Does anyone do ParkRuns - Saturday mornings at 9.00?

I’ve been hearing very positive reports obout them, and have also been thinking of getting back into running, so will probably sign up before long. They happen in Crystal Palace Park, Dulwich Park, Peckham Rye and Hilly Fields

With the paths in Mayow Park resurfaced, I was wondering if there would be any interest in them here, although it may be a bit close to Crystal Palace, and you need volunteers.

Local meet ups/clubs?

I often do the Dulwich Parkrun. They are excellent and a good way to exercise and try and improve your 5k time in a friendly environment. The Dulwich one is surprisingly busy, last time I went there were at least 60 people doing it (obviously the weather affects numbers). The age and ability range is very wide so no one needs to feel intimidated about running which is great. In the interests of balance, some people think that the park runners are a nuisance and dominate what is a public space. As one of them I’d say that 45mins a week surely isn’t an excessive amount of time to use the park when it involves a large number of local people participating in exercise. I’d encourage anyone to participate (and also to volunteer as a marshal occasionally as without the marshals ParkRun doesn’t work).


After being lazy for a long time, I’ve started running recently and I’m working my way up to a ParkRun.What I know from talking to people who’ve been doing them is that the Dulwich one is relatively flat and a nice introduction, while the Hilly Fields one is very challenging (and attracts people from all over who want to improve their performance through a bit of more hilly practice).

CP is somewhere between the two and very busy when I’ve been in the park on a Saturday morning.

Sadly I think Mayow Park is probably too small - a lap of the main part of the park is only around 560m so it would get very confused and crowded with a lot of people running 5k.Most seem to be 2 or 3 laps of a course at most.


I’ve just registered, and I’m thinking of seeing if my left ankle can stand up to a 5 k run. I tried a couple of times earlier this year, and it was really frustrating, having the fitness, but then aggravating a long term injury, So I’ve been working on strengthening exercises, and should be ready to try again soon.

If I’m up to it, then probably in a couple of weeks. I was thinking of Crystal Palace, but Dulwich will be flatter!


Looking forwards to getting back into my 5k runs, so will keep an eye open for when and where people fancy doing one


You may have a point. This was what it took to clock up 5k today

27 minutes - hmm - I used to be able to do 5k in 20, but at least I’m not injured this time :smile:


Dulwich remains the most logical being 3 laps


I am a Dulwich regular and have also completed Hillyfields, CP, Peckham and Burgess. For me I prefer Dulwich as the paths are wide so it doesn’t feel as crowded, there are regularly around 200 taking part. I would really recommend them to anyone- whatever ability you are. Since starting I’ve improved my times, fitness and had the confidence to complete half marathons and this year a marathon. It’s not competitive as you are trying to improve your own times. I’m injured at the moment and can’t wait to get back.


Good luck to you runners. I am giving up running. It’s my middle aged knees, they don’t really see to like it anymore. Sigh …


I thought my running days were over because of forever turning my ankle, but I started taking physio a bit more seriously last year, and it makes a big difference.

Then there is cycling. A fair number of MAMILs (middle aged men in lycra) are ex runners :slight_smile:


Hi Dave
I am by no means regular runner and therefore am always easing myself up to 5k. I would rather run in CP than Dulwich. Running on flat for the whole time misses out recovery of going downhill. I also struggle to pass the finishing line and having to do one more lap is easier than doing it twice. (I haven’t done Dulwich park run but would expect you would go 3 times round the park)


OK - that was all right

Not that I am in the slightest bit competitive about these things, but if I’d been a year older, I’ve have been the first in my age category


have you tried different footwear fella, both of my knees seemed to have problems with running even short distances but I retrained with vibrams/flat trainers and went on the complete the London marathon - worth some researching imo.


This is where I get a bit intimidated. When I started getting back into running, a physio at ESPH in East Dulwich looked at how I ran on the treadmill, and encouraged me to buy Nike Free 5 shoes, but when I went into a branch of Runners Needs, I got the “I really wouldn’t advise that, Sir” treatment, and the next time I saw the physio, a certain amount of indignation about his professional expertise being questioned.

I did buy the Free 5s, but also googled a whole lot about natural running - my physio also got me reading “Born to Run”, which is really interesting, in particular the chapter where the author drops all the human interest stuff, and addresses just the science.

I also tried to talk to some members of my wider family, who are into ultra running, but I got the feeling I was a bit of an embarrassing uncle, who wasn’t worth taking seriously. OTOH, I heard one of them being very dismissive of ‘wedges’, so I guess that’s support for the principle of flatter shoes, without lots of fancy technology to adjust for supposed problems with the foot.

Then, when I started getting injured running again, I worried that it might have been to do with the shoes, but rather than give up, I read up about exercises to strengthen my ankles, which suggested this at least was also a problem - and now I can do 5k without injury, in the Nike Free 5s, I suspect that is right.

However, I also read somewhere else that the length of stride / cadence is more important to think about than all the stuff about whether you hit the ground with your heel or mid foot, because the better mid foot strike happens automatically if you have a high cadence. Earlier this week I calculated what mine was, just running as I would naturally, and it was nice and high - over 190.

Probably too much information there :smiley:


Slight deviation from the OT but my brother is a sports doctor and he said that he loves forefoot running as it get him most of his patients! However, he is also an athlete and actually recommends forefoot running - the problem is that many people think that they can just start running an entirely different way without training their body to cope with it. I’ve slowly been moving to forefoot running myself over the past 3 years and am almost there.

Good cadence btw, thats near optimal.

More on topic, Ive managed the Crystal Palace park run earlier in the year, but had done a 20km run two days earlier, so with that in my legs Im still no clearer as to what my normal 5km time might be


Wow - you’ve clearly done your research Tim.
For me it was as simple as switching to barefoot - back to basics.
Not the greatest of fun running around Crystal Palace park barefoot mind, but it forced me to re-learn how to run.
Then after 3 months of that I “graduated” up to Vibram KSOs.
But anyhow I can see you’ve really tried to find a solution, good luck to you sir.


Seriously - you were running round CP Park barefoot? Did you get any funny looks?


ha yeh a few! Here’s the part I stuck to, just doing circuits - it’s relatively free of stone chippings etc.

I also got funny looks when running in the Vibrams, “Frogman Shoes” I think my missus called them…


And Dulwich this morning, preceded by an inspiring speech from the local MP, who was also participating

Not something we can expect Jim Dowd to be doing anytime soon!


Did the Hilly Fields ParkRun this Saturday, but failed to record it on Strava, although it was nice coming first in my age category (not that there were too many in it)

I’m interested to see how much I can increase my speed, so I was trying to do intervals round Mayow Park this morning.