Hackney GoodGym go to Parkrun

Hackney Marsh ParkRun

Hackney Marsh ParkRun

It was a crisp but beautiful Winter morning which was for the setting of my latest Hackney Marsh ParkRun. I had only previously ran one ParkRun 7 weeks earlier and recorded a time of 22:12. This week I cycled along to the race with a bunch of friends from Hackney GoodGym (Aimee, Lauren, Phil and Shaun).

Running has been great for expanding my social circle and I have found the organisers/volunteers of all of the races I attend brilliant and friendly. It really is a great way to get to know people living active healthy lives in your area.

I was definitely attending this weeks race expecting to run a PB. I decided that my tactics would be to start fast and hang in there. I haven’t really been running 5K’s in the past 6 weeks with training being more geared towards the 10K races of the previous couple of weeks and my upcoming half marathon. Therefore I wasn’t confident of being able to consistently put down 7 minute miles.

ParkRun Splits

ParkRun Splits

The pace at the start of the race was blistering I wasn’t surprised when I peaked at my Garmin to see my 1 mile split was 6:30. The cold air was tearing through my lungs and my legs felt heavy; the fear had set in at this point. All sorts of crazy notions flashed into my head, including getting overtaken by everyone and dropping out. Race confidence is definitely something I need to work on.

Anyway that didn’t happen and despite a slight dropping in my pace I was still able to put in some fairly decent miles and end up with a PB of 21:04 with a placing on 17th and knocking 1:08 off my previous 5K PB. I finished with a strong sprint going past two other runners and was slightly aggrieved to not have gone under 21:00 minutes but I am confident of doing this in the not too distant future.

ParkRun results

My GoodGym friends and I had a fun time and I think ParkRuns are going to become a more regular fixture in our running diaries.

Lauren (on the right) goes head to head with another runner

Lauren (on the right) goes head to head with another runner

Afterwards Aimee and I went for breakfast, I had some tasty avocado on sourdough bread and decaff coffee. All in all it was the perfect way to start the day.

Aimee gliding along

Aimee gliding along

Did you run a ParkRun this weekend? If so, how did you get on? Leave your comments below.

Until the next time…

Damien x


My first Parkrun

Damien and Kasia post run

Well I didn’t finish in the top 10 but I thoroughly enjoyed my first Hackney Marshes Parkrun this morning. I went along with my friend Kasia and for some reason I was a bag of nerves. So much so that I got a stitch during the 30 minute walk to the park, not ideal to say the least. But once at the run my nerves evaporated the volunteers were super friendly and I bumped into an old colleague Adele who was also running her first Parkrun.

Again I didn’t have a watch to monitor my pace but used RunKeeper without headphones, so throughout I didn’t have an idea how fast I was running. I knew that I was pushing myself so I guessed my time would be reasonable. I started off really strongly in the lead group and settled down into a nice consistent pace.

But today I just seemed to have one gear, throughout the race about 6 people went past me they obviously nailed the negative splits. Which is something I definitely need to work on. I suppose I am just afraid I will not be able to accelerate when the time comes. Does anyone else worry about this? And if so what is the secret to overcoming it? Racing is a new experience to me and I am definitely running with the fear of burning out at the moment. With how far to go should I be sprinting to the finish? 500 metres?

Despite this I was happy with my result. I came in 18th place overall (2nd in the 25-29 age range) with a time of 22:12 which was a race PB. My friend Kasia who is also vegan and has an amazing new food blog called The Pink Vegan ran her PB with a great time of 26:46.

Parkrun time

Before we left Kasia made banana, nectarine smoothies which were delicious and a perfect pre running snack. I would love to hear your pre race smoothies recipes.

Did anyone else take part in Parkrun this weekend? If so how did you get on?

Damien not in the actual race