 🙂

  25. I really Like the idea of running at lunch time, it would free up my evenings for the kids and also running at noon in a busy city feels so much safer then running at night. This is a really great idea!! thanks

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