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Why I #loveparkrun

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Why I #loveparkrun

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An introduction to parkrun (parkrun.org.uk). How I got into parkrun and running, what I love about the volunteer-run parkruns, and how to start parkrunning yourself.

Presented at the OggCamp15 unconference at Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, UK. 31st October 2015 (oggcamp.org)

The parkrun graphics are the phone wallpapers available from the parkrun website (http://www.parkrun.com/wallpapers/). The photos are all mine.

An introduction to parkrun (parkrun.org.uk). How I got into parkrun and running, what I love about the volunteer-run parkruns, and how to start parkrunning yourself.

Presented at the OggCamp15 unconference at Liverpool John Moores University in Liverpool, UK. 31st October 2015 (oggcamp.org)

The parkrun graphics are the phone wallpapers available from the parkrun website (http://www.parkrun.com/wallpapers/). The photos are all mine.

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Why I #loveparkrun

  1. 1. Why I #loveparkrun Laura Cowen | @lauracowen I don't work for parkrun or represent them officially in any way.
  2. 2. What is parkrun? ● Timed 5km run ● Every Saturday ● 9am England/Wales (and many other countries) ● 9.30am in Scotland ● 364 UK parkruns
  3. 3. How I started parkrunning
  4. 4. What I love about parkrun
  5. 5. What I learnt about myself
  6. 6. What I learnt about running
  7. 7. Volunteering at parkrun
  8. 8. How to get involved
  9. 9. #loveparkrun Laura Cowen | @lauracowen
  10. 10. #loveparkrun Laura Cowen | @lauracowen

Editor's Notes

  • Weekly, timed, 5km run.
    Every Saturday at 9am in England/Wales and many other countries, 9.30am in Scotland.
    You take your personal barcode. At the finishing line, you receive a second barcode. Get a txt message and email telling you your time.
    Never on or crossing a road
    Run, not a race.
    756 parkruns worldwide. 364 in UK; the rest are spread across 10 different countries across the world.
    Volunteers run the events
    Started at Bushy Park in London with 13 runners and 4 volunteers
  • I never wanted to run. Had no interest. Not even that keen on exercise except for walking into town.
    Friends posting annoying photos on Facebook of parkrun while I was sleeping.
    Interview with Paul Sinton-Hewitt, founder of parkrun, on the radio last summer.
    17th January (cold, muddy), Winchester parkrun.
    2 wks later, Greenwich parkrun.
    Then Winchester one again most weeks.
    In April, in Raleigh, North Carolina, so we did the local Durham parkrun.
    Man there from Stockport on business in Atlanta - driven through the night
    Sicily with my parents in June - drove 3 hrs to Sicilian parkrun.
    Accepted I was hooked.
  • stats!
    Get to the end without stopping or walking.
    Then collecting parkruns.
    If you get a personal best (PB) time, that's noted too.
    Free t-shirts at 50, 100, 250, 500 parkruns
    18 parkruns and volunteered at 9.
    after first couple of weeks, getting up on a Saturday am not so bad. Friend claims better times when he's a bit hungover. Go back to bed after.
    friendly and sociable - especially if you volunteer
    all ages, men and women, children alongside, children in prams, dogs on leads
    paced by a 60 year old some weeks, then as I got faster, an 11 yr old.
  • I actually enjoy running – that was a surprise
    not crazy marathon distances with all the training that involves but quite like running 5-10k distances
    I love sprinting – main/dessert course tummy
    My body can do amazing things I didn't believe back in January
    6mths - dropped 10 mins from my PB. 8 of those mins were just from parkrun each week. Started at 38'11 in Jan – couldn't imagine under 30' but managed it in July.
    I'm quite determined. Improved my self-confidence. Feel great after a run, even if tired.
    It's calming.
    It's sociable going for run with friends.
    I'm a sucker for gamification
    Strava is a blessing and a curse
  • Build gradually.
    I knew I could run 3 miles/5k very slowly so I just gave it a go. Got faster.
    Getting fitter both physically and mentally. June – started running more.
    Didn't understood that to do a lot of running, you need to be quite fit:
    Muscles you need to be strong when running (eg ankles, calves, quads, glutes) aren't the ones that get stronger by running.
    Making use of strong abdominal muscles and glutes (bum) means have better posture and control over your movement.
    Too much running and not strong enough in July and overstressed shins.
    I'd assumed that it would hurt whilst running but didn't hurt until afterwards.
    So, don't go mad, like I did. But parkrun once a week is a nice distance and it's not a race.
  • Being injured gave me opportunity to get to know the local parkrun volunteers and volunteer myself.
    Volunteer-run; different sized parkruns
    I've marshalled, given out finishing tokens, time-keeping, scanning.
    other roles like pacers, tailrunner (you come last on purpose), photographer, run director (resp for the run that week), event director (resp for the event overall every week).
    25 → free t-shirt
  • Find your nearest parkrun
    get some trainers
    fine to walk if you're worried about fitness
    register - just once - and print barcode
    get up, go, run, #dfyb
    volunteer sometimes if you want - don't have to. Obvs good to.
    Don't worry about other people's times. Only competing against self and only if you want to.
    If you've not run before and feel really unfit, try the Couch to 5k app or the NHS similar Couch to 5k podcasts, or similar.
    #loveparkrun
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