Parkrun followed by long run

Due to work and other commitments I’m unable to run much during the week. I’ve got more time at the weekend so I’d really like to maximise my running during them. I’d also like to avoid injuring myself as I’ve been off for a few weeks with shin splints. I’ve read a good approach to avoiding injury is to follow a hard run with an easy run and vice versa.

Would a park run and long run both be considered ‘hard’? I really enjoy doing parkruns so I’d like to do one every Saturday if I can, then do a long run  on the Sunday. My last (and first) parkrun was in 23:30, which is a hard pace for me (my 10k PB is 47:30 BTW so probably some room for improvement). I’m focusing on 10k and 5k so my long run will probably be no more than 8 miles. Should I avoid doing them on back-to-back days to avoid injury? I haven’t actually done them on the same weekend yet, I was thnking of trying it for the first time this weekend but I don't want to injure myself.


  • depends on how hard you run the parkrun?

  • As I said, 23:30 which is a 'hard' pace for me.


  • If often do a parkrun then a long run the next day (sunday ) as it suits me with shiftwork .I dont race them all though and cant run one every week due to work anyway so maybe race every third one and use the other 2 as a tempo ?

  • Technically they're both quality (hard) sessions so in an ideal world you would avoid doing them on consecutive days. That said it depends if you're really that injury prone, and is 8 miles really a long run for you?

    I know lots of people do parkrun on Saturday and a LSR on Sunday (and a few even do a session on Monday too) and they're fine but that's not you.

    If 8 miles is around the longest run you've done recently I would start with a shorter distance and work up to 8 miles over a month. If you've been knocking out 20milers you'll probably be fine! I would make sure you are doing your long runs at a very relaxed and easy conversational pace. Try and have a rest day on the Monday, and maybe the Friday too.

    I agree with Leslie too, there’s no reason to go chasing after a PB at parkrun every week. Save your mental energy, and attack it every few weeks when you’re feeling good.

  • I'm your fitness level. I run a hard parkrun every week, trying to set a pb, but I always rest on Sunday. I think you've got to try to find the time to do something during the week. You won't improve otherwise.

  • Leslie thanks, good idea about the tempo run.

    Chimpster sorry, I probably wasn't clear. I've done long runs up to 13 miles before when I was training for a half marathon but I think that may have contributed to me getting injured. I don't want to over do it so I thought 8 miles would be long enough if I just focus on 10ks. Am I wrong? I'll increase back up to that slowly, and run them at a slower pace. I definitely think they've been too quick in the past. You're right, I should just aim to really go for it and aim for a PB every month say.

    Andrew, you're right. I can probably get some short easy runs in, early morning if I have to.

  • Following your advice Andrew maybe I should alternate between Parkruns and long runs? I could do a parkrun saturday, gym for cross training sunday. Then the following week do gym saturday, long run sunday. I don't know if I'd still be getting the benefit of a long run that way though. To be honest, life will probably get in the way of me running park run every week anyway so alternating might work.

  • It depends what you want. Your plan will keep your fitness ticking over, but you won't get any faster unless you do more sessions.

  • I do Parkrun followed by a long run on Sunday but I only do Parkrun once a month or so.  But on non-Parkrun weeks I would still run on a Saturday. Could be an easy run or could be something like a tempo run depending what else I've done that week.  But I'm not too pront to injury.  Bu the way, even just focuing on 10k's I would go up to at least 10 miles for my long run.  Lots of benefits.  And then not too much of a stretch if you find a nice half you want to do.  

    Also, on days where you do long run after a race I would focus on making it really slow and comfortable pace so you don't further stress your body.  

  • Thanks. Good advice McFlooze.

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    If you are only going to run up to 10k, then 8 miles maybe a little more (10) is really about as far as you want to go in the short term to get that time down.

    I'm probably biased not being a big fan of PR, but why race them every week, aiming for one fast one once a month is probably going to be a better measure of your progress than 'hard' every week. By all means run the others, but turn them into an easy run you'll still get the time and the next coloured t-shirt. Then do the 'hard 5k' as a midweek run. Thats only 25 minutes you need to find time for.
    Alternatively, are you really that pushed all week for time that you can't spare 75-80 minutes (time an 8 miler plus changing would take)? If its kids activities, as it is with me, I run while they are at their event. Work commute? Can you not incorporate a run in there somehow?

  • I'll probably just race it every month then. No point going every week to run an easy 5k when I've got better (off road) runs close by. I only want to go to try and get a PB and guage my fitness anyway. I'm not bothered about getting the t-shirt or racking up a certain number of runs.

    I'll be driving an hour to work and back so can't really incorporate a run into that. What I might do is run at lunch whilst at work which I've never done before but might be a good way of getting some runs in. There's a big sports field nearby so I could run round that. Dull, but it'll hopefully stop the shin splints coming back as bad as before.  I'm also thinking of doing all my long runs on trails at the weekend rather than pavements/roads.

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    trails much better, they might be a bit slower but far more fun and the time goes quicker.
    Even if you get 30 minute runs 2 lunches a week, you can get a decent session done.
    I understand about the commute - luckily I get a train, so can run a stop either into , or home from work. Adds maybe half hour to the journey but gets the training done.

  • I find compression socks are a huge help for shin splints. They stop the calf muscle oscillating.

  • Thanks Andrew. I've bought some actually but I only wear them post run. I'll have to try them during a run this weekend.

  • I have done Parkruns for the last 2 Saturdays. I managed to get a PB on the first and then a few seconds per mile slower on the second.

    My plan was to do them every week as it seemed that adrenaline or interest in running a race seemed to make me run faster. This is the theory anyway, as I had been struggling to improve my 5k running solo.

    This weekend I am planning to do Parkrun, followed by a 10 mile training run the next day as the following weekend, the plan was Parkrun and then 10 mile race the day after.

    Would doing the Parkrun have a negative effect/be less effective than other methods over time, even if I am trying to beat my PB each time? I was hoping that stocking up on carbs would compensate for doing 2 runs in 2 days.

    Am no expert so would love to know what others think....


  • In my experience, for beginners on an earlier stage of the improvement curve then it is quite feasible to 'race' a parkrun most weekends and still see a PB most weekends (conditions being equal), it's not optimal but if you're enjoying it and not getting injured then who's to say it's the 'wrong' way.

    The closer you get to your true potential the more the improvement curve flattens out and you need more structured training - and fewer race efforts - in order to continue improving.

    Alex80 - Some people like being part of the parkrun 'community' and go often even when not running it hard. I'm fortunate that my local is only a couple of miles away so I can jog there as a warmup, do parkrun as a tempo run, chat to some mates and get a few trail miles in afterwards on the way home. If you're not fussed about the social aspect or the t-shirt count, and the parkrun is not close enough to justify doing as part of an easy/longer run, then it definitely sounds like a better idea to only do the parkrun once every few weeks in order to have a really good go at it. Weekend long runs on trails sounds good too - they're my favourite - just be prepared to take them easy.


  • Mine's a bit too far. I could run it, but it'd be hard work coming back after racing 5k. Would I be ticking two training boxes then if I did run there and back? I.e. a long run plus speedwork? Or does it not work like that?

    I'll definitely take the trail runs easy. I made the mistake of taking my GPS last time and I just found it disheartening to see how slow I was running compared to on roads.

  • I have been doing both for my long runs in preparation for a marathon. I run the 4.5 miles to parkrun, then volunteer to pace it at my chosen marathon pace, then run the 4.5 back sometimes adding in different routes/loops to get up to my required mileage. I've found i usually get others joining in my run back so some company is always very welcome on a long run. I enjoy the pr community so this way I can do both.

  • I'll have to try it, once I've brought my mileage back up. I've just checked and it's 5 hilly miles there and back, so at the moment that's probably a bit far for me (13 total).

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