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Parkrun - has anyone walked it?

(92 Posts)
Sofiria Fri 01-Jan-16 12:10:01

Hi! I'm looking for ways to be more active and shift a bit of weight this year. Parkrun looks like good fun, and on their website it says that it's fine to jog or walk the course, but I'm curious as to whether many people actually do this.

I'm very unfit and can't run or jog but I've got a steady walking pace and usually walk 5k in 55 minutes or thereabouts. I know I wouldn't be stopped from doing this but I'd feel very embarrassed about finishing last, on my own after having been lapped a few times by all the serious runners (memories of school cross-country, ugh) and would be put off trying again.

If it makes a difference I'd be looking at one of the courses in London - probably Highbury Fields, but I'd travel a bit further if there's a course that's particularly walker-friendly.

Anyone have any experiences to share, positive or negative?

kerpob Fri 01-Jan-16 12:25:44

I've done about 25 parkruns (not in London ). I've never seen anyone walking it. Some courses have a tail runner who comes in last deliberately. You might need to tell them you're going to walk but I don't see how it would be a problem.

Sofiria Fri 01-Jan-16 13:00:27

Ah. That's what I thought it might be - that theoretically they're open to people walking it but nobody actually does.

Not the right thing for me, then - thanks for letting me know! smile

ProfYaffle Fri 01-Jan-16 13:01:50

I've seen people walking it. Not very many, admittedly, but there have been a handful.

nephrofox Fri 01-Jan-16 13:02:42

Hmm. Definitely in theory allowed to walk, but in reality the marshals are (quite rightly) getting a bit cold and bored by 40 mins or so, so you might feel a bit under pressure

countingdown Fri 01-Jan-16 13:04:29

It could be a good idea to complete the couch to 5k programme and make completing a Park Run your goal.

AIN Fri 01-Jan-16 13:08:14

At my park run there's a lady who's been walking it for a long time. Apparently she has lost lots of weight by walking and now does it in 45 mins. She isn't the only one walking but does always come in last.

Veterinari Fri 01-Jan-16 13:11:21

OP head over to the couch to 5 k (c25k) thread
You could be jogging the parkrun in 8 weeks!

FoxesSitOnBoxes Fri 01-Jan-16 13:13:15

Couch to 5K is great! I couldn't run at all and within a year had done the Great North Run after starting with couch to 5K

WhoKn0wsWhereTheMistletoes Fri 01-Jan-16 13:15:33

If you look at the website for your local one the times are published, so you can get an idea of how you would fit in. I can see both sides of this, they should be open to all abilities, but it is meant to be a run and a bit unfair on the organisers (volunteers) if one or two people are walking and taking much longer than everyone else. I would like a power walking equivalent.

megletthesecond Fri 01-Jan-16 13:16:48

I don't think you'll have a problem walking it. We have a lady who walks it, around the 55 min mark iirc (she's behind us when I do it with my 7yo). The walker often ends up chatting to the marshalls.

Lots of little kids walk with a bit of running and end up near 50 mins.

I bet you start some very gentle running after a couple of weeks anyway to beat your pb smile.

WhoKn0wsWhereTheMistletoes Fri 01-Jan-16 13:18:42

I just wish there were some Sunday ones, I have other commitments on Saturdays so can't do it.

Sofiria Fri 01-Jan-16 13:24:27

That's fair enough - 40mins is long enough to be standing waiting for people to finish!

Couch to 5k - I love the idea, but because I'm so unfit I'd be embarrassed to attempt to jog or run. I'm self-conscious and one nasty comment would be too much for me. I'm not extremely overweight (could do with losing 20lbs or so) but have health issues that make exercise difficult and I'd look ridiculous being red-faced and out of breath after 30 seconds or so! I'm totally aware that 99% of people in the park or wherever will have zero interest in me or what I'm doing, but all it'd take would be one asshole making a remark to make my anxiety skyrocket.

Sofiria Fri 01-Jan-16 13:28:58

Just checked the local times and the slowest seem to be around 30-35 mins, so definitely not right for me just now. I think I misjudged the nature of the event a bit! Very glad now that I posted and asked. smile

Samantha28 Fri 01-Jan-16 13:36:16

I also recommend the C25k programme . It's only 8 weeks, but if you complete it , you would have a good change of not being last .

The results are published online, so you could have a look and see the typical time for the last person at your local run , who is usually a volunteer tail runner . At our parkrun , the last person is usually 40-45 mins.

The volunteers are out for about 30 mins before the run starts, and then another 15 mins or so clearing away afterwards , so thats 1.5 hours out in the cold / rain at this time of year .

So yes, while no one would stop you walk in the whole way , it's really designed for people who are at least trying to walk / jog, rather than walk the whole way .

Most people who run get out of breath and / or red in the face . I look like I'm dying ! Most other people who are in parks are walking , cycling or running themselves and are most unlikely to make any nasty comments. Especially at this time of year .

Please don't let fear of a comment from some random stop you getting out there and improving your health .

Samantha28 Fri 01-Jan-16 13:37:57

Once you have done the C25k you will probably be running at least 35-40 mins, you'll be amazed how quickly your time will improve

Veterinari Fri 01-Jan-16 14:04:34

I am 2 stone overweight and pale so get red VERY quickly. C25k is definitely the way forward. The early weeks are developed exactly so that you increase your activity steadily, and you can repeat weeks if you need to acclimatise more slowly.

The truth is that if you're unfit you'll get red regardless - that's ok - at least you're doing something, and anything is better than nothing.
If you don't start then nothing will change

rookiemere Fri 01-Jan-16 19:36:56

For parkrun it depends very much on which one it is and how many people are attending as to what the slowest speed is. You could check the results for your local one to get an idea. It's a really good target to aim for and the people are very supportive but I think it would work best if you could jog some of it.

sweetvparsley Fri 01-Jan-16 20:36:01

The event director at one of my local runs encouraged his 70 year old mother and her friends to do it because he said that it encouraged more of the less speedy people to join if they can see that they won't be last.

We regularly get people with Nordic walking sticks doing it. I checked the time of the last to finish to day and it was 1 hour and 5 minutes.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 01-Jan-16 20:39:55

People always walk ours. I'm a very slow runner, probably one if the last of the actual runners, before the people who walk/run or walk.

I'd check the results page of the one you want to do and see how slow the slower finishers are.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 01-Jan-16 20:41:40

Just checked out my local parkrun results for yesterday, slowest was 49.48.

SaltySeaBird Fri 01-Jan-16 20:54:26

I've done over 100 Parkruns and at ours you do get people who walk or very slowly walk run it. I've had to do it at a very slow pace recently and everyone is just as supportive and encouraging as when I run it moderately quickly.

My favourite volunteer position is tail runner which means you come last and bring in the field and several times I've walked it with people who weren't running for various reasons. One of the slowest was a woman who was unfit but highly motivated - she ran every step and it took 59 minutes.

Maybe get in touch and see what they say. The most recent results might seem fast as results from today would be New Years so the more dedicated regulars - I know ours was a smaller but faster field today.

Yes to trying C25K though. That's how I started and I never thought I could be a runner - far too big and unfit with aches and pains. Within 10 weeks I was running 5k and then not long after 10k ... then 20k. If I can, really anyone can!

MrsMook Sat 02-Jan-16 00:01:36

I really recommend C25k. I started it because I was horribly unfit following stubborn pelvic problems during/after pregnancy. By the time I could finally walk without limping, my fitness was dreadful. I did look like a beetroot at first, but no one cared, and that passes as you get fitter.

I've found parkrun very friendly. Everyone is there for the same reason, and it's a lovely atmosphere.
I take my DS to a junior event where he's the smallest and youngest, so we're normally accompanied by the tail runner!

Sofiria Sat 02-Jan-16 19:16:10

Okay. I've downloaded week one of C25k. Can't do it just yet as I have a still-healing foot injury, but I should be able to give it a go next week! Thank you all for your advice and encouragement! I'll see how I get on and if it works out I might be trying Parkrun in a few months. grin Checked a few different weeks at the one I'd be attending and I'd definitely want a time of 35-40 minutes to be finishing with the people at the back, which seems impossible right now, but we'll see!

AmandaTanen Sat 02-Jan-16 19:25:08

At one of our local park runs there are people that walk, DH did it in 27m15s and the last person came in at 54m51s and was female aged between 30-34.

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