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Take part in a Park Run to spark new fitness regime

For anyone looking to take up running, then a Park Run is the perfect way to start. The 5k or 3.5 mile timed run is a phenomenon that has really taken off in the past few years, with thousands of people regularly taking part in more than 500 events across the country.

Where to do a Park Run in Cambridge

Here in Cambridge, there are Park Runs, taking place every Saturday at Coldham’s Common, Milton Country Park and Wimpole Estate. Click on the individual event websites for further details.

The concept behind the Park Run is simple – free, weekly, timed runs – so participants can chart their progress, work on their fitness and make friends with other runners.

For some runners, the Park Run is the springboard to longer runs. Many people use the Park Run to begin a training programme leading to running 10k, half marathons or marathons.

For others, it is simply a means to getting a healthy does of regular exercise.

The benefits of taking part in a Park Run

Park Runs offer the chance to get some inexpensive exercise. All you need is a pair of trainers, a t-shirt and a pair of leggings or shorts. It really is an exercise that you can do anytime, anywhere.

Running is an effective way of adding regular cardiovascular exercise into your lifestyle. Regular aerobic exercise, such as running, walking or cycling can help reduce the risk of certain cancers. It also cuts your chances of developing Diabetes, heart disease and reduces the risk of strokes. There is also plenty of evidence that regular running helps to strengthen joints and bones. This is particularly true when combined with regular strength and conditioning work.

There is also heaps of evidence that regular cardiovascular exercise can reduce the risk of developing memory loss and guards the brain against Alzheimer’s and dementia-related conditions.

A social occasion

Once you enter a Park Run, you will discover just how sociable group running can be. Meeting up for a run on a Saturday morning is the perfect way to catch up with buddies and get some exercise in at the same time. Arranging to run a Park Run together is also a great form of motivation. You are far less likely to drop out of a run if you have arranged to meet someone there.

Weight loss is one of the many reasons that people cite when they explain why they are taking part in a Park Run. Running burns 750-800 calories an hour, depending on your body type and the effort you put into your running.

There are many, many health-related benefits of regular running. With more than 500 events across the UK and events in many other countries, there is every opportunity for you to get involved.

Here at Kelsey Kerridge, we are very supportive of the inclusive nature of the Park Run and our instructors will be more than happy to talk you through training and preparation for a 5k run. Here is a suggested training session to incorporate into your weekly gym routine that will help you introduce running into your training programme.

On the treadmill or in a park.

Warm-up with five minutes of brisk walking.

Stretch your major muscles groups, paying particular attention to the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles.

Five minutes: jog at approximately half your full pace.

Five x 60 seconds: increase your running pace to 75 per cent of your full running pace. Take a 60 second walk or jog between each repetition.

Five minutes: run at a pace at which it is comfortable to hold a conversation.

Five x 60 seconds: run at 80-90 per cent of your full pace with two minute walk between each repetition.

Five minute cool down jog.

For any advice or information on getting yourself prepared for running, or any other fitness activity, speak to one of our staff in Outlooks Gym.