Am I too slow for a 'Park run'?: Luckily, my... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Am I too slow for a 'Park run'?


Luckily, my next 'Consolidation Run' isn't until tomorrow, as it is chucking it down with rain here today. I've read some posts this week about the 5K Park runs and there is one quite close to where I am. I was (before they were closed again) for a while tempted to give it a go. But, someone said this week about not wanting to be at the back of it, with all the volunteers walking behind them because it would be embarrassing. I 'Graduated' from C to 5K a couple of weeks ago, so can run for 30 minutes quite easily, and I went further time and distance wise on my first Consolidation Run last week. But, I've not ever managed 4K, let alone 5K. I'd like to give it a go when we are allowed to, but I don't want to be the one holding everyone up.

So, my question is should I keep 'Consolidating' until I get to 5K before I enter, or is it fine to enter now and see how I get on? I could always stop if I was being a pain to everyone......that said, I always told Jo during the journey through the runs I 'would not be stopping' so there's the question....what's for the best? It might be I'll be at 5K when they re-open, but I just wondered what you all thought if I wasn't.

18 Replies

Congratulations on reaching Graduation 👩‍🎓

I believe you’ll be fine to take part in Park Run.

All shapes, ages speeds take part, from runners to walkers.

I hope you decide to take part and enjoy every minute 🏃‍♀️💐

030961Graduate in reply to Jane_1961

I'd definitely like to give it a go!


Well done on your progress. Park Run is all inclusive. Speedy whippets, slow plodders and walkers are all encouraged.

Its about getting out and doing it on a freezing cold 🥶 wet and windy November morning 😀

Plus there's nothing better than treating yourself to a nice cuppa and slice of cake and a bit of a chat with like minded people after 😎

030961Graduate in reply to Windoze

That all sounds fab to me, is it OK to have the cake before starting?!

WindozeGraduate in reply to 030961

🤣🤣🤣 yeah sure. Tho usually I go with a banana 🍌 🤪 🤣


Ok, parkrun is NOT a race, anyone who thinks so has got it totally wrong, parkrun is a wonderful community event that is welcoming to all abilities to complete a 5k distance however they want - you do not have to run.

I think you might need to have a read of the parkrun uk webpages, then you’ll understand, all the marshalls, run directors, etc are volunteers, when, fingers crossed, they do get going again, just go along and watch, you’ll see

The key thing is you enjoy your running, you are doing it for you, not to compare yourself to anyone else.......

Oh and you’ll never be ‘last’ at parkrun, that’s the tailwalker’s job (note the name - tailwalker....)

Nothing wrong with being near the back, I always am......

When possible I hope you give it a go, it’s one of the best, most supportive communities out there, my only regret is I didn’t go sooner.


030961Graduate in reply to Madge50

Hi Madge50, I am definitely going to give it a go, and you are so right, we are all doing it for a personal reason and we all made a great decision in the first place to get off the couch! I see parkrun as the next stage and the likelihood of getting some tea and cake at the end is even better!

Madge50Graduate in reply to 030961

Oh yes, there’s always cake! Most (or practically all) have access to a cafe or venue nearby where people get together afterwards....for a tea/coffee and a chat...and thats on top of the ‘parkchat’ on the way round.....😉


030961Graduate in reply to Madge50

Sounds great fun...I am definitely going to give it a go. My brother says he will run with me. He is one of these 'ultra' runners that does 70 or 100 miles over a weekend, I'd think he might 'stall' if he tries to go at my pace!!

Madge50Graduate in reply to 030961

Then he should understand! I quite like the idea of ultra running, they take it easy, have good fuel breaks - proper cake and sandwiches etc., 😂

one piece of advice from an ultra runner about distance running I keep in my head is ‘walk the up hills, run the flats and downhills’ - saves your legs and energy...




Parkrun is not starting up again as a consequence of the latest coronavirus regulations, but speed and ability are not a prerequisite and many people walk the entire course at most venues.

This FAQ post may answer your questions

030961Graduate in reply to IannodaTruffe

Thank you Iannoda Truffe, I shall read this through. Very helpful thank.


Gofor it!

I don’t think you would hold people up as surely some people walk.

I was thinking I would be ready to do it after week 9.

I am at week 8 and only managing 3.3kms

I am very slow but I don’t want another fall and stamina is my goal. So I feel after 9weeks I will keep adding on minutes each time until I reach a 5kms.

My sim is to do a proper 5km next year. J

030961Graduate in reply to QuiltsC25K

That sound very sensible to me. I'm going to try to do much the same when I next run tomorrow. Good luck with WK9, you will be a star!


You are never too slow for parkrun! You can run it, jog it or walk it. When I graduated, I took Jo Whiley W9R3 to my first parkrun. We walked 5 mins, ran 30 mins and then walked to nearly the end - the finish line tempted a final run. It is wise to start near the back for your first one but you’ll probably not remain at the back.

Remember that the volunteers are people like us and when I Tailwalk I give people space to go at their own pace when they are running. But if they are walking I will ask if they want me to walk alongside and chat. It is so inclusive and you should never feel embarrassed being part of this great parkrun family. Sadly, I think it will now be some time before it returns to our streets and parks. ☹️

You might want to join the bridge forum next and look at juju’s magic plan to running 60 minutes. It takes you safely through 3 different timed runs a week.

Enjoy your running

030961Graduate in reply to Dexy5

Super advice thank you, and I will take a look at that too.


No no no 030961, of course you’re not too slow - there is no such thing as too slow at Parkrun! We have super speedy types - you’ll spot them at the front of the start line looking like they’re about to start at the Olympics. There are runners. And there’s the rest of us! You can walk it all or do a mixture of running and walking. You can take your dog or push a buggy. I do a really slow 5k - usually about 48 minutes. But the tailwalker is always at the back so you’ll never be last! And it really doesn’t matter anyway - it’s not a race. So come join us - we’ll be back one day!

030961Graduate in reply to Oldgirlruns

How could I not do it with that great advice echoing in my ear, thank you, I will!

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