parkrun is all about the taking part, and running quicker is not really the priority. But of course, you get a time, and many people do enjoy trying to get quicker and get a parkrun PB. Here’s a few small bits of advice for anyone who wants to get quicker!
1. Run More
Virtually everyone can benefit from very simply, running more! If you run once a week, try and make that twice. If you run twice a week, see if you make your weekly runs a little longer, or see if you can go up to three times. And so on.
Like so many things these days, there are plenty of people trying to tell you that a shortcut exists, that there’s a magic bullet to getting fast which they can help you with (of course, at a price). Whilst things like new kit, ‘running technique’ or the latest nutrition are fun to try out, the reality is that the number one way of running faster for most people is simple – just run more! Build things up incrementally – increasing too much in one go makes it easier to get injured.
2. Join a running club
Most running clubs are pretty friendly places, catering for a broad range of abilities. Running is often easier in a group – time passes by quickly when you’re running with others, with your mind taken off what you are doing. You get the chance to meet other fellow runners and learn from their experience and advice. And it’s fun to be social and part of a group where people are encouraging and supportive. Choose a club that is welcoming and positive and feels right for you.
3. Vary your training
It’s pretty common that people run the same loop at the same pace each time they go out for a run. Often that’s at a pretty hard pace, so people feel exhausted (mentally as well as physically) after every run. That’s great for keeping fit, but to get quicker, a good idea is to make some of your runs a bit slower, easier and a little longer, and to make some others, a bit faster, harder and a bit shorter!
4. Be consistent
Running rewards consistency. Much better to put together a string of weeks where you run consistently than to train hard sometimes, but then have long periods where you don’t do anything. Build your runs into your routines, so maybe there’s a regular time when you can go out for a run. And remember, you never feel bad after a run! Just get out of the door and start running for a few minutes and you will get into it.
5. Run parkrun!
Parkrun puts together all the ingredients for helping you to improve your running and run faster. You run with others – it’s always good to have company to help you push you on when the going gets tough. It’s a regular event (see point 3 – consistency!) so you can go back and keep trying to beat your time whenever you want to. And of course it’s free – if you have to miss a week due to injury or illness, you haven’t thrown lots of money away. There’s no pressure about parkrun – you’re only ever competing with yourself (and then only if you want to).
Good luck, and we hope you get a PB next time!
(Editors Note: This article was written by our friends in parkrun Australia, but is valid the world over!) One of the key principles of parkrun is to keep it simple. We love that it doesn’t take much to take part in parkrun. One requirement we do ask is for you to bring along a…
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