First park run ✅: So today I did my first park... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
102,693 members132,296 posts

First park run ✅

Sar9
Sar9Graduate

So today I did my first park run...

Was so nervous... My legs like jelly and my heart rate was already through the roof before I started... my garmin certainly recorded it at the highest it’s been since the start of the C25K!!

Gosh it was tough. Fortunately the course was pretty much flat... but it was sooooo muddy - what a challenge. The picture was taken when I arrived home after wiping excess mud off!! They did warn the first timers of this. I had to walk a few times due to burning calfs! Probably a combination of sliding round in the mud and the fact I chose not to warm up... I was just feeling feeling too awkward and self conscious... no one else seemed to be doing any warm up/stretches apart from a few running the course already as a warm up!!! 😱 I think next time I’ll perhaps do some stretches and warm up before arriving!

It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined and worked up in my head... I wasn’t at the back which was an absolute relief... I did feel a little deflated at points with people overtaking, especially when wanting to give up... a new experience which took some extra determination to keep going.

Overall what a great experience. My time was actually better than expected - I know it’s not great and pants in comparison to age category... but another great achievement for me, just to get there!

It was nice having the encouragement from all the volunteers around the course. I really enjoyed the challenge. Was a little strange running with other people around - not sure I liked this part too much. But sure it’s something you get used to!

I can’t say I loved every minute, but certainly enjoyed the overall experience and I’m keen to go again which is a positive! Hopefully the more I go the less anxiety I’ll feel 😬

One question... when do these 5kms start to feel easier!??!

90 Replies
oldestnewest
Rigpig
RigpigGraduate

Well done on giving it a go and it’s a perfectly respectable time! 😊👍👍👍

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Rigpig

Thanks Rigpig 😃

Joanney69
Joanney69Graduate

Well done Sar ☺

Looks like a very good time to me, be proud 😊 🏃 💐

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Joanney69

Thank you 😊

Buddy34
Buddy34Graduate

Congratulations on completing your first parkrun and a great time also.

Sounds like a really tough course with all the mud. Don't worry about people overtaking you, I'm sure at some point you will be the one overtaking .

Try and do a 5 minute brisk walk before running at parkrun just like you've done previously. You'll probably find the more you go the less nervous you'll feel. 🥳🥳

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Buddy34

That’s Buddy! The mud was certainly a challenge - can’t decide whether to do the same one next week or whether to try another local one, which will have no mud as all on tarmac, but a hill 🤔

Fingers crossed the nerves will disappear and I’ll be whizzing past people soon enough! 🤣

Oldfloss
OldflossAdministrator

When you accept that you are a runner and just relax into it....warm up well.. and then just go at your own happy pace... you will never be the last... ( tail runners are always there)... and you will find when you relax, everything just evolves:)

It really does, and a huge well done you... it took me three years to do a park run after Graduation... as a lone runner... and I only did it, to get me used to running with folk before my first HM...it is not for all of us, but when we do a park run, we are always really really made welcome. :)

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Oldfloss

Very true... I’m sure as time goes on I will feel more comfortable to warm up there, not care about anything.

Wow, you’ve done a half marathon! Can’t even imagine that right now haha!

But yes, they did certainly make the newbies feel very welcome, which was fab!

pete1212
pete1212Graduate

Well done on your park run Sar9

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to pete1212

Thanks Pete! I see you had an amazing long run instead! Well done 😱 hopefully those mind demons will let you experience your first park run soon!!

Tasha99
Tasha99Graduate

Congratulations! They don't get to feel easier really - you just go faster for the same pain as you go along 🤣 Unless you significantly slow down. That makes it more pleasasnt 😁

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Tasha99

Haha oh well no one ever told me that! Least there’s some gain anyways 🤣 well done on your new pb 🎉

jorgeRuns
jorgeRunsGraduate

Brilliant Sar9 sounds tough but very strengthening, looking forward to my first in a few weeks time so thanks for heads up on what I might expect 😁

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to jorgeRuns

Thanks Jorge3. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll love it 😊

karen50plus
karen50plusGraduate

Huge congratulations 🥳 . I m hoping to do one by the end of the month 🙈. Do you mind me asking your time ? I m trying to gear up my courage to do one 😟

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to karen50plus

Thank you!

My time was 38:45 🙂

It took me a long time to pluck up the courage. I’ve wanted to do park run for years but never felt confident enough, my friends have never been interested, so I’ve always put it off.

The C25K really does prepare you, even if you can’t make the whole distance running it’s absolutely fine. There were people walking it yesterday and also the tail walkers at the back were just having a chilled out walk with their dogs. So there was just zero pressure. Everyone was super friendly - there was a first timer welcome about 10 mins before which was nice as you get to meet the new people and not feel alone - also hear about what to expect during the park run. Then there were people along the track cheering you on.

Honestly... it’s slightly scary, but nothing you can’t handle. Get your brave pants on too and just go for it :) got nothing to lose! 👍🏼

karen50plus
karen50plusGraduate
in reply to Sar9

Wow - that is a fantastic first attempt 🥳. You must be doing cartwheels ( if you can walk today 😂) . I did week 6 run 3 ( the first 20 minute run ) along our Swansea parkrun route but I didn’t QUITE get to the half way marker . Had to walk back to the start 😞. I m not sure I m up for being left behind so spectacularly quite yet. 😦 I know there are trail people always at the back😇 but the thought of anyone trying to get me to keep running when all i want to do is stop , is pushing me beyond the term “ ANXIOUS 😥 “. I m doing this on my own so I d have to do the parkrun on my own too . 🤷‍♀️I only did half way in about 25 minutes so it would take me nearly an hour to complete the course 🙈..... and that’s assuming I can keep running 🥴. I m still in denial that I m actually doing this running thing 😳. This little forum is keeping me going . Reading all the struggles and successes are very encouraging and make me realise what I m feeling is “ normal “ and I m not wasting my time . Sorry for waffling - just thinking out loud 🤔 💭.

Bear7
Bear7Graduate
in reply to karen50plus

Don't worry about how long it takes. After starting again, I'm on week 2 of C25K (I did complete it in 2018 but then stopped running due to injury etc etc) & have just done 2 parkruns. Both times I have ran/walked it & been last (apart from the tail walker of course) with a time of 58 minutes. I've found it really tough (as I'm covering around 2.5k while doing my c25k sessions) but I figure walking 5k is better than not doing it at all & as others have said, the support you get from the volunteers & other runners is amazing

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to karen50plus

Thanks 😊

Fortunately I could still walk the next day - although not enough energy for the cartwheels haha!

The tail walkers would be quite happy with you just walking along, there’s people who just go and walk park run and it’s can take them over an hour. So I wouldn’t worry at all.

I’m also doing this on my own, sometimes I think it would be nice to have someone to do all these things with but actually it’s such an achievement to be brave enough to do it alone! Just try to enjoy as that’s what it’s all about! It’s a shame some of us people don’t live closer to try and tackle together haha!

And you’re right, what you’re feeling is absolutely normal lol, so many people feeling the same!

Don’t worry, I regularly think out loud on here 🤪

RunUsagi
RunUsagiGraduate

Congratulations! I did my first one today too - go us!

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to RunUsagi

Amazing, well done too! Amazing experience right!? Here’s to many more 🤛🏻😬

RunUsagi
RunUsagiGraduate
in reply to Sar9

Absolutely. I was incredibly nervous too but am so glad I did it. I chose a very flat race so it was just about getting around!

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to RunUsagi

Seems there’s so many feeling the same. First step done! Good luck on your next one 👍🏼

Speedy60
Speedy60Graduate

Well done Sar. I'm still thinking about it.

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Speedy60

Go on speedy! If I can do it, you can too 😬 slightly scary, but honestly nothing you can’t handle. Lots of lovely volunteers and runners around. Lots of people on their own too, which I didn’t expect. It was a great experience overall, I’m sure you’ll be so glad once you’ve done it! 🙂

Speedy60
Speedy60Graduate
in reply to Sar9

There's a parkrun starting where I live soon, I'm thinking about starting there. I was thinking of getting a plastic wristband too, just for ID. If I got knocked down by a bus on my runs, I realised I have no form of ID on me.

Something to think about. 🤔

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Speedy60

The wristband is a really good idea :) id also never really thought about this before! Not just handy for park run!

Nilsam
NilsamGraduate

Amazing post. Really interesting. Well done.

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Nilsam

Thank you 😊

Brilliant time for a first park run, you’d have beaten us by five minutes so very well done

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to WillowandSola

Thanks WillowandSola 😬

Mands50
Mands50Graduate

Congratulations on completing your first parkrun especially in the mud 👏👍

I had a similar experience on my first parkrun last week. It was so muddy but it was also weird running with other people. I’ve decided that I’ll wait for the weather to dry out before my next parkrun but the people were lovely.

Today I ran 5k round my usual route & was four minutes faster than previously. I’m concentrating on getting stronger and faster so hopefully my time will be better on the next parkrun. Good luck on your journey and I hope your next parkrun is not so muddy. Happy running 🏃‍♀️

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Mands50

Thanks 😊 the mud certainly was a challenge! Waiting for it to try out sounds like a good plan. Fortunately there’s another park run close by to me which is all tarmac - although had a large hill - so thought I may give this a go too.

Well done on your first park run and on your new pb on your usual route - amazing!!

I will also be concentrating on getting stronger too - I was looking at juju magic plan last night! 😬

Mands50
Mands50Graduate
in reply to Sar9

I see a lot of people talking about ju-ju magic, where do I find it please?

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Mands50

Well... like you ive heard many people talking about it, but have been really unsure on where it is or how to follow. I looked on the bridge to 10k group in the pinned posts and it’s on there. Juju is also on here, so I had a look on her profile and it’s on there too! I just screen shotted the picture of the 8 weeks so I know what distances to do each week & also I screen shotted the plank programme too! Hope you manage to find it!

Mands50
Mands50Graduate
in reply to Sar9

Brilliant thanks Sar9, much appreciated x

MartinKH
MartinKHGraduate

Well done Sar9 on completing your first park run in what sounds like very muddy conditions.

Happy running 👍

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to MartinKH

Thanks 😊

Well done also on your first park run - seems this was the weekend for first timers 😬 amazing time too 👏🏼

Enjoy

Congratulations keep going troutfish

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Troutfish

Thank you 😊

Chuckster123
Chuckster123Graduate

Well done Sar9. Excellent stuff. It’s a great time. Well done again. As a benchmark, my first run was >50 mins - so you’re time is fantastic. As another benchmark, Yesterday (run 15), I had a mini celebration at 36.12. You’re nearly there already!!! I’m slow. You’ll improve week on week. You’ll be below 30 in no time at all if you keep practicing each week. Park runs are addictive. It’s a lovely new Saturday morning routine that sets you up for the weekend. And don’t worry about warming up / it’s always good to warm up. Nobody is looking at anyone else, they’re all focussed on their run. Well done again and look forward to hearing your time on your 10th run!

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Chuckster123

Thank you!

I guess everyone’s so different and it’s easy to compare. I guess I just look at the people around me that are my age and feel so unfit. But it’s about just getting out there and seeing how far you’ve come on your own journey.

All our own achievements are definitely worth celebrating and shouldn’t be made any less exciting by comparing with others 😬

Well done too!

Happy running

pippkins
pippkinsGraduate

Well done on completing your first park run!

I also feel slightly anxious at the thought of running with crowds of people, after enjoying my solo runs.

Ah, we will see if I am brave enough to sign up for one after graduating ;)

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to pippkins

Thank you pippkins!

It was slightly scary, I’m not sure I liked that part, but it’s way worse in your head - as always we build things up irrationally.

No one likes change and after being used to running alone it’s something different. Totally worth it though and a great experience.

Good luck!

Sparkey5000
Sparkey5000Graduate

Great week to start - celebrating international women’s day! I’d say that time is awesome (I would as my first was similar and was was on tarmac!). You will see small improvements more or less every time you give it a whirl especially as now the rack should be starting to dry out. Best of all you gave it a go and you got round. Big mental win. Well done 🎉

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Sparkey5000

Thanks Sparkey! Love your words of encouragement - defo a big mental win. 😬

Well done! I’m fairly new to park run too and remember feeling very self conscious and not warming up very well at the first one...I somehow thought that if I started lunging about doing stretches they’d all secretly think “look at that eegit - she’s not even a proper runner and there she is stretching away like she’s Mo Farah”. Obviously I was completely wrong and when I did do some proper stretching the next time noooothing happened. Nobody looked, nobody cared...obviously!! What a plonker!!

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to TwigletChipstick

Thank you 😊

🤣🤣 our brains are so irrational aren’t they!! Will just have to keep wearing the brave girl pants and keep taking little steps!

Wow congratulations! I graduate tomorrow (hopefully!) and my aim eventually is to do my local parkrun. Now I know a bit more what to expect thanks! And I think your time was great 👍

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Harvs9

Thanks Harvs!

Good luck on your graduation run - and congratulations 🥳 because I’m sure you’ll smash it.

Hopefully your first park run goes great, look forwards to hearing about it!

Congratulations Sar9 . I haven got a PB, too cowardly to check it out yet🤨🤨🤨 happy running 😄

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Moosey60

Thanks 😊

Aww have a look! Happy running too 😬

Brilliant , I’ve not done a park run yet but my average 5k around the roads is anywhere between 36-40 mins so you have given me hope , thanks for sharing and well donex

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Chezjmc

In which case it sounds like you’ll smash park run no problem. Your times sound similar to mine! Go for it 😬

Well done and Congratulations...you did it. That’s all that matters

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Katydl

Thank you 😊

Well done! You did amazing! I also did my first park run yesterday, there were almost 600 people there 😬

I couldn’t sleep due to nerves but once I started it was great. All week I was so anxious lol!

My time was much better than I thought especially as it was my graduation run. I started off slow as couldn’t get past the crowd but then I got a bit too fast for my pace and come the end I was totally puffed and couldn’t even sprint to the finish line!

Can’t wait to do my next one and pace myself a bit better.

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Raverminx

Aww well done to you too! 600 people - wow that’s a big event! There was 75 at the one I went to! 🤣

I also didn’t sleep the night before! Tossed and turned all night! But was worth it! Great buzz!

Good luck with your next! 😬

Wow well done! I done my first park run yesterday too! Happened to be my week 9 run 3 so also graduated! My time was 40.22. My local Parkrun is at Crosby beach. The tide was in so the course was changed which involved running over sand dunes! Oh my it was hard. But ..... loved every minute! Xxx

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Shamar

Congratulations on your graduation and first park run! Wow!!! I bet you were on a huge huge high yesterday 😬

Sounds lovely being able to run on the beach - bet the sand and dunes were hard going, fair play. Well done!

Next Saturday I will do my 50th Parkrun . I understand what you're saying , I have had those feelings but after 12 months away due to illness - a bit serious as I had bowel cancer - I'm back and using Parkrun as my 3rd run of the week for C25K . I now don't care what anyone thinks , about my time , if I walk some of it - just to be able to complete it is a result . It is YOUR Parkrun and everyone is there for their own reason .

My bit of advice for what it's worth is to walk around 5 minutes beforehand for a warm up - I use the walk from the car park to the start . Just enjoy it xxx

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Exbox

Hey Exbox - well done on completing 50 park runs - jeez that’s impressive!

Sorry to hear about your Illness. But glad to hear you’re back and enjoying running again!

I will take that advice, I could actually park further away and use that as a warm up, great plan! 😬

Exbox
Exbox
in reply to Sar9

I also do some stretches looking like I'm tying / checking my shoelaces . But honestly , unless you started doing star jumps or planks no one will take any notice .

Well done! I did my 1st park run after graduation yesterday and it sounds like we had exactly the same experience, our times were even the same! It's great to feel that there are others on this journey too and that maybe we're doing it right 😊

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to JoKee

Well done too!!! You’re right, it’s lovely to see... this forum has certainly kept me motivated and offered amazing support throughout the programme - and continues to do so!

It seems ALLOT of people did their first park run yesterday! Amazing!

Rogie55
Rogie55Graduate

Well done. I’m on my 26th. It does get easier, but it’s still hard. I always say i’hate’ it. But my recovery time is much quicker now. But love it after. Such a wonderful part of my week. I get encouraged by my name as people know me now. Sometimes I hang on and natter. I have also done marshalling which is a great way to give back.

Well done you. welcome to the Park Run Family.

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Rogie55

That’s some dedication 😂

Thank you!

Bluepup1
Bluepup1Graduate

Well done you! That’s a great time and lots of positives to take from it & never feel pants about a run bless! I’ve read (on this forum I believe), that there is no such thing as a bad run, just prep for your next, so, whenever you feel you’ve not done very well try and remember that - and no way have you had a bad run with a time like that 🤗 x

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Bluepup1

Thank you!

I have noticed that these “not so good runs” are usually followed by a pretty good one 🤪

jsh2803
jsh2803Graduate

I have now done 5 Park Runs, two different venues, including a couple in heavy rain and strong winds, my PB is 38:07 so your time is excellent ... have found every event better, course familiarity helps and a couple of events have had 900 runners ... so take a while to get to the start line

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to jsh2803

Wow that’s a big park run! There was only 75 at my local one!

jsh2803
jsh2803Graduate
in reply to Sar9

Yes very big but a good course and as you will see many of us are park running, i use NHS Couch to 5k as my club. And as other has said time is interesting but the there are so many other benefits ie wider health & well being. I started the journey in mid Oct last year .... and still going with a benefit of significant weight loss as well

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to jsh2803

Wow well done :) I hope to be in the same boat at some point!

Larrykat
LarrykatGraduate

Congratulations on your first parkrun, and welcome to the parkrun community. You did a great time, I have completed 33 parkruns and am yet to run sub 40. I know everyone gets caught up in how long it takes, but ultimately parkrun is about improving your mental and physical well being, not racing. I love parkrun as I have found many new friends and volunteering has improved my confidence and self esteem. I hope you keep parkrunning, if mud is not your thing find a parkrun that is on paths/roads. Wherever you go you will find support and like minded people.

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Larrykat

Thank you 😊

You’re right it is about physical and mental wellbeing...

I will probably check out my other local Park run, which is tarmac paths, but had a good hill. See which I prefer :)

To be honest the thing I’m wanting to gain most out of this is new friends, self esteem and confidence, so it sounds like a perfect thing to keep trying!

I’m glad it’s had such a positive impact for you 🙂

Larrykat
LarrykatGraduate
in reply to Sar9

I hope you keep going with parkrun, it is an enormous community and wherever you go you should get a friendly welcome. If you keep going and go for a cuppa after you will soon find friends. Some will only be Saturday morning friends, some will become more frequent parts of your life. Don't rule out running clubs either, most are more inclusive than you might imagine. I belong to a running club now and get encouragement from everyone, no-one cares I am the slowest member.

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Larrykat

Thank you, this does give me hope :)

JeffingSG
JeffingSGGraduate

That is a very good time especially with bad conditions underfoot and some walking involved. Its quicker than my first time which was good conditions and continuous running.

With the first one under your belt, hopefully you'll enjoy the challenge in the future.

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to JeffingSG

Thank you, fingers crossed!

Well done I started doing park run at the beginning of the year a mixture of running and walking especially up the famous hill that they have in Preston Lancs I get around the 38min mark my first one was 40mins Im trying my best to get down to 37 min mark lots of people I know seem very impressed I do it lol keep it up 🏃

Gememms
GememmsGraduate
in reply to Bangerbob7

I was born in Preston and live in York where our Park runs are flat. I was home over New Year and had a go at the Cuerden Valley course. Heck it was tough, hills and more hills yet very pretty. The aim is to return in the summer and take a few minutes off a very slow time. May see you there.

Bangerbob7
Bangerbob7
in reply to Gememms

I do Avenham park you should have a bash at it sometime my brother did that one you did a few week ago he said it was a killer lol I would of flaked out on that one 🥵

Gememms
GememmsGraduate
in reply to Bangerbob7

Yes, I was 9 minutes slower than my usual tortoise pace,! I will check out Avenham Park when I visit again. Cheers.

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Bangerbob7

Sounds like your park run could be a bit of a challenge! Well done you! I’m not so good with hills yet haha! I ran locally in mud and hills and it added an extra 10 mins to my 5k! Was good fun though!

Bangerbob7
Bangerbob7
in reply to Sar9

I didn't start by doing CT5K I just went head on in doing a santa dash in December last year then did the park run the first sat in January I must be mad but I've right got to like it I actually run the hill first time round this weekend it's a three time round course I jog and walk but I've started jogging in longer stints now I've noticed 🥵

Gememms
GememmsGraduate

Well done, 49 more and you earn a t shirt.😝

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to Gememms

Haha can’t wait for that tee!!

BarbaraH4
BarbaraH4Graduate

Well done, you will soon be hooked and then can't imagine saturdays without a parkrun, whatever the weather.

Sar9
Sar9Graduate
in reply to BarbaraH4

Let’s hope so! It would be good to get hooked to something that’s actually healthy and good for you... rather than... chocolate!

MillyM0lly
MillyM0llyGraduate

Well done! I think you're amazing for doing a park run! I'm not there yet, but imagine I'll be anxious and nervous too before my first park run! You should be very proud of yourself. 😁😁

You may also like...