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.