As the weekend approaches, very often, the topic of conversation is, what are you doing at the weekend? One of my favourite pastimes is to run Parkrun…. Hopefully, the article below explains my new found love of running.
When I was growing up, I never was a sporty kid. With the exception of joining the school netball team, I would have done anything to get out of sporting activities. However, as I’ve got older, I’ve realised that life is about balance and I felt I needed to eat healthier and get fitter if I want to keep my health in good condition.
Over the years I have dabbled in Spin, Cardio, classes, and swimming but can honestly say that I never really enjoyed it. With work, life, and kids to balance, even squeezing in one hour a couple of times a week involved military planning. However, two years ago, a friend of mine suggested an event called Parkrun. Basically, it’s a 5k run or walk around a set course in some of the most idyllic countryside spots. My local one is Conkers, but luckily there are several venues to choose from around the UK.
I have always loved walking in the country with my family, but the thought of running just filled my mind with dread. Would it be full of super quick runners? What if I couldn’t finish? Would I feel conscious of my lack of fitness?? All these doubts flooded my mind, but my friend reassured me that I would be ok.
So I plucked up the courage and signed up online. It was free to join and gave me a list of all event locations. Most of them are 5k on Saturday mornings at 9.30am. I printed off the barcode and joined over 500 people at the start line. What struck me was that everyone seemed friendly, most said hello, and the ages ranged from kids to pensioners even several dogs and pushchairs. I won’t lie to you and tell you that whilst run/walking I didn’t have doubts that I wouldn’t make it round. But everyone’s enthusiasm spurred me on, and the volunteers all clapped and cheered willing you to get to the finish. I might have been as red as a tomato, but when I crossed that finish line, I felt such a sense of achievement.
Since that day I have continued to run Parkrun and am now the proud owner of a 50th milestone t-shirt. One day I hope to achieve my 250th run. Running Parkrun has given me the confidence to run from home too, down the cycle track or around the village, and I’ve noticed a real difference in my fitness and body image. The beauty of running is the flexibility to do it whenever it suits. Just slip on your trainers and head out the door. Just two thirty-minute runs a week are enough to notice the benefits. Why not give it a go and see if you love running too.