I can recommend the 5k parkruns for speed training!

- I initially dismissed the national 5k parkruns (google it if you arent aware) as a bit too "fun runish" and not a big enough distance to spend time on.

- I always struggled with the motivation for my speed/interval days though

- I've now done a couple of them, and although the one I did this week (Reading 5k parkrun) was a slowish course (Because of 60% grass), I actually found myself pushing right up to the threshhold levels just to get my course PB and improve my runbritain handicap time....which is fairly pointless but for my own motivation. About 250 people of all ages and levels showed up this week, from a skinny little 17 yr old who ran it in 15 mins, right back to mums running with their kids. Was really cool.

- The advantage to this is its already starting to improve my 10k and half marathon performance, making my body used to running at 5k pace (which for me has meant my 10k times are around 40 mins and getting quicker) and its quite cool racing the same people each week (although im only going about twice a month at the moment as the saturday 9am start doesnt always fit with my social calendar of going out fri night). 

So as well as people just getting into running, I'd recommend this for regular 10k/half marathon/marathon/club runners and using it as a speed training day. I've been running a 1k warmup to the park, running the 5k race as hard as I can, and then a 5-10km longer run home (as apose to just running 10 miles on my own early sunday mornings). 

And its free! All the timings are recorded when they scan your bardcode at the finish and results are online within a few hours, allowing to you see PBs and how you compare to other people. I think UKA are behind it with help from sweatshop/adidas/lucozade etc. 


  • Wayne, I agree with what you say. I did my first park run on Saturday at killerton and it was great. They kept saying at the pre run talk that its not a race but most people I saw were definitely pushing it.
    It was really friendly with the speedy people hanging round to clap the slower ones. They also meet for tea and cakes after tho I couldn't stay this week.
    I will deffinitely be back to smash my pb.
  • Im a once a month parkrun runner and its just a great way to hone your running efficiancy.

    Keep on pace, keep proper form, cope with an incline when your legs feel like lead, when someone is breathing on your neck.

    So often in longer races you dont race other runners you just race yourself get a PB, just finis.

    parkrun gives you the chance to say "I came 6th"

  • i've done the black park, slough park run a few times now. A new system has been introduced recently so that you can get your times sent thru to your mobile phone.
    Park runs are a great invention.
  • Couldn't agree more - have done 2 now and hope to make it a monthly visit.  Refreshing to have a bit of a blast with a semi-competitive edge..... Hope it has the desired effect when I do my next 10k at the start of Sept!
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