For newcomers, running can feel like a bit of a nightmare, but it has many benefits for both your physical and mental health.
Run entirely by volunteers, parkrun has been welcoming runners of all levels at its beautiful routes across the world for many years.
Held every Saturday at 9am at hundreds of cities and towns, each route is 5k and can be taken at your own pace, whether you walk, run or jog.
It’s free to do and is a great way to introduce your body to running while training with others, you just need to register before turning up to any run.
You can also create an online account to track your progress, compete with other runners and find parkruns in new locations.
Birmingham has a host of parkrun routes to choose from, so lace up your running shoes and get ready for your very first run!
Cannon Hill Park
If you’re relatively new to the world of running, then the route around the picturesque Cannon Hill Park could be the perfect first parkrun for you.
With an average finish time of 27:53, the 5k route is entirely tarmac footpaths, so you don’t need to worry about taking on trail running too soon.
It’s two-lap anti-clockwise route that starts off at the bandstand and passes some of the park’s most picturesque spots. Sadly, dogs aren’t allowed to accompany runners for this parkrun.
Once you’ve crossed the finish line, you can join the rest of the participants for a post-run coffee at The Garden Tea Rooms.
To find out more about the Cannon Hill Park route, click here.
A popular running route for beginners and those who live in and around the city centre, Edgbaston Reservoir parkrun is a mix of tarmac and gravel pathways.
With an average finish time of 27:47, this 5K route is flat, making it yet another ideal choice for beginners as you complete two clockwise laps. You can even bring your dog along for a run too, and parents are welcome to run with buggies.
As with any parkrun, those taking part are welcome to join others runners for a post-run coffee at the Floating Front Room at Port Loop.
To find out more about this route, click here.
Woodgate Valley Country Park
If a more scenic run is something that appeals to you, then you might enjoy the route at Woodgate Valley Country Park.
Holding an average finish time of 30:20, this route 5K route is a step up for beginners. It’s an out and back on permanent footpaths with an uphill section, finishing with a lap on grass.
A post-run coffee is usually held at the Woodgate Valley Visitor Centre, but it is currently closed for now.
You can find out more about this route by clicking here.
Held in Perry Hall Park, this 5k route is three laps of mainly flat terrain through beautiful parkland.
With an average finish time of 30:56, each lap that you complete on this parkrun will be slightly different, with runs over bridges, alongside the river and cricket pitches.
The course is mainly flat and a mix of tarmac, gravel and grass pathways, so it’s ideal if you’re looking to build up your stamina and speed within your runs.
Post-run coffee is held at Goodfillas on Walsall Road. You can find out more by clicking here.
Oaklands Recreation Ground
For wheelchair users and those who run with a pushchair, the 5K parkrun at Oaklands Recreation Ground is a suitable choice.
With an average finish time of 29:44, this route is three laps on concrete pathways, although, as with any parkrun, some parts of the route may be slightly muddy and accumulate leaves and puddles depending on the weather.
Located next to the Swan Centre, you can join other runners for a post-run coffee at the Costa Coffee to refuel after your workout.
To find out more about this parkrun route, click here.
Offering a slightly more challenging route, Sutton Park’s parkrun is a blend of trail paths, steep banks, bridges and tarmac.
Holding an average finish time of 31:34, this route features an out and back section alongside inclines to push your fitness levels, but remember, you can take it entirely at your own pace.
As always, marshalls will be located around the 5k route as you make your way from Banners Gate, pass Lord Donegal’s Ride towards the Jamboree Memorial, before crossing the finish line at with a downhill section at Longmoor Pool.
Once you’ve completed your run, you can head to Communitea Café on 78 Boldmere Road for a post-run coffee.
Click here to find out more about this park run.
If you want to start your Saturday morning with a run around a beautiful nature reserve, then look no further.
This 5k course around Babbs Mill Nature Reserve will see you running on a mix of tarmac paths and grass for two laps, which starts alongside the River Cole.
You’ll do a circle around the lake going clockwise, before crossing the car park and bridge, and then head on to complete a second identical lap.
It’s worth noting that due to its uneven and sometimes narrow pathways, that this route isn’t recommended for those who run with a pushchair, but you can find out more by clicking here.
Once you’ve completed two laps, you can join other runners for a post-run coffee at a local cafe.
Click here to find out more about this parkrun.
A message from the editor:
Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going