First Park Run (warning long-ish post) - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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First Park Run (warning long-ish post)


So...the end of my third consolidation weeks and 12 weeks in to this running malarkey 😬 I did my first Park Run this morning. Time was 38.48 which I was quite pleased with as was thinking about 40mins. 🙌🏃‍♀️ so the time was good but I did have to stop about 4 times (just for a few seconds maybe) - so my questions are as follows :-

1. Quite clearly I went too fast at the beginning, although maybe not by some people’s standards, but this is me. I have noticed over the last two weeks that my speed has improved to the detriment of distance and I can’t seem to slow it down. It might be because I was tired this morning as didn’t sleep well due to worrying about said Parkrun.

2. Is it just a psychological thing that makes me stop because when I stop I have a word with myself and re-start again!!

3. I felt extremely nauseous at the end of the run which I think was due to eating some porridge this morning, I don’t normally eat before a morning run other than a banana but didn’t eat much last evening so was worried about fuel. Or was it that I was anxious about the run itself?

All in all it was an okay run, feel bad about the little stops as felt on form this morning, plus there was quite a steep hill about half way round😳😳😳🐌🐌🐌

Anyway thanks for listening, I feel better now I’ve got this of my chest..I did say to OH this morning “that’s it I can’t run 5K I’m not doing it anymore.” To which he just laughed😂😂😂

I think before I do anything else I need to run 5K comfortably. Lots of happy running VRB’s 😘

21 Replies

Congratulations to you Suebuzz on completing your first 5k Parkrun this morning in a very good time of 38.48, it was also my first parkrun this morning as well, you like I was hoping for a sub 40 minutes which you achieved, I got a sub 35 minute parkrun of 34.16, I thought that I had ran it in around your time, I did not have my Smartphone with me so I did not know my official result until just after 12.30 pm. Enjoy the rest of the day. 😊 🏃


Well done Sue. To answer your questions the best I can based on my limited experience and wisdom:

1. It is very easy to go too fast at the start because of the crowd and adrenalin. Try to remember your own pace and stick to that. Learning the course through repeat runs will also help with this. IT GETS EASIER.

2. Running a little slower at the start might mean you don’t need to stop. Instead of walking, try to slow down and focus on deeper breathing. This gives you a little rest without stopping and starting.

3. I’ve been eating a bit more the night before so I can skip breakfast, then just having a banana about an hour before the run. That seems to give me enough energy, without the horrible feeling of food sloshing around inside me.

This is just what works for me. I have done six Parkruns, including today, so am very much still learning too.

suebuzzGraduate in reply to Stephen_UK

Thank you Stephen, I’m glad I did it and it wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be...apart from the cliff 🤣😬🐌. The trouble is I always think I’m going quite slow until Runkeeper tells me otherwise, so must learn to start off slow. This is not typical to just today but all my consolidation runs are the same. I will keep practicing now until I can perfect it comfortably.


It’s quite hard in the Parkrun not to get carried away at the beginning to keep up with the pack, you need to run your race at your own pace. That way you’ll be able to run the whole way round. It doesn’t matter if it takes you a bit longer, your speed will improve as time goes on and you get used to running the course.

suebuzzGraduate in reply to jmd104

Ha ha ha - I suppose I don’t like too many people overtaking me.

DebstonGraduate in reply to suebuzz

Start further back? So psychologically you don't have that panic of being overtaken? I tend to go and stand in the middle, try and block out all thoughts of what other people are doing and "find my happy pace".

suebuzzGraduate in reply to Debston

We were in the middle - I think I got too excited 😆


Probably feeling a bit sick was just a mixture of all the factors you mention. Was it hot where you are? I think being too hot can also make you feel a bit sick. I never eat anything before Parkrun, I just have a cup of milky coffee at home and then a few sips of water once I am parked. But then I don't usually eat breakfast anyway. I think I would feel uncomfortable running with food in my belly. I always have a slice of toast and marmalade afterwards though! I reckon now that you have done it, you won't feel nervous next time and that will be a big help, as will being familiar with the course. Well done you and you got a great time - mine was 39:29 today so I wasn't far behind you! ☺


Thanks Debston, I did enjoy it though. Well done on your achievements. 😊


Well done on finishing. If you crossed the line running, I'd count it 😃.

It is very easy to start too fast, especially if you're not used to running in a group. It is so easy to get caught up in that starting dash and allow yourself to be dragged along with the faster runners at a pace that you're not suited to. I made that mistake a few weeks back; set off far too fast, admittedly I see PBs for 1k and 1 mile, but I bombed out just short of 2k. It was one of those times where I knew I was too fast but I just couldn't hit "reset" noatter how often I tried.

For what it's worth, when I got home, I got out of the car and then ran one of my best times for 5k just to spite myself.

I think it is psychological in part. There are times when I've just switched misstep from running to walking for no apparent reason. Generally, 30 seconds later I'm literally up and running again but I think it's a combination of a mental block, or body unconsciously deciding something isn't quite right and you need to adjust then carry on.

As for the nausea, it's probably a combination of the porage and the "nerves". It's possibly this even contributed to your having to stop and may be the something "not quite right" that your body was trying to adjust.

The main thing is, you did it.aybe not your perfect run but one you can mark off and say "job done".

Now, on to the next one...

suebuzzGraduate in reply to sTrongFuse

Thank you and it’s interesting to hear others suffer from this “syndrome” it’s like you’re jogging along nicely and then all of a sudden you are walking a few steps and it’s like “What the hell happened there”

I definitely need to slow it down a bit at the beginning, I think I got too excited being part of The Park Run. As for the nausea this came on about 500mtrs to the end so was well annoyed. Never mind onwards and upwards 🏃‍♀️🐌


I was/ still am like you at park run. I've been running 5k and beyond for a year and parkrun still makes me feel awful! But i still do it...!

suebuzzGraduate in reply to Ang33333

Hi Ang, which bit or all of it 🤣🤣

Ang33333Graduate in reply to suebuzz

All of it....!

suebuzzGraduate in reply to Ang33333



Well done on your first parkrun.

Do not give up. You will get familiar with the course. You can check how hilly your parkrun is, there's a website to check that.

So, if there's a hill, as you say, you would slow down or stop to walk...

Is it possible that your liked distance is less than 5k?

As you can run faster at the beginning, you say. Not everyone is meant to be a 5k-er, some are sprinters, 1k-runners or 3k-runners, while others are marathon runners, etc.

Unfortunately I don't know how to check your comfortable distance. 5k seems to be a quite universal distance serving a lot of runners.

suebuzzGraduate in reply to Elisabeth3

Hi Elizabeth - I am a lapsed runner and have run longer distances in the past but I am a lot older now. I’m not going to give up, just need to be comfortable enough not to walk, apart from That Cliff 😆 thank you for your comments.

Elisabeth3Graduate in reply to suebuzz

No problems. I also walk sometimes. I try not to, however, it does not influence my time. Seems I catch up the time of the few meters of walking. 🚦

If you make your porridge with milk, that might have upset you. I only have a banana before parkrun, an hour before the start. but I make sure I'm hydrated well. It's so easy to go off too quickly when you're in a pack so just start further back, and don't panic. And if you walk a few steps, that's fine 😊

Congratulations on your first Parkrun, my first parkrun time was about the same as yours, a very classy time if I may say so 😁

suebuzzGraduate in reply to grumpyoldgirl

Thank you - I’m pleased with it and will just keep trying. It was the first time I had eaten before a morning run other than a banana but because we ate at lunchtime the day before and nothing really in the evening I was worried I hadn’t got enough nutrition on board.


Well done on your first Parkrun Sue with a good time.

I always start at the back, and then you can overtake people as you go! I’ve come in 100 in front of the last before now using that ploy! And I have walked occasionally with no obvious detriment to my time, so just do what is comfortable for you.

Re nausea I would agree with others, don’t eat too much before you go and I would definitely avoid porridge as it is dense and slowly digested. I don’t think cavemen decided not to run from the mammoth if they hadn’t had any breakfast! The body is a wonderful thing and 5k is not so far you need to worry too much about fuel IMHO

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