On the 23rd Day of Blogmas: Staying on top of the Running Game with ParkRun
With Christmas drawing ever closer, it’s become even more important to me to continue running. For those of you who have been following my journey, I had never run until 6 October this year, when I started Couch to 5k. I graduated a couple of weeks ago and have been struggling to get out there ever since!
A friend of mine – who is a seasoned runner – recommended ParkRun as a great way to improve my running. For me it’s all about keeping my head in the game, and I could see the benefit of running in a group to motivate me to keep going.
Running Longer Distances
The one thing that isn’t immediately clear about Couch to 5k is that not everyone will be able to run 5k after 9 weeks. For me, the goal was always about being able to run for 30 minutes non-stop. I’m pleased to say I’ve achieved that. Running 5k is a whole different ball game, though, as I was about to find out with Park Run.
Parkrun is a free, organised run. It takes place every week at locations around the world. The events take place in parkland surroundings, and people from every age group and ability participate. I joined the Chichester Parkrun, registering through the website beforehand. This gave me a barcode that was scanned upon completion of the run, and enabled the organisers to tell me my time. I was slow – 46:09 – and came in last, but this is the longest I have ever run, both in terms of time and distance. I also managed to run the whole 5k (and part of the Chichester course is uphill). That time certainly gives me something to work on for the future.
In the few weeks that I’ve been running, I’ve come a long way. I’m much fitter than I have been in a long time, and I feel stronger too. I haven’t lost any weight, but my shape has changed. I have come down a dress size and that in itself has been a huge confidence boost.
Moving forward, there is more that I was to do and achieve. My first step is to get out there, running around the village, and just practicing. I’ve got a route mapped out and want to work at improving my time.
In 2018 I want to aim to run every other day. That will enable me to do a parkrun once a fortnight. My goal is to be able to run the Chi Parkrun in 45:00 by the end of January.
But of course that’s all in the future. For now, I’m going to curl up on my sofa and watch The Holiday on Netflix – accompanied by a tube of Pringles, a mince pie and a mug of hot chocolate!