How to pace others to a Parkrun PB

Inspire others to be their very best

Alongside the This Girl Can campaign, to get more women to Parkrun this International Women’s Day 2020, we are on a mission to provide some all-female pacing teams.

How many times has Parkrun helped you over the years, either to get started running, to achieve a personal best, to help you achieve the final tempo part of a long marathon run or a brick session for triathlon?

Whilst Parkrun encourages both inclusivity and participation, it is also a great training method for performance. So, this International Women’s Day come and join Girls Run the World to celebrate, by running in our pacing squad at Parkrun (on March 7th). We are going to encourage other women, and help to pace them to run their personal bests.

If you are interested in organising a GRTW pacing team at your local Parkrun, or you would like to be a pacer yourself, then please get in touch. Alternatively, make sure to get to Parkrun on March 7th to be a part of our movement to help inspire other women to take up sport. Share the message of women’s empowerment through sport participation, and try to run your best Parkrun yet!

Our core team will be at Brighton (Preston Park Parkrun) for this year’s pacing effort team, so if you are looking to get a personal best between 19 minutes to 31 minutes, we will be there to help.

If you want to learn more about how to pace perfectly, here are our three top tips from one of our core team running experts, Tara Shanahan.

Three tips to help pace others at Parkrun

  • False Starts – if you are pacing a slower time at a busy Parkrun, bear in mind it can often take at least 30 seconds to cross the line. Adjust your pace accordingly; if you are pacing 30 minutes but it is going to take you 15 seconds to cross the line, you need to pace for 29 min 45 seconds. (Remember to tell those that you are pacing that you will be running slightly faster, to achieve the correct pace for the Parkrun start time).
  • Lap Pace
    If you are using a watch to help you pace, set it to lap pace rather than actual pace. Actual pace tells you your pace at that particular moment in time and fluctuates enormously. Your lap pace will tell you your average pace since the start of that lap. Set up auto-lap to provide an average pace for each kilometre. 
  • Build Gradually
    It is better to build into your pace gradually, rather than go out fast and then slow down. If you realise you are going a bit too fast or slow, ease up or down gradually. Imagine you are a car and you only have just enough fuel for the 5k. Any breaking or accelerating will use more fuel. You are aiming for a smooth efficient ride! 
  • Use a pacing calculator
  • To help you find which pace you should be running, use a pace calculator .