late starter


As a complete beginner at the age of 72 I wanted to try a 5 k Parkrun.My local venue puts results on line ......the slowest times were in the 39 minutes and  these were Female runners.I timed myself on the course but could only manage 44 mins, What should I aim for as a 5k time before I dare to do the real thing  



  • Tony

    First can I say well done to you

    Dont worry about your time before doing the "real thing" Theres no rules that you have to be fast, just go out have fun and the only one your doing it for is you. If you want to do it do it mate !! Good luck !!

  • Tony, firstly congratulations on wanting to try the parkrun! Secondly, as 3:30 don't worry about times and if you plan on doing it more than a few times as your fitness grows your times will come down - don't worry about other peoples times.

    I'm a newbie to this running lark too but a youngster at just 53image Have you been to the doc just in case? we 'veterans' need to look after ourselves more than the 'younger' runners. Do you plan on training in the week for your parkruns?


  • wow! well done! i started last year (30) and have done some 10k marathons and a 5k as well. have on in Turin, Italy (10km) next Monday. My goal is to be basically get good times so i understand why you're asking re: times, but seriously, enjoy it! i find it so relaxing and so much better to cope with stress, being a mum of three, working full time, and always being in such a hurry to go everywhere. plus it motivated me to quit smoking. good luck with your run and all the best!

  • Hi Tony, the above is all sound advice. All i may be able to add is. That the regulars may like to help you with advice about training. But I understand, I have just entered the Manchester MoRun, I hope to get lost in the crowd ow er.

    Keep us informed in how your doing. As far as I'm concerned I'm impressed. You may be showing some youngsters soon on how it should be done, training wise. Who knows.

  • There is a good chance that in the heat of the atmosphere you will run faster than you normally do. However I did the same as you and looked at the results of local Parkrun before daring to do it!

    I think it is a very personal thing however you could look at it this a number of ways

    1) Based on the online times and your current time you might be the slowest therefore you have that expectation therefore any improvement on your current time or anything better than slowest is going to be an achievement

    2) When they email you your results they give you a percentage performance which is based on your time compared with expected one for your age. Maybe try and focus on this rather than the actual time.

    Good luck!


    PS Another thing is to bring a friend to run with you although I know that wouldn't work for me being an antisocial runner!

  • It is worth having a look at all the ones that are local to you. The parkrun I sometimes do in Coventry probably has more walkers than runners! Or why not encourage a friend to run it with you? ENJOY it, it's a great event!

  • At a local 10k about a year ago I brought the kids out to cheer on the runners and walkers.

    We missed the first few runners but I explained to the children that the ones at the front don't need the cheers as much as the ones at the back.

    The runners were so spread out that we were sure they had all passed when we spotted, in the distance, a lone figure hobbling along with the St John ambulance right behind them.

    This lady got the biggest cheer from the kids, and a "Don't worry, I always come last too!" from my seven year old.

    And it was this lady, more than any of the other runners that day, who inspired me to get the trainers back on and get running again.  I am so grateful to her for going out that day and smiling at us as she passed; someone has to be last and she really didn't mind that it was her!

    Don't worry about your time Tony, get out there and do it if you want to do it, because you never know who you might inspire as you run past.

    Best of luck, and enjoy!

  • the thing to remember about parkrun is its not a race! The only person you are competing against is yourself image

    therefore it doesnt matter what time you come in at, parkrun ethos is that its for everyone, our local one has ages from 5 to 85, 15 mins to 55 mins. Dogs, kids, pushchairs, grannies, olympians, etc

    Here is a little parkrun poem that was posted on the news board image

    "You may find running easy
    You might find running tricky
    but if you come to parkrun
    you’ll see that we’re not picky

    we welcome everybody
    from beginner to athlete
    and all we ask of you
    is that you finish on your feet

    You can walk-run at a slow pace
    or race round superfast
    you‘ll always get respect
    no matter if you’re first or last

    It won’t cost you a penny
    ‘cause parkrun’s always free
    And we all take turns to volunteer
    to marshall or make tea

    You can parkrun with your granny
    or your baby in a buggy
    you can parkrun with your canine pal,
    your kids or with your hubby

    If training for a marathon
    or jogging just for fun
    it really doesn’t matter
    just come along and run

    So get your parkrun barcode
    and register online
    We’ll be here every Saturday
    Come rain,
    or snow,
    or shine"

  • That poem is great. image  A few years ago I was fit enough to run the Parkrun but chickened out because I didn't want to be last.  I then got really ill and have been kicking myself that I didn't just go for it.  A few years on I'm starting again, even slower this time due to health problems, but as soon as I know I'm capable of doing the distance I'm going to go along. 

    The website mentioned that you should let them know if you think you will take longer than 50 minutes - so certainly you'll be fine Tony Ricky if you're in the low 40s.  I'm lucky enough to have 3 locally and the times really vary.

    Good luck!

  • Hey well done Tony in getting out there and wanting to take part image!

    Maxs Mum is it right in the poem that you can run with a buggy? As a father of 3 its hard to get out at that time on a saturday morning however if i could take them with me that would be great. I have a double buggy cause we have twins and Im sure my eldest boy would have a run round with me!

  • Hi Craig, well you certainly can run with a buggy at our local one, but i guess it would depend on the individual course?

    some of them may not be suitable for pushing something with wheels, best check with your local parkrun to be sure? in principle should be ok though image

  • i will thank youimage

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