Hello, I am an on again, off again runner who has recently started running again and I'm very excited because a Parkrun is starting up where I live this week (previously, the nearest was about 20 miles away, so I have never done one). I cannot run 5k yet - 2k is about it! 

Can you walk or run/walk them? Does it matter if you are really slow? Should I wait until I can run 5k? I wouldn't be able to do it this week anyway, but am quite excited to give it a try. Many thanks



  • Why not volunteer at your first one and you can see when the last person comes in?
  • You'll be able to see from the results when they are published what kind of a range of finish times there are.  The local one I attend most often has finish times from about 18 minutes to closer to 45 

  • Yes, you can walk/run. You can hop or samba, even, if you prefer. Actually, if you're a bit slow at first, you're likely to get an even warmer welcome at the end than if you were quick!

    There's usually a tailrunner to make sure that no-one is left behind, who can look after stragglers and keep them company, too, so there's absolutely nothing to worry about.

    As cougie says, you could volunteer, if you are nervous.. but you may as well just go for it. You'll find parkruns one of the most unthreatening deep ends ever.

  • Thanks for the responses - we were thinking of going to have a look tomorrow anyway so I can see what the times are. I could probably walk the whole thing in less than 45 minutes (I can walk faster than I run!). I'm hoping it might stop me turning back into an "off again runner". Actually, I'm more of an ambler or shuffler than a runner.

  • I'm a regular at one here in London. Just recently we've had a woman who regularly walks the whole thing - two laps - in somewhere approaching 50 mins to one hour. I think most people are happy for this to happen, but it has led to a small debate about whether someone should at least attempt to run part of it. Personally, I think it's fine if she's planning to try to run at some point, but I do wonder in some senses what the point is - it's a nice area and she could have a pretty good walk anywhere if she wanted. That said, she gets nothing but support from everyone on the day. Obviously you intend to run at least part of it, which is what a goodly number of people do - and before long they're usually running all or most of it and improving their times. People volunteer to help out precisely because they want to contribute to an event for all abilities, so you will be very welcome and, as someone said above, if near the back you will be applauded vigorously and not in a condescending way. Enjoy it.

  • Kate the ones I have been to have had finishers in 50 plus minutes, I'm sure run/walk will be fine.

    As long as your trying they don't seem to mind what sort of time image 

  • ClagClag ✭✭✭

    I'm a regular at our local parkrun, and it's very inclusive. Everyone should be welcome, regardless of speed! As long as you can cover 5k there shouldn't be any issue - whether you walk or run is dependent on how you feel on any given day.

    If you need any reassurance I'd suggest contacting the local event team by e-mail (it's always on the home page of the event) and I'm sure you'll get a welcome response. image

  • ML84ML84 ✭✭✭
    Is it not called ParkRUN for a reason? Running at least some of it should be the idea.
  • some people who "walk" in races are actually putting in a lot more effort than they would walking around a park looking at the scenery.  

    Go for it Kate you'll be fine.

  • Hi Kate!

    I completed my 4th local park run this morning with some walk and some run.  But I guarantee you there are sprinters, runners, joggers and walkers, there are buggies, dogs, tiny tots, teenagers, middle aged and older aged, there are skinny minis and larger than life.  The are organised completely by volunteers and pride themselves on being their for anyone to get up and be active no matter how fast or slow.  

    As Kattef said you do get a great response from those who have finished before you, there is definitely a sense of team even though you don't know the people.  They will get to know you and will cheer you on each week, they will notice your improvements, give you advice and help you on days when it is tough.

    Obviously I cant speak for other park runs only mine (Panshanger) but it has made an amazing difference to my running.

    If you would like to read some of my stories have a look at my blog, it isn't too long as I only started it a few weeks back, but I am doing London Marathon in April and am writing about (hopefully) completing it from 0 fitness and being overweight.

    If you read the 'about me' page you will see in the 2 years previous to starting the blog I had run (loosest term) on and off giving up many times, I eat too much junk food and love my Friday night wine!!

    Always remember one thing, if you are out whether walking or running you are already beating all of those laying in bed!  Good Luck hun and keep us informed of your progress.image


  • Elle, maybe you should take Friday nights off and make it Saturday night wine...?

  • So, the question is.. did you go? Did you have a good time?

  • I personally think folk should try and run a bit, but walking around it is fine as I presume they would be ultimately trying to build up to running the whole thing at some point in the future.

    Otherwise it's either a social thing, or just a bit bizarre tbh. As in you could just walk 45 mins from your own house..
  • I didn't go - I wasn't free yesterday. However, the results are now up and the slowest finishing time was 52 minutes - I think I could easily do it inside that even if I walked the entire way (which I don't plan to), so I will definitely give it a go.

    I ran half a 5k yesterday, which took me 17 minutes, so I would hope for a 35 minute time once I get up to running 5k and to then improve on that.

    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement - I'll come back when I've done it and update

  • Awwh, shame image

    At least you sound pretty confident about it, so it shouldn't be problematic. Just introduce yourself to the volunteers in the high viz vests when you turn up, tell them that you're a first timer, and they'll make sure that you know everything and are happy with it.

    (..and don't forget your barcode!)

  • The slowest person at our parkrun takes about 50mins, she jogs most of the way - I know that to those of us who have sub 30 times this sounds very slow, but if you see her finish you understand that she's giving it everything and we're quite happy for her to take that time.

    If she was strolling round chatting and not putting any effort in it would be unfair on the volunteers who'd be hanging round (in the cold) to wait for her, but as it is she's more knackered than the 16 min lads.

    If you can do 17min 2.5k you'll be fine; many parkrun courses are multiple laps, if you aren't up to doing 5k to start with you can just do 1 or 2 laps to start with (but don't cross the finish line please!)  and build up. 

  • Go for it, my wife does the parkrun with my 8 yr old son and they complete it in around 40 mins by jogging and walking.

    You've only got your own time to beat, it's fun and I'm sure you'll get lots of support. 

  • Well, I went and did it this morning. The weather was just right, not too cold with a bit of a breeze. I ran the whole way except for two 30 second walk breaks and finished in about 35 minutes. My 11year old daughter has decided she will do it next time as well.

    I thought it was great. Really enjoyed the atmosphere and the encouragement from everyone. I'll be back as soon as I can. 

    Now to get under 30 minutes! I've done it before so I can do it again

  • Official time is 34.35. I'm well pleased to have managed under 35 minutes

  • Fantastic- you took the plunge, and it sounds like it was fun. You'll be getting around without those tiny walk breaks in no time at all, too.

    Well done, another new victim of the parkrun conspiracy image

  • Well done I was still in bed when you finished image


  • ...and there you were worrying if you'd be too slow, why were you ever worried about it image Well done!

    The good thing about starting off at 30+ is you have a sensible target to go for. If you'd done 29:59 then 24:59 is quite a challenge, whereas 29:59 from 34:xx isn't a doddle, but is reasonably achievable with a bit of application/practice.

  • Can't wait to do it again now. Unfortunately, I can't do it for the next two weeks as my husband's working and I have to look after the kids. My 11 year old would manage it, but there's no way the younger two would (and they're too big for buggie). 

    I'm definitely intending to run the whole thing next time though. 

  • Well done Kate for taking the plunge. Good for you. Now you have three weeks to train for the next one. image

  • asitisasitis ✭✭✭

    Jesus, This is going a tad to far. No disabilities to overcome. A grown woman run/walking 3.1 miles for exercise. Excellent.

    Be careful of the rain lovely.

  • I see you are in the true Halloween mood asitis....scared for your soul tomorrow

  • asitisasitis ✭✭✭

    Well I have had my fare share of life's obstacles to overcome, so I guess I just cannot help myself.

    There is giving encouragement and there is this.

  • So you have a problem with people you don't know giving other people you don't know encouragement for exercising?


    The internet is full of weirdos.image

  • asitisasitis ✭✭✭

    Don't know, Do know. What difference does that make ?

    If you know something I don't then tell me. We are all entitled to make comments based on what we have read. Otherwise, what's the point. ?

    Read my first post again. For the moment, that is what we know.

    This encouragement for exercising malarkey. I think there is a line to be drawn between encouragement and molly cuddling.

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