Athletic Running Tips

5K Parkrun PB: 4 Parkrun Winners Reveal Their Training Tips

Looking for a 5K Parkrun PB? Learn from 4 female runners who have taken out the #1 spot at their local Parkrun.

(You’ll also get the exact 5k training program kindly shared by one of these winning ladies)

But wait there’s more…  

I also asked these Parkrun champs to share something they wish they had known when they first started running, so we can all gain from their considerable experience.

Bernice is the CEO of the South West Academy of Sport and runs at Bunbury Parkrun. (Image above by South West Academy of Sport)

  1.  The one thing I wish I knew when I started running

I started running at a very young age of around 7 years old and soon realised that I could run with ease.  My first experience was running a sprint race at primary school, turning around and seeing that I was way ahead of everyone else.  I decided to turn back and join in the fun with my friends. Obviously years later, I became a very competitive runner and participated in athletics, cross country and then road running.  I never realised that I would love running so much and people would often ask me why I run – my simple answer would be “because it is the best medicine in the world” and I enjoy the outdoors.  

I guess for me the one thing I wish that I did know when I started running was to be aware of burn-out at a young age and when you are injured, the recovery must be done properly.

  1.   My little known training secret/tip

Never race during training.  Ensure that you get plenty rest after training, follow a balanced diet and always practice positive self-talk during training.

Get Burnice’s  5KM TRAINING PROGRAM written for the City of Bunbury Surf Lifesaving Club

Deanna works for Ateam Nutrition and Dietetics, is a sports dietitian at the Northern Blues football club (Carlton VFL)  and runs at Altona Beach Parkrun.

  1.  The one thing I wish I knew when I started running

The one thing I wish I knew when I started running is that it never gets easier! The fitter you get… the better you get….the more you push yourself. It also becomes addictive. Now if I go without a run for a few days I start to feel my mood drop, it’s the best form of medicine!

  1.   My little known training secret/tip

As a sports dietitian I am very mindful of how I fuel my body. I try to always stay hydrated with water, being dehydrated will really effect your runs.

After a hard session I always have a carbohydrate/protein snack (like a yoghurt) on hand or my next meal ready to eat within 30-45 minutes of finishing the session.

But my number one tip for beginners getting into running is to pace yourself, each week pick a pace a little quicker than the week before and stick to it (don’t run someone else’s race). You will be amazed at how quickly your fitness improves, not too mention your times.

Trudy is the Project Officer Biodiversity and Waterways at Sunshine Coast Council and runs at Brightwater and Main Beach Parkruns. (Image above by Trudy Davidson)

Man Beach Parkrun

  1. The one thing I wish I knew when I started running

I started running when I was a kid, cross country and longer runs being my main events. I then had a approx. year break after high school until I began training to compete again, starting with 800/1500s but made my way to sprinting (400s) and I actually think the interval training really helped whenever I decided to compete in a 5 or 6 km race. So I think if I did more shorter but faster runs when I was younger, it would of helped me decrease my cross country times. So I think I wish I knew about training for speed rather than just long runs, so things like 1km reps etc would have been good training.   

  1. My little known training secret/tip

I’m not really sure if it’s a secret, except when you’re training, train for quality not for quantity. And when you’re running in a 5k race, just be really positive in self talk. Because I’m a sprinter nowadays, I actually don’t like running more than 1 or 2 laps around a track, so when I make myself do a 5km, I really need to talk to myself in my head and make little goals along the way.

Mantie Morse

Manti is a mother of 5 and runs at Dubbo Parkrun. (Image above by Manti Morse)

Wow. Well thank you. I don’t think of myself as a anything great, just a mother of 5 who runs 3 times a week for stress relief.

My only advice is to start at a sustainable pace, you can always speed up after the halfway post, but don’t expend all your energy too early.

Also I like to enjoy running so if it’s a constant push to beat my time, then the pressure detracts from the enjoyment. So I do two moderate / enjoyable runs and one run which pushed me each week.

I also listen to teaching on YouTube about things I’m passionate about to keep my mind off the routine of my legs. It urges my mind and heart to accept great challenges which in turn increases my bodies motivation to run well.

I’m just a mum who runs for some ‘me’ time. Nothing miraculous, just a little 3 runs a week.

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Thanks so much for reading! If you have any questions or comments please comment below and I will try to answer them as quick as possible!

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