Doing parkrun during c25k: When I began c25k I... - Couch to 5K

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Doing parkrun during c25k

Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
49 Replies

When I began c25k I didn't know much about parkrun but it sounded good and I wondered whether it could be incorporated into the c25k program. Here's how I tried it and the results I got.

Wk4 run2. This was my first experience of entering a parkrun. My (adult) daughter who is an enthusiastic parkrunner read out the instructions from the app as I was anxious about slipping over in the mud or on tree roots. We stuck exactly to Laura's instructions:-) Result: time = 51:42. Distance the full 5k

Wks 5 & 6 Did not attempt parkrunning during these weeks

Wk7 run 1. Parkrun. Was able to do it unaided as the run has a simple structure, ie walk/run/walk so it was easy to use my phone app Result: time = 44:15. Distance the full 5k

Wk8 run 1. Parkrun. Same as wk7. Result: time = 42:05. Distance the full 5k

Wk9 run 1. Parkrun. Same as wks 7 & 8. Result: time = 42:40 (a little worse than wk8) Distance the full 5k

What I learned was:-

1. I was glad I had decided not to try parkrunning during wks 1,2, and 3 as the runs are more complex in structure than the later ones and I would have worried about not being able to follow the instructions in the heat of the parkrunning moment.

2. The most difficult thing was sticking to the first power walk when many of the other parkrunners would stream past me.

3. The chance of actually doing 5k in 30 minutes by the time I graduated was nil for me.

4. However, running for 30minutes without any walking was definitely achieved by the time I graduated.

5. Parkrun really is great. As others have said the runners are of all shapes and sizes, there are runners with dogs, buggies and enthusiastic children. Some park runners even walk the whole route. Today I entered my first parkrun flying solo without c25k. I had a new pb (personal best) of 40:23 so I am over the moon

I had never run before doing the c25k programme and am 73 so to be able to run for 5k without walking at all truly is a miracle.

I hope this post has helped a few people wondering about parkrun, though of course wiser more experienced runners may want to correct some of what I've said.

Happy running everyone.

49 Replies
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FMS50
FMS50Graduate

Fabulous overview of your progress and very well done

I have just recently graduated and I went to park run today for a glimpse into that new world of ‘real’ running

I did one circuit ( ie half a park run) and stopped due to pain but saw it as a good marker for my running

I will have another go perhaps next week

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to FMS50

Sorry to hear about you having to stop your parkrun because of that enemy - pain. As we all know though stopping is the best thing we can do. Good luck for your next attempt.

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Madge50
Madge50Graduate

Excellent, what an absolute star, I’m glad you had such a great experience at parkrun, it really is a fantastic thing, anyone and everyone is welcome, you can walk, run, skip, hula hoop (yes it has been done) , your way round, your parkrun your way.....👏🏃‍♀️👍

I love parkrun

Well done you 💪👏

Mx

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Madge50

This made me smile; yes you've summed up parkrun. Thanks.

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AlMorr
AlMorrGraduate

Congratulations on running your parkrun in 40.23, as a fellow 72 year young man I know how pleased you are with yourself. You mention the complex structure of the earlier weeks of C25K, well this is what I had to do in those weeks and for that matter the whole course of C25K . When I was doing the program I had my old Smartphone which could not download the app, so I had to memorise all the runs from my laptop before I ran them, those earlier weeks, especially week 4 were quite difficult to remember but I managed it OK, once I got to week 5 with the longer but easier long runs to remember it was a lot better , I now have a Smartphone which has the C25K app, so if I rerun any of the program I will have the app with me.

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to AlMorr

I'm really impressed that you managed without the app to listen to/look at. I'm pretty sure that would've defeated me.

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cheekychipmunks

Fantastic, and very encouraging for others wondering when to attempt parkrun. You’re making great progress. 👏👏👏

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Runner_and_rider

Thank you. I'm now at that stage that everyone reaches after wk9 and graduating; what to do next:-)

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cheekychipmunks

Yep, everyone flounders after graduation for a little while. Parkrun definitely helped me out. 🏃‍♀️👍

Have fun! 😀

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Runner_and_rider

Thanks. Good to know that I am not alone with the 'floundering' once the structure of c25k has gone

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cheekychipmunks

I know I did, and when I posted about it I got loads of replies all pretty much saying the same! Leaving the safety of C25K and being virtually thrown into the grownup running world is quite a big deal I think.

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IannodaTruffe
IannodaTruffeAdministrator

Well done you.

We do recommend that those wishing to take part in parkrun during C25k, just stick to their programmed run and walk intervals, so that they are not tempted to do too much too soon.

You will still set a time and you can have the pleasure of chipping away at it over the coming weeks and months.

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to IannodaTruffe

Yes, I absolutely agree that it is much easier to stick to the c25k programme when not on a parkrun. The large number of people running at parkrun brings out that 'herd' instinct which makes you want to run with them, at worst ruining all the progress made up to that point.

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damienair
damienairGraduate

Excellent post, thanks for sharing. Well done on your great achievement.

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to damienair

Thank you

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Calopteryx

Wow, really impressed! I wasn't planning to try ParkRuns until I'd graduated, but you have tempted me to try in one of the later weeks.

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Calopteryx

Yes, go for it. One thing I probably should have mentioned is that my running speed is quite slow, so with the last 3 runs (wk7, wk8 and wk9) I finished the c25k run before the end of the parkrun. I had usually done about 3.5k, which left some distance of the 5k parkrun still to do. It is sooo tempting to just run as fast as you can which can easily undo all the good work done on the c25k programme. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do though :-)

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Bluebirds
BluebirdsGraduate

Loved reading your post - inspiring 😃👟👟😃

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Bluebirds

Thank you. I've gained so much from the posts on this forum that I wanted to contribute to the information pool.

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johnt46
johnt46Graduate

Just read your interesting post, and well done to you. I started at 72, last year, and it took me 27 weeks to complete C25K. Injuries due to me thinking I was still 17! I have now done 5 park runs and got my time down to 37.28 on the last one, but been out of action due to achilles tendonitis since, (two weeks). Very frustrating, Just hope I can manage to get out this week☹️

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to johnt46

No matter how many years we've got on the clock, that inner teenager in us has a way of bursting out of the box and making us do running stuff that our heads are telling us really isn't a good idea. Great though about the 37.28, especially considering the injuries. Thanks for posting

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Karenog

That is a brilliant achievement. I joined a running club on week 4 - I was really anxious that I would not be able run 5K but I managed it. Slow paced at the back in 45 minutes. It makes all the difference running with others - they keep you going and you keep them going. I hated running before because it was hard but now it’s becoming quite addictive.

Good luck with your future running- could be a half marathon next

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Karenog

'Slow paced and at the back' is definitely the way to go to avoid injury in the early days isn't it. From now on I'm planning just to keep doing wk9 r3 in different environments with the aim of mainly improving my times, but also keeping fit. Not going to try for 10k. but hoping to do carry on with the weekly parkrun.

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Greysixty
GreysixtyGraduate

Brilliant. You have inspired me. I graduated last week and have had a couple of rather trepidatious consolidation runs. I seem to be stuck at 2.7 miles ( not absolutely sure what that is in kilometres) but am blaming that on the strong wind. I have been thinking about park run for a while but didn’t want to do it until I was sure I could do the 5k in 30 mins. Your post has decided me to go for it so well done and thank you.

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Greysixty

It seems that very few graduates of c25k can can run the 5k in 30 minutes (someone may correct me here) so I don't think you need to wait on that score. Good luck and enjoy.

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Ladyblazing

You are an inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing this. Ive recently heard about parkrun and you’ve given me the confidence to try. Congrats on the non-stop 5k run!

lady b

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Ladyblazing

The main thing, as lots of the others have said, is to stop yourself from falling into the trap of trying to go too fast. Hope you enjoy it whenever you decide to go for it.

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Sarah120584

Amazing go u xx

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Sarah120584

Thank you.

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Pianism
PianismGraduate

Your experience is extremely similar to mine, except that I did parkrun every week using the app.

I too found it difficult to do the warm up walk at the start of parkrun. However, I do get very tempted to keep running at the end. The one time I didn't do this I ended up running for too long and causing myself an injury, so I'd warn people to plan very carefully to avoid making the same mistake I did.

However, I would unreservedly recommend parkrun because the overall experience is amazing, as are the people. :)

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Pianism

Yes, this is so similar to my experience, except that luckily fear of injury has kept me from running too much at the end (I gave myself a nasty knee injury through stupidity on my 1st attempt at c25k) Hopefully we've got many enjoyable parkruns ahead of us now.

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Pianism
PianismGraduate
in reply to Runner_and_rider

10 and counting. :)

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Beccym
BeccymGraduate

Lots of people walk/run park run or walk.

Definitely do it.

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orcadia
orcadiaGraduate

Fantastic. What an inspirational post. I'm going to give a Parkrun a try!

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Helpthisnannyrun

Wow, you are my hero for this encouragement. After W1 three times repeated, I am still tending my knees, doing strengthening exercises. Began to worry am I too old, have I left it too late? You have a few years on me so I reckon I have some time to have a few more tries. Thanks so much and good luck.

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Runner_and_rider

I really feel for you. This is my 2nd attempt that I have just completed - I had to abandon attempt 1 last autumn. Entirely my own fault, completely the wrong shoes and trying to go too fast. Injured a ligament in my knee and had to have 6 weeks rest. Began again in January very carefully. I was so careful that my pace became known as the 'Nanajog' in our family, but the Nanajog has served me well. Lots of good wishes to you.

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horsename

Brilliant. Well done you. I did my first parkrun at the end of week 6/start of 7. Five minutes walk, 25 run, 5 walk, then a couple of minutes run. Second park run end week 8; 4 minutes walk, 30 minutes run and was so close to the end I could keep running. Third run yesterday and my couch to 5K graduation. 15 seconds walk then ran all the rest. I quite like starting at the back knowing I’m slow and then passing some of the pack! I too will need to do a lot of work to get under 30 minutes. Also not sure how to build my running time/distance to an hour/10K and beyond without Sarah Millican to help!!

Doing some parkruns while sticking to the app has been good for me. But it does require some discipline as there is the temptation to race other people.

In conclusion what a fantastic thing C25K is, and what a great thing parkrun is to move onto from C25K. Bye all and best of luck to everyone!

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to horsename

I agree 100% with everything you've said. Your journey sounds very similar to mine.

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Bike_and_Run
Bike_and_RunGraduate

This has made for an interesting read.

I've been looking into parkrun since I saw it mentioned in here but figured I should wait till I've graduated. Maybe I don't need to wait any longer?

I've just finished week 6, covering 6km on run 3 (4.6km during the 25minutes, the rest was while doing the warm up/cool down walk)

I wonder if I did the warm up walk to the start line, run my C25K minutes during parkrun, and if I don't reach the finish before my time is up, then walk the rest of the way.

Mind you, I know what I'm like.... I won't have the discipline to stop running when there's others running alongside me!

Definitely something for me to consider mind

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Bike_and_Run

Sounds as if you'd be fine, but I'm definitely no expert. I guess we all have to make up our own minds if/when to take the parkrun plunge. I've been fascinated to read about everybody' experiences and to see so many suggestions contributed. This is such a good forum for constructive help. Long may it continue.

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Bike_and_Run
Bike_and_RunGraduate
in reply to Runner_and_rider

Just took a look at parkrun and my diary. My next Saturday morning free would be W9R3. Maybe I'll graduate with a parkrun?

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Bike_and_Run

Sounds good. Just keep saying to yourself ‘this is a run not a race, this is a run not a race’. Lots of good vibes to you if you decide to do it.

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Bike_and_Run
Bike_and_RunGraduate
in reply to Runner_and_rider

If there's others running in my direction it's always a race. I'm a bit too competitive to let people get away from me. Even in the street when I'm running alone, if I see a dog walker or another runner I set my eyes on catching them. Just for fun of course. 😂😂

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Suddies
SuddiesGraduate

I started C25k in 2013 and once I graduated, started parkrun to keep up the running. I have completed my 104th run last Saturday and through that journey (injuries, holidays, laziness, fun, falls, laughs and friends) I can honestly say I love parkrun and encourage friends to join and keep fit. It's an incredible feeling to get the email with a new PB. Well done for getting into parkrun while still on C25k. Keep it up!

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Suddies

Wow what a positive vote for parkrun. Thanks.

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Floraposte
FloraposteGraduate

I did my first Parkrun on Christmas Day, and my 4th yesterday, having finished C25k on December 22nd. It's a great focus, and everyone is so welcoming! I never thought I'd be a runner, but (even though the first kilometre is horrible!) I love it now, and am slowly getting faster (and fitter and slimmer)

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Floraposte

That's really encouraging - it's sort of where I am now (well, sadly not slimmer yet, but hoping). Thanks.

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Maddee_6333
Maddee_6333Graduate

That’s fantastic. Well done you. 🥇🏆

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Runner_and_rider
Runner_and_riderGraduate
in reply to Maddee_6333

Thank you.

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