Running is a very primal experience and one that can help a human in many different ways. However, back in 2004 a new phenomenon started that encouraged people to run together on a Saturday. This built up to be what we know today as parkrun that is now in over 20 different countries across the world. So, what are the benefits and why is it so popular?
1. Social aspect
Pre and post-pandemic encouraged people to come together and run alongside each other. With no real competitive aspect stated by the organizers, it is more about either running with friends or strangers who can often become running partners in many cases.
It has been proven that running as a group and running individually should be done. So if you are someone who has only run on their own then running in a parkrun event will give you the benefits you need of running as part of a group.
People often help and give up their time for parkrun by either organizing or marshaling the event.
2. Mental health
It is well known that running can help alleviate many people’s day-to-day issues as it is a great way to release hormones that we do not need. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.
Combine that with the sense of feeling good about yourself for completing a 5km run on a Saturday morning, it is such a great way to feel more positive about yourself.
3. Get up and go!
Many times when it comes to running you can either not be bothered getting up before work or running after work. However, if you are off on the weekends it is a great way to wake up in the morning and get some exercise done!
With most parkruns starting at either 9 am or 9:30 am, you have the rest of the day to do what you want to and feel good about it as you have done your exercise for the day.
4. Timed event
For those who like to know their times or want to improve their running then this is a great free event to get a 5km time. Many events around the country charge for their event (usually including goodies such as medals and more) but parkrun does not charge and you will be emailed a time from your event run when you scan your barcode.
When you see how your times are doing you might want to go to newly licensed bookmakers and put a specialized bet on yourself!
5. It is worldwide
Your profile can be filled with runs from different routes it does not have to be the same old route you do. It could be in England, Denmark, Spain or USA but once you scan your barcode you will have them added to your profile and it looks amazing to see all the places you have run. Challenging yourself on different routes is also a great way of keeping yourself interested and motivated with running.