I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have all said the idea of Parkrun makes them crap themselves, well not quite literally but lets face it we’re runners here so toilet talk is never off the table! Personally I love the Saturday morning ritual, and it’s something that is growing in popularity over the years. And I really want you to love it too! It’s a great way to get the race vibe without the pressures, it’s so sociable and just a great way to get out and run on your weekends. So if you’d like to give it a whirl but no idea what it’s about, this post is here to put your mind at ease and hopefully get you out running tomorrow.
Get yourself signed up
Head to the Parkrun website, and sign up. You’ll get a unique bar code which you print out and bring with you each run, this is how you track your results each time. You use the same bar code for any Park run you do! There’s also the option of getting them made into cards or bands, so it’s easier to keep hold of them. Check out the shop for more details.
Choose your Parkrun
There’s different Parkrun routes all over the world, it’s very likely there’s one at your local park. So take a look on their website and find one that’s closest, or a route that takes your fancy!
Run with a friend or club
Different runs attract less or more runners, so if you’re new to the event and the idea of lot’s of runners scares you a little why not rope in a friend or family member? Once you’re out running and chatting, you’ll forget of everyone around you. One you’ve been a few times you might feel more comfortable going alone, but don’t put that pressure on first time around.
Start at the back
If you just want to rock up and enjoy the run, I’d really advise heading to the back of the pack. It keeps you away from the more competitive runners, and their pesky elbows! Once you’re set with your pace, you can always make your way nearer the front but in your own time. The runs I’ve always enjoyed most are the ones where I’m relaxed and running with friends, so just ignore everyone else and keep going!
Just enjoy the experience
The running community as a whole is very friendly and supportive, and that includes Parkrun! Don’t talk yourself into not going just because it feels like a big event, everyone is there to get outdoors on a Saturday morning and enjoy some running. You can also use headphones as it’s off-road, so it that helps to you relax and find your own headspace then go for it. Relax, run and enjoy Parkrun. This might just be the start of your new weekend routine!