Couch to 5K
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Enjoy Park Run but still feel slow

Today I did my 10th Park Run at a different venue and it was a pb for that venue. However I still feel slow hence I am wary of telling people for fear that they will think `she's wasting her time. She obviously cannot run'.

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How can you running be a waste of time... ignore others... this is your journey and you are doing amazingly!

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No it's not but that's what I imagine they will see.

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Well, 'they' don't see what you 'imagine'. You're out there, participating and I think if you asked 'them' they would say you're fantastic for giving it a go regardless of any perception of speed.

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Exactly. Parkrunners are delighted with everybody's pb whether it is 18 minutes or 45 - a pb is a pb! Very well done and as always, you were way faster than those who stayed on the couch or in their beds! Delighted for you. You do know that if you get a pb you are supposed to get a treat? You may have to buy it yourself but a treat is a treat! :)

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Well just imagine they are thinking... Wow.. out there and running and looking really good :) Because they will be!!

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Running is never a waste of time! We are not in this to win races, we are in this to get fit and then maintain our fitness. Most people will look at you and think a) if they are a runner - wow, well done that runner for getting out there or b) if they are a couch potato - wow, I ought to be doing something like that/wow - I wish I could run like that. So don't bother what other people think - what do you think? Is running fun? Do you feel a sense of achievement? Are you getting fitter/losing weight? Is any of that a "waste of time"?

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Yes I do feel a sense of achievement. It's a weakness of mine that I am always worrying about what other people are thinking. Getting better in some ways.

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To me who runs like a snail I would see someone that can run a 5k and I would think I can’t wait til I can do that 😃 so well done 😃

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I think it is great that you can do a park run - and that you enjoy it. I am very new to running and have rapidly realised that, for myself, enjoying it is far more important than all the "how fast? how far? for how long?" stuff. Let the data mind itself- enjoy yourself! 😃

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There is no set standard to achieve to call yourself a runner. It is about whatever you want it to be.

What do you think you should be achieving that you are not yet managing?

What do you think you have to do to prove (to whoever you think you have to prove it to) that you are a runner?

If you are wanting to get faster, then you need to get advice about how to do that, unless you are already working to a plan.

If you want to finish first at parkrun, then maybe you do have a major challenge, since most of the top runners have been running non stop since they were children.

If you tell us what you feel you are falling short of, maybe we can help.

Don't get despondent, you have to accept that you are where you are performance wise and make a plan to move forward.

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My first 100 parkruns had me at an average of around 34 minutes - my PB was/is 29:12. My average over my last 9 parkruns has been 55 minutes!! - but I still have fun!! :)

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I don't want to finish first tbh I never will but it would be nice just once not to be the last runner before the tail runner to finish but I think it is just a pipe dream at the moment.

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Trust me you will get there. Don't forget that finishing before the tail runner at some parkruns is a 35 minute Parkrun!!!! You will be fine - keep at it - we go as much for the social aspect as for the run!

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Hey, where do you run ebony2012? If I join, you won't be last, I guarantee it ;-)

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No run is a waste of time, and if like the rest of us you are developing a healthy addiction 😜 then by reading running forums etc, you will now know that running slowly is one of the best things you can do..

Also when I was concerned about my pace on Park Run, I was told that it depends who turns up on the day. Each Park Run has its own demographic profile, for example at Finsbury today I think the last runner came in at about 45 Minutes, but there’s not many folk at Finsbury of my age range, they are quite young generally. At other venues as I understand it 45 Minutes is a middle placed run.

Run for you and you alone, you are a runner. You run 5k and the speedsters are still only running 5k, the same as you. The distance is the same, it’s just time that differs, but they could have been running for years, be younger, be more experienced, have different physiques. All these factors have to be taken into account.

It’s a shame you feel wary of telling people what you do, personally I think you’re kicking butt out of the sofa every time you run and that’s an amazing achievement.

Every runner who runs is a runner!

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Unless you can run 5K faster than 12:37.35 minutes for men and 14:11.15 minutes for women, you are always going to be a "runner-up" like the rest of us :) -but we still enjoy running :)

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Brilliant Bazza1234

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Wow, I think it’s amazing you are doing park runs. I haven’t plucked up the courage to do one yet. I feel nervous about running with other people so good on you for getting out there. Running can never be a waste of time. You’re doing great 👍

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Me too! I think Park Runs are amazing... I have been to a few now, as a supporter and onlooker...not for me as a runner though... I am a lone snail :)

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Park run is a fantastic idea everyone is so friendly I go on my own every week and was welcomed by everyone from the very first time I went, the marshals and other runners do a fantastic job encouraging you on every turn which really helps to keep you going (remember to thank them too), don't worry about times when you first start out just enjoy getting round and finishing it will set you up for the rest of the week I have now done 8 and look forward to Saturday at 9am every week now.

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Who are these ‘people’ ? If they are parkrunners (which I certainly doubt) they certainly won’t have that attitude, if that’s their attitude they don’t understand parkrun at all......if they are runners, again, they will not be thinking you are wasting your time......

So I am curious, sounds like it’s potentially people you already know......in which case, they should be pleased you have found an activity you can do and enjoy....

And what’s time got to do with it.....’I’m a parkrunner, I go almost every week’ , regular activity is the key....

Mx

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Run at your speed and enjoy it.

I also feel very slow for Park Runs but the two I have done were mid 40 mins. Yesterday I did 5k in 49 minutes, but that was purposefully slow as there was black ice on pavements and didn't want to fall over. I admit though, the end of the run, I felt like I could have kept going and had enjoyed it. I felt a bit patronised by the 'well done' from people who had finished and had cake whilst I was still plodding on.

I am a tortoise, slow and steady

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Well done you, that’s great. It’s a shame you felt patronised by someone encouraging you, I’d recommend having a go at volunteering, then you’ll really see how it works. It would never have been meant that way.

I’m more sedate, and the encouragement from volunteers and other runners on the way round really makes my day, so much so I wish I could be the one shouting encouragement and run at the same time 😄 especially for us more ‘sedate’ participants.

You went along, you did, well done you 👍

Mx

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I don't feel patronised by those who say well done, keep going but that is usually when I am running (I am doing the Jeff Galloway Run Walk Run method : Run 30secs Walk 30secs) I always say thank you to them as they pass. I have volunteered and will be doing so again soon. I do feel encouraged. Was talking to a friend who was tail running with me yesterday that if the volunteers were bothered about being made to hang around for slow runners like myself or slower then they shouldn't be volunteering as that is not the spirit of Park Run. It's not like a race that has to be done so the roads can reopen. Not sure what the slowest finish time at Park run is but doubt is more than a an hour. My worst time is 55:22my best is 47:23 so I am not that slow but compared to the other runners and the fact that I am last in before the marshals I am.

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I’ve known some to take over an hour to finish, and I think they are what parkrun is all about....I like being tailwalker, you make sure everyone is back safe, irrelevant of time.

Happy running, (and parkrunning 😎)

Mx

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My husband was doing tailrunner one week when we had a C25K graduation and the last runner came in at 1:04 There were loads of people waiting to congratulate her and she had such a grin on her face - it was brilliant!

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I think if you tell a non-runner that you are prepared to be up and about at 9am on a Sat to run a 5k, they will be very impressed regardless of your time. And if you tell a fellow runner what you are up to (apart from the odd idiot who isn't worth further consideration) they will respect you for where you are in your running journey, not how you compare to anyone else.

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I've not done a park run yet, so your much more brave than me.

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Ebony I know how you feel, I’m always at back in my local PR but was talking to a friend who does one down South and he said if I did there PR no way would I be “last” as many (10-20 folks) take over an hour.

Although I’m still at the back in ours that made me feel much better. If you keep on running you will get faster eventually and not be that newbie at the back. That’s my aim, to eventually not be the last but in the process I’m happy to be there as someone has to 😬👟

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Thanks I ran with a friend on Saturday who agreed to be a tail runner and run with me but at the end she let me go ahead to the finish. It was a three laps but because I was talking to her as we ran/walked or Jeffed I didn't think about it. My usual Park Run is two laps but it was nice to have a change of scenery. I have never taken an hour but once this year I have been close. My pace yesterday was faster than last week so was happy.

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Oh mine is along the seafront and back, I wish ours was circular as the long road in front of me is very scary😬. I’ve hurt my ankle so not doing any for a few weeks

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Very well done!

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It's all relative really at mine some people walk the whole 5k, my first one I did my warm up walk then started running so I expected to be near the back. You may not know if you are the only person who is new to running. I just think it's a fabulous achievement personally for running at all whatever speed or distance 👏

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I have done 88 parkruns in a variety of locations with a huge variety in participant mix in terms of whether they attract run/walkers, older people, less obviously fit people etc etc. I have volunteered at my home parkrun a number of times. As a slower runner I have been universally welcomed wherever I have gone, including when at the back of the field on difficult hilly courses and urban park runs dominated by young people. At my home parkrun we wait and cheer in people who take up to an hour. No one is wasting their time, participant or volunteer. No one minds waiting for you, no one is thinking negatively about you. Please keep on doing it and try to enjoy it.

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Plenty of people at my local parkrun take in excess of an hour. Right now I am taking around 48 mins to walk parkrun - but my foot has a fractured 5th metatarsal!! :( 6 months now and I am well and truly fed up with it

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Oh sorry about that. I have arthritis in my right knee according to an x ray yet I have no issues running despite the old rumours usually spread by non runners that running is bad for your knees.

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Thanks - I think I am on the cusp of a return to running. Having beenn away from it for so long, I am in no hurry - I did 10 minutes on the treadmill today with so far no pain or problems. Psychologically, I am telling myself that Jan 1st is my start date !!

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