Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Your Time, Your PR, Your Opinion

This is going to be like three posts in one. Why? because I have three things on my mind and they all kind of relate to one another.



1. When I started running, I heard people refer to acronyms PR (Personal Record) and PB (Personal Best). As time went on, I notice most people say PR and now I hardly ever hear anyone say PB.  I admit I use the term PR as well, because that just seems that it is most widely used. However, I personally think I am too common of a runner to be using the terms "Personal Record" when I talk about myself and my running. I feel like the term "Personal Record" is something you use when you talk about professionals. Common folk like myself should probably use the term PB (personal Best). But I think that's just the English teacher in me and I know I'm getting way too caught up in the context of the whole thing!  What's your thought?

2. Speaking of PR's (or PB's), I was reading a post in a running group a while back and a girl posted a picture of her Garmin and said that she finally PR-ed in the marathon distance. It was a training run for her. I congratulated her on the run and asked her what race she was training for. She proceeded to tell me that she wasn't training for any race and that she hardly ever races. She just runs to run. This brings up another thought. Do you consider training runs PR's or only races? So if some one runs a 26 minute 5k in a training run, but only a 27 minute 5k at a race, is 27 minutes their PR or is it 26 minutes?  Thoughts?

Which brings me to my last thought.

3. Although I was happy with my time from my last marathon, I missed my actual "time goal" by three lousy minutes. There really is no excuse for this. I zonked on the last 10k and it should have NEVER taken me that long to run that last 6.2 miles except it did. Those three minutes have been haunting me. I'm not ready to train for another marathon yet but a part of me will always wonder if I could have beat that time. SOooo, when I am ready to start training for another marathon, my plan is to do a Virtual Race in the marathon distance BEFORE I sign up for a race. I think I need to prove to myself that I can actually meet my time goal. But then again, if I do reach my time goal during the Virtual race, have I set a new PR in that distance or does it only count if I do an actual race?  What are your thoughts?

I would love to hear your thoughts on these topics. I have not formed an opinion one way or another so whatever you say will not offend me.  Don't be shy.

42 comments:

  1. I say to each, their own. Why not celebrate all of our accomplishments, be it during a race or a training run? I "PR'd" my last half marathon and it was 2:00:11...those 11 seconds will forever haunt me as I've been chasing a sub-2 for several years now. LOL!

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    1. Yes, to each their own certainly, but what's YOUR opinion? If you broke 2:00 in a training run, would you say you PR-ed?

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  2. This is so interesting, I've never thought about my exact views on PRs are now that I do I realize I have definite opinions. 1) I say PR vs PB just because that is what is more commonly used. 2) Maybe you could have a PB in a non-race, I'm always happy when I run a fastest ever time on one of my local routes, but I think PRs should be for races only. 3) My marathon PR is 4:01:12 and that 1:12 definitely haunts me! Not enough to try again (yet) but maybe soon.

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    1. Aww, you were SO close with that marathon time. I totally get it!

      I like your thought of saying PB on a training run and reserving PR for races!

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  3. I think a PR is a PR--whether it's during a race or during a training run, it's something to be incredibly proud of. On my bike commutes to work I constantly try to best my previous time and if I PR, it's a PR...if not, something to work harder toward the next time out :)

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    1. I like your thinking. I suppose for people who never "race" a training run is the only time they will ever PR.

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  4. If you PR in a distance, you can say you PR'd in the distance. I don't have any issue with that. With all the tracking apps like Strava etc, uploading your data makes it official.

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    1. Yes, there are so many ways to track our runs now but it's not really official unless we post it to social media, right?....LOL

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  5. I totally think a PR & PR are good to have & fair for anyone. Like I had a PB when I set a goal to run a race all the way through without stopping for any walk breaks. To me - that was a PB... even though my time wasn't faster than my PR. So I think they can exist together.

    & I guess you can have a PR without races - I just never kept that much track of anything outside of races. I mean, I keep track of time when I run every time but dont give it much thought other than in a race.

    As for the last question - ahhh - just let it go - keep that goal for your next race. You never know what a race holds & you may have a even longer time in your next race - which is still fine - but you may SMASH your goal. I would just wait until your next race & try again.
    PS - I've had a race where I was less than 2 minutes from my goal. I cried legit tears over it & the hubs thought I was nuts. It tore ME UP... thats when I've learned to give up caring so much about time. It's not worth the torment it can cause - at least to me. I've got enough other stress & things to worry about in life ;)

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    1. Even though I wanted to beat that time, I know I did the best I could during that race. I know not to beat myself up over just a race!

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  6. I personally don't use training runs as a PR. There's something about being in a race and having an official time that makes it seem more real to me. On a training run (or virtual run) it's just not the same! I've always said PR and actually hated when people said PB, so I'm happy it's changing back now ;) It just seems to roll off the tongue better and sounds like a better term to me.

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    1. You are right, PR rolls of the tongue better than PB.

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  7. I do think it's important to celebrate PR's in training too. Having good runs during training is what makes me happy to run races, because I certainly spend more time training.

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    1. Yes, I do think its important to celebrate those too. I made a "training run PR or PB" the other day in a certain distance and I was so excited!

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  8. I feel like with PR and PB it's basically the some thing and I don't think it matters if we are professional runners or not! I'm interested to see what people say about training runs being PRs...because my half marathon PR during a race is 1:38 but I once did a training run with NO STOPS and I ran a 1:34. I tried to run a 1:34 during a race but bonked every time. Why!???

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    1. So which time would you consider your PR for that distance?

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  9. Another question - chip time vs gun time. Which one do you use for your PR?

    I don't time my runs so for me, PR is only for races.

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    1. I always use chip time since my time doesn't actually start until my chip crosses the start line.

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  10. I'm purposely not reading other posts before I comment.

    To me, a PR is exactly that -- a PERSONAL record. So it's your best time for that distance, and for me, that means a race, and not a virtual race either. In some ways it's much easier to run a PR on a training run -- no runners blocking your way, no one tripping you up, no aid stations running out of water, and probably no nerves, either.I think you get my drift.

    Of course, on the flip side, you've got race day adrenaline, and that's pretty darn amazing.

    And because it's personal, as in, yours & yours alone, why would you reserve it for elites? That doesn't make sense to me.

    PB, OTOH, for me, stands for a personal best -- for that day and those conditions. For instance, I consider my last half to be both a PR and a PB -- because not only is it the fastest half I've ever run, it is by far my fastest half time in hot & humid conditions -- by about 10 minutes! So yes, I am super proud of this race.

    There are people who don't like to race. I don't think it makes them any less a runner. But in that instance, I would call it a PB rather than a PR for all of the reasons I stated above.

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    1. I am so glad you brought up all these points. They are all valid for sure. Congrats on that PR in those conditions.

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  11. I kind of thought PR and PB were interchangeable. I think if you are not a racer but you run and keep track of your times why not set a PR on your own? If that motivates you and gets you out there why not?

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    1. I suppose that's what runners who don't race do.

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  12. Those are all very interesting questions... Roger says his best 5K time was 24 something on a training run, but in races, he hasn't been able to run it below 26. For him, specifically, the anxiety of race days get to him, and he crashes after the 1st mile.

    I really think it's whatever each person is most comfortable with. If somebody never races, but can run a 18 minutes 5K! good for them!

    Training for a marathon and running a marathon are a lot of work! I say you stop beating yourself up about a few minutes, the fact that you went out and did one counts for a lot!! NOw, if you really want to do another one, then go for it!! YOu got this!

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    1. Thanks Ana! You are right, training for a marathon IS a lot of work and I don't know If I'll be ready again any time soon.

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  13. To me a PR is a PR no matter where it's achieved - that's the point of it being a personal record. It only pertains to you! And I always thought of a PR and PB as interchangeable, though I always use PR.

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  14. Oh, great topics. I wrote a post about PRs vs. PBs after I ran a PB that was NOT a PR. Here are my thoughts.

    http://got2run4me.com/2015/11/18/personal-record-versus-personal-best/

    I only count races, and then use chip time vs. Garmin time. Also, I give each race their own since the courses make such a difference -- although I some how do better at the hilly Reston 10M than the flat Army 10 Miler.

    I think a virtual marathon is a great way to build your confidence, but I wouldn't count it as a PR.

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    1. Know you have me thinking about chip time vs Garmin time as sometimes the Garmin will
      measure a course longer or shorter.

      Thanks for sharing that post. I did go back and read it.

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  15. I categorize it, like a training run PR and a race PR. But it doesn't bother me if people do it either way.

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  16. I only use races. Part of that is the timing and distance are more accurate than whatever my GPS might register. Also, I don't push myself during any long training runs.

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    1. I don't tend to push myself on training runs either.

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  17. Great questions! i typically say "PR" - not PB - but maybe i should start saying PB!
    And i count any run as a PR, but i don't count is as an "official PR" until it's a race :)

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  18. I say technically it's a PR even if it's during training but I don't officially consider it uless it's a race. So if someone asked I'd say well my fastest time is 29:22 in training but my actual PR from a race is 30:40. I just feel like I need it to be official. And I don't really like even counting non chip timed races (like the annual corporate one) because it's not an actual. documented time.... but I do still count that as my PR. It's so convoluted LOL!

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  19. I've been on vacay and am behind in blog reading.... I think it should be a PA--personal achievement. Each run or race will be a different experience. Even a repeat race will not be an exact replica of a previous one (weather, crowd, state of fitness/injury, etc.)

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  20. Doesn't matter to me what others do. I keep two separate PRs: one for non-disney races and one for disney races. I dont include training runs in my PRs mainly because I rarely race a PR pace for a full training run (I do more speedwork and race pace work)

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  21. These are great questions!

    I see a PB as being a record made on a training run or unofficial race, like a virtual race. A PR, to me, has to be a chip-timed record. If the record makes its way onto Athlinks or an official timing database, then it's a PR to me!

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  22. I think a PR is for an actual timed race. I think there is something to be said for doing well in a race environment (crowds, fueling, nerves, course, time of day, weather, etc.), but I think people should be proud of whatever they accomplish. I like course records too! I might do really well on a course that I struggled on the previous year then it is easy to measure my "success" so to speak even though it may not be a PR.

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  23. That is a very good question that you used about PR's in training vs. races... technically, I would say a PR is a PR, no matter if you ran it all by yourself or at an official race.

    Practically, there are a few problems: a) not all tracking devices are 100% accurate (my app and Garmnin are always a couple of tenths of a mile off from each other - so which one counts?) and b) during a race, that has an official distance, you might end up running more than the actual race distance, because you're not running a perfect line. So, how is that 'fair' to your REAL time for that distance?

    I guess, you can only compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. I like to call my PR's "training PR's" and "Race PR's".

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  24. This is interesting to think about. I have a few friends that use PB, and I have kind of felt it was interchangeable, but you are right I am not setting a record for sure, just a PB for me :)
    I have nailed some great training runs faster than most races, but I never consider it official or a PB unless I do it in an actual race. My Garmin is usually very accurate, but it still feels like a different kind of victory to me ...training versus an actual event.
    I think you can nail your goal time for sure. When you get that itch go get it :)

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.