When do I start doing a Park run?: On W4R1 now... - Couch to 5K

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When do I start doing a Park run?

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On W4R1 now and the park run idea sounds great but not sure when is a good time to do a park run. Is there a good time to do 5k...dont want to spend all the time walking and my very slow jog, but like the idea of it being timed and being able to improve!

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I'm inclined to suggest you get to week 9 before you start thinking about times, never mind improving them! Get your legs used to running for half an hour at a time before you head off in to the world of parkruns, and beyond.

They are great fun, and very relaxed, as well as a good way to measure improvement. But I'd be worried it's too much too soon. Finish C25K first.


I would look at the results for the parkrun you would go to and when you can cover the distance somewhere close to the slowest time then give it a go. Or go along and watch first.

The way they work is that you all start together and when you go through the finish you collect a barcode and then get it scanned in with your personal barcode that they send you when you register. I did notice that some of the people on the 5 lap run I did on Saturday actually didn't finish - they sloped off without going through the finish. I think the thought of the fifth lap was too much!

I was surprised at how many people ran and walked so you don't have to be able to run continuously.

My aim next time is to finish in the top 200 lol :)


I ran my first Parkrun last Saturday but the week previous I went along and watched where they started from and finished, I then walked it. Having said that we can't go far wrong with ours as you just follow the coast prom path north then about turn and head south - simples. So on the Sunday I went down and jogged it myself, just to test my time. I was however onto week 9 by this time. I finished C25K on Thursday and did my first Parkrun on Saturday as a celebration run. Every area is different so check out the one nearest to you, you may have more than one to chose from. There will be a mapped route on your local run's site for you to have a look at too. Also the latest times will be posted on their site so you can get an idea of the sort of attendance, i.e. numbers, abilities, ages etc.

Good luck with the C25K.


I did my first one at week 5 or 6 but I had a Race for Life 5k coming up and wanted to see how it might feel. I ran some and walked a bit, came almost last but still got an age corrected score over 50%. Have now done 3 Parkruns.

So my advice is go for it. Have a look at the website and see what sort of times are typical for your course. Also the map of the course and maybe do it as one of your podcast runs and see how you do. Don't worry if it seems a bit harder than what you've been doing. I've found that I push my self more on actual Parkruns (I may have walked a bit but I'm determined to run to the finish!) and the marshalls are always very supportive.


Lol. When my husband was younger he was is velo club and won the league one year. Not because he was quick (he got lapped sometimes by others) but because he was the only one who turned up every week. I'd give it a go if you wanted to after week 5/6. Just don't push yourself too hard, to get an injury would be bad at this stage. Probs dont run for much more than you are already up to with c25k without walking.


I would certainly say that you should be running almost 5k with Laura. The reason for this is that many years ago i tried running, upped my mileage too quickly and ended up having an op on my knee, thats why i have followed Laura, from week 5 word for word. I have had aches and pains, few twinges in my knee but iced it and rested and i ran my first Park Run on Saturday in 29.20. My husband started running a couple of weeks ago and after 1 run then started doing 30min runs (i know annoying that he could) on saying that he has had so many aches and pains as he hasnt allowed his legs to gently get used to the added exercise. For the sake of a month, i wouldnt risk injuring myself and laying myself up for a while when i couldnt run at all.


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