that Sarah Klem

I used to blog as the Devil. Then I was Tatiana. Now, I'm just me.

How to Run During the Middle of Your Work Day

One question I was asked a lot during my endeavor was how I can run in the middle of the day and then go back to work. Which is funny, because until I tried it, I believed I could never be one of those people who runs at lunch. It would take too long. And I would return too sweaty and gross.

Well, I tried it and realized, it really isn’t that hard.

Here is what you will need:

  • A place either in your office or near your office to change into running clothes and then back into your work clothes.
  • A boss who doesn’t mind if your lunch runs a bit long. Because sometimes it is will. And if you have to punch a clock, or worse, you have a boss who watches you like a hawk because he or she assumes you are trying to cheat the system, then running at lunch is not for you.
  • A lack of caring about looking perfect the second half of your day. This post will help you look presentable for the second half of the day; maybe even respectable. But you aren’t going to look perfect. Or anywhere near it. I find it helps to just shoot for always looking presentable. This has two advantages: a) it lowers everyone’s expectations and b) on the rare occasion you do dress up for work, people worry you are interviewing for another job and treat you really nice for a couple of days. If the idea of not looking perfectly polished at the office terrifies you, running during lunch is not for you either. There are only about 2 percent of the human population who can look good after a workout. They are super models and actors. 

Now, here are things that you don’t need but are helpful:

Body wipes.

Face wipes.


Waterproof mascara.

Long hair and/or a low maintenance short haircut.

Dry shampoo.

This is seriously a picture of one of the drawers of my desk. 

This is seriously a picture of one of the drawers of my desk. 

And here’s how you do it:

So, it is lunch time, you change into your running clothes, you smugly announce to your co-workers that you are going for a run and then you leave the building for a run. Plan your run so that you have 5 to 10 minutes to walk/cool-down. This is important. Especially in the summer.

Now, when you are done with your run, take your hair out of your ponytail (or bun or braid). Why? Are you seriously questioning my authority here? Fine. Because, if you are sweater like me, your hair will be soaked. Taking it out of the ponytail or bun will begin the drying process.

You are walking back to the office. Cooling down. Heart rate is coming down. Sweating is slowing down. Back in your changing room, you have now, hopefully, stopped sweating. Spray your still wet hear with some dry shampoo, comb it through, wipe down your legs and arms with the body cloths, wipe the sweat and dead bugs off your face, reapply deodorant and put back on your work clothes.

See. You are mostly presentable. You don’t smell, your face isn’t flushed, you aren’t out of breath but you still managed to squeeze a workout in.

But, Sarah, what about the mascara? What is that for?

Right. Okay, so remember the part where I told you I don’t really make all that much effort towards my appearance for work? Well, I don’t. My morning makeup routine most days is two things: pencil in my eyebrows, apply mascara: moonface averted. But since Michele tinted my brows, now the only thing I need to do to prevent myself from looking perpetually swollen is to swipe on mascara.

But regular mascara smears during my run and comes off during my face wiping / splashing cold water on my face on really hot days.

So, now I wear waterproof mascara on days when I am going to run at lunch. They also have other kinds of waterproof and sweatproof makeup out there for you kids who prefer more coverage/like looking pretty always.

There you have it. A guide to running at lunch while also being a professional looking lady.