Running jargon busting No.2: PB

Aka: Personal Best

Common usage: “I set a new 10k PB in that race”

More common usage: “I would have set a new 10k PB in that race, but… [INSERT LONG STRING OF EXCUSES HERE]”

Personal Bests are simple. They are the fastest time you have run a given distance in. Simple. They are a runner’s highest highs, their finest hours. And yet. And yet…

Trouble is, Personal Bests are also how a runner charts their progress. Every competitive run at every distance will be compared to your PB, regardless of the course, conditions, health and myriad other conditions. No matter how well you’ve done a run in, not troubled your PB in it will somehow always feel just a little bit disappointing.

So while PBs should be a proud record of your finest hour, they somehow become the way you mark your progress as a runner. Because of course you should judge your current form based on your ability to set a previously achieved time on an entirely different course that may or may not have been measure and timed entirely accurately at an entirely different time of the year with entirely different weather conditions. That just make sense.

Here’s the good news: I’ve never run a marathon before. So whatever happens on April 24, 2016, I’m guaranteed a new marathon PB. Guaranteed! Well, sort of. Note to self: you’re only guaranteed a new marathon PB if you finish.

Of course, the prospect of a marathon PB leads to another problem. Because what’s a PB there for, if not the aforementioned desperate desire to break it…

Previously busted running jargon: undulating

Why I’m running: I’m doing the 2016 London Marathon to raise money for the South West Children’s Heart Circle. Please sponsor me by clicking here.



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