Personal Bests...

Are PB's a matter of luck? I mean (as Sally Gunnell would say), we all have good and bad days. Sometimes, infact, most of the time, no matter how hard you try, your run/race can be a total flop, even though you've trained your rear end off, eaten properly etc... Only to run like a donkey on the day!

The polar opposite can also be true though. last year I spent a week drinking and eating up to three days before the National 10k and managed to get a PB!

How do you regulate the quality of your racing? Was my performance enhanced by relaxation the week before, or was it the diesel like Spanish brandy I was consuming by the gallon?


  • Jon,

    I know exactly what you mean. PBs are strange things and there are many exceptions to the rule of 'best preparation gets best results'.

    My 10K PB came at Silverstone. I had run the Watford 10K the day before and had then stayed up into the early hours watching the end of the world snooker final! I had about 5 hours sleep, had a day at work, drove to the race and had just decided to take it easy. I ended up knocking a minute and a half of my PB.

    In my experience, in the few days before the race, you can invariably get away with most aspects of bad preparation - eating the wrong stuff, lack of sleep, even a night on the booze (Snicks will tell you about this! ;-)). I think the only thing you can't get away with is not having done the training...that will always find you out in the end.
  • Scientists would say that it is probably due to correct 'tapering' prior to the PB, neo-scientists would say it is to do with 'biorhythms' and you were at a physical peak on the day of your PB, and I would say you're a lucky *@*" for doing a PB on the back of a week on the piss......
  • I personally reckon agree with the scientists on this one. If you train consistently at a suitable level of stimulus, as TDW says, then allow a brief recovery period, or 'taper', prior to a race, the only difference how you feel on the day/luck will make is marginal. You will almost be unable to fail achieving a PB of some sort! Luck might determine wheter you chop 2 minutes or 30sec of your best, but you wil get a PB!
    All personal conjecture of course, but reading this page, it seems to hold true for quite a few runners.
  • I think a lot counts on the atmosphere - a good crowd will really get you going and good field has the same effect - I did a 10K at Chirk Castle, Wrexham, a while back and for some of the way I couldn't see anyone at all - hardly inspirational! Or perhaps it was the bloody great hill...

    PS Hey Strider that's a pretty mean mugshot
  • KorsaKing - do you find it hard racing with only one leg?
  • Thanks Sythree - I've worked hard on the locks....
  • Strider, it looks it too - pretty cool. I gave up on mine and had them cut off before they fell out naturally. In the shower at work they never remove other peoples' hairs from the drain - it really pi**es me off - I know they're not mine!

  • PB's:

    Mental game plays an important part, on top of appropriate physical training.

    Visualisation, rehearsal, mentally running through the event many times, avoiding negative self talk, building belief in your own ability are all important, whether you are attempting to win the World Championship or to break 60mins for a 10k.

    Mumbo Jumbo? I don't think so!

    Tell me I'm wrong

  • I don't think you're wrong Gavin. All those things you've mentioned play a huge part in producing PB's. If we go into a race with a negative and defeatist attitude then we won't do well, but if we think like a winner then we're more likely to win our own personal race and yes it's then possible to produce a PB. Obviously we have to have done the training.

    I do think it's unrealistic to expect a PB for every race as there are so many things to consider such as the weather and the type of course and for women (can't comment for men as I've no experience)their menstrual cycle can be a influencing factor in how they run.

    Finally, I also don't feel runners can compare times on different courses of the same distance. It's only possible to measure times for a distance over the same course and even then we're likely to experience different weather each time we run that course.

    That's me finished! Happy Running!

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