PR Question (Read 1490 times)

    A pumpkin with a fist stuffed inside it?
    Who would think up something like this? What the hell is wrong with you?



    CPT Curmudgeon

      Who would think up something like this? What the hell is wrong with you?
      Oh, all kinds of things are wrong with me.

      Think Whirled Peas

        Who would think up something like this? What the hell is wrong with you?

        Just because running is simple does not mean it is easy.

          Contests are set up with rules and judges so that all competitors are under the same constraints. This makes it fair to compare the performance of one person with another person. Even in weightlifting, a bench press in training is usually much different than a bench press in competition because in competition you have to pause the weight until the head judge says "press". You can complete the lift, but still not get credit if you move your foot, lift your butt off the bench, or other things that are against the rules. I remember seeing guys in the gym claiming to be able to squat outrageous weight, but when I saw them squat, it was more like a half squat - they didn't go parallel - which is required in competition. When you tell someone your PR is whatever it is, it's usually understood that you were in an official competition

          I've got a fever...

            When you tell someone your PR is whatever it is, it's usually understood that you were in an official competition

            On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

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              Stevie Ray, what's your PR for threads with blueskies?
              Where's the one where he channelled her and ended saying he was gonna go back and edit it 10 times in the next half hour -- and did it? I nearly busted a gut on that one...

              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                Would I run faster in a race than I do on my own? Absolutely. There is no question in my mind that this is true. It's why I don't race. I am extremely competitive. Too competitive. I care very much about how much I improve, and how fast I am is merely one way of measuring that. Because I choose to compete with myself rather than compete with you changes nothing.
                What the two areas I have highligthed tells me is that you are big coward. You don't race even though you know you would run faster if you did. WTF kind of logic is that? You are scared of how much faster a lot of other folks would be even when you are going your fastest. Get over it. No one cares about your PRs but you and no one is going to think less of you because you ran a 5K in 28:00 or 38:00 or 58:00 for that matter. If you really were as competitive as you say you wouldn't be scared to put it on the line every now and then. You would relish the chance to occasionally get your butt kicked by people who are better than you as a way to find out how good you really are. You would use those butt-kickings as motivation to train a little harder, a little longer, a little faster or maybe just a little smarter so that next time you can beat them or at the very least get beaten by them just a little bit less. That's what competitors do.

                "You NEED to do this" - Shara

                  Yeeeeeeeeeah. Ok, let me back up here. I asked the question I asked because I was genuinely curious. That's how my mind works. I question things. Am I concerned with other runners think of me? Are you kidding? I'm the guy who everyone passes, remember? I could care less. Ah, but am I concerned about what other runners think about running? Very much so. I find people interesting. I find the way people invest in systems particularly fascinating and I was simply questioning the system that is the running community as represented here on runningahead. Like I said, it's how my mind works. I am curious. I never meant to offend anyone and I never offered any personal attacks nor did I mock anyone else's thoughts or opinions. I mentioned the logging because, well, it wasn't a coincidence or convenience that the logs work this way. Long before the software was written use cases were performed and the fact that it was decided that only races generate PRs was indicative of a mindset. The fact that so many sites have the same setup indicates that it is a common mindset. Convenience? Worst case scenario is that adding the ability to choose to include any run as a PR would require exactly one extra line of code on the display side and either one extra line in the query or perhaps another three or four lines of a new query depending on how the database is structured. Again, I'm not criticizing Eric or this site. I saw it as a mindset that I questioned. The fact that so many people reacted with personal shots to someone questioning such a simple thing is, quite frankly, astonishing. I won't bother responding to those individually because I started this thread in the hope of opening a discussion and somewhere that hope still lingers. Discussion, you know... people talking and listening and actually thinking about what one another has to say. I haven't seen mocking like this since the political boards during the election cycle. Anyway... For what it's worth... I am interested in improving. If not, I would not care what my PR is. That only seems logical. Am I a coward? Please. I don't race for my own reasons. The fact that someone else will be faster than me is of no concern whatsoever. I have a huge ego, but not like that. I was never the strongest guy in the gym, the most balanced yogi, the best player on the baseball field, etc. What an asinine thing to say. That was just mean spirited and I don't really understand why you would say that. Mikey, I really don't care how much you can bench. My point was that you knew. If I asked what your best bench was in conversation you would say 250. You wouldn't say "0, because I never entered a bench press competition". Also...
                  My PR for my Norden Sturgess loop is 56:13. This was not set in competition but on a random, ho-hum, 8+ mile training run. It is not listed in my RunningAhead training log, and I'm okay with that.
                  Exactly! I really don't care what my running ahead log says my PR is. I've said about 8 times now that I regret mentioning the logging at all as my question was more about trying to understand a mindset. My point is, as you said, your PR for the Norden Sturgess loop is 56:13. In an earlier post you said something along the lines of "how can you consider anything a PR that wasn't part of a race". Yet, you clearly do. Logging aside, you consider that your PR. Why? Because that was your best performance on that loop and it will forever be the measuring stick for you on that loop until you beat it. Why is that such a bad thing? Ok, one thing I do have to comment on...
                  For those of us who do not PR in random workouts and whose PRs represent one triumph that stands out over a lifetime of struggle, failure, half-successes, and heartbreaking injuries most of your questions are pretty moot.
                  Wow. That's by far the most insulting thing I've seen in awhile. So just to clarify, I don't struggle, I have never suffered failure or heartbreaking injuries simply because I choose not to enter some charity 10k? Are you serious? Go back to Mikey's Norden Sturgess PR. He accomplished something on that day that he had never done before or since. That time, 56:13, represented the culmination of years of training, struggle, and effort. But because it wasn't accomplished after first paying 50 bucks and wedging himself elbows to assholes into a crowd of 1400 other mopes it doesn't count? It doesn't represent any of his struggle, failure, half successes etc? If you really believe that to be true then that's cool. I just can't get on board with that line of thinking.
                  And who am I anyway?
                  Just another fat jogger, evidently.

                  I've got a fever...

                    My point is, as you said, your PR for the Norden Sturgess loop is 56:13. In an earlier post you said something along the lines of "how can you consider anything a PR that wasn't part of a race". Yet, you clearly do.
                    Umm, no he doesn't. He, no doubt, had to look that up, and was, no doubt, being facetious. He doesn't consider that to be a PR.
                    Go back to Mikey's Norden Sturgess PR. He accomplished something on that day that he had never done before or since. That time, 56:13, represented the culmination of years of training, struggle, and effort.
                    Yes and no. Yes, it took years of effort to get to the point where he could run fairly easy and do 56:13 on that loop. But there was, I'm sure, nothing special about that. It was just a regular training run, and 56:13 happened to be his best time. On a loop where he couldn't care less about his time. I'm sure he could go out any day he wanted to and crush that time if that was his goal. I have a 4.12 mile loop I often run at lunch. I just looked up that I run it in 29:50 last year. Is that my 4.12mi PR? To me, it's just a brisk lunchtime run. If I went to work on Monday and decided to blast it with everything I had, I bet could do it just a little north of 26 minutes. If I could have blasted it when I was in my absolute peak shape 20 years ago, I bet I could've run it close to 22 minutes. So 29:50 is meaningless to me, just as 56:13 is meaningless to Mikey. In my opinion, it devalues the term PR when it happens to be the best time you happened to run on some random course on some random day. Just my opinion. My PR's are listed in my footer, and every one of those times and races is special to me. I can remember each one like it was yesterday. I can picture the course. I remember the shirt I got. I remember what shoes I wore. I remember guys I was racing against. Those are special moments in my running career that I'll cherish long after I can't run another step. 800m: leadoff leg if the 4x8 against Flushing. Passed their guy with 300 to go, thought I was gonna die with 100 to go. Ran even splits, a rarity for me in the 800. 1600m: personal time trial, because I knew I was in good mile shape (but there really aren't any mile races once you leave school). Jim ran laps 2 and 3 with me as a rabbit. Ran the last lap in 66. 3200m: Chip relays. First time I ever run sub-5 split. Passed Robert Gray of Flint Central with 200m to go. I also passed him on the same spot of the track later that day during the distance medley. 5k: Todd Houser robo-paced me for 3 miles, then I kicked past him in the stretch. 10k: Dave Farlow Sr., father of a local track legend, dusted my ass in the middle of this one. 15k: best negative split race of my life. I ran strong for 9.2 miles, staggered in the last 0.1, and hurled. The hurl was yellow from the truckstop burger the night before, which had too much mustard. 25k: At the 10k mark, I was blessed with the appearance of porta-john, which saved me the indignity of shitting myself mid-race. I don't remember anything about the time I ran 29:50 at lunch. Anutherfinemess, I don't say this in any way to be disparaging; I'm just trying to convey to your what a PR means to most runners. No, it doesn't have to be a race to be a PR (see my 1600m). But to most runners, it has to be hard, and the best place to do that is in a race. You can define a PR in whatever way suits you. I hope I've helped to convey to you how I define it (and how most runners look at it, I think). There's nothing wrong with not racing. But even if you don't care about those racing alongside you, you'd be amazed by how much more you can push yourself in the presence of others. Consider giving it a try. You may surprise yourself. Smile

                    On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                      I think I understand you better now, Jeff. Much easier to take in when it's not condescending as was the earlier post about "those of us who struggle" etc. Thank you for offering an actual reply rather than just taking shots. I actually agree with you probably more than you think. I just truly, deeply wish that I had waded into this discussion differently. I really chose the wrong tack in bringing up the question not only in the context of logging, but also I guess in making it personal to me. I know that I can define my PRs however I want. What I really wanted was a discussion of how and why everyone else defines theirs. What I got, I feel, was mostly a knee jerk reaction to an idea that challenged an established way of looking at things. In regards to your post, like I said I do agree with a fair bit of what you say. PRs should be special and not accidental best times on random routes. I concur. I am even grudgingly accepting the idea that they should be "all out" runs. I don't think that any of the runs where I hit my PR were accidental. In every case they were days chosen well in advance where I intended to run that distance faster than I had before. I trained for those days much like someone would train for an actual race. I don't believe I ever said that I sort of went out and oops, I ran that one fast so it's my new PR. If that's the impression I gave then that was my mistake. Do I remember each of those runs? Well, I have 4 runs that I consider PRs. I absolutely remember the 5k, 10k, and 21k runs because in each of those it was a real struggle to get below a milestone I had set for myself, and in each it wasn't my first attempt to do so. Each was, as I said before, planned well in advance on a route that was both a little long and intentionally challenging. Somewhere in the back of my mind is the idea that if I ever did race I want it to feel shorter and easier than what I train at, so I make sure that my runs are mapped long and literally all of my routes end going up hill. Anyway, my point is that I celebrated each one of those as a victory because they were indeed the result of my own struggles, hardships, and failures. Were they all out runs? Probably not. But they did represent the greatest effort that I had put forth at that distance. They were damned hard, actually. I got a great sense of accomplishment from them and it seems completely foreign to me for someone to say that it didn't count because someone else wasn't running beside me. The 15k... well, I cannot honestly say that I remember that run in particular. I can say that I am fairly certain that it was another pre-determined date that I had trained for. The reason I cannot remember it exactly is that I had two or three that were very close in time and I was never able to really punch beyond that threshold so I am not sure exactly which one it was. As for me entering a race, still 99.9% sure that it will never happen. On one level I agree that I would probably run faster because of the competition, but there are a ton of reasons not to for me. It's just difficult for me to imagine that being a positive experience.
                      And who am I anyway?
                      Just another fat jogger, evidently.
                        anotherfinemess, I really think you're looking to be offended with some of this. I didn't see anything insulting about Jeff's post that you called the most insulting thing you'd seen in a while. He was trying to explain the mind-set that the vast majority of runners have whove worked very hard and struggled over many years toward improving their best race times. He didn't say anything about your PRs or your running. I thought he captured the "mindset" pretty perfectly actually. Read it again. It's all you need to know and should answer all of your questions. And my PR for the Norden Sturgess loop was just to make a point that you can call a PR at whatever you want. I had no idea what my PR was for that course was--I just went into my course list and picked that one because I knew I'd run it a lot of times. I clicked on the course name which brought up all the runs I've done on that loop and sorted by time. I don't even remember the run in question. It was just like a million other here-we-go-again 8-milers I've done over the years. Maybe I was in a good mood and well rested that day, maybe the weather was perfect. I have no idea. But if I were racing I could beat that time by five minutes just about any day of the week so it doesn't matter. It means next to nothing to me. On the other hand if you worked hard to get below a personal milestone at 5K, 10K, 21K and you consider those your PR's then that's absolutely fine with everyone. Those are, by the way, very popular race distances--I wonder if there's any meaning in that? A bunch of us got kind of silly on a Friday. Whoops, sorry. But honestly some of these questions just seem pretty inane. Why do most of us think of PRs as only from races? Because running is a sport--an athletic competition--and races are how we measure ourselves in this sport. It's really pretty fundamental. And after a while we gave up trying to explain something that's as basic as "why do you breathe air?" and just let it fly because that seemed more fun. I gotta go. Gotta set a PR for 11.7 miles in cold weather.

                        Runners run.


                          When you tell someone your PR is whatever it is, it's usually understood that you were in an official competition
                          Tony, i have a confession. My 5K PR was not in an official competition. It was a "virtual race" with some online buddies. I am such a fraud. Cry But I suppose it doesn't matter because its MY LOG. This is the worst thread ever. Ever.

                          I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.


                            I think the mindset of PRs always being races is simply because for the vast majority of people who are into running enough to discuss it PR only in races. Most of us make no effort to break a PR in everyday training, so it just doesn't come up. Once a certain number of people do things a certain way, that is what becomes the norm. It would be tiring to try to always be looking for the exception. If someone is telling you about someone they know, your mental image of that person probably does not involve a big curly-cue mustache, since almost nobody has one. There is nothing wrong with someone if they do, but it is unexpected since it is outside the norm. In this case, there is nothing wrong with PRing outside a race, but the mindset is as it is because it is the norm. If you posted your 5K PR (however it was achieved) in a thread about 5K PRs, nobody would dismiss it... we'd just assume it was a race until told otherwise. I am curious why you won't race... at one point you mentioned it was because you knew you would be much faster, but I don't quite get that.

                            5K - 18:25 - 3/19/11
                            10K - 39:38 - 12/13/09
                            1/2 - 1:29:38 - 5/30/10
                            Full - 3:45:40 - 5/27/07

                            I've got a fever...

                              For the record, I don't think that our resident hippie-philisopher (but I repeat myself) was being condescending. As is often the case, he summed a concept up perfectly in a few short, pithy sentences (whereas I blathered on and gave a figgin' self history lesson). Please try to read what he said through the lens of those of us who see equate competition with racing. He wasn't insulting you, he was describing how our society most often defines what it truly means to compete. Best of luck with competing, however you choose to do it, and with setting your PR's, however you choose to define them. But do change your footer. Perhaps you're just trying to flash a self-depricating wit, but what it really ends up being is self-pitying, self-loathing, and ultimately, self-defeating. You deserve better than to sabatoge yourself like that.

                              On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                                Because unless all of your races are like that then the reality is that your PR is not the best effort you are capable of, but rather your best performance on that day in those conditions on that course. It also happens to be your best performance at the distance. Would I run faster in a race than I do on my own? Absolutely. There is no question in my mind that this is true. It's why I don't race.
                                I recognize you do mention later that you do train for "the day" that's your race simulation. But what you stated above is part of the difference between races and training runs. It's what the weather is that day and time, having to drive 1+ hr to a race, wait around 30-60 min for race start, deal with congestion at race start and maybe later, pacing oneself when there's others around you that might be fartleking the race, maybe sleeping in a hotel, yadda, yadda, yadda. It's a lot different in a race than alone. When running alone, it's time trial conditions, and you can run your own race without idiosyncrasies of other runners around you. Since I'm at back of the pack, many people are newer and haven't figured out the pacing thing yet so it's a matter of ignoring runners and running my own race. Also sometimes there's shorter and longer distances in the same race with same start time. And then there's the folks that are faster on flat, firm ground, but I catch them in the mud holes, and have to slow down for them. Sometimes (say, in multi-hour races) they give the slower runners a 1-2 hr head start, then we have to be on the lookout for fast folks from behind - on single track trails with barely any room to pass. In road races, you may have to deal with congestion at aid stations, etc. FWIW, I mostly run trails, and of course there any timing is very course dependent. My 10k PR (the best I have in me that day on that course) is somewhere near 1:35-1:40, but I can run 10k in about 1:20-1:25 (yea, I know I'm slow regardless) on an easy training run on snowpacked roads. When in condition, I could run 10k on some local rolling hill trails in about 1:30. But the only times I've run 10k races have been a (1) spring race that's the most technical footing of any of my races and the snow has only melted from the course about 1-2 wks before and (2) the citizens race on US Natl Snowshoe Championship course. My goal is to get my race times (my PR) as fast as my time trials on easier courses. Locally, we may talk about how fast someone can make it to the top of a local mountain (3000ft in 2.5 mi), but we usually just say "my best time" or whatever since in running circles "PR" implies race. That mountain is part of a longer race, so a person's training best up it will not be as fast as race pace when they have 6000ft more vertically to go. But around here, most people are careful to say, "yes, I have run x course in y minutes, but I have not done the race." And that's for slow pokes and fast folks alike. Yea, I recognize a lot of this may not be relevant to road races, but I do know that many people will adjust their training runs if the weather is really cruddy, so even though a person has a time trial / simulated race set for a day when it's pouring rain and 30mph winds, they may not do it - or -15F or +100F - take your pick of challenging weather. You might be different, but don't know. BTW, I'm not a regular strength trainer, just enough to do whatever with running, and I don't even log it. I'd only refer to it as the best I've done is x sets of y reps, using "cheating" or "real" technique (pushups from knees or real ones, in this case) - I don't think I'd ever use the term PR in reference to stuff like that, but I'm obviously not a strength trainer.
                                "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog