I always look forward to spot of parkrun tourism at Lee, and we left home early this bright and chilly Saturday morning, to facilitate arrival in time for "volunteer briefing". The husband had decided to volunteer for the first time (as one of the funnel managers - a brave move for a first-time volunteer - never mind at Lee with its extended funnel - but he is naturally bossy and can be shouty when he needs to, which is an essential attribute of a good funnel manager, of course).
In mid-December I injured my Achilles which has frustratingly meant no running for me for the past few weeks. Being so close to the 50 club (49 today!) I have been doing my best to maintain my parkrun streak, either walking in an official capacity as a tail walker or today just walking. Walking at a parkrun is perfectly acceptable and word is spreading; the average time to complete the 5k is far slower now than ever before. For those who are new to exercise, or perhaps recovering from injury, surgery or illness, low-impact power walking is a fantastic alternative. Power, or speed walking, is defined as the act of walking with a speed at the upper end of the natural range for the walking gait, typically 7 to 9 km/h. To qualify as power walking as opposed to running, at least one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times. Here are some tips:
1 Warm up with a casual walk for five minutes or so
2 When you're warm, stretch your muscles to prevent injury. Perform calf, quadriceps, hamstring, hip flexor, shoulder and tricep stretches
3 As you walk, keep your back upright; position your head in a neutral position that is in line with your spine. Tighten your glutes and abdominals. Keep looking forward - not at the ground.
4 Strike the ground with your heel first rolling through the foot onto your toe, using your hips to push you forward, pump your arms as you walk, maintaining good posture.
5 Cool down by slowing your pace and dropping your arms, continue decreasing your pace until your heart rate begins to return to normal
Today 381 of us ran (or walked) an alternative course, known as "Route C". The reason for changing the route this week is a preparation exercise for when the slipway at Daedalus occasionally needs to be shut, because Route C avoids the slipway.
After the briefing in sub-zero temperatures, we lined up for the start in the usual place. We were off ... along to Browndown; the marshals doing a wonderful job ensuring that everybody stayed left all the time, warning us to avoid the icy patches. We then headed all the way up to the turning point (just before Daedalus slipway), where we turned to go back down past the start and the funnel. Just before the sailing club, we then doubled back before finishing into the funnel from the opposite end to usual. Congratulations to Jodie GOODALL, Tony COURSE and Bina WILSON on joining the 50 Club today!