Park Run seems far harder than Wk 9 - not just... - Couch to 5K

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Park Run seems far harder than Wk 9 - not just distance, I simply can't seem to do 30 minutes non-stop running

Amerynthe profile image
11 Replies

I've just come back from my 4th Park Run and although my time has improved week on week, I'm still finding I can't run for anywhere near 30 minutes straight, although I go out for consolidation runs twice a week and manage 30 minutes every time - I won't say 'with ease' because it's not easy but at Park Run it just seems impossible to keep going. There are 3 long but reasonably steady and not too steep inclines along the route, and a couple of downhill stretches (again quite gentle) and the rest of it on the flat, but I just can't seem to keep going. It's not that I'm hemmed in by other runners - I do the first 5 minutes as a warm-up walk, so by the time I start to jog I'm one of the stragglers at the back. I have the W9R3 audio playing, and my normal music playlist that accompanies me on my consolidation runs so I just don't know why I can't run for 30 minutes. Any ideas?

11 Replies
Shelley2310 profile image

Well done for actually completing the park run. Think back 10 or so weeks, would you have even contemplated a park run!! I’m just about to start w9 so haven’t done one yet. Perhaps try something different, leave your headphones at home and run whilst enjoying the scenery. Most of all though don’t ‘worry’ that you’re going to stop, as it could be a gremlin in your head as you’re ‘expecting’ to have to stop running. Well done again and happy running 🏃‍♀️

Amerynthe profile image
AmeryntheGraduate in reply to Shelley2310

You could be right about this becoming a bit of a gremlin, wondering when I'm going to stop. I'll give it a go without headphones, because although the bpm of the songs are a comfortable running pace for me (ie quite slow!) I can't keep to the normal rhythm because I'm dodging out of the way of people who overtake me, and (very very rarely) I need to overtake someone else.

Enjoy W9 - the feeling of achievement is amazing, I wish I could bottle it!

Shelley2310 profile image
Shelley2310Graduate in reply to Amerynthe


IannodaTruffe profile image

Maybe you are running faster at parkrun than you do on your other consolidation runs.

Or perhaps it is just different topography.

Just keep plugging away at 30 minutes, at least once a week, but mix it up with other durations and paces.

You are still a very new graduate, but becoming comfortable with running for thirty minutes is definitely advisable before you try to move on.

You will get there.

Amerynthe profile image
AmeryntheGraduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thanks, I hadn't thought about the speed element of it, and having other runners around me (and very soon way ahead of me) might be causing me to subconsciously speed up to try and at least keep them in my line of vision. Good idea about mixing up paces and durations during my other 2 runs per week, I'll give that a go.

PetraTester profile image

It’s the speed I’d say. Going for a park run where you know it’s timed we tend to run faster. It’s better to get first to 30 minutes non stop running before you even think of bettering your time. So slow down to a light jog but run longer. Once you can go for the 30 minutes you can vary the speed.

Amerynthe profile image
AmeryntheGraduate in reply to PetraTester

Good advice, thank you. I'll try and think of it as a 30-minute consolidation run plus a long warm-down walk!

UnfitNoMore profile image

Could you go have some freedom runs? That’s a run on the course outside of parkrun. Maybe a hill session where you just run those inclines? The other option would be to go 35 on one of your runs this week, then 40 the next and get some extra stamina. When I got to 5k I could run one of my 3 local parkrun courses... the other two have hills and I couldn’t run the whole thing.

Amerynthe profile image
AmeryntheGraduate in reply to UnfitNoMore

Doing a freedom run is a great idea! Hadn't thought of that! It would show me if it's to do with the course itself, or with being with so many other runners (when I run in the week I'm on my own). Great thought, will give that a go!

FormulaRun profile image

Hi - I normally run alone at ‘my pace’. I find park run hard for two reasons 1.

My home runs are on hills - park Run is mainly flat. Odd I know but it’s not what I’m used to! 2. Everyone races off at the start of park run & as I usually run alone in the country I guess I feel a sort of peer pressure to keep up! I’ve now worked out that I need to run at my pace, slow down if necessary, and don’t be concerned if I’m overtaken. I run at a consistent pace and although I’m slower at the start I sometimes overtake a few at the end. More than anything I’ve learned that it’s mind over matter. When I feel I need to walk I tell myself I’ll run to the next lamp post/tree/gateway etc then see if I can keep going to the next lamppost/gateway /tree - or I count to 60 three times on every other stride, then consider if I need to walk. Challenge yourself next time to run the whole 5k - even if you do it slow slow slow, then build it up from there. Good luck!! 👍😊🏎

Amerynthe profile image
AmeryntheGraduate in reply to FormulaRun

Thanks! I'm looking forward to the next one to put some new strategies into action!

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