Parkrun is a marmite opportunity for a lot of people: they either love it or hate it. Personally, I have encountered way more people who adore attending on a regular basis than those who detest the event so why not try Parkrun this week.

It is a timed 5k event, free to participate in, and held in many locations across the UK and elsewhere in the world. During non-pandemic times, it happens every Saturday at 9am (Sundays for juniors).

running people on a road

Here are five reasons why you should consider trying Parkrun this week.

It’s suitable for all

No one is too fast or too slow at Parkrun; it truly is an inclusive event. For plodders or those who prefer to walk, there will still be people offering words of encouragement and claps as they enter the finishing funnel.

Encountering such friendliness can really motivate people to continue trying to improve their running. Likewise, for those quicker runners and the juniors amongst the pack, there are always spectators along the route, spurring them on.

It’s a timed event

As you approach the finishing funnel, you’ll notice a swarm of volunteers armed with stopwatches and a large number of tokens. As soon as you cross the line, they will ensure that you receive a token that corresponds to your finishing time. You take this along with your barcode (register beforehand, print and laminate your personal barcode), and a volunteer will scan both.

Just a few hours later, another volunteer will post all of the results on the Parkrun website. You can sign up to get a text containing your time as well as an email. Knowing that it is a timed 5k event means that you constantly compete against yourself to better your time.

Track your exercise

If you track your exercise then it can help you stay motivated and exercise more regularly. Sign up below for my free download to track your exercise and keep going.

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Variety of locations

Although you will have your home Parkrun (the one you attend the most), it is possible to go anywhere else to take part in an event – just #DFYB (don’t forget your barcode)!

Many running enthusiasts choose to pack their fitness gear when they go away on holiday, seeking out the nearest location to attend while they are there. You have no excuse, try Parkrun this week!

Some people even attempt to complete the infamous Parkrun A to Z.

It’s free!

Hearing the previous three points, you’re probably thinking that it sounds like an amazing event (it is) and wondering how on earth it can be free.

Volunteers give up their precious time to support this grassroots sport, started by Paul Hinton-Sewitt in London in 2004. It has grown exponentially, yet still maintains its close-knit community feel.

The fact that it’s free ensures that it is more accessible than many other running events.

It’s social

The opportunity to meet other like-minded people is a bonus to attending this event. While it’s ok to just get your head down and run, before the run director’s briefing, it can be lovely to chat with others.

Taking a friend along can make the occasion a lot less daunting, but you are guaranteed to receive a warm welcome from all the volunteers whether you attend alone or with others.

Have you tried a Parkrun event in the past? Which one is your favourite? We have a lovely one at Brierley Forest, not far from us. Why not take a look, could you try Parkrun this week?

Do you need some help to start exercising?

Sometimes those first steps are all you need to get moving and exercise as a new habit. These tips and tricks will get you moving and you will soon forget you didn’t like exercise!

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If you like funky leggings then you should definitely consider Locket Loves, they are so comfortable and go up to size 26. If you use my referral then you can get £5 off and I get some money to spend on more leggings too! I practically live in them now so a new pair will never go amiss!

Other running articles you may find helpful

How to prepare for a marathon in 6 months

Running for weight loss

Exercise calorie calculator to work out how many calories you burn

Are you working out and gaining weight instead of losing it?

5 top tips for beginner runners so they can succeed

The best high weight capacity treadmills

Running workouts for weight loss

10 tips when you want to start running

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