Stupid Question about PBs

New to the forum and have enjoyed having a good old nose through recent threads. This may sound like a dumb question but hey ho. When it comes to PBs, do you only count races? Eg, in an organised 10k race I have run 49:49 but running 10k on my own accord I have run 44.33. What should I count as my PB? Cheers!



  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    I count organized race times as my pb's. Because these are accurately measured courses to the standards of the supervising body. I can't be sure that my own 10k or whatever distance run is accurate. A Garmin isn't good enough, btw. Races are measured using special kit.

    Not a stupid question, incidentally image


  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    The race....most races are run under a set of rules that cover course measurement and timing so it is a standard for everyone. Race for life etc are not reliable but any running club worth its salt organising a race will have an accurately measured course and qualified timekeepers. With the best will will in the world, running 10k based on a gps watch or phone or measured out on a website just isn't accurate.
  • I have a PB for practically every different route i take !  

    If u have a garmin log in to garmin connect then you can name and record each route.... and if you are a geek like me you can try to beat each PB image

  • Thanks Muttley, Mr Puffy, makes sense.

    I have a garmin login, Monty39, and do that as well.


  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    I always run far better in races than I do on training runs anyway. I can never replicate the pace by myself.

  • My 49 min 10k race time was 4 years ago whereas the 44.33 training time was a couple of months ago. A shame I can't say my 10k pb is sub 45 but motivation to get booked into a race!

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Paxton, that's a huge difference in your race v solo times.

    Now, you have a garmin, and while not 100%, they will surely be pretty accurate, so is there some massive detail explaining the difference?

    Such as you being much fitter when you did your solo run v the race? Or was the race done on a very hot or hilly course?

    Like Muttley says, it's standard to be able to produce much faster in a race than training.


    For instance,in training I find it a big effort to run 2miles at my 10mile race pace. Yet in said race, it just feels "comfortably hard". Race day magic.


  • Yes Paxton I was wondering about the time difference as it is a bit big. I would say in a race you would find you will be well under 45 minutes.

    I recall the first time I raced a 5k it was 3-4  minutes faster than I had ever run it on my own, trying to go fast.

    The race is the place for a fast paceimage

  • Yeah, I thought I would be pulled up on the size of the difference. They are 4 years apart. The 44.33 was in March whilst training for the VLM so i was in the best shape I have ever been in, the 49.49 was at the Nike Run London 10k at Wembley in 2008 when I wasn't on any particular training programme and probably half a stone heavier.


  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Just makes a slightly massive difference there pal image

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    So what was you vlm time Paxton?
  • That's a sore point!

    My training was geared around sub 4 and thought I was on course, half marathon time was 1.46, 16 miles was 2.15, a hilly 20 miles was 2.58. On marathon day, the pace was stop start with the congestion as you know so I kept speeding up when I had a bit of room to make up the time. Hit halfway on course. Then at 17 miles I started to feel cramp twinges. I decided to stretch to catch it before it took hold. Bad idea, everything tightened on stopping and struggled to get going again. A downward spiral from there. I always thought the wall was myth until then! The last 8 miles were an emotional run/walk I'm afraid. Came in at 4.44.43.

    I'm keen to have another crack at marathon distance so any advice on where you think I went wrong (speeding up at points/stopping to stretch/unrealistic target?) is most welcome. Cheers.

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    Oh dear sorry I asked now! I think your target was reasonable though, I don't know about stopping etc, cramp is something that can end your race it might have been worse had you carried on.
  • Sorry VLM didn't go well Paxton. Top of the list for most people to fix is doing the long runs too quickly. Do them all at race pace and you tend to crash and burn between 18 & 20 miles.
  • Will keep that in mind, Spoons, cheers. Pace discipline is something I can definitely work on. Now I know training times don't count as PBs it should help me not get too carried away!

    Would it be fair to say to treat VLM as an experience but to look else where for a cleaner marathon race?
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Paxton, marathons certainly aren't my thing, but I've read of a few people training up for them...what kind of mileage did you do in the build up, and what length long runs? Also what pace long runs?

    I've read of people training for marathons on 25-30miles a week, and I just think wow...that's under prepared.,... a "get round", but in no means any kind of "do yourself justice" job.

  • Personally I don't like VLM but loads of people do. It's a bit too busy for me. I would try another and see how you get on. Abingdon is a great marathon. Generally about 40 miles a week is about the minimum if you want to get a time. If you just want to get round you can get away with less.
  • Sorry to hear that London didn't go according to plan Paxton.  If it's any consolation, mine didn't either.  I think the warm start plus I didn't have the best prep the few days before sabotaged mine slightly.

    Moving on from that, if you want to have a good crack at another marathon, consistency is the key.  Build your training up, follow a plan and you will get faster.  Marathons are tough and you can't expect to be great at them on a few months training.  Also be realistic on your racing schedule.  Many people run marathons every week, which is great, but you can't race a marathon every week.  The top guys only race a marathon a few times a year.  You can race shorter distances much more often in the build up to your target to help you develop speed and race craft.

    The great thing about running is that there are lots of distances to choose from, each having their own challenges if you want to do them well.

    Good luck.

  • I was doing between 35-45 miles a week, long runs I did regular halfs and 16 miles and peaked at one 20 mile run three weeks prior. Should I have done another 20? My pace was 8.15 min miles mainly although the 20 was about 8.50. I looked at Abington but its full this year so will try for next year. Thanks again.
  • I think next time you will need more long runs.  I usually do 4 or 5 20+ mile runs, peaking at 22 3 weeks before.

    Get yourself a good 16-20 week schedule.  There are plenty available on the web.  I've always used the RW ones.  I don't always follow them to the letter as I find I need 2 rest days a week, but always make sure I do the key sessions - the long run being one of them.

  • I would suggest more 20 milers. 4-5 is the norm. If you were aiming for sub 4, you're pace will be around 9:00. Therefore do your long runs in training at around 10:00. Slower is better for building the aerobic engine. Time on feet is what's important. You can do a few miles at marathon pace in the last quarter to build strength.
  • I drew up a training plan based on a few I saw online, started in November as I wanted to shift a it of weight before getting into the meat of the plan. There seemed to be conflicting advice on the long runs, hence opting for just the one 20 miler. But your advice here is great for next time, all taken onboard. Thanks all.
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Paxton, a guy on my thread swears by doing 21milers, rather than 20s....says it breaks the mental hold of that figure.  He had discipline of steel though, sometimes doing his long run of the week on a weekday morning before work image

    He'd do 4-5 of those, MP miles in runs, and entering a 20mile race in the lead up to the event.

  • I can see the point of that Stevie.  As my last marathon campaign with a little shorter than ideal, I wanted to make sure I got my long runs in and did a 21 as well as a couple of 20s.  I also pushed the 22 up to 23 - I have a thing in my mind that I can always run 3 miles, doesn't matter if it's a 5 mile or 20 mile run, so I knew that I'd go the distance. 

    Doing 21 milers before work is hard core though!

    Paxton - you have to find what works for you but don't try and reinvent the wheel.  People with a much better understanding and deeper knowledge than I have draw up these plans so I tend to trust them.  They can be tweaked of course to fit your life but not too much.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    I'm certainly no expert on marathons, and to be honest never plan to do one...but i'll always remember that this chap outperformed a much younger guy who is a lot quicker over all other distances.

    And he did that through sheer experience. It's a distance I remember even Paula Radcliffe said never goes perfectly!

    Doing a 23miler in training is pretty hard core in itself!!  I did my usual 16 today...the idea of casually stacking another hour on is insane!

  • Paxton, I did three x 20 milers , and a couple of 22+ milers before my 1st Marathon. I found these gave me a lot of confidence that I could go the distance - just as BDB said. Just seeing on paper that you have run 5 or 6  20 milers is good reading in the days before the race.

    Kept them all at an easy pace until the last 3 long runs, when I started introducing some miles at marathon pace.

    There are a few other flattish marathons available for the autumn now Abingdon is full. Does 3 laps of Luton in November appeal! I think my second is going to be Leicester mid October.

  • General rule of thumb is your 5 longest runs should add up to 100+ miles.

    Loads of good autumn marathons out there. New Forest. Mablethorpe. Luton. Abingdon. Town Moor.....

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭
    Do leicesterimage

    I'll be there running right at the back about 5 yards ahead of the clean up crew.
  • (speaking with the experience of all of 1 marathon - and slow at that)

    I decided to do multiple 20 miles, despite lots of beginners plans not going that far, because I knew if I had a bad run on the 1 x 20 mile, I'd be at the start line with no confidence i could finish. Multiple attempts at the distance gave extra confidence that i could get that far. 

    Having said, that, when I try again, I'll certainly take at least 1 run beyond that distance. At mile 20, those last 6 seem like an awful long way... 

    Whichever plan you opt for, I think you need to buy into it and completely commit to it - no changing it on a whim as you go along. Trust it, believe it will work and give it everything it demands. You need to do some research and find the one that suits you, your running patttern and there are so many to choose from that I somtime wonder if that's not the most difficult part. 

    And with that, I'll leave the advice to the swifties, who probably have more relevant advice to offer. 

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I plan to run over distance for my next marathon. There might be an ultra after that. However I don't want 26.2 miles to be the furthest that I have run. Last marathon I ran I did 3 runs of 22.25 miles in 185 mins. All three on different routes.

    Still - need to focus on today and my next few races not think about what may come in the future.

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