Health, parkrun Diaries

5 Things If You’re Thinking About Doing A parkrun

5 Things If You’re Thinking About Doing A parkrun


So you’re thinking of doing a parkrun? Perhaps you’re adding “get fit” to your New Years’ resolutions, or want to start taking running more seriously.

We’ve just completed our first ever parkrun here in Northampton. Yes, me, unfit and overweight, out of breath and red in the face, completed a timed 5k. I might have walked most of it, and only jogged a bit. But I bloomin’ well did it.  (My time was 51 minutes and 17 seconds if you were wondering…)

parkruns are free events, held by volunteers all across the world, with hundreds here in the UK. It is an organised 5k run (or 2k junior run) where you follow a set route and get a time at the end of it.

Anxiety had held me back for a long while. I was worried, I was nervous. But it turns out there was no need to be.


You’re thinking about doing one too, I hear you say? Then here’s 5 things to think about…

5 Things If You’re Thinking About Doing A parkrun


1. Just bloomin’ do it. Register, and then turn up (don’t forget to print out your barcode if you want a time) It’s free – what have you got to lose? 


2. Don’t be worried about the other runners. They are the friendliest, most encouraging people ever. Doesn’t matter if you’re uber competitive and after the quickest PB, or just out for a timed walk, the marshals and other runners will cheer you on the whole way. Because they’re awesome.


3. Go at your own pace. You don’t have to “win” a parkrun. The idea is to do it – if you get to the finish then you’ve won. You won’t come last – they have a volunteer Tail Runner at every event to make sure everyone gets through the event unscathed. Even if you don’t get to the finish, you’ve still won because you tried.


4. Don’t worry about what other people think. You might have to run past some early morning drinkers on a park bench, chuckling at the runners with their Frosty Jacks in hand… jokes on them, at the end of the day…


5. Wear something comfortable. It could be the height of fitness fashion if you like, or some tatty joggers and an oversized t-shirt. It doesn’t matter. The fact that you’re out there doing it, at whatever speed, in whatever you’ve got to hand makes you brilliant.

prettier than a gym – The Racecourse in Northampton

I can’t believe how great I felt at the end! Yes, my legs hurt, and lets not talk about the noises I made walking up the stairs at home, but I DID IT.

And I’m planning on going back next week too! You can find your local run and register at the parkrun website 

Diary of an imperfect mum

5 thoughts on “5 Things If You’re Thinking About Doing A parkrun

  1. Great advise! I love park runs! We have a 5k one local to us and it’s so great! The running community is such a supportive one. My advise would be – everyone has a first ever run….just do it now. You wont regret it. Thanks for sharing your tips xx

  2. I started doing park runs in July 2016 with my teenage son although he zooms off at a faster rate than me! We’ve done 14 now and I love it once I’ve done it!!! Still a mental battle to actually get up and put the joggers on but it sets you up positively for the weekend! #ablogginggoodtime

  3. I agree with all of your points-I think running is one of the friendliest hobbies ever. I did Northampton parkrun last week, it was the first time I’d ran at all iin about 18 months. It wasn’t horrific so I was pleasantly surprised! I’m determined to do more now as I really quite enjoy running once I get into it.

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