Excuses. The reasons we find not to do something. And if we are being honest, they are usually in relation to things that we know that we probably ought to be doing. Some people just aren’t the type to make excuses. They have the perfect work ethic and they don’t find it hard to motivate themselves whatsoever. But if that isn’t you then don’t worry.

That brings me nicely onto what it is that I want to discuss today – parkrun. There are all sorts of things that can help encourage anyone to commit more to their exercises. Parkrun possesses a number of the attributes that I have mentioned in previous posts that relate directly to motivation.

For those of you that don’t know, parkrun is a 5km run that takes place every Saturday all over the world simultaneously. Anyone can sign up and get their time recorded to see how they have performed, in regards to their own PB, their friends scores and all the other competitors. And the best part? It’s all free!

You get your own individual page where all your results are stored for each run that you do. And this is the reason why it is so effective. It covers so many areas of motivation. Firstly, you are free to go along with friends/training partners, which provides the incentive to turn up so you don’t let them down. Then there is the competition element. While the presence of competition is debated upon, I’m a firm believer that in the right amounts competition can push you to get more out of yourself than was possible before.

You are also getting all the hard work done for you in terms of keeping records too. And if I’m being honest, this is probably where a lot of people could be better. A lot of us might not know our PBs or how they have progressed over the last few weeks, months or even years. Anything that makes that whole process easier is great, even if it is just for one exercise at one specific distance.

The UK currently has over 300 parkrun events each Saturday so the chances are that there is going to be one near you. This isn’t a pressured environment either, so you can go whatever your level of physical fitness. People are there to run because they enjoy it first and foremost. Yes, everyone wants to do well but that doesn’t make this a workout that is exclusively for the athletic elite.

Something I have mentioned before is our tendency to prioritise weight training and neglect cardio. So this comes in great for that too. You need to make your cardio workouts more engaging so that they keep you interested. Something like trying to constantly run faster over a specific distance is perfect, especially when you are conducting that exercise at the exact same time every single week.

So if this sounds like something that you would be interested in getting involved in then click here to see where your nearest venue is. And don’t worry, there is no professional affiliation or sponsoring on our part. We have just seen a great event grow and want to bring it to as many peoples attention as possible!

Ollie Lawrence