When the start of a New Year arrives, many people look to take up new sports, especially running. Running doesn't have to be labelled as a serious sport seen to be dull and boring. There are so many easy to enter events out there for people new to running, or even experienced runners looking to add a bit more enjoyment to their training. So, what can you do to make running more enticing in the new year and what events are out there that anyone, no matter your ability, can enter?
Parkrun has now been going for just over 15 years and offers people the opportunity the run a timed 5k over a measured course. The event occurs every Saturday at 9am in local parks all over the country and now the world. The great thing about the weekly occurrence of Parkrun means you can do them as often or as rarely as you like. It provides you with a fantastic opportunity to track your progress. The Parkrun event is incredibly inclusive as it is open to all ages and abilities. Whether you are intending on walking it or going as fast as you can to log a PB time, Parkrun is the perfect event for you! It’s not a race, but can be used as a time trial.
It is even now a form of tourism!! Parkruns are all over the country and even the world. If you are going away for the weekend, there is no excuse not to still do a parkrun! It’s a great way to see your local area and get some miles logged whilst on holiday. It also allows you to meet like minded people, as not everyone likes to kickstart their weekend with a run around the park.
Tough mudder/ Obstacle 5k style events
If you are more of the adventurous type and a crazy, but fun, challenge is something that appeals to you, the Tough Mudder or Obstacle 5k event may be worth entering. There are lots of races, which can be competitive or for a laugh, out there to try. Running doesn’t have to be solitary and dull, and these events certainly ensure it isn’t. It gives you something other than the running itself to focus on, making a challenging concept, seem less serious and scary!! Although, if you ask any cross country runner, they will tell you there are plenty of races that can feel like a tough mudder event!
Couch to 5k programmes
For the true beginner, the introduction of couch to 5k programmes (or similar, maybe couch to half marathon!) offer the perfect opportunity for you to kickstart your running journey, even if you have never set foot in a pair of trainers before. There is no need to fear the concept of running a 5k, as the programmes start you off very gently and build you up minutes at a time. It is highly likely that you may be able to encourage a friend to embark on the couch to 5k challenge alongside you too, so you’ll have company. This will also help keep your motivation high as you won’t want to let your fellow running friend down.
Running doesn’t have to be serious, and it isn’t only for ‘fast’ people. Running can be done by anyone, anywhere, and for any reason. Whether you just want some time in the outdoors or are looking to improve your 5k or 10k time, give it a go. 2020 may be the year you come to wish you’d taken up running sooner.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!