Park Run is a 5 km run that takes place once a week literately all over the world. Everyone is welcome to join in, and it is always free with numerous sponsors who support healthy living and family recreation with its core values and results. Park Run is one of those events that can unite both those who are running for the fun of it and those who are training as professional Olympians, those without running experience and the pros, as well as those who are running for therapy and for health reasons.
How people join park runs and other similar events
Since every known park run event and other related ones are free, it is relatively easy to get into one. Most of the registration can be done online and at local points of entry on the days of the run. It is also quite easy to register for someone else. Some events are even made simple as members of the same family can register together for special events for spouses, for dads and daughters, dads and sons, etc.
It is important not to barge into a park running event without prior registration to avoid embarrassment and confusion; you will do well by making sure you have adequate facts about the event you want to participate in.
Make sure you are certain of the event you are registering for, and you should have a proof of registration, so you have something to present to the organisers. Do not register for a park run more than once, so you will not end up confusing the organisers.
The benefits of running in the park
Boosting health for non-runners
Park running has become one of the best ways to boost your health especially if you are running for health reasons or just to stay fit. You find yourself in a community with people just like you who are looking to improve their health by running; the company is always good.
Encouragement for the aspiring athletes
If you are one that sees a future in professional athletics, your career may just receive a boost from the encouragement and support of a community of pros and well-wishers. Park running is also one of the ways you can expand your fan base and raise funds for your running career if you need them.
The elderly gets a helping hand
If you are advancing in age, park running is one place to keep fit and to get a support community to hold you accountable to that. If you are looking to help those who are elderly, this is a perfect place to be, and you will see how much your assistance can go a long way to light up their weekend.
Improves psychological well-being
Group running is one of the best ways to improve your emotions after a tough week. You will be surprised at the mental and emotional progress you will be able to make when you can forget the stress of life and sweat out some of the frustrations with a support group.
Your group and even make it better by providing tokens and memoirs for marking your progress as you journey with the park over the years; this is one way of creating a sense of value and accomplishment for people in the pack team.
Running with family and friends for motivation
They could slow you down, they may distort your music, and they will eat up your snacks, there is still nothing as impressive as running with family. You will be surprised at the kind of peace and harmony that family running provides.
I love running with people, but family is still the best to run with. Not only will you be able to account for the health and fitness of family members, but you will also be able to keep track of their activities within that timeframe. This is vital for parents and guardians who would like to know what their younger ones are doing.
Running with family also provides the time to bond and just be there for each other as a family. It is another way of spending time with your estranged teenager and your “out-of-reach” dad.
Above all, they provide that extra motivation you need to improve your timing and to be able to finish the race. They keep urging you on, and they even drag you along if that is necessary. Personally, I never fail to finish a race when my family is around.
Being safe running in the park
Safety first, please. This is very important to have an excellent experience running in the park. Though it is pretty safe, you need to make sure you complement it by being deliberate about your safety while running. Here are a few tips that can help:
Stay with the running pack when you can: Make sure you are never far from your team or marshals while you are running; the park may be a bit deserted when the team is moving, try as much as possible to keep pace with any of the groups.
Do not get snacks when the pack is still going: This is one of the common mistakes made by pack runners, wait till it is snack time before you go looking for something to eat. If you get hungry easily, I suggest you come with your lunch pack and keep it in your knapsack as you run.
Side step to stop or slow down: If you need to stop or slow down for any reason, it is wise to step aside before you do that. If you stop suddenly, the runner behind you may bump into you, and then you will be the cause of a big accident. This is very important for your safety and that of the entire team.
Be vigilant: I know running should be relaxed and casual, but to be safe, you need to stay alert at all times. This is important because your safety does not only depend on you, you need to be on the lookout for other runners that may pose a danger to you especially when they are not fit enough for the run, and they fall and make you fall too. Keep your eyes open and your senses keen.
Don’t go too hard: There is no need trying to be James Bond or Tom Cruise, make sure you are going at you own pace and you are applying just a bit of pressure on yourself. You do not want to turn into a medical emergency right there in the pack, so do not try to win or be on time, by all means, you could regret it.
Stay fit: I would personally recommend that you try to stay healthy if you want to be involved in the park running. It will help you to avoid the strains, sprains, and stretches that are not necessary.
What to wear
You do not need to panic or sweat about what to wear for a park run. Most of the people coming for the event do not know each other, and the variety is so wide that you are likely going to see the good, the bad and the ugly kind of wears. However, the first rule for park running is to dress comfortably and avoid anything that can cause any form of injuries to you or to the people you will be running with. Just make sure you have a good pair of running shoes that are rugged enough for the terrain, with that, I think you are good to go.
Bring a drink
You need to have a drink with you, that is basic. You should never go for a 5 km race without a bottle to re hydrate yourself when you need it because you surely will. For most people, I recommend that you come with just drinking water, but you can decide to drink something that will supply a bit of energy and support for your race.
Make sure you do not drink too much liquid while running; it may end up making you heavy and unfit to finish the race. Also, avoid the temptation to gulp your drink because you are thirsty; you may end up on the sidelines if you drink too much at a time. Take few sips once in a while so you do not get too thirsty and you should be okay.
If you want to take your running to the next level, then pack running may just be the perfect lift you have been waiting for. You will enjoy a swell time running in the park. As a proof of how wonderful it is, park running has grown in prominence over the years and parks all over the world are now organising runs every single weekend. Get to your local park and get all the information you need or go online for the next weekend, don’t be left out… Ever again.
Where is your local park run even leave me a comment below.