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Couch to 5K
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Planning a ParkRun - which to choose - your help needed!

I have been putting off parkruns for aaaages now... its too early, I'm hungover, its too wet, I ran yesterday, I need another days rest, ii'm too scared, there will be too many people, too few people, it'll be stupidly muddy, I'll be twice as slow as anyone else...

Honestly, its getting embarrasing - the one friend I have told about this whole c25k thing keeps asking me when I'm going to do it - knowing I can do the distance and really its just ME holding ME back.

So I'm going to ask all you lovely people a favour. Help me get rid of choice!

I'm lucky enough to have two Parkruns within a 15-20 min cycle ride. They are the same distance (duh) but have different pros and cons.

Parkrun One is in a park - its 3 laps, on the 'road' and has on average over 150 runners (that's a lot of people!). The slowest is about 35 mins. Its right by the river and so pretty flat. Its marginally further away. The pictures of the runners all look very fit and proper in real running gear - not the cobbled together stuff I have.

Parkrun Two is on a piece of common land so is off road. Its two laps, with a bit of a hill I think. Because its been so muddy, until recently it only had about 20 runners and the *slowest* were 25mins, but the better weather has seen up to about 50 and more reasonable times that suggest I won't be miles behind everyone else (I can't quite work out if the lower numbers are a good thing or a bad thing!).

Which would you choose? I know there isn't much in it, but I'm hoping a decisive verdict from you guys will help me get out of bed at 7.30 on a Saturday - So, Parkrun one, or Parkrun two - the choice is yours!!!

12 Replies

I vote for Park Run 1, because its on a path and you won't get muddy, and if there are more people, you are a bit less obvious in a group, and can just do your thing


Yes thats good thinking... I can hide in the crowd! 1 Vote for 1!


I would look for the flattest, then after that the least muddy. I wouldn't care who I was up against as it's about you, not them!

Go for it!


Thank you :) Thats good to remember - and another vote for No 1.


Oh I have the same excuses, I'm really not living up to my name at all. You're not anywhere near North Kent are you? I have the choice of two but about 150 people at each of mine and some are coming in at my sort of speed 40 minutes ish, and anyway I do just want to do it, so I am aiming for next week. Can't do this week as I have a wedding to get to, but next week I hope to do one. If you are near me, let me know, we can amble round together! But I vote for Parkrun One, and don't worry about the others or their gear or anything, just enjoy it. Good luck x


Ha! Its like a record in my head sometimes! Sadly not near North Kent (west London) but would have loved to - bet you have some lovely scenery?

And yet another vote for Parkrun 1, maybe I didn't make the benefits of 2 clear enough!


In my experience running through mud can be a killer, I always seemed to slip and slide. I would go for Venue 1 for that reason. Don't worry about how long it takes you, the whole point of Parkrun is its you against the clock. Once you have done one that then gives you a time to improve on. Its the taking part that matters.

I'll have to shut up now cos I stopped running at mine because I'm not good in crowds and my local one grew from about 70 to 320+ in the space of a year, it terrifies me :( Good luck and just enjoy your first Parkrun :)


I'm hoping that 2 won't be as muddy as it was as its been mostly dry here for a week or so now. The taking part bit is a mantra I'm going to have stick with - but I can't imagine running with 300+ Oh no!

Four votes to PR1 and 0 to PR2!


i've also been putting off parkrun for ages! I have wanted to be sub 30 mins for my 5k before joining. I know I should just do it though, best of luck with yours - i think i'd go for the flatter, busier one. Shame its 3 laps but at least there is less chance of getting lost!


I was aiming for that, but i think i'm a way off, so am hoping for motivation and a bit of camaraderie instead. But who knows - maybe 150 people will just carry me round at top speed! Like they say happens with the last 3 miles of a marathon! (ha!)

That's Five for Five as they say - will no one vote for the poor Scrubs!?


Our one does a video which you can view online. Having viewed it, it makes me much more keen to have a go. The fast folks go off and leave everyone else in peace by the looks of things, and then they cheer everyone else round cos they've finished in the blink of an eye


I've done a few parkruns now, but today's was the first without a drink on a Friday night... so I think the hangover excuse doesn't work... Anyway, I'd go with option one - you'll be more anonymous, and I think you'll feel more comfortable. Please let us know how you get on.


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