I’ve never been the most athletic person, not by a long shot. After losing evenings to marking and planning due to being a teacher until the age of 30, and weekends from horrific hangovers from the ages of 17-25 my repeated attempts at getting fit have usually been pretty poor.
However, this time its different. Type 1 Diabetes entered my life 5 months ago and I am determined to be as healthy as possible to avoid the risks.
So, why parkrun as the goal?
The training required is not excessive – When you are a new father, time is precious. I don’t really want to be heading off to the gym and being out the house for over an hour. I just want to get my running gear on, test, head out the door and pound the pavement, and return home within a reasonable time.
It’s a good starting point – parkruns are 5k (3 miles). It’s a nice distance to go for. For me I went out the door on my first runs after diagnosis and found I was able to run a mile with no real issues. If you struggle with a mile don’t worry, I’d recommend the couch to 5k program (builds up from walking for a little but, then jogging for a little bit gradually), which got me running a couple of years ago and led to me eventually completing a marathon.
Its timed – I’m not going to try and get a ‘good’ time on my first go; this is all about re-discovering running and learning how to manage it all when trying to avoid low/high blood sugars. But, the good thing about this being timed is I’ll then have an obvious goal (improve time) to set afterwards without having to start considering longer distances for a while.
Its popular – A lot of people will be there on the day. Given my previous marathon training I know this will allow me to fun further on the day (not plodding along alone makes a massive difference). All I really need to do is get close to 2.5 miles before and I should be fine on the day.
For me parkrun seems a perfect way to try and get my fitness back.
Disclaimer – It is essential that you do not take on board any advice given on this website without first seeking the advice of a medical professional. Any descriptions of different ways in which I manage my type 1 diabetes on this website, including in the comments, are given in good faith, and are shared merely as suggestions which should be ran past a doctor or diabetes specialist nurse.