Monday, 31 December 2012

2013 PB targets

My primary running target for 2013 is to improve my PB at all 4 distances that I have existing PBs - 5k, 5 miles, 10k and half marathon - and to set a PB for 10 miles. To give some context I started running some time in 2004 and first entered an event in 2006. [Read more context in my initial parkrunfans contributor post.]

I'm based in Beckenham, Kent and my home parkrun is Dulwich. If anyone has thoughts or suggestions prompted by this post I'd love to hear from you via the comments or twitter @CiceRunner.

5k current PB 19:47 | target 19:30
I have run 13 events to date, all but one of them 2012 parkruns and parkrun will continue to be at the centre of my 5k running. I will be undertaking some, relatively local, parkrun tourism to seek out fast courses and also plan to enter 5k race events partly to vary the psychological tempo and partly again in search of fast courses.

5 miles current PB 33:11 | target 32:10
I have run only 1 event to date setting my PB this year at the beginning of December. In that race my target was 32:30, but due to a watch problem I had no pace or timing information during the race. My 2013 target is heavily influenced by my 10k target since 32:10 requires 6:26 mile pace or 4:00 km pace ...

10k current PB 40:51 | target 39:59
My longest standing running target, dating back to entering my first events in 2006, is to complete a 10k in less than 40 minutes. I have run 16 events to date including 3 in 2012. At the last of these, in November, I recorded 40:54 which thoroughly restored my confidence that I can still aspire to bettering my existing PB - set in 2008 just a few days after my forty third birthday. I plan to improve my PB to approximately 40:30 in the first half of 2013 followed by a sub 40 attempt in the Autumn.

half marathon current PB 1:38:11 | target 1:29:59
My only successful half marathon run in early 2010 resulted in my current PB. Later that year I had to walk the second half of my only other event due to knee problems. My half marathon PB is the weakest of my existing PBs and as such should be easy to improve upon though to achieve my target time will be more difficult. I have entered the Bournemouth Bay Run half marathon on 7 April 2013 - the same event at which I set my current PB.

10 miles current PB <none> | target 1:08:38
My target time is influenced by my half marathon target since both require 6:52 mile pace or 4:16 km pace. I am not yet sure when my first 10 mile race will be, but I hope to find a 10 mile race a suitable interval before the Bournemouth half marathon as part of my HM preparation and to try out the pace required.

Related Factors

I am ending this year at a little over 70kg or 11 stone which is my lowest adult weight. At 5' 10" this equates to a BMI of 22.2 which is certainly healthy and has contributed to a successful running year in 2012. I have spent some time considering my racing weight in the context of the Stillman formula and currently have in mind a minimum of 66kg / 10st 5lbs / BMI 20.8. However I am not planning to primarily pursue weight loss, as I have this year, but rather monitor my weight in tandem with my running training and my diet.

As a runner I've barely varied my diet from what I ate as a non-runner. So far - and this year in particular having returned to running in February at around 80kg / 12 st 8lbs / BMI 25.2 - I have simply been avoiding excess quantity. I am one of a fairly large proportion of the running population who enjoys the side effect that you can "eat what you like" relative to a non-runner. However as I approach my peak PB potential I realise that choosing the quality of my food in terms of health and runner appropriateness will become more critical. In 2013 I will be aiming to become a strong, lean runner rather than simply avoiding being a heavy runner.

Whilst not specific to running I aim to improve my sleep habits in 2013. Neither being the primary carer to my two young daughters nor achieving my running goals are benefited by constantly being in sleep deficit!

I like to think of myself as a 15-20 miles per week runner, but my stats for 2012 make it clear that I've averaged only 10 miles a week for the 10 months I've been running. Even allowing for the initial tapering up on my return in February I know I need to increase my mileage. I aim to be running 25 to 30 miles per week by mid February 2013 in order to have a good base for my 10 mile and half marathon targets.

There are other factors which will affect my PB attempts, but I think these four are central and are certainly the ones that I have clearly defined targets for. Thanks to Ian for his [2013] PB targets and milestones post which prompted, and provided the template for, mine. Good luck Ian!

994.6 miles and counting

Having just seen a flurry of Facebook posts about annual mileage run in 2012 by various friends, I thought I should count up my own mileage. I was expecting it to be in the mid 900's.

I keep a spreadsheet of all my runs, times, distances, trainers used, type of run etc - just to make adding mileage up and various other calculations simple, should such a reason arise.

Looking back, my mileage over the last few years has been:
2009: 403.2
2010: 623.1
2011: 734.6

So the mileage has been building steadily year on year and this year is certainly no different.

After totalling up the miles for 2012, I have found that I am tantalisingly just 5.6 miles short of 1000 miles, having run 994.6 miles in 148 runs.

I haven't run for 10 days now, with various Christmas festivities being used as a good excuse. Plus the dodgy weather. I wasn't planning on running today, but a 5.6 miler sounds just the ticket to finish the year on 1000 miles. Now I just have to find the time to fit my run in.

Next year I will try and up the mileage again, aiming for 1200 miles and 200 runs. I am even toying with the idea of 365 exercise session in the 365 days of 2013. That will include runs and cycling sessions. That may well be my New Years' resolution. That would certainly be a challenge. I would say I have only done around 30 cycling sessions this year, for a total of around 180 training sessions. Trying to double that to 365 next year will be one hell of a tough challenge. Allowing for rest days, that means many days with multiple running and cycling sessions. Should be fun!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

parkrun targets for 2013

Here are my parkrun targets for 2013:

1. Get a new PB (under 17:28) before the end of April.
2. Set a PB of 17:15 or faster by the end of the year.
3. Run 40 parkruns in the year. This would take me to around 130 in total by the end of 2013.
4. Run at Brueton and Leamington parkruns again and set new PBs at each.
5. Run at 2 new parkrun locations.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

PB targets and milestones

My target for 2013 is to get PBs. I want to go for PBs at a range of distances including: 5km, 5 miles, 10km and probably half marathon.

In order to do this I need targets. I need milestones to aim for along the way and I need race targets, time targets and training targets.

So what race targets do I have:

5km:Well it has to be parkrun for 5km. I now regularly run parkrun with my 8 year old son and I give him the choice of when to run. However, I do know that he won't want to run every week. So when he decides not to run, sometime I will have to really go for it. I'd certainly like to achieve a PB before the end of April 2013 (that means beating my current PB of 17:28). And my overall PB target for 2013 is a very optimistic 17:15.
I would also like to get a parkrun PB at Brueton parkrun (currently 17:36) and at Leamington parkrun (currently 21:10).
My milestone targets for parkrun are sub 18 minutes in January, sub 17:50 in February and sub 17:40 in March.
5 miles:My main 5 mile target is the Sphinx Summer 5, which tends to be in June (I believe). This year I ran my 5 mile PB of 30:07 at that same event and next year I want to at least go under 30 minutes, with an ultimate target of 29:00. I would also like to improve my times from this year at all of my club's Summer 5 mile Handicap Series.
10 km:Leamington Spa Regency 10km - Sunday 7th April 2013:My current 10km PB was set at 36:47 at the Regency run in 2012. My aim is to beat that time and set a new PB. I know that this will be tough, so my main aim is a PB, but with 36:00 as my ultimate aim.
Two Castles 10km - Sunday 9th June 2013:
This is a tougher course than the Regency run and being in June it is bound to be hot. I would like to get a course PB (currently 38:27). I think this is achievable but anything more will depend entirely on the conditions on the day.

I am certain I will enter other 10km events in 2013, I am just not sure which ones yet. I'll aim for at least 2 more.

Half Marathon:My main aim is to find a suitable one and to get a PB. My current half marathon PB is 1:33:37 at Coventry Half Marathon in 2009. I am now a far better runner than I was then, so I should find this target relatively easy. My "absolute must" targets are a PB and sub 1:30, but I believe that I should be capable of a time around 1:25, so that is what I will be going for. I am yet to decide on a specific half marathon race target, I am considering one in the spring, but an Autumn Half Marathon such as the Birmingham Half may be more realistic.

Cross-country:I aim to do a couple more cross-country runs early in the new year and then next Autumn/Winter I will aim to improve my time and position at each event.

As far as training goes, I need to have targets in the following areas:

Weight: I know I need to lose a little weight in order to give myself my best chance of a PB. I'm by no means overweight, but racing weight is a little different. I would like to get down to 10 stone 5 lbs by the time I start to go for PBs, so I will aim for that weight by April. It's therefore likely that I will give myself 3 months to lose around 6 pounds (or maybe slightly more after Christmas) at roughly a pound every other week. That allows for a little bit to go on at Christmas, but any more and I'll have to lose it at a faster rate.

I'll aim to be 10 stone 9 lbs by the end of January and 10 stone 7lbs by the end of February.

Distance:I tend to average around 20-25 miles of running a week. I don't believe that this is really enough and I am certain that if I can manage to consistently increase this then I will automatically be in better shape. I have read previously that something like 40 miles a week would be ideal. I am not sure that I can manage to fit that kind of mileage in, so some may be replaced by static cycling. But any increase in mileage would be beneficial. I am going to set my target at 30 miles a week, and try to manage closer to 40 whenever possible.

Time/Speed:I will aim to do interval training at least once a fortnight and regularly achieve: 500m in 1 min 30 secs; 1km in 3 mins 15 secs; 2.5 km in 8 mins 30 secs.

I'll also aim to do my tempo runs at around 6 minute miles to get used to that pace.
Cycling:My target is to do a minimum of 2 static cycling sessions a week, and 3 where possible. I want one of these session to be a short flat out for 20-30 minutes and another to be at least an hour at a comfortable pace.

Hills:I aim to do a hills session at least once a fortnight.

Flexibility:My target here is really to spend time on flexibility. It is hard to gauge how that improves or set targets, but being able to touch my toes again and getting my socks on standing up are all I can really think of to judge how this goes. So they are my targets.

Another general aim of mine is to enter more events in 2013 as it has only been a handful (just 4 official races I think) in 2012.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

parkrun - A Year in Review

This time last year I was new to parkrun. Having been told about it by my nephew I took the brave step of turning up at Coventry one cold late November morning in 2011. I posted about this at the time. My main fear was that parkrun would be full of elite serious athletes and I, middle aged and not fit, would be humiliated at the end, keeping volunteers waiting. How wrong I was. I didn't come last, I did compete the distance and I loved it. I would now consider myself to be a parkrun fan and missionary, taking every opportunity I can to spread the word.

At the start of 2012 I set myself 3 goals. With only a week to go, and a question from Ian on Twitter asking fellow parkrunners how their year has been I replied that I would post my response. So here goes.

The Goals:
1. Run 30 parkruns by the end of the year
2. Volunteer 3 times this year
3. Run a 30 minute something parkrun.

So, how did I do?

1. This Saturday will be my 42nd parkrun. I ran on Christmas Day (and will, by way of paying back volunteer next Christmas day). I am driven to get that 50 T shirt by the second week in February. This means I will be driving to Braunstone on New Years day to get another one in. i have the countdown to 50 written in my diary. I've missed a couple through illness, holidays and other commitments on Saturdays but parkrun has now become a regular part of my weekend. I came last once. It didn't matter. I had fallen over in the garden the previous week and twisted my ankle, knee and hip but undeterred I rang my brother, got to Cannon Hill parkrun and walked it. It took 50 minutes, but it was a lovely morning and it counted towards the 50.

2. I have volunteered 4 times. I marshaled once, on a -8 morning with my teenage son in tow. I bribed him with the promise of a sausage sandwich in the cafe afterwards. I have given numbers out and scanned twice. I  love volunteering. parkrun cannot work without it, yet only a fraction of parkrunners do it. Why?

3. I haven't succeeded in this. I'm down to 32 minutes. I haven't really worked on speed this year, more distance.

2 out of 3 I can live with.

So what about next year? easy, get my 50 T shirt, volunteer 3 times, including at least one role I haven't done yet and, rather than a specific time get my percentage to 50%  or above for my age grade.

Before signing off and pouring the mother of all Gin and Tonics, a massive THANK YOU! to everyone who has volunteered this year. You are the heroes of parkrun.

parkrun...what's the catch?

So parkrun is free....Really?....How can it be free?....What's the catch?

parkrun really is free. There is no catch. Simply register for parkrun and then turn up and run at any parkrun location whenever you like.

You don't have to pay to register and you don't have to pay to run.

The whole point of parkrun is to break down barriers that stop people from running or exercising in general. If it's free, that's another barrier out of the way.

If you feel that you should pay, there are ways to donate to parkrun. This is easy to do, but it is never forced upon you or even mentioned very often. Its completely optional. An money raised is used mostly for any minor running costs at your home parkrun, and partly put towards a fund to start up new parkrun events.

The only other thing that you are asked to contribute is your time. parkrun asks that all runners occasionally give up their run and volunteer from time to time. Volunteering is simple and this just helps to keep parkrun going. There are lots of roles and you will never be made to take on any role hat you are not comfortable with. Most of the time when being a parkrun Marshall it is just pointing the way and clapping the other runners. If all parkrunners do their bit and volunteer occasionally then we all get to enjoy our parkrun every week. parkrun suggests that we all volunteer just three times a year.

So there really is no catch at all. You only give back what you want to.

Go on, make 2013 the year that you get into parkrun!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

A little ditty about parkrun Funnel duckers

Does anybody know what a funnel ducker does?

Funnel duckers are,
A very odd type,
They turn up to their parkrun,
Like any of us might.

They stand abreast the start-line,
Waiting for the "Go!",
Then head off for the distance,
Running fast or slow.

They run the normal route,
And never go astray,
They're happy taking part,
They always know their way.

They speed towards the finish line,
Then cross the line and all is fine,
They have themselves a finish time,
But then they go and leave the line!

The manager of the funnel will say,
"Hey Funnel Ducker, not that way!",
"Will you please rejoin the line?",
"It won't take long, all will be fine".

The Funnel Manager will go on to say,
"Please stay in there and walk that way",
"The numbers person is working through",
"The position tokens just for you".

You see, if Funnel Duckers duck the line,
The results won't always work out fine,
It may seem that this is just a whine,
But someone else may get their time.

So Funnel Duckers, don't spoil the fun,
By all means come and do your run,
Please just stay within the queue,
And all at parkrun will be happy with you.

Merry Christmas to parkrunners everywhere.

Monday, 24 December 2012

5 parkrun targets for 2012 - How did I do?

At the start of the year I set myself a few targets for parkrun in 2012. So how did I get on?

My targets were as follows:

1. Get back under 18:30 before the end of April.Well, I actually managed this by the 25th February, running 18:18 that day. In fact, before the end of April I had run under 18:30 on 7 consecutive runs, also going under 18 minutes on four of those occasions.

2. Get a new PB (under 17:49) before the end of the year. This will be very tough, but what is the point of easy targets?I managed to set a new parkrun PB on two occasions this year, setting it to 17:46 on the 10th March and then improving to my current PB of 17:28 on the 7th April.

3. Run 35 parkruns in the year. This would take me to 85 in total and leave me on target for the 100 club by June 2013!Another one achieved. So far I have managed 39 parkruns this year. Unfortunately it looks as though I will only manage to run on one of the three remaining parkrundays this year. So it still looks highly likely that I will run 40 in the year. I now look likely to reach the 100 mark around the middle of March 2013.

4. Run at 2 new parkrun locations. Brueton for sure and at least one other.And that is exactly what I managed to do. I ran at Brueton and Killerton parkruns.

5. Finish in the top 5 in the Coventry points table.Well I am currently lying in 5th place in the male points table at Coventry parkrun. The points competition runs until early February, so this won't be finalised this year. It looks impossible for me to climb any higher up the table, and if anything I am likely to miss a couple of parkuns and therefore drop down the table a bit. I am also now running parkrun with my son quite regularly and only picking up one point each time in the process. I am therefore no longer thinking about points at all, but I'm in the top 5 at the moment, so I'll say that was also a success.

So totalling up, I'd say that is 5 out of 5 on those targets. A pretty successful year at parkrun!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Santa parkrun fun

Great fun at the Coventry parkrun Santa run yesterday.

The weather may not have been too kind, with heavy rain throughout, but everyone seemed to enjoy it anyway.

There has been so much rain the last few days that we had a 30 metre by 5 metre pond where part of the parkrun course would normally be. A slight detour added a couple of hundred yards to the route.

At the yearly Santa parkrun, I always give myself the challenge of being the first Santa home, which I certainly managed 2 years ago, finishing 2nd overall, and I can't quite remember what happened last year.

The run was made slightly trickier this year as the Santa suit picked up weight as it soaked up the heavy rain, but all Santas were in the same boat. A boat would have been useful actually, as many parts of the route were submerged.

I don't know what the collective noun for a group of Santas is, but I'm going to adopt 'sack'.

I started the run in a 'sack' of about 5 Santas and we ran the altered route together for about the first 4 minutes. It was after this that I broke free from the 'sack' and ran as lead Santa for the rest of the run.

As usual I did manage to secure the first Santa spot in 8th overall, in a time of 19:23, not too bad given the detour, but unfortunately not first fancy dress finisher as a little elf managed to get ahead and stay ahead. The elf just wanted it a bit more than Santa this year!

Now after the run was where the real Santa fun started. A couple of years ago my brother and I started a little tradition of running the local roads in our Santa outfits after parkrun.

The last two years it has been snowing and rain isn't quite the same for festive spirit, or so you would think. As it turned out we go the usual reception of multiple beeps, lights flashed and plenty of waving.

We always remark about how keen the white van men are to wave at male Santas running along the road.

We certainly put a few smiles on faces and had a great time Santa running in the rain. Same time next year Santas!

To be included in my training plan

So I have decided that I want to get PBs in 2013. I have considered this and believe that it is still realistic that I am capable of a PB. I have thought about the factors that influence achieving a PB. I have thought about how to fit training in and not annoy the family.

So now it is time to work out what types of training I need to include.

I'll start with the obvious and work on from there:
1. Running - If running is my target, then it is pretty obvious that running is going to have to be the mainstay of my training. I will need to do long runs,
short runs, fast runs, slow runs, intervals and hill sessions. Finding the right balance of all of these will be key. The sheer quantity of different types of
runs required suggests to me that I either concentrate on different types for periods at a time, or I adopt a 2 week rotation, rather than one week.
2. Cycling - Sometimes this may be proper cycling, but for convenience it will generally be indoor cycling on my static bike.
3. Yoga - On and off over the past 2 years I have used a short yoga routine of 6 different running related exercises, which takes roughly 10-15 minutes
to work through. These exercises are great for strength, balance and flexibility and should I find a way to do them regularly I am certain I will see the
4. Stretching - I have never been very flexible and with age this is only getting worse. Finding a good set of stretches and ensuring that I do them
regularly will help no end.
5. Core strength - This is an area that I have never really concentrated on, so in theory it is an area where I can probably improve most significantly.

So those are the types of training I want to fit in. Now on to the ways that I will use to fit those sessions into my life:
- On occasions in the past I have got up before work and done some time on my static bike. I'll need to do that again.
- I work from home a couple of times a week and will need to continue to use those days to fit in decent lunchtime runs. Often I haven't run on  my
Friday lunchtime at home, saving myself for parkrun on Saturday. But I think this needs to change, apart from before any parkrun that I decide to go
- I probably need to use one of my work from home days for another static cycle session too.
- I must make sure I attend parkrun each week.
- I must also make sure I attend my club training on a Thursday, which I have been hit and miss with over the last few months.
- I should probably also consider the club Monday night core training session and the track session that follows. This hasn't been convenient for me up
to now, but perhaps I should try to attend once a fortnight.
- I also need to find a way to tag stretching, strengthening and some yoga onto the start or end of many of these sessions.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

parkrun Volunteering made simple....Numbers

The Numbers role at parkrun is fairly simple, but does require someone with a steady hand and who is calm under pressure.

The Numbers volunteer can spend the first 15 minutes or so at parkrun simply clapping and encouraging parkunners. The Numbers role really comes into effect when the first runners finish their parkrun and continues until the last person finishes.

The Numbers volunteer will be given all the finish position tokens and it is their role to stand at the end of the finish funnel and hand out the finish position tokens, one each to each and every finisher. This sounds a pretty simple task and it is really, so long as you don't panic and can handle the tokens quickly and effectively.
It will not normally be possible to ensure that the finish position tokens are in the correct order whilst they are being handed out, as there simply isn't time. The Numbers role has to rely on the fact that the tokens have already been placed in the correct order.

The Numbers role is not normally responsible for ensuring that runners remain in the correct finishing order. The Funnel Manager would normally do this. Perhaps only at the smallest of parkrun events, where volunteer numbers do not allow a Funnel Manager, the Numbers role may also be asked to keep an eye on runners changing order.

The basics of handing out the finish position tokens is that every finisher that has done the run under their own steam should get a finish position token. They don't have to have run, they may have walked or hopped and skipped. Children and babies in buggies do not get a finish position but wheelchair users obviously do. The most important aspect of this is that the Timekeeper and Numbers roles must both use the same criteria to decide who gets a time and a token. This will ensure that the finish times and positions stay in sync. The Number Checker will be making constant checks to ensure that if and when the two get out of sync it is spotted as early as possible. Neither the Timekeeper or the Numbers role should ever attempt to correct out of sync problems during the run. This will be resolved during results processing by the Results Administrator.

There are often runners who decide that they do not want to take a finish position token. This can be for any number of reasons, perhaps not having their athlete barcode or not wanting the time after a bad run and many more reasons besides. In such cases, rather than dwelling on the fact, the Numbers role should simply pocket the finish position token and carry on to the next person and token. By pocketing the finish position token, it has been kept safe and will not have put the results out of sync as the finisher will still effectively have been given a finish position. If the Numbers role sees or is told of a runner ducking out of the funnel (Funnel Duckers), then the same process of pocketing the relevant finish position token will help to keep positions in sync.

The trickier aspects of this job are:
- readying batches of finish position tokens whilst also handing out earlier tokens (larger events often have a Numbers Assisstant to prepare batches of tokens for the Numbers role).
- coping with the fiddly tokens on cold days. Unfortunately gloves are not normally the answer, as the tokens become tricky to manipulate when wearing gloves. In the winter you just have to grit your teeth and get on with it. Fingerless gloves could be worth a shot.
- coping with the volume of finishers at the peak finish times. I have heard that at the largest parkrun of all (Bushy Park), there is a 10 minute period where they have close to 1 finisher per second. I'm sure you can imagine that handing out 600 tokens in 10 minutes is no mean feat!). Most parkruns do not see anything like this quantity of finishers, nevertheless there are times where the Numbers role has to work flat-out for a short period of time.

The best thing about this role is that you get to be the first to congratulate every single runner immediately after their run.

Friday, 21 December 2012

parkrun registration stats this week

There is still a little time for new registrations this week, but at the time of writing and compared to the figures in my post this time last week....

Totalling up new registrations across parkrun globally, shows that parkrun has attracted a further 2,661 registrations this week, 130 more than last week.

This takes the total number of global parkrun registrations (according to my official source page on the parkrun website) up to 403,691 (up from 401,030). That is a growth of 0.6% on last week.

As far as I am aware, there are no new parkruns starting this weekend or next, with the next two starting on the 5th January. 

Malahide parkrun continues to be top of the charts in the number of new registrations category, this week adding yet another 57 new registrants so far. That is now seven weeks (including before their first event) in a row that Malahide parkrun has added the most new registrations. But the table below shows that they aren't far out in front now. Amazing growth though still at Malahide parkrun.

parkrun events showing notable growth in registrations this week are:
Event   Total   This week   
Malahide parkrun142957
Claisebrook Cove parkrun58450
New Farm parkrun418649
Newy parkrun200747
Nahoon Point parkrun175236
Bushy parkrun2102535
Conkers parkrun, N.W.Leicestershire173135

No great surprises in the "largest parkrun in the world" category this week, where it is still the same top 5:
Event   Total   
Bushy parkrun21025
Glasgow parkrun12354
Leeds parkrun11163
Brighton & Hove parkrun10050
Wimbledon Common parkrun9648

And at the other end of the spectrum, but just as worthy of a mention we have (just one new entry "Sunrise-on-sea parkrun", this week!):
Event   Total   
Modderfontein Reserve parkrun6
Wimpole Estate parkrun14
Harrow Lodge parkrun15
Sunrise-on-Sea parkrun27
Chelmsford Central parkrun31

The training and family life balancing act

There is no doubt in my mind that one of the trickiest things I will have to contend with whilst trying to train for some PBs in the spring, is finding the time to fit training in.

With a wife and three kids to spend time with, keep happy and play my part in all that goes on, this will not be easy. I am going to have to be quite flexible and pretty inventive with when I fit training in to make sure I don't annoy my family.

If I can't find a way to fit in my training I will not be content. But if fitting in training comes at the expense of my family time then neither my family or myself will be happy. It's a balancing act for sure.

I will need to make use of every part of the day and the week to make this work:
- before work.
- lunchtimes on work from home days.
- evenings.
- weekends.
All these need to be part of my plan, but with plenty of flexibility so that training sessions can be dropped or replaced where family needs require it.

If I can find a way to balance all of that and not annoy my family, I will be doing very well  and I may achieve my PB targets.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The average parkrunner this week

Well what kind of week did parkrun Pat (the average parkrunner) have this week?

The average parkrunner (parkrun Pat) ran 26:56 this week.
parkrun Pat's all-time parkrun average remains at 26:36.
parkrun Pat ran 20 seconds slower than his/her all-time average this week, but 8 seconds quicker than a fortnight ago.

Other weekly global parkrun stats that might be of interest:
  • 10 new clubs were represented at parkrun for the first time.
  • 2 new parkrun events took place for the very first time.
  • 1,435 new runners ran at parkrun for the first time.
  • Between us we ran 90,040 km last weekend.
  • The total cumulative distance covered by all parkrunners at all parkrun events is now: 9,637,870 km!
  • At this week's rate, it is likely that we will pass the 10 million kilometre (2 million runs) mark on the 12th January 2013, almost a year to the day of passing the 5 million kilometre mark.

On this day in parkrun history...20th December

On this day in parkrun history, on Saturday 20th December 2008, just 11 parkrun events took place. 1,091 parkunners completed their parkrun that day.

Just 4 years later and this last weekend saw a new record of 192 parkrun events take place and 18,007 parkrunners take part. Yet more evidence of the impressive growth of parkrun over the last few years.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A First ( old ) Timer.

A little history..

I am Stan Cottier,
65 years young,
First race..local scouts sports day 1961..I won the mile.( The highlight of 50 years!!)
Joined Waterloo Harriers, in Liverpool, 1968.
I have been running, racing ever since. Although, because of work/family commitments a fair amount to that time has just been running. No training or racing.
My P.B. for 5k, which will remain my lifetime best, is 16.20.

My first parkrun was at Princes, Christmas eve last year-2011.
So, parkrun  anniversary on Saturday..married 40 years on Sunday!
My parkrun P.B. is 24.30.

Why do I love parkrun?
It is always there. I don't have to think about entering races weeks in advance and spending money and then not go!
I know parkrun is supposed to be just a timed run but I still race as hard as I can and want to beat those in front of me.

I am not in the fastest 500, BUT, at the moment, I am 31st in the points table and 327th in the age graded league!!
I have volunteered 7 times and really get a buzz from it.I have given out barcode tokens at the finish and marshalled as well. I love clapping and cheering on all the runners.The feedback from other parkrunners is fantastic. ( So remember to volunteer. )

And so to 2013...
I want Santa to bring me a parkrun P.B.
I want to run over 70% (68.40% at the moment) for the age graded league.

Parkrun rocks..

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

parkrun stats of the week - 15th December 2012

The parkrun statistics of note for this week are:
191 parkrun events run (up 10 on last week)
17,966 runners (down 538 on last week)
The colder weather in the UK is certainly having an effect on attendance fugures.

The average number of runners per parkrun event run was: 94 (down 8 on last week).
7 events recorded a new record attendance this week, as follows:

Event  Record Attendance  
Cornwall Park82
Darlington South Park137
North Beach81
Richmond Park451

The longest standing parkrun attandance record is:
Amager Faelled  146 28/08/2010

And in the UK its:
Old Deer Park  83 15/01/2011

The highest attendance this week was 714 at Bushy Park. No surprise there. Bushy parkrun still holds the global attendance record for a single event of 1000.

The lowest attendance this week was 4 at Nibe parkrun.

6 new male course records set this week (1 more than last week):
Athlete  Time  
Ashton CourtDan RODGERS16:37
CongletonRoger ALSOP17:13
CoomeraJason GERAGHTY15:48
Cornwall ParkHayden Lloyd SHEARMAN17:09
Darlington South ParkDean NEWTON16:47
North LakesGreg WEBSTER16:57

10 new female course records set this week (4 more than last week, the women won yet again this week!):
Event  Athlete  Time  
CongletonKatie SAMUELSON21:03
Cornwall ParkKatrin GOTTSCHALK20:39
Darlington South ParkKatie NOBLE20:32
North LakesHelen STANTON18:39
SandgateLucy CARVALHO21:39
South BankBritney MCMULLEN18:07
MalahideAngela MCCANN18:17
RushcliffeLou COLLINS19:16
BexleyHolly PAGE19:53
GuildfordJoanna KLAPTOCZ19:28

An impressive 71 runners (up 18 on last week) ran times under 17 minutes this week.
11 of these (up 7 on last week) run under 16 minutes! 5 of those fastest 11 coming at Poole parkrun.

Event  Athlete  Time  
PooleChris POWNER14:58
PooleMatthew FAYERS15:03
EdinburghAndrew DOUGLAS15:25
Bushy ParkBradley GOATER15:29
AlbertWondiye Fikre INDELBU15:33
Bushy ParkNathan WHITE15:40
PooleMatthew BENNETT15:44
PooleAlan MURCHISON15:46
CoomeraJason GERAGHTY15:48
HuddersfieldRichard ANDERSON15:54
PooleJacek CIELUSZECKI15:56

The fastest parkrunner in the World this week was by Chris Powner running 14:58 at Poole parkrun.

The top age grade performance this week was by Lucy Elliott who ran 17:30 in the VW45-49 category at Poole parkrun, recording a 91.62% Age Grade in the process. Very impressive!

42 parkrun freedom runs were recorded this week. The fastest freedom run recorded the week was 18:38 by Ian Wilkinson (that's me!) at Coventry parkrun on 13th December 2012.

Other facts and figures:
- 10 new clubs were represented at parkrun for the first time this week.
- 250,393 different people have now completed at least one parkrun. Breaking through the 250,000 mark at the weekend!
- 195 different parkrun venues have been run. The 200th should happen early in the new year.