How to beat your Parkrun personal best

Use these top tips to help go the extra mile and beat your personal best this weekend
Picture: Parkrun at Crammond, TSPLPicture: Parkrun at Crammond, TSPL
Picture: Parkrun at Crammond, TSPL

Parkrun has grown to become an extremely popular way to spend a Saturday, and is available in most parks across Britain. For those that don’t know, Parkrun is a free, timed 5k that is open to all abilities, ages and fitness levels.

Whether you are starting out running, training for something much bigger such as a marathon, or you just want to run off Friday night’s excess, then a Parkrun is a great way to do this.

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Be warned, it can be addictive! Trying to beat your personal best sees many a runner return every week. But what are the top tips to do so?

Ben Smith is a personal trainer at Gym64, and says:“There are lots of different ways in which to improve your Parkrun time and different things will work for different people. And that’s why Parkrun is so much fun - it’s for everyone, all ages, shapes, sizes and most importantly for all finishing times.

It’s hard to say what will work for everyone, but here are some good, general tips to follow:

Tip 1

Get a good night’s sleep, fuel up for breakfast and have a good warm-up before the run starts.

Okay, that’s three tips but they do all roll into one. If you get all them done before your run you will be rested, full of energy, mobilised and ready to run at your best.

Tip 2

Have a good training plan throughout the week

Just turning up on a Saturday morning for the run without doing any training during the week is unlikely to improve your time. Try and plan a couple of jogs during the week (they don’t have to be 5k) and if you can mix in some weights and interval training into your programme this will make a massive difference over time. Faster and fitter is what you should be aiming for.

Tip 3


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Consistency is a main key to improving your Parkrun time. Getting your body used to running the 5k, week in and week out, both in your training plan and in the run itself, will slowly but surely improve your time.