Park run - How to get quicker?: Well I did my... - Bridge to 10K

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Park run - How to get quicker?

Well I did my first parkrun having completed the couch to 5k a few weeks ago. I have since been running 5k three times a week but am still slow. So decided to be brave and go for the park run. Hubby joined me and insisted on keeping me company even though he could run much much faster. Very quickly I discovered I was virtually at the back of all the 400 runners! It was really hard, not the run itself, but seeing all the others go so very fast. The way the course is laid out ends up with all those in front passing you as they reach the finishing line and I am only half way around. Also they gather together and block the path (I am sure unintentionally - as they forget some are still running). But instead of feeling good about myself it left me feeling despondent and negative. Desperately trying to tell myself that I have never ran in my life and left it till I am 58 to start and only started running at the beginning of July and that I should be proud of myself. But the negative thoughts seem to be shouting louder. Decided that I will not do a park run until I can complete the 5km at least another 5 minutes quicker. Ironically I knocked a minute off my time and completed the course in 41 minutes. Wondering if anyone else felt like this? How do I go about increasing my speed?

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That's a perfectly respectable time. Some Park Runs are faster than others. And you had a PB. That shows you are getting faster. Keep doing the park run. The younger ones should be faster than you. The older ones have probably been running for decades.

You've got to accentuate the positive

eliminate the negative

Latch on to the affirmative

But don't mess with mister in between.

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I've only done park run once and was also at the back. My fastest 5k after nearly a year of running (this time around) is 40 minutes, and i didn't manage it that day and was also nearly last.

I will say that keep running and you will gradually speed up. after months of long slow runs, I've started pushing a bit so that I'm out of breath to begin with, and my pace is getting faster. It all takes time, and also depends on whether you aim for speed or distance to begin with, post c25k.

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Don't be despondant .You are a runner regardless of speed.You've achieved so much getting to this point and you've only been at it a short time.Perhaps a bit if a fluke that all the faster ones were out that day!I admire you for doing your first Park Run.I'm too frit' to do one myself as I'm anxious that it becomes a race rather than a shared experience.

I think there's quite a lot of help here about upping speed, but I've found that one long , one medium steady and one shorter run a week is automatically improving speed with out hammering it.

You're doing good...really you are.x

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You're faster than me! My time was 43 mins 18 seconds and I'm so pleased with that. I can go a bit faster than that on the flat and on a path. Our park run is all grass and inclines so I'm amazed I was that fast! I was near the back and maybe I was lucky but all the fast runners were really supportive. It is a bit disheartening when you know you are so much slower than others but don't give up!! We are runners too. Just not as fast! I'm a happy snail! Six months ago I would have laughed at the thought of being able to run 5k!πŸ‘ŸπŸ‘ŸπŸŒπŸŒπŸŒ

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I had EXACTLY the same experience on Saturday. So much for all the hype that all sorts of folk do Parkrun. Despite a not bad pace of under 8/km I came in 460th out of 480 runners and there were people Walking faster than me. A couple of people spoke to me but it also felt quite lonely and when I went to the advertised cafe afterwards there weren’t many people there. Luckily I approached the one person sitting on his own who turned out to be a visitor from another run, who was friendly and made me feel a bit better. I overheard another lady at the end saying sadly that she’s given up and just done a run on her own because it was all out of her league. So it was supportive to read your post. I will try again but with very managed expectations of how it’s going to make me feel.

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Parkrun is not everyone’s cup of tea, but don’t let it put you off running. I’m much happier running alone as I struggle with the crowd and because I’m hearing impaired can’t really chat to people even if they wanted to talk to me.

Don’t worry about speed, that will come with time. Have you tried using the 5Kplus podcasts. They can help. I used the Speed Podcast to improve my pace. It involves running intervals at a faster pace and although I hate intervals it did help me speed up. Fartleks are good too.

When I’d plateaued someone on here said to me, β€œIn order to run faster you have to run faster”. I realised that I had to push myself just a little more than I was.

Sometimes I’ll use the app and have Week 1, but run the walking bits and my comfortable pace and run the runs at a harder pace. This helped too.

Don’t be despondent. You are running 5k which is amazing. Maybe have a couple of weeks without timing yourself, but find somewhere nice to run, and just run for sheer pleasure. πŸ˜€

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Don't be too hard on yourself. You can run 5K - that is an amazing achievement. I completed c25k in July and have managed a few parkruns since then. It can be a little dispiriting when the speedsters all sprint off at the start but it's nice to have a timed run to see how you are improving and although I am trying to use it as an easy run for juju's 10K tranining plan it is hard not to want to go faster. I managed sub-35 minutes for the first time this week and felt elated (the week before I had a terrible run but was only 30s slower). Don't beat yourself up, some runs aren't so good and you *will* find that you get faster the more runs you do. If you really want to speed up then practise the speed podcasts on the c25k site or have a go a intervals (fartlek) or get an app that does the same thing, I use the jogrunsprint app after someone on here recommended it.

I don't know about usual numbers for a parkrun but 400 runners sounds like a lot - mine is ~250. Are there any other parkruns near you? You might also find that Saturday was a particularly fast crowd - e.g. a running club might have all pitched up. You can search the parkrun site for parkruns near you but you can also look back at previous weeks to get an idea of the range of speeds.

I hope this doesn't put you off you have come such a very long way already

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Thank you - I didn't know about the podcasts so will give them a go.

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confession -a lot of people on here swear by them but I haven't had a go myself!

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The C25k+ Stepping Stones podcasts are ace πŸ’ͺ

Parkrun is cool. It doesn’t matter how you get round No one but you is concerned. As long as you do the 5k that's all that matters. At ours, folks just do their own thing, running, walking, Zimmer frame, Nordic walkers We have blind runners, running parents with buggies, dogs and owners, kids, very overweight folks who,are there to get round and improve their health. It’s not just about runners or being fast. We all move forward together πŸ‘πŸ˜ƒ which makes it so special. No-one gets forgotten as there are tail runners I love tail runner volunteer as you hear all the stories there. About injuries, ailments, impairments or peeps that want to chat and walk I say β€œthe back of the pack is where it’s at!”

πŸ’ͺπŸ‘πŸ˜ƒ

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Another voice saying don't be despondent and do try again. Your time would have brought you home 10 mins in front of the Southsea Parkrun tailwalker on Saturday, though admittedly you would have been in the last 20 - so what? It's good your OH is supportive, but Parkrunning together might be counter-productive. Dexy5 and I both do Parkrun, but we run at our own speeds, which means she gets to know and chat to the people who run at around her pace (and I can admire the red mist before my eyes). She also starts nearer the back so she doesn't get in the way of the faster runners at the beginning. I go back to meet her after checking-in and we trot in together for the last 250m (with me taking care not to go past the timekeepers a second time ;-) ). Her time has improved from 40'+ in May, having just finished C25K, which she started on turning 60, to sub-34 last Saturday.

The tailenders at our run get great support from everyone at the finish, including lots of the fast finishers who hang about to cheer (and don't get in the way :-) ), so maybe you and Tallismorley were unlucky in that respect. Perhaps you could try a different Parkrun if there's another one in the vicinity?

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Hello, said Dexy here. You did really well, got a PB, but you are despondent because you are comparing yourself with others rather than your normal pace. The 3 lap course probably added to the pressure rather than our out and back along the prom.

My trick is to run alongside someone, maybe say hello, and if I think their pace is slower than mine I pick someone out ahead and see if I can run alongside them . I keep doing that all the way and have spoken to lots of people who have done c25k, triathlons or are recovering from injury. I thank all the marshals as I go along and I think of this as a social run, but my times have reduced over 12 runs. It really is early days for you so just give it time.

I have also joined juju’s magic plan to 10k so 5k seems easier now. Good luck and enjoy those runs.

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Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing great. You had a bad experience, get up, brush yourself off and give it another go. I’ve not even tried a Parkrun yet so good for you in getting yourself to one in the first place πŸ˜‰

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By the way, I'm totally intrigue by your name. i guess you knit while watching Agatha Christie on the telly, but I can't help wondering if you are really knitting by the guillotine :)

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I absolutely love watching nice murders eg Agatha Christie / Midsummer murders. Then years ago I had to come up with a name for myself to belong to a knitting site and the rest is history. Hubby thinks I should call myself "nicemurderrunner"!

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Lol, I thought as much. I think you might worry a few people if you called yourself nicemurderrunner πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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oops perhaps not a good name for running!

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Hills and running further πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

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You are a couple of minutes faster than I would be! πŸ˜„ I also started running from scratch at 58. I am still astonished that I can do it at all - & just love all the benefits it brings. I have come to the conclusion that enjoyment is the only thing that matters. So run to enjoy it in exactly the way that is right for you. - Remember slow running builds strong runner’s legs!! πŸ˜„

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Thank you

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We have 3 laps in our Parkrun, so nearly everyone (unless superfast) gets lapped. They put the finishing funnel off to the side of the main lap, so blocking the course by early finishers never happens, and lots of our faster runs stay to cheer on slower runners as they finish.

As others say, congratulate yourself on getting out there and running. You’re doing great. You will get faster as you get stronger (and things like speed intervals can also help), but you’d be way faster than our slower runners at Parkrun. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜Šβ€οΈ

I’ve only experienced one Parkrun so far, so am not sure how similar they all are, but if you feel this particular course is off putting for slower runners due to faster guys blocking the route, and you perhaps don’t feel there is enough encouragement for slower runners, then it might be worth seeing if you have any other Parkruns nearby that you can try instead? The whole ethos of Parkrun is supposed to be to get everyone out having healthy exercise together at whatever pace they can manage, in a supportive environment. ❀️

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Think I will try other park runs as I noticed there were a lot of runners connected to running clubs.

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I know where you're coming from as I'm usually at the back of the pack and have never overtaken another runner (unless they've stopped) but I don't mind being slow. It's a hard job but someone's got to do it.

18 months ago I was literally crippled so I'm SO pleased I can run that I'm always pleased to have done it.

Don't compare to the others, compare to yourself. Are you faster than when you used to sit on the couch? Thought so. Well done! Keep it up πŸ˜€ There are a lot of us snails out there 🐌🐌🐌

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Wow what a testimony. What a fantastic job you have done. Thanks for your encouragement.

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"The only person you have to compete with is yourself." That's the advice I got from my GP who is a triathlon competitor. He runs the same park run as me, laps me, and is past the finish line in 19 minutes.

I do my funeral pace, stop on the hill to breathe, talk to all the volunteers on the way round and at the end, just be glad I made it. My GP has finished his coffee, and we wave as he climbs into his car.

This 61 year old diabetic has gone from 38 minutes to 33 in a couple of months. Slow and steady does it. Nobody matters but you (and silence that voice in your head - if that voice was your friend, would you spend any time with them? πŸ˜‰)

And you are still faster than anyone on the couch!

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Ooh well done you. You talk lots of common sense. Thanks for the encouragement. Well done you.,

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Not sure that this is one for me to comment on given I have only done one ParkRun! But here goes.

My first 5k run was around 40 mins. My fastest is just under 33. Neither are fast and neither are slow in the grand scheme of things. Despite both being 7 minutes apart and about 6 months both had a feeling of achievement about them. Feel proud of what you have achieved and by all means strive for your goals but don't compare one athlete with another. You don't know other people's history and dare I say it will make you feel gloomy if you are slower!!

My run yesterday was deliberately slow, I went up to 6km but only because I could - my pace was a blistering 8m30 or 42m+ for 5k. Every run does not need and should not be full tilt either. Enjoy your running, if you want to go faster then keep running get some distance in your legs and take a look at intervals once a week in a month or two.

Good luck runner.

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I think you did great. And the only way to better your PB is to keep at it, at parkruns and on your own runs.

You got lots of great advice in these comments so can i pitch in with this alternative take:

well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015...

I too want to get better and faster but the important achievement has been met! We are all runners. That is a huge accomplishment for our health already!

*Don't mean to shift the focus of your post but it's worth a mention! 😁

Happy running!

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I'm always at the back and have made lots of great friends there, who I wouldn't met if I was running with the pack. I look at my age grading more than my position and my aim is to get over 50%. Remember- you're lapping everyone on the couch 😊

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