Couch to 5K

Parkrun - maybe I'm on the mend?

Over the past couple of months , I have been way off my PB at parkrun - I don't really care - except that I haven't been able to understand why?? :) I have been doing some "slow easy" running lately , using a HRM- in an attempt to be able to do so , and it seems to be working for me. I gave up drinking coffee - but anyway, I have lately actually been able to run 'slow and easy" .

My recent Parkrun times have been around 3 minutes slower than my winter PB -- but today, I got it back to only 1 minute slower. However, the summer here has been quite oppressive and many have said to me that they are off their pace. Today - the numbers didn't appear too bad - 25C at 7AM with around 60% Relative humidity - but the sky was VERY clear and the sun was FIERCE. I was an absolute lather of sweat and I could feel the sun biting me like I was standing in front of a furnace. So, in spite of that, I am within striking distance of my parkrun PB - and wondering how it will be when it cools down just even a little???

4 Replies

not sure which is worse - fiercely hot sun, or, like my park run this morning, battling against a strong head wind. But it sounds as if you are doing really well.

I'm interested in your slow easy running. I don't run fast at the best of times, but I do run at quite a high heart rate, and my husband was showing me the 80/20 article, where you run 80% of the time at a slow, easy pace and push yourself for 20. I'm trying to follow that, but I find it really difficult to run even slower than I do now. At the moment I'm letting my parkrun be my 20% of pushing myself and trying to slow down my week runs even more, and I'm sure it will all be good at the end, but I am finding it a little frustrating at the moment, probably because I'm still trying to get my fitness back after a long break of not running.


I am a bit ambivalent about the slow running theory - it is commonly stated by famous runners/trainers/coaches to be a good thing to do - while some others say it only teaches you how to run slowly!! :)

But - like you - I used to not be able to do it. I could run slowly , but my HR was higher than it "should" have been. But it seems to be finally starting to come down - I can now"run" with a HR which is in the region that I want it to be. The pace is not much more than what I can do by simply walking -- but walking as fast as I can only elevates my hr to a maximum of 95 , which is too low to achieve good cardiovascular fitness. I need it to be up around 115 - for which I have to run -- BUT in the past I could not get it to that level , it always wanted to rise to around 130 or so. Now I do seem to be able to keep it below 120 - whether that is achieving anything or not I don't know. I do know that my 5K parkrun times have become slower - so perhaps it is only teaching me how to run slowly :)-- but I also know that my recovery HR after doing the "3 step test" have come down by 10BPM over the past 2 months. This is a definite indicator of an improvement in cardiovascualr fitness.

JD and others say that our training workouts should be either easy or hard -- but not "comfortable" in between. The easy workouts are to recover from the hard workouts - while the easy long runs are hard in themselves because of the time/distance spent on our legs.


That sounds okay to me - not sure it's too wise to go for a PB in that heat. I am sure your times will be great when it cools down again!


I'm not actually trying to beat PB -- just curious as to why my 5K times have come down so much lately. Obviously the heat/humidity is a factor -- but shouldn't account for a 3 -4 minute per 5k slowdown. But getting it back to only a 1 minute slowdown is better - that seems to equate to how the experts say those temperatures and humiditiy levels should affect a PB


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