Tuesday, 27 November 2012

200 Up!

Today I finally ran my 200th parkrun freedom run around the Coventry parkrun course. I believe that I am only the second person to have recorded 200 freedom parkruns, after Ken Fox. Not that anybody other than Ken and myself would care less!

I ran my first parkrun freedom run on the 16th September 2010, so it has taken a little over 2 years, with 106 run this year already.

I know, this is very sad! Not only am I admitting to running the same Coventry parkrun route a couple of times every week (on average), but also to counting them. The parkrun website does help with the counting if I am honest.

To be fair to myself though, my running has mosly been around War Memorial park in Coventry over the last decade or so, so once I knew about parkrun and started running more regularly, it was no great change to switch to the parkrun course rather than the park perimeter path.

I also have to say that, like most parks, War Memorial park in Coventry is a lovely place to go for a run.

Part of my original aim in running parkrun freedom runs was to get to know the Coventry parkrun course a bit better, so as to help improve my times. I know the course so well now that there is no great need for that any more. However, it is still useful to know exactly how far I have run and to be able to compare like for like runs from the present with similar runs in the past.

Looking at trends today I see that I used to run my parkrun freedom runs much harder than I do now. Often trying to get within 30 seconds of my real parkrun PB. My fastest freedom run this year is about 2 minutes 30 seconds off my parkrun PB. I think this shows that I have finally learned not to push it in every training session these days.

Another change to my freedom runs this year has been to use them as interval sessions. My favourite being 500 metres fast, then 500 meres slow, followed by 1 km fast then 500 metres slow. That perfectly fits into the 2.5km parkrun lap and I know exactly where the 500 metres marks are, so it is a simple session for me to stick to. I tend to do that lap 4 times for a double parkrun (10km).

So, even though I know it is repetitive, I am sure that I will continue to run parkrun freedom runs for a while to come, both because it makes my training so simple and because I love being in Memorial park whenever I can be.

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