It’s official, running with a backpack sucks!

September 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm 2 comments

Edit – May 9th 2012 – This post has been superseded by a more useful post on running with a backpack! If you’re actually after some advice or options please read this new post – Running with a backpack – Take 2.

I have often seen people running with a backpack and thought that it would be extremely annoying. As a kid I ran with a backpack a few times and found it to be very uncomfortable. However, I thought that with a decent backpack and some running experience maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. I can confirm that it is as horrible and uncomfortable as you would expect – even with your bag strapped on nice and tight.

Today I went to the physio who told me I wasn’t allowed to ride my bike for two weeks. This came about as I have some fairly intense pain around my left knee and calf muscle. In short, some instability around my hips and riding with my seat too low has allowed my knee to be unstable whilst riding. This has stretched the patellar tendon and my calf muscle has been overworked to compensate.

$120 later I’m equipped with some daily strengthening excercises (which I will do!) and a no-ride policy for 2 weeks. Given I ride to work every day this is going to be inconvenient. In fact, I now needed a way to get home!

I had a number of options:

  • Ride home anyway – one last time before starting my two week break
  • Catch a bus home
  • Stay around at work late until Maz rides home and then comes back to get me
  • Run home

Given I’m not riding for two weeks I needed to find an option that would suit me tonight and for the next 10 working days. I decided that, having never run with a backpack, I would give it a try. I was planning on running at lunch time today anyhow so all my running gear was on-hand.

Well it was horrible. Despite the tightness of the straps my bag still bounced around all over the place. It was moving so much that my iPhone, which never skips, was skipping! After giving up on music I continued running but ended up having to hold my backpack to stop it from moving. Running without my hands looks and feels ridiculous and is hardly any fun. My top was riding way up my back due to the friction of the backpack as well.

I did track the run and you can see it by clicking here to check out the Runkeeper log.

As you can see, it was rather slow and I walked in many places as I was too fed up with the bouncy bag., It’s just over 3k to get home so really I should be able to do it comfortably under 15 minutes (which isn’t that much longer than riding really!).

So now I don’t know what to do. I think I might try minimizing the need for a backpack. I use it to carry food and clothes primarily (given I normally wear riding gear). If I bring a bunch of food to work in one go along with a bunch of clothes I should be right for a week potentially? Not sure yet…

I should be able to carry the essentials (phone, wallet, security card and a house key) in my SPIbelt.

I miss my bike already…


Entry filed under: General Thoughts. Tags: , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Elvin  |  September 29, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Hey Jase,

    Running with a backpack can become quite comfortable. You just need the right backpack, get into a good rhythm and have the straps set correctly. I find that having them fairly loose works best and I also have my day packs which I can run with – and ones that I can’t. Still I suppose at the end of the day it is far more comfortable not to have one.


    • 2. Jase  |  September 29, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      Thanks for the advice Elvin! Will try and remember next time I have to do it again. Hopefully not any time soon though. 😉


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