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Dump the Pump Day started in 2004 as an effort to get Americans to trade personal vehicles for public transportation for both environmental and financial reasons. But we runners can one-up the original goal of dump the pump day, cutting gas usage down even more. Here are five ways you can ditch gas and get fit in the process:
1. Run to Work
If your commute isn’t a killer, run to cut out gas consumption altogether. But if a one-way run to work would make you an ultramarathoner, consider some creative options that don’t demand Dean Karnazes-like genetics: bike or use public transportation part way, run the rest.
2. Create a Cupboard Meal
Don’t drive to a restaurant or the grocery store today. Instead, challenge yourself to make a meal out of what you’ve got stashed in your fridge, freezer and cupboards. One of my faves: Lipton noodle soup with frozen veggies and meat (if wanted). Heat the soup in the microwave for seven minutes, then dump in the veggies and meat (you can cut up deli meat if needed) and voila! You have a cheap, healthful, electrolyte replenishing meal.
3. Run from Home
Do you usually drive to your local running store to meet up for a run? Or to a trailhead? Try running from home for a day. If people can run 35 miles around Tokyo, the world’s most populous metropolitan area, (see the July issue of Competitor Magazine in two weeks for more on running in Tokyo!) you can urban run as well. Or country run. Just make sure to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back if you’re going it alone in new territory—everything is different from a non-behind-the-wheel perspective.
Erin Beresini is a senior editor for Competitor Magazine.