How To Get a Parkrun PB

Parkrun is an excellent way to monitor how fit you are as it’s  a free, weekly, timed run. I use it as a barometer of my fitness; each week I do it, I try to beat my personal best time although this doesn’t always happen! When I first did Parkrun on the 14th Jan 2012, I finished in 22:18. My aim at this time was to run it in under 20 minutes. At this point I wasn’t doing much running, perhaps the occasional Parkrun and and a mid week jog, but in July 2012 we sold our house and had to move in with my parents for a couple of months. I started going along to their running club once a week and went out a couple of evenings after work. I also resolved to do at least one ‘long’ (10miles/70-90mins) run every Sunday. After this summer, I continued with Parkrun and was over the moon to run it in 19:59 at the end of Sept 2012!

Me in a Parkrun in April 2014

Well, then of course I set my sights on going under 19 minutes! This was going to take a bit more than the occasional jog and long run and it was at this point that I learned about speed work and first read the mantra, ‘if you want to run faster, you have to run faster. So in September 2013 I started going to speed sessions with a club at the local athletics track. this involved workouts like 12x400m or 6×800, or mixtures of fast paced 400s, 800s and 1000s. All run at faster than 5k pace, with short rests in between. These speed sessions, combined with weekly hill repeats, easy 10ks, long runs and regular races (from 5k to half marathon) saw me hit 18:55 in November 2013. Then I figured it was just a case of consistency, so I continued with the same program of running into 2014 and wavered at the 19 minute mark – sometimes going just under, sometimes just over. But patience is a virtue in running and good things come to those who train and wait… It takes a while for your body to make all the adjustments it needs to, to run at these faster paces. Better capillary networks, increased muscle fibres, increased heart and lung efficiency and, perhaps most important of all confidence in your own body and ability.

So having gone under 19 minutes in November 2013, a year later I’m still trying for under 18 minutes. I ran dead on 18:00 this Saturday, frustratingly one second away from my aim but very close! When I do, I’m sure the next target will be under 17 minutes, however the faster you get, the harder it is to slice those seconds off! But, as Westlife famously sang… ‘that’s myyyy goal’ ; )

View my entire Parkrun history here

View all of my race history here

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One thought on “How To Get a Parkrun PB

  1. Pingback: Training: Sunday Long(ish) Run | Training a Runner

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