Saturday, 14 September 2013

My first year running

My first year running, by Stuart McNair

Today is the anniversary (well its actually tomorrow date wise) of us starting to run, a year doesn’t seem that long ago but considering what we’ve done, the new friends we’ve made and the changes in both lifestyle and fitness for us both it has turned into one of the best decisions we’ve made.

Click here to read the rest of Stuart's blog post.

Friday, 13 September 2013

My tip for a parkrun PB tomorrow

This time of year is perfect for going for parkrun PBs in the UK. It's significantly cooler than it was just a few weeks ago and cooler weather allows you to push yourself a bit more without overheating as much.

This is a little tip to help you try to get a PB at parkrun tomorrow.

I have to admit that I won't be using this tip myself tomorrow, as my parkrun PB isn't within my current capabilities, but if you have been running within 30 seconds of your own parkrun PB on recent weekends, then this tip could make the difference for you. Whether you run towards the front, middle or back of the pack t parkrun, as long as there is someone quicker than you, then this simple approach could work for you.

It worked for me when I got my most recent PB. It also worked for a club mate of mine when I suggested he try it a few weeks ago.

The tip:
- If you regularly run at the same parkrun event you will probably recognise quite a few of the regular faces.
- Some of those people will be the ones that tend to beat you by 30 seconds to a minute every single week.
- The idea here is to focus purely on one of those people that you know will beat your current PB.
- Don't be too ambitious, just pick someone you know will beat your PB by 30 seconds to a minute.
- Don't worry about anything else other than sticking on the shoulder of that person for as long as possible.
- If you find that they are going too fast or too slow for your target early on (they may be trying this same technique with someone slightly faster themselves), take a look around and try to find someone else that fits your criteria and try to focus on them instead.
- You now just have to stay with them until at least half way. How hard can that be? The longer you can stay with them the better.
- Remember, you aren't likely to beat your PB by a minute, so expect that sometime in the second half that the person will start to get away from you. Just try to minimise how far they get away - keep them in sight for sure, but try to recover a little bit, saving something for a fast finish.
- When you get within the last 300 metres or so, give it everything you have left. That last minute or so can make all the difference in getting a PB. Try your best to catch up with the person you had been following, but don't expect to catch them. Tell yourself that it is only one more minute of breathlessness and a PB is well worth that discomfort.

I really hope it works for some of you. If it works for you then please do let me know through the parkrunfans blog page on Facebook, or by tweeting me (@parkrunfan).

And if it doesn't work, don't worry. One of the great things about parkrun is that there is always next week.

Good luck if you are trying to get a PB at parkrun tomorrow, but most of all enjoy trying and enjoy your parkrun.

Happy parkrunning.

*** DISCLAIMER - I don't claim to be a running expert, I'm just a parkrunner like you ***
*** If it works for just one of you, I may start to claim to be an expert! ***

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Boom! - Sheffield crashes through 700 runners.

7th September 2013
Concord         =    90
Graves           =  107
Hillsborough =    65
Sheff Castle   =   31
Sheff Hallam = 488

Total             = 781

The two Rotherham parkruns were cancelled and there was a smack down at Concord giving them a new attendance record. It'll be some time before we get near it again. The new parkruns in the area have done nothing to take the pressure off Hallam who just remain outside the 500 club - for now 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Double bubble

It has been a while since I wrote (harped on) about the parkrun doubling effect, so now must be about time.

On a few occasions in the past on this blog I have written about how parkrun seems to roughly double in size (based on various criteria) every year. Well there is good recent evidence that this growth rate is still continuing.

Roughly 9 months ago I wrote a blog post about "parkrun world domination in your lifetime". Have a quick read of that post if you have the time, as it does show that expecting parkrun to keep doubling in size forever is simply not possible  (just like story of the grains of wheat on a cheeseboard did for some king whom I can't remember the name of). This growth cannot go on forever, that is unless someone uses parkrun to spread friendships beyond this planet.

I have had a quick look at recent attendances, and the equivalent date last year, and have found that for this period of the year at least attendances are still doubling in attendance numbers.

2012 2013
Date Attendance Date Attendance Growth
18th August 21,877 17th August 42,694 95%
25th August 20,113 24th August 39,042 94%
1st September 21,187 31st August 44,351 109%
8th September 24,408 7th September 44,226 82%

Firstly, of course, I must say that this is a very small sample to base statistics on. And secondly, it demonstrates that there is significant fluctuation in the figures each week of each year.

However, it certainly shows that, give or take some fluctuation, the number of people running a parkrun each week this year (over the last 4 parkrundays at least) is pretty much double the number of last year.

To make this coming parkrunday double up on the same weekend last year we need to get 47,034 of us to complete a parkrun. Let's see if we can manage that!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

parkrun stats of the week...7th September 2013

The parkrun statistics of note for last weekend are:
- 290 parkrun events run (Equalling the record set the previous week)
- 44,226 runners (just 125 short of the record)
- Over 400,000 different people have now run and completed at least 1 parkrun event

The average number of runners per parkrun event run was: 152.5.

39 parkrun events recorded new record attendances last weekend, as follows:

Record Attendance  
Abingdon 194
Castle Demense 106
Chelmsford Central 271
Concord 90
Delta 322
Ebotse 173
Gdansk 200
Greenpoint 169
Lake Mac 236
Lódz 186
Logan River 151
Maidstone 186
Modderfontein Reserve 266
Northampton 247
Oak Hill 98
PE Hobie Beach 289
Porirua 95
Porthcawl 166
Poznan 170
Roodepoort 129
Root 44 147
Rushcliffe 151
Shongweni 164
Skipton 194
South Bank 392
Southwark 150
St Albans 297
Swindon 374
Szczecinek 70
Valentines 207
Wanstead Flats 118
Warszawa-Praga 126
Warwick 98
Whitstable 182
Wimbledon Common 416
Wolverhampton 135
Woodlands 140
Worcester 307
Yeovil Montacute 152

The longest standing parkrun attendance record is:
Record Attendance  Record Week  
Amager Faelled14628/08/2010

And in the UK it's:

Hackney Marshes7521/05/2011

The highest attendance this week was exactly 1000 at Bushy parkrun.

The lowest attendance this week was just 2 at Summerfields parkrun. 

A quick update on the record attendances of all parkrun events:

There are now 11 parkrun events with a record attendance over 500, with Blackbutt and Edinburgh parkruns having broken into the club during August.

A further 20 parkrun events have a record attendance over 400. And a further 17 over 300.
116 different parkrunners ran under 17 minutes this week. 9 of those ran under 16 minutes!

The fastest parkrun time in the world this week was 15:27 by Joshua Grace at Frimley Lodge parkrun.