I love exercising and keeping fit, but sometimes my motivation is, let’s just a say, a little non-existent. I don’t know about you, but I find working out with other people way more motivating and a lot more interesting.
A few people have told me to try out the parkrun before, but I’ve always been too nervous to give it a go. Today, I plucked up the courage and did my first one.
Before I dive into my experience, I thought I’d start with some background on the event. The parkrun is a weekly timed 5k run, starting at 9am, in loads of open spaces across the country. It’s free to enter and it’s volunteer led. In fact, you don’t have to enter you can just turn up and run. Here is a list of parkrun locations.
So, onto my experience. My biggest fear today, with no running training under my belt, was losing miserably. This was a silly fear, my favourite thing about the run was actually the diversity of the runners. Over 200 people made up of the old, young, fast, slow, fat, skinny, children, dogs…everyone has a place at the parkrun.
I woke up at 7am and had a banana, coco pops and a cup of tea. Admittedly not the healthiest choice but I’m not trying to be Mo Farah or anything! I arrived at the parkrun at 8 30am and did 20 minutes of jogging to warm up. I freaked out a bit when I saw runners with compression socks and Club vests but I soon calmed down on the start line when I was surrounded by more ‘amateur’ people like myself.
At 8 55 i stood at the back of the group on the startline and tried to blend in as much as I could. Bang on 9am we were off. I actually could have started somewhere in the middle of the pack as it took me a while to overtake the walkers and the ladies jogging with the dogs. However, it felt good to be running past people, even if they were walking! At the 2k mark, I never thought I’d be able to make it to the end, I was so tired. But I persevered and finished in 27 minutes..In my opinion, not a bad time for the first time..Even if I was beaten by a 10 year old (I’ll get ya next time)!
Even though I suffer with eczema and asthma and find running quite challenging, I loved my parkrun experience. I’m going to make every effort to do these every/every other week. I’ll let you know when I get my ’50 parkruns’ t-shirt ;).
It’s great that it’s at the same time, same place every week and that there are loads of lovely like-minded people to chat to.
I recommend this event to everyone. Whatever your fitness level and whatever your goals, there’s a space for you at the parkrun and it will stay there until you decide to fill it.
What’s your experience of the parkrun?