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How do you define your PBs?

  • 03-03-2022 3:48pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3,636 ✭✭✭ DeepBlue

    What criteria do you folks use to record your PBs?

    Are you happy with garmin or strava telling you if you've recorded a new fastest time or do you take a different approach?

    My approach has changed recently so now I'm only counting a PB as one if it happened in a race and the race has to be specific for the distance. So, for example, my 10k and 10mile PBs are binned as they occurred in a half-marathon. parkruns are out too for 5k PBs (needs to be an official 5K race).

    Is that overthinking/too regimented? What happens if your garmin/strava tells you that the race length is slightly short? Still accept the PB?



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,073 ✭✭✭ healy1835

    Official races for me anyway. I've ran my 'fastest' 10 Mile and 5k in TTs over the last couple of years, but it's all about what you do on raceday for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,156 ✭✭✭✭ 28064212

    The accuracy of consumer-grade GPS is generally significantly over-rated. If you're claiming a PB, the distance should be properly measured

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  • Registered Users Posts: 412 ✭✭ MisterJinx

    This could be a GPS issue or course measurement issue but I have found the majority of the courses I have run seem to come up short on the GPS (not that I've ran loads). Generally I'll use the PB from the course as my PB time and anything else as a strava time e.g. Ran Clontarf half and my GPS and strava clocked me 200m short where as I had covered the 21.3km strava segment.... So I go with the race time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,580 ✭✭✭ Swashbuckler

    My approach is exactly the same as yours although i have flip flopped on it over the last few years. I ran 17.02 in a 5k TT but don't count it as a pb. Has to be an official race specific to that distance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 415 ✭✭ marathon2022

    My official racing over the years includes the sum total of

    1 x 5k race - last year at 19.5X which is close enough to my current level

    1 x 10k race - 3 years ago (49.18 in 2019)

    2 x half -3 and 5 years ago (1.56 in 2019)

    1 x Marathon(not including virtual runs) - 3 years ago (3.59)

    To put those official PBs results in perspective, three weeks ago I went out on a weekend 16 mile session, 13 miles of which were at 7.00/pace quite comfortably. After uploading the run strava advise me that the below were PBs :-) from this run alone.

    1.31.38 HM

    1.09.40 10 mile

    43.04 10km

    This is my normal so im inclined to use times I have recorded on watches while running a distance I am happy enough is very close to the GPS tracker. I have found that even if the GPS on some of my watchs in the past has been a slight bit dicky, strava usually returns better data on upload.

    I really should race more. I reckong I could PB in every race distance(once I get rid of this fuclking covid)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 847 ✭✭✭ Unknownability

    I'd be similar enough to the majority in that I wouldn't take a training run PB as anything other than an indication of what ball park I'm in.

    I diverge though in that I'll take the PB for a distance other than what the race is.

    For example I did the first half of Manchester in 132 or so. My PB for a half in a half is 135'30. I've no problem saying my PB for a half is 132 or so as it was a proper race and they gave you a chip time for it.

    To further complicate it, I would take say a 5k PB from a marathon unless the race organisers gave that spilt on the website.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,021 ✭✭✭✭ Murph_D

    Races only. You can have your TT numbers but I'd call them "TT PBs". For instance my virtual marathon TT time is faster than my best marathon time but it's not reliable.

    Wouldn't discount parkrun for a 5k PB if you're confident the course has been properly measured.

    You can have a shorter PB in a longer race (e.g. 10k PB in a 10-mile race, but again only if you have an official split time from that point in the race (e.g. from a timing mat at 10k - some races do this, not many though.)

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭ babacool

    As most same here: races only and only for the official distance. Split PBs don’t count as it could have been a downhill split 😉.

    i even go that far that I only count races where the net elevation gain is at least 0m. If you have more down than uphill in there it doesn’t count (applies to races where start and finish are not in the same place).

    TT would only count if it’s something I wouldn’t find a race for (ie 60min TT) or if it’s on an official race course and I start and finish at the official spot. Parkrun is a race and counts if you know it’s 5k!

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,048 ✭✭✭ BeepBeep67

    You can have a net loss of 1m per km once the start and finish are not further than 50% of the race distance apart.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,636 ✭✭✭ DeepBlue

    The problem with parkrun is that even if the parkrun is correctly measured and the timekeepers are on top of their game you could still end up getting the wrong finish token and thus the wrong time.

    For example:

    Lets say there's only 5 runners at the parkrun. 

    The second finisher refuses the finish token (maybe he doesn't have his barcode or something). The person handing out the finish tokens should pocket his finish token but instead hands it out to the third finisher. The fourth finisher is then handed out the next token in the sequence which is the third finish token and similarly the fifth finisher get's the token that should have gone to the fourth finisher.

    This is a common enough mistake and means that the third, fourth and fifth finisher all received the finish times of the person immediately ahead of them.

    I'm not bashing parkrun. I love parkrun but there's lots of scope for errors especially as you're dealing with new volunteers each week. Handing out finish tokens looks like an easy job but it's actually a bit complicated and difficult to explain to a new volunteer in a few minutes before the parkrun starts. 

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,105 ✭✭✭ Wottle

    I'd possibly count a Time Trial on a track, especially a mile.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,298 ✭✭✭ diego_b

    Races only but if I can set a pb in a time trial I note it as a time trial, I don't count anything that Strava tells me as pbs. If I can run a pb for a split in a race (e.g. 5 mile split in a 10K) I note it on my own records...I guess as something to know so it informs a target for the next time I race the shorter distance.

    Something I would consider at some point maybe would be to record pbs for the various age categories, senior, m35, m40 and so on. Thinking more of some way of tracking personal age graded performance as you get older...hopefully still faster or at least the same as before!

  • Registered Users Posts: 490 ✭✭ FinnC

    I count PBs in Time Trials as PBs don’t see any reason not to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 214 ✭✭ E.coli

    The key word being "Personal" best

    Garmin's can be unreliable and tree cover, harpins etc can play havoc

    Likewise given how often we see mismeasured races (at all levels from fun runs to calendar staples established years ago) fact is there were probably alot of mismeasured races from "the good aul days".

    For me I rely on race results only but I also go into most races having a good idea of what kinda shape I am in and what is possible so I know deep down if a course is short and wouldn't count as a PB as wouldn't sit right with me but it is a personal thing there is only a handful of times when it actually matters to anyone bar you (qualifying times for a race) other than that it amounts to bragging rights like most armchair footballers in the pub. 9/10 times people can usually see through a lie

    I remember many moons ago being in the Gaeltacht and another lad was claiming to run for Ireland and was being bigged up. I was on my post season break at the time but my training partner's season was extended due to the Celtic Schools Championships so was training with him to keep him ticking over. Someone mentioned to him that we ran as well so invited him to train with us. Confessions came about 1 mile into a 6 mile easy run as he skulked off back to the accommodation.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭ babacool

    Not sure what your point is. 😁 question is what do I consider as a PB - and I don’t consider a time as a PB when done on a “downhill” course. Not saying I judge others for doing so.

    also with that 50% rule that means over the marathon distance you could have a net loss of 42m if start and finish are within 21km. That sounds crazy to me as such a drop must be a massively fast race 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭ babacool

    good point. Lap 1 on a track - can’t go wrong with that (unless someone had too many Guinness when getting the track build 😁).

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,048 ✭✭✭ BeepBeep67

    It's the IAAF rule for what profile counts for record purposes, 0.001% drop wouldn't be crazy or massively fast.

  • Registered Users Posts: 361 ✭✭ babacool

    I probably misread/understood your original comment and interpreted “1m loss per 1km” that over the marathon distance it could be “42m loss over a total of 42km”. that to me sounds crazy fast.

    either way, some still consider those races as PB races/times (jingle bells 5k or kilcock 5k comes to mind). Fine by me and as e.coli said “bragging rights”. I would just put them down as “race PB” but not “5k PB”.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,677 ✭✭✭ FortuneChip

    Whether an official race, or a personal run, my times tend to be quite consistent when captured in a similar timeframe.

    That said, f I go out for a 5km run tonight and my Garmin tells me it's my new PB, then I'm considering it my new PB. It's only for me, it's not my identity or qualification or anything like that, and I'd caveat it if asked, but to me, it sets MY target to beat next time I'm chasing a goal.

    Most of my personal runs are circuits, so there's no real elevation bias. Would official race distances also be based on an optimum racing line? Just know some of my runs I'd fall into the more congested middle.

    That said, my PB for a 10 mile, half marathon and marathon are all official races. 5km and 10km are TT, given I'd cover those distances far more frequently.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,105 ✭✭✭ Wottle

    Actually, I seem to have called a half marathon time trial my PB from November 2020.

    I had 3 rules: Distance had to be 101%, so 13.23 miles instead of 13.1, it had to be a loop start and finish in the same spot and it had to be undulating.

    I ran 1'35'29, Strava said 1'34'34 and as much as I wanted the Strava time, it wasn't part of the deal.

    Sure my marathon last week was 3'25 and Strava says 3'21, I wish but eh no 😅

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,178 ✭✭✭ MY BAD

    Sessions don't count. Time trails don't count. Park runs don't count. And the Ballyshannon 5k doesn't count either 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,021 ✭✭✭✭ Murph_D

    Hope that whole interaction was as Gaeilge. 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,021 ✭✭✭✭ Murph_D

    Just make sure not to forget those extra 9 metres. I’ve seen it happen at a beer mile. 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,021 ✭✭✭✭ Murph_D

    What about all the reasons mentioned so far in this thread?

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,021 ✭✭✭✭ Murph_D

    1m per km IS .001%

    Net elevation can be very misleading - look at Boston marathon course. Net drop 480 feet, point-to-point course so not record eligible. But still a brutal course with more distance climbing than descending.

    On the whole though, if the rule is good enough for IAAF it’s good enough for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,061 ✭✭✭ crisco10

    Ah, I used to only count races but then covid hit and I haven't done a race since 2019 so I'm pretty happy to use honest TTs.

    I couldn't even tell you my 5k pb from a formal race, maybe about 19 mins. But in a few time trials I've been about 18:05 in last year or 2. Would feel a bit disingenuous to say my pb is 19mins now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 490 ✭✭ FinnC

    What about them? Have you considered the possibility I don’t agree with them or your reasons?

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,993 ✭✭✭✭ event

    Yeah this is it. COVID has put a change in it tbh. Whatever people wanna count, let them at it

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭ TFBubendorfer

    1m per km is 0.1%, surely?

    As for TT PBs, maybe I'm different but there is no way I could ever PB in a TT, no matter if I would count it or not. That race day adrenaline that comes with putting a number on your shirt is powerful stuff, and no matter how hard I tried to push myself in training on some rare occasions, I was never getting anywhere near my race times.

    Also, PBs are PERSONAL, and it's everyone's personal opinion that counts. If someone wants to claim a TT PB, and it is genuine, that's entirely their own business and I could not care less.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,021 ✭✭✭✭ Murph_D

    Oops, yes totally right. 1m/k is .001 or 0.1%. Managed to confuse myself there - genuinely appreciate you pointing this out, innnumeracy is overly tolerated in Ireland, if you ask me, so I appreciate when my own errors are pointed out.

    We are still talking about 1m/k as the acceptable stat, that’s the number - the very small number - that effectively defines what is officially a downhill route, applying the other rule(s) as well.