Have you heard of Parkrun? It's perfect for runners and is an excellent way to improve your event running and you'll learn these things on the way.

I have discovered Parkrun!

For those of you who don’t know what Parkrun is: It is a free 5K running series of events that are held around parks and open spaces on a Saturday. There are many in the UK and different countries and their aim is to get people active and fit!

Well, what can I say I am hooked! It’s completely FREE and is run by an amazing network of volunteers who stand and cheer you on to give you the boost you need. It creates a network so that means even if you go to different Parkrun events, you are around like minded people who just want to run! (who else is going to be there on a Saturday morning!). You also get a great practice run for events because you are trying to get a good time and you start with other runners but it isn’t as competitive and there are a lot of different abilities there.

All it takes is you registering online to get a free barcode and you take it with you (no barcode, no result) and then after your run you have it scanned. They will also keep your details online so you have your personal best and you can rack up points too for the yearly competition.

Parkrun is fantastic, I definitely recommend it to anyone whether you are a competitive club runner or doing a couch to 5k you should pop alone and try it out, everyone is really friendly. Here are some of the things you will learn if you do:

1. It’s OK to go solo

brotherandmeparkrun 6 things you'll learn about Parkrun
Me and My Brother – he’s building up too!
Don’t feel like you have to be chatty to everyone, it’s a great atmosphere but people want a good time and may not want to wait. You will always have those who are chatting but if you’re on your own and still want to get a run in then it’s a great atmosphere and you can just run!

2. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

If you think you can tell the fast regular runners you can’t! Runners come in all shapes and sizes and it’s fantastic to get some confidence – even if you don’t feel you look like a “runner” the chances are someone else is looking at you going, wow look at that runner! Also just because someone is 7 and tiny doesn’t mean they aren’t going to speed past you with their little legs :p (This is the voice of experience)

3. How to be supportive

Running can be a very personal experience because you are aiming to be the best you can and improving against yourself and a lot of the time you are out on the road pounding the pavement on your own. But from the beginning at Parkrun, there were people supporting from the sidelines and even the fast club runners cheer you on and pick you up as you’re going round. You know how it feels to be tired and want to give up so you join in and cheer them on as they finish and it helps to see others struggling like you were because it teaches you compassion and support!!

4. It’s a family affair

If you want to get your kids involved in running then this is a great atmosphere, kids of all ages can run with an adult but they also have junior 2k events for 4 – 14 year olds if you want to ease them in gently.  It teaches them to be active, get healthy and discipline because it is first thing Saturday morning so it gets them up and out of bed – perfect for teenagers! Also, it’s great competition for yourself, the amount of kids that have overtaken me is very humbling! haha
Parkrun Family Affair 6 things youll learn about parkrun
My brother, Me & My Dad – Can’t beat a sweaty selfie

5. It’s addictive

I guarantee once you’ve gotten your results, you’ll want to go back and smash them again next time! Meeting new people and going to the events is a fantastic atmosphere and with the great organisation and participation from the volunteers and spectators, it definitely helps to bring the community together. With so many like-minded people you won’t want to go back to running on your own for a while!
dadandmeparkrun 6 things youll learn at Parkrun
Dad and I onroute to parkrun – Early morning addiction

6. Running stops for no man! (or woman)

 Parkrun is on year round (it is very rarely cancelled) and that includes holidays (including Boxing day on Christmas!) rain or shine (or snow). The organisers and volunteers don’t stop so neither do we! We also took part in the Halloween run last year too which made for some great costumes!! It reminds you that there aren’t any excuses and you can incorporate running easily into your life – and it’s a great laugh!
rain or shine at parkrun - 6 things youll learn at parkrun
Rain or shine we are getting it done at Parkrun

If you aren’t much of a runner but are up on a Saturday and want something to do then come along and volunteer! Having smiley faces cheering us on can be just the kick we need when we are starting to lag!

To volunteer or to register visit: The Parkrun Website

*A Special shoutout to Tilgate Parkrun in Crawley for organising a great run for everyone, the atmosphere is fantastic and there are some lovely kind people there who are incredibly supportive and keep me coming back for more!!*

Have you heard of Parkrun? It's perfect for runners and is an excellent way to improve your event running and you'll learn these things on the way.

37 comments on “6 Things you’ll learn at Parkrun”

  1. What a great post. Volunteering for Parkrun is great too. I especially have enjoyed being a tail runner because it has made me think about ways to encourage people that I then try to listen to myself.

  2. This sounds like fun. I keep saying I am going to get back to running and this might be the motivation I need.

  3. I absolutely love running. So much better outside than in a gym. I also love running with my boyfriend as it’s good to have a partner.

  4. This would be so much fun! I can’t wait to start running. I have always hated running and mainly because I was slow but now that I’m older I think it will push me.

  5. Running gives you a chance to be fit while also have fun especially if you’re going to run with family or friends! This sounds like an awesome thing to do on a Saturday!

  6. I have never heard of this, but wow what an awesome thing to do! I did a 5K a few years ago and it was intimidating! This would have been a great start for me.

  7. What a fun way to get people moving. I’m in the US and have never heard of a Parkrun but would love to participate in one! I love running for fun and like that this isn’t competitive.

  8. I have found that running is a SUPER personal experience, but my friends who run always have buddies. But – its kind of a solo thing with friends around. Great tips here…

  9. I’m not a runner, but I do love working out so I can understand the thrill and great feeling you get from running! So great you can do it for free as well! I have friends who run and do marathons and they love it! Good for you!

  10. I’m definitely not a runner, but I’ve never heard of any of these locally, although I’m sure there must be some. I think they’re great for the family to get out and do them together.

  11. well go you!!! thats fantastic.. im not a fan of running my self.. but its the best way to keep fit x i just started an exercise class my self on a monday night and am really enjoying that x

  12. Sounds like great fun, I am not that into running but I think I need a running buddy for motivational purposes. I need to check out if we have parkrun in my area

  13. I keep trying to take up running but it’s so difficult to get into it when you live in a valley. My whole village is hills so running in a flat park with others to inspire you is much more appealing

  14. I have to be honest, I am not a runner in anyway shape or form lol. I’ve heard fab things about park run though. I think it’s great that it’s such a family affair and that it’s so supportive x

  15. One of my first every posts was about buggy running at parkrun. It’s such a great event! And yes… totally with you with those ninja fast kids.

    The nicest thing for me was actually something surprising. Lots of the kids I teach run the same event as me, a group of boys took to waiting for me so they could take my buggy for me so I could belt down the last bit. One boy actually ran with me to pace me to get my PB. You’d think they would cringe at seeing their teacher but they were actually the nicest bunch ever!

  16. It’s great that the whole family is into it, that way, you can all support each other and prod the other when one lags behind. I used to run before I got married, gave it up when I moved here, especially where we live. It’s all hilly! Would love to run again… someday.

  17. I am allergic to running…..haha , or just lazy! I have lots of freinds who LOVE park running, and though it hasn’t convinced me to give it a go just yet, it does look like a fun way to run!

I would love to hear from you so pop your opinion in the comments! Don't be shy.