From September we shall be rolling out a Technique Refresher Workshop and it will coincide with one of our local parkruns. We are very excited to be able to offer this combination as this is our response to your recent requests to offer more training for challenges and have a focus on improving or correcting your Nordic Walking technique. So if you are going to learn and adjust, then you need an opportunity to try it and practice!
With at least 6 parkruns at our feet it would be foolish to not engage with what we see as a successful format that has the added bonus of being both supportive and motivational. But what is parkrun? Why should we participate in something that has the word “run” in it? We Nordic walk!
The basics are simple: every weekend, in parks and green spaces around the world, runners and walkers get together to take part in a group 5km run. The event is entirely free to every participant. From the most veteran runner to rank amateurs and total beginners, parkrun is for anyone who wants to test themselves in a fun and welcoming environment. Though it starts out humbly, parkrun today embraces technology while also relying on their all-volunteer staff. To participate, you must initially register and sign up online. This creates your very own participant ID and a barcode. This is scanned at the end of your completed parkrun to allow you to receive a timing for the event. it is the timing that is one of the key elements that attract people. It is a fantastic way to track and record your fitness improvement and in our case, that your Nordic walking technique is becoming more fluid, natural and efficient.
Why participate? Why not just continue with our own stride out sessions? Well for some of our members, especially those who have been with us for awhile, they need and desired a challenge. The parkrun formula offers a few additional things very well, so we didn’t feel the need to duplicate effort. There is the ability to time and record your effort. If you attend a few parkruns you are able to work towards 10 parkruns kudos, or 50, or 100! But, as Nordic walking isn’t as common place as running, you would also like the support of your kindred own, fellow Nordic walkers.
The benefits are numerous, and again similar to our 3JFitness Nordic walking benefits. They obviously start with the additional physical fitness boost you’ll get. Think about what could happen if you participated regularly at a parkrun style event! When you are excited to get up and out and participate in soemthing that shows how YOU are improving from YOUR efforts. Your Nordic walking skills would improve just from that effort alone, and it might push you to start wanting to do more and go further each time. Feeling better, breathing easier, and having a fitter body all comes from staying active. Participating in a parkrun can provide the structure that many of us need to stay on track; seeing our timings steadily improve, for example. There are social and mental wellness benefits to think about as well. Parkrun events are excellent places to meet like minded people. You never know just who you’ll meet on the trail! it could be your next best friend! At the very least you will have the opportunity to interact with friendly volunteers and some members of your local community, who all have the same desire to improve fitness through effort and technique. You’re spending more time outdoors in nature. That’s something which scientists have shown can help to improve your mood, boost your general sense of satisfaction with life, and more.
“THERE IS SUCH A FANTASTIC ALIGNMENT WITH THE COMMUNITY ETHOS OF 3JFITNESS AND THE SPIRIT OF PARKRUN!”
With physical, mental, and social benefits aplenty, parkrun offers its participants something special: a communal spirit, a chance to exercise in a welcoming group, and absolutely no cost barrier to getting started. In most cases, when Janine has taken part in a parkrun, she has really enjoyed the enthusiastic support that the front runners give the returning back runners and walkers. It’s not just about speed, it’s about being part of something that releases not just endorphins but a fantastic euphoric feeling of well being and achievement.
In July, janine and three of our members went along to experience Newbury parkrun. We were bubbling with enthusiasm but also a tiny bit apprehensive as we were the only Nordic walkers! However, the runners were very welcoming and inclusive, especially with the encouraging comments as we all moved off together. We may have been the party pacers at the back, but we were not the last in. There were all ages and abilities.
We shall initially roll out the sessions fortnightly to gauge the level of interest and commitment. We shall also operate our traditional booking-in system so that we know who will be attending and you are aware which one we are visiting. We are supporting each other with our presence. Some of the parkruns will prove to be easier for us to attend avoiding any additional costs such as parking or inability to park safely.
We do value your feed back and comments! So please let Janine and Maria know if we are engaging our growing numbers with our positive changes, with your fitness, health and safety of paramount importance. we will also offer our Early Bird Saturday Stride out as we recognise that not everyone is excited about times and getting that fit and crazy endorphin clap-happy!