Walking the Parkrun

There are many reasons for taking part in Parkrun. A big one, in fact the main one for us, is the competitive element and improving our times. We’re always on the lookout for a PB. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

There’s the general fitness, there’s the enjoyment, there’s feeling a bit smug that you’re out of bed and exercising while lots of people are still asleep…

Every time you take part in Parkrun, as long as you remember your all-important barcode, your run is counted. For me, knowing I’m recording a new run nearly every week is a real motivation. That’s why I’m happy to run with my daughter when I need to (under 11s have to run with an adult). I’m not going to be breaking any records, but my run is still counting. And, in actual fact, in fitness terms I’m doing almost as much good for my body by running 5k in 35 minutes as I am by running it in 23.

Every run counts towards your Parkrun milestones. Kids reach their first milestone at 10 runs, when they are eligible for a 10 Tshirt. My daughter and my eldest have had their Tshirts for a long time now and I’m pleased to say my younger son is very nearly there. The next milestone for kids – and the first milestone for adults – is 50 runs. Last autumn I set myself the target of reaching 50 runs by this autumn and I’m well on track for that. Then I’ll aim to reach my 100 run milestone by about Christmas 2017.

When my younger son broke his toe he couldn’t run Parkrun, understandably. But he came along with us and enjoyed limping round parts of the course, cheering us on and hunting Pokemon. I hoped he would be back to running the following week, as he was walking long distances playing Pokemon Go and breaking into a run every now and then.

But he still wasn’t up to running 5k. So he thought he’d just wander around a bit like he had done the previous week. I suggested that he actually walk the 5k and get his barcode scanned, earning himself another run towards his 10 Tshirt. My husband and eldest ridiculed this. What was the point of doing it if you weren’t aiming for a PB? But Parkrun is what you make it. He couldn’t run with a broken toe, so why not just walk? There are people who do actually walk it every week, so why not my son?

As it happened, my daughter’s best friend was walking that week too as she had a triathlon later that day. So my daughter decided to walk too. They had a great time. They walked, they jogged, they sprinted, they did a few cartwheels, they chatted. I suspect they covered way more than the usual three miles by walking up and down to catch up with each other, but they loved it.

Who says Parkrun has to be all about running?

Parkrun, Landscape, 365, 366

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. The important thing is doing the exercise, isn’t it? I have considered walking as I can’t run it at the moment and lots of people walk at our local one. My problem is lots of people have dogs with them and so Amelie would refuse to move!

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    • The exercise is definitely the important thing! There seems to be an increasing number of people walking at ours.

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  2. I agree, parkrun is about so much more than the times (although they are pretty important to me too!). We had a few walkers this week at ours too, which is unusual but it was really nice to see such a mix of abilities for a change. Also, how pretty does your parkrun look in that picture?! Gorgeous!

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    • I caught it at a good angle! You don’t really see it from that angle when you’re running apart from when you approach the finish line and at that point you’re only thinking about finishing! There seems to be a few people who walk at ours now and it’s definitely a good way into exercise.

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  3. That’s such a good idea. I actually never thought of walking the Park run but it would be such a good start for someone wanting to get fitter…like me! I would probably collapse if I ran half a mile but walking it would be perfect! I may have a think!

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    • It’s definitely worth a go! You can even walk it with the buggy. There are people at ours who run with buggies and even double buggies! I have no idea how they do it.

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  4. Oh that’s fab! It’s brilliant that they’re all so involved in it. I actually should take my eldest daughter to park run, I’m not sure what age they’re allowed to do it, but I think she’d happily walk all the way around with a bit of a trot here and there.

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    • I think they can do it from the age of 4, so it would be perfect for her! x

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  5. Indeed. I like the saying about how it doesn’t matter how slow you are going that you are still lapping the person on the couch,

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    • Thanks, it’s absolutely true! I always remind my daughter when she’s beating herself up and thinking she’s not going fast enough.

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