Parkruns do speed you up!

But does it matter to your fitness levels? I did my first parkrun today. I was around ten minutes faster than on previous 5k runs at 34:51. It is a dead flat, sheltered, measured route. I can't be quite confident of my little pedometer (now discarded for a forerunner 220!) and just like when I'm driving I tend to drift off and run slower and slower! Does the speed you complete each run in, actually matter for your cardiovascular, all over fitness though? I don't finish breathless, despite my young nephew joining me and suggesting I sprint the last bit! I should probably be pushing myself a bit rather than gently coasting but what do you all think?

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  • You do whatever you like SW 😊 it's your run to do fast, middling or slow. All comers are accommodated

    If you have no health issues it won't hurt to push yourself a bit so you are out of puff, if only slightly. We are told that it's good for us to get sweaty and out of puff three times a week. You can push a bit harder throughout the whole 5k or just push harder for the last one, or half a kilometre. So, your nephew is right I'd say 😊 You don't have to wait for Parkrun to have a practice.

  • This is a good question!! - but I don't know the answer. In terms of heart strength. my understanding is that an "untrained,unfit" person needs to exercise the heart such that it is able to pump more blood with each stroke of the heart. This can be done at quite low heart rates and hence we are encouraged to do a lot of running at relatively low heart rates (higher than what we get when walking) . This development of the heart goes hand in hand with developing pathways for the blood to get to the muscles. These pathways are two-fold - one is aerobic and the other is anaerobic. Hence we are told to exercise mostly at low heart rates BUT we should also exercise regularly but not very often at VERY high heart rates in the anaerobic region ( I might add that this is over 85% of maxHR and is definitely in the puffing and panting area :) Most of us don't ever get into this region because it is hard and uncomfortable - but this is a reason why parkrun is good each week.

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