I go to Huddersfield Parkrun every week and I can't see me ever stopping this fantastic habit. It's not just running ... it's Parkrun. Some of the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things are just amazing. One chap is just about to finish running 2000 miles this year after suffering a heart attack on the start line just a few years ago. Then there was the time over 100 people were coached from couch to 5k by Acre Street Runners. Just awesome. If you've not tried it, see if I can convince you ...
We've all lost motivation from time to time. This can manifest itself in different ways. Since taking up Chi Running, my running has been uninterrupted by running injury. That doesn't mean I train enormous amounts of mileage and it doesn't mean I always feel like running hundreds of miles. I go to Parkrun every week unless I am away from home. If I'm racing that weekend or feeling poorly then I'll volunteer. Sometimes I'll just volunteer because I love that too. You get the idea - Parkrun keeps me running week in week out, year in year out better than any other group of people I've known. Maybe it's the fact that 5k it a nice, achievable distance whatever the weather ... but it still has a real challenge to it. I can't believe how many people have got in to running through Parkrun and gone on to huge running achievements. There it a guy in this photo (not me) who started running through Parkrun and has now run a sub 3 hour marathon and won an ultra marathon. Now that's motivation!
One by one, Parkrun has drawn everyone in my family in with it's hugely welcoming atmosphere. We get to run or walk together EVERY week. It's so lovely to know that whatever comes along in the week we always have a time in the week where we touch base. Plus we're always destressed at the end of the run so we always seem to have a chilled out and relaxed level of commnication. The friends we have made as a family through Parkrun are truly amazing people.
Whether it's enjoying running more, overcoming injury, winning Parkrun, completing Parkrun for the first time, or getting a PB it's great to catch up with my Chi Running clients and see how they are doing. It's not just clients though - the buzz of success for everyone, whoever you are and whatever yoru starting point is just amazing. There have been some incredibly humbling moments at Huddersfield Parkrun which just restore your faith in humanity.
If you are a stats geek then Parkrun is amazing. What's wrong with being competitive sometimes? I've really discovered a place to push myself in different ways as a runner. The course is so familiar that I have learnt how to run each hill, each turn, each flat. I am even learning how to breath for particular sections of the route. Familiarity leeds to success and sometimes it's great to be able to patient, remember the principle of gradual progress and build up your achievements.
I'm generally one of the quicker runners, but if I run with one of my children or a slower runner nobody asks why. It's part of the culture at Parkrun to help people along be it running as a pacer or just running along and chatting. I think my most 'successful' Parkruns have been some of my slowest.
I think you've got the message from the first 5 reasons! If you're EVER going to get off the sofa and run, it'll be at a Parkrun. Everyone is welcome and I mean really everyone. I recently witnessed over 100 people being coached from couch to 5k by a bunch of Parkrun volunteers... when they finished their first Parkrun the feeling was just INCREDIBLE. People were buzzing all week.
Have I got it right? Have I missed something? I'd love to hear your comments below.