How much would you pay for a PB?

OK, so you can spend money on lighter shoes, gym classes, physios, training books and accessories, coaches etc. but it is very difficult to prove how much each of those contributes towards making you faster.

In a cycling timetrial, wind tunnel tests show that over 40km (around 1 hr ride time) the best skin suit saves 134 secs; aerobars save 132 sec; aero helmet 67 secs and the list goes on. Therefore it is pretty much possible to work out how much each second improvement would cost your wallet.

So if you could buy something (a pairs or shoes / physio time etc) with a guarantee that it would knock around 5 mins from your 10m time or 15 mins from your Marathon time, how much would you pay for that?


  • That's one reason I don't really like time trialling - the kit makes a big difference.   Some people see investment in kit and putting a bit of thought into your position etc as all part of their hobby but it's not for me.  

    For the same reason if I could buy a pair of shoes that guaranteed 5 minutes off my pb but they cost what would be a prohibitive amount for some people I'd just not bother racing - what would be the point as it's not man on man (!!) anymore so much as who has the most money.  

  • Was it Oscar Wilde who said people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Can appreciate someone shaving seconds off to win Gold medals but most of are competing against ourselves first and foremost. Save your money and put in the work. It's honest and it's real.
  • I wouldn't pay for anything.  I'd rather earn the 5/10/15 mins by training hard.

  • That's an interesting question because we already pay towards PBs by buying kit that is comfortable and works well.  I pay £20 for a technical t-shirt when I could wear a £5 cotton t-shirt but I know I'll run faster in the techie shirt because I'm more comfortable.  The question is, where do you draw the line?


    I would like to say that I wouldn't pay for something that offered a guarantee of better times because I want my PBs to be the result of my efforts.  However, if something allows me to train betterthen I think I would buy it, budget permitting.  I'm not really a gadget junkie so I wouldn't spend much.

  • i agree with NLR, most of us probabley would entertain the idea of 'paying' for a PB , but how many of us could live with it knowing it wasnt actually 'real'? ...the rewards , however long it takes, of achieving your PB (be it 2 mins or 10mins off previous) are priceless. nuff said.image

  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭

    I suppose where I was coming from is that I was injured in Spring and tried lots of things to get me back on the road. Nothing seemed to work. In the end I took the plunge and spent almost £200 on a pair of orthotics, which enabled me to run a marathon time I'm pleased with.

    I am starting a spring campaign now and was thinking to myself whether I should pay for a fortnightly massage or not. I decided that if I knew it could help me to knock 15 mins off my Marathon PB I would happily part with £40 every couple of weeks. Is this cheating?

    I also thought about the numbers of hours I spent running and would I be prepared to give up a few hours work (and a few hours pay) per week to get in extra training to take off those extra 15 mins. If so, how much would I be prepared to lose in salary for this.

    I can totally understand the views above, but how many of us run in £20 trainers, surf shorts and cotton Ts? Many of us spend money of energy drinks, gels, recovery shakes as well or buy expesive treadmills or gym memberships. All this expense contributes to making us faster, more comfortable and injury free. The question is, how much is 15mins over a Marathon worth?

  • The things you're talking about, keir, don't offer a guarantee of a PB.  Massage won't make you faster.  It may reduce your chance of an injury which means you can do more training and be faster but it's not guaranteed.  The same with taking time off work.  It gives you more time to train but there's no guarantee it'll make you faster.  That means none of those things can possibly be considered as "cheating".

  • Hmmm... I think there are separate questions here about how much you're willing to spend on the process of getting a PB, and how much you're willing to spend on an unequivocal performance advantage, other things being equal.

    I know one of the things that some people like about competitive running compared to cycling is that by and large it is a level playing field, and you simply can't spend another few thousand pounds in order to gain a significant margin over the opposition - but at some level I think we'd need to admit that we're still willing to pay purely for an improved PB.  For example, if two pairs of running shoes are identical in terms of fit, comfort, support, durability, looks, etc, but one was half the weight and cost £10 more, I'm pretty sure I'd be willing to spend the extra £10 and use these as my race shoes.  So I'm willing to spend at least £10 for a PB!  Or how about if two 10k's are being run on the same day, one with a 30 secs faster course but entrance fee £10 more?  Your fitness will obviously be the same on the day, but if you know you're in PB form you might be willing to spend the extra money.  It's not cheating cos it's still a 10k that you'll run according to the rules...

    I am glad that in the grand scheme of things, it's a level playing field, otherwise if your budget is a significant factor in your performance I think it starts to look a bit hollow, and takes away from the achievement, which is what competition is about for the most part.  I suppose it's different when you get into the realms of professional sport, e.g. top cycling teams will have the very latest and most expensive gear, but you'll only be able take advantage of it by earning your place in the team.  Likewise with elite runners - the actual shoes on their feet are the same as we mortals use, but they've earned the right to be able to train full time and have access to physios, massage, etc.

    BTW I'm not knocking people who spend lots of money on their hobby, be it cycling or whatever.  At the end of the day we're boys (and girls) with toys, and riding round on a big load of bling with shiny things on is fun!  image

    Mr W - nice lights!  image

  • I think the biggest thing I have spent is my garmin as that has enabled me to keep on pace and get a PB........

    We all do it to some extents as said above........but where we draw the line is very individual.................

    the biggest thing that would make me faster is if I was to lose a couple of stone...............I would pay a lot for that to magically happen...............

    But there is not a magical cure apart from hard work and self control...................both of which i lack

  • id rather spend the money on cake.

    nom nom nom nom

  • Nick L wrote (see)

    id rather spend the money on cake.

    nom nom nom nom

    Seems fair to me.

    As for running a faster course - I'd actually opt for the course that was slower with more hills, off road if poss.

    Oh I run and race in a cotton T

    would def pay a lot of money to loose weight. then I could eat more cake.

  • nick L , any cake left?

    i really dont spend much on run gear at all, thats the whole thing i like about running. i dont have to book a time to do it, its free, i ot when i go when it suits. i can run alone (usuallyimage) or with someone(hardlyever) and i get fab scenery. i dont go much on all the equipment , prob will never own a Garmin!!

  • kittenkat wrote (see)
    I wear minimal clothing to race in and lightweight shoes, other than that, nothing.

    So how much time would running with only shoes on save you???

    Not sure getting your kit off in this weather would be much fun.....

    Always plenty of cake left!

  • Look at how Dame Paula improved once she was able to afford all the trimmings! How many others would have done as well or better if they had access to that kind of support?

    Surely having the finances to indulge is an advantage in every sport?

  • yes AS, im sure that is true...think id rather get mediocre run shoes and bloody fantastic stillettos with the money though !!!!!!!!image
  • I was nervously ticking off the days to my first marathon at work and admitting to a fair bit of trepidation as to whether I'd even finish, let alone get a good time.

    My colleague who runs the Lottery syndicate said, "well you never know - we could get lucky on Euromillions and you wont have to do it"... completely and utterly missing the point about long distance running and why we do it!

    Even with a lottery win, I would still have run that marathon... and no amount of money could buy me a finish.

    I love the fact that millionaire or pauper, we all simply have our own bodies to work with and very little else other than a decent pair of trainers and the race entry fee!

    Running has to be the most level of level playing fields...

    Nothing to do with this but a female colleague asked me if I was "looking for a good time"

    I thanked her for the offer but said I'd probably best leave it till after the marathon in case it distracted me... she still blushes when that comes up in conversation....

  • loulabell wrote (see)
    yes AS, im sure that is true...think id rather get mediocre run shoes and bloody fantastic stillettos with the money though !!!!!!!!image
    I would rather watch you teetering around in some stillettos than watch Dame P run a world record marathon in the most expensive trainers money can buy image
  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭
    Kicked-It wrote (see)

    Nothing to do with this but a female colleague asked me if I was "looking for a good time"

    image Nice, I will remember that one!
  • I've spent a few quid on bit's and pieces, shoe's, shorts, tech t's etc and the odd massage here and there. All of these have made a contribution to me being faster now than I was with the kit I had when I started running. The biggest difference is my body which I've spent many hours training. (Think about the food spend for that amount of calories!)

    If I paid for a guranteed faster time I would always know I had......

    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • i dont 'teeter' in my stillettos, i walk like a super dooper modelimage.

    currently sporting some shiny black 4inch ers image

  • loulabell wrote (see)

    i dont 'teeter' in my stillettos, i walk like a super dooper modelimage.

    currently sporting some shiny black 4inch ers image

  • i knew that last comment was a mistakeimage

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