News - 14th January 2021

Taking small steps forward


It’s week two of The parkrun Resolution and it’s all about taking small steps forward. We’re here for you. Read on for this week’s top tips and don’t forget to celebrate what you’ve done so far.


Often the hardest thing to do is start: to start something new, make a change, do something differently. You’ve hopefully made the most important step of setting your #parkrunresolution for 2021 and have even taken your first small steps towards making that resolution come true.


Please let us know what you have chosen as your #parkrunresolution, and whether you are connecting with others for that little bit of support and encouragement. Have you found it easy, or have there been some mental or physical battles to overcome? We would love to hear about your goal and your journey, so please do share your stories with us using #parkrunresolution.


From the wonderful messages we have already received, we know that many of you are aspiring to walk, jog or run a 5k. But some of you have also told us about the challenges you’ve faced during the first week. Whether that be finding the time to be a little bit more active, wondering what to wear, fearing failure, worrying about what people will think: a journey towards a goal is rarely smooth. There will be highs and lows, ups and downs, times when we have a little more confidence and days when we are riddled with self-doubt. This is totally normal, and understandable.


Whilst there is no quick fix, here are a few things that might help you overcome any little bumps in the road:


  • It is often really handy to be able to have people to lean on who can support and motivate you, so perhaps you can think about who that person or group of people might be. Or offer to be that supportive shoulder for someone else. Sharing the journey can help with accountability too, in that it gives you someone to report back to and might make you a little bit more likely to stick to a plan.
  • If you are doing some form of exercise, have any kit you need ready and accessible, to minimise any prep time before you start (which can often lead to procrastination in getting out of the door!).
  • Maybe you could download some uplifting, energising music to listen to before or during a walk or a run – or even choose to dance to that music as a way of injecting some movement into your day. We promise not to tell anyone what your choice of tune might be!
  • It can be useful to read true stories or watch videos about those who have overcome adversity and gone on to achieve their goals. It’s easy to think that we are the only ones experiencing challenges, but the truth is that everyone, no matter who they are, has encountered setbacks. You are not alone.
  • Have a look at your weekly schedule and try to identify one/two slots where you might regularly have a little time to dedicate to you and your goal, even if it is just a few minutes  – something is always better than nothing. Having a plan, and one that you are likely to stick to, can help to provide structure and help make implementing small changes a little easier. If your goal is to walk a 5k, and you would like a little guidance, there is our parkwalk: Strive for Five programme to support you through the 8 weeks. You could always use the C25K plan if you would prefer to run.


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If you are looking for some other tips for how to improve your own mental health, then maybe take a look at this blog by Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Jen Unwin and Dr Simon Tobin, an NHS GP.


We know that social connection and strong, trusting and supportive relationships are such an important part of nurturing our mental health – especially when we are feeling a bit low, or having doubts. Yet, at the moment we are faced with a situation where social distancing makes connecting with others so much harder than normal. At these challenging times, we would love to encourage parkrunners around the world to reach out to those in their community, either in person or virtually, and offer a bit of support in helping people progress towards their #parkrunresolution goal.  It might be as simple as a phone call or text message or an offer to join a friend or family member on a daily walk. A little gesture can really make a difference.


At the start of week two of the #parkrunresolution, remember that taking small steps every day might not seem like much but when you look back you’ll see how far you’ve already come.


You can do this.




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