Thursday, May 16, 2013

PR's: how long are they good?

I've been mulling over some PR thoughts lately.

How long can one consider them current?
Can they have birthdays?
What's the expiration date and when do they transition into lifetime-bests?

In the past year, I've ran 4 half marathons...most of which haven't been anywhere close to my current PR of 1:27:53. That was ran in September of 2011. 



Since then I've had quite a few challenges, some self-destructive races and training regimes, and two 13.1 races where I just barely squeaked in under 1:30.

2012 half marathon madness

With the next half marathon now about 3 weeks away and my current personal best at this distance nearing it's second birthday, can't help but wonder if this PR is now just old news.

PR's, what's your take?
How long do you consider them current?

34 comments:

  1. My PR marathon and half are from 2005. I may never run that fast again. They are my PRs - just like world records and other milestones, in my opinion, they last forever!

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  2. My PRs are mainly from Track and Field in HS and college.(So before 2006!) Since graduating and being "forced" (just kidding) into becoming more of a distance runner, I don't come anywhere near my PRs when I run anything under the 1 mile.

    I think PRs stay forever but I like to give myself annual credit on my fastest race of the year. (PR or no PR)

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    1. ever do open track races? you'd probably have some great competition! i would imagine that if you were a collegiate athlete it would be pretty difficult to simulate your training post graduation once you've got a bit more responsibility and your life doesn't center around your training schedule.

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  3. I reset mine at age 40 -- so I have some new ones that have been on the books now for 5 years ;-) I will probably never be able to get those old PRs again -- eg: old half marathon PR 1:20 current half PR 1:24 . . . . but it's still exciting to get the new slower ones!

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    1. those are some pretty impressive splits, i'd hold on to them too if i were you ;) and you're right, even if you don't put up those numbers it is pretty awesome when you've come close. must be the chase...

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  4. Interesting question! Perhaps PRs reset after major life events - e.g., high school or college graduation; birth of child; turning 30, 40, or some other round number? That way we can collect more of them! ~Kristen

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  5. I think PRs last forever but future goals should be realistic. If you think you can beat it, then go for it. You just have to realize what you are capable of now. And when people ask about your PR, I usually tell them *when* I got it just for clarification (for example, I was much faster in 2011 but I know with enough training, I can be faster than that in the future). Make sense? I would just rather look at the future and what I will accomplish!
    ~Ang

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  6. I'm with Two Little Runners - it kind of changes after major life events - aging, kids, etc. There's a ton of factors that go into them... *if* I had kids, I'd probably consider pre-kid PRs and post-kid PRs, just because I know those are things that affect them all.

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  7. I go with age-group divisions and a lifetime PR.

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  8. Be proud of your PR's and dont let them go. You earned them!

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  9. After a year, PRs change to Personal Awesomeness. Maybe your speed ticked down, but your form has improved or you are more mentally tough!

    I don't get into races, so my PRs are just what I did the last week and I stare it down every day.

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  10. Cool post. I think that your PR's last until they aren't PR's anymore. As some here have said, be proud of what you have accomplished! Don't retire those records, celebrate them. If it has been 2 years since your PR it just may be your Lifetime Record, but that doesn't mean you should just forget about it and start over. I do like some of the other suggestions in the comments, like Age Group Records...a nice addition to your PR's, but not a replacement.

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    1. not retiring it, just wondering if i should just start to consider it my lifetime best and give myself a completely different benchmark.

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  11. I really wish PRs could last forever. If they did, there would still be a part of me that believed that I could run a sub-6 minute mile however, I haven't done that I about 8 years... So, I don't think it works that way. Those days are gone and I am forced to consider those "life-time bests" it would also be depressing if those were my PRs because then I'm pretty much guaranteed to never have a new PR, which is at least 25% of the fun of running.

    I do still consider my half marathon time from 2011 as my PR because my subsequent times have been within a few minutes of that.

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    1. that seems like a fair rule.

      suppose maybe just those lifetime bests are going to hold a special place in the heart.

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  12. Interesting post. I'm with Kovas - maybe every 5 years they reset, since likely you will have a tough time beating your old PRs unless you really ramp up the training or start training really smart. I'll never beat my times from high school or early college. My longer distance PRs are all from 2009-2010, so I have a good chance of beating all of those if I can get healthy and get back to training regularly.

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    1. and you will get back there nelly! keep with it!

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  13. I have my "ultimate" PRs--like the ones from college. But then I have my "current" PRs (now after babies). Of course I could always beat the ultimate ones, but I compartmentalize a little to account for where I am in life.

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  14. I was talking to Xaarlin about this, and I think we decided that AG PR's last forever! Ha ha ha. :)

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  15. I would say a PR from only 2011 still counts. You are young and still have PR abilities in those legs of yours. In general though I think PRs last forever but it's also possible to have over-40 PRs

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    1. agreed. can't be on one consistent pr wave forever, last year was a lulling year for me which is what has stirred a lot of the thoughts. feel like even though that half record is less than 2 years old, it was at a different stage of life that is no where close to where i am now physically and mentally.

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  16. Lets just go ahead and agree that 2011 still counts, pretty please??? Haha!! Since my half PR is from Oct 2011. In all seriousness, I think a PR has about a 5 year shelf life if you just run a few a year, maybe more like a 2-3 year shelf life if you run a race most months.

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  17. My college times will always be my lifetime best...I now shoot for mommy pr's

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  18. This means nothing, since I did not run in college/high school, but I set all of my PRs over the age of 40. Every. Single. One.

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    1. ahhh, thank you pete! this is exactly what i wanted to hear! you and those speedy wheels give me hope that there are many many more years to come of quick miles.

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  19. As Kim mentioned above, the PRs last forever. They can't be undone or forgotten. The situations and circumstances may change but you will always have the memories of that ultimate PB.

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  20. I like what another commenter said about them lasting forever but also having a best time for that year.

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  21. I say they last forever..you earn them, they're yours for keeping. That said, I suppose at some point in time they might need to come with an asterisk. But two years is certainly a reasonable time to claim it and claim it proudly!

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  22. Great question! I think they're good forever, but the difference is that maybe as you evaluate different races or times in your life or whatever, you set different expectations for yourself and your speed and training. But daaaang, girl. 1:27?! Wow.

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  23. Your PRs are your PRs, until you set a new one. At 55, I know I will not, so my marathon PR will forever be 3:16, even if it was 14 years ago. Obviously, at a certain point, either injury or age will mean that you will no longer set new one, but until then, a PR is a goal to beat.

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  24. I say you have to do what you are comfortable with. I think you are super fast, but you have to be comfortable with what you decide on.

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  25. At some point, I found an official time from when I ran a 10-miler when I was like 11 years old. I still consider that my 10-miler PR, even though I could crush that time today if I could just find a 10-mile race.

    Unfortunately, while I ran 10-15 10K's as a kid, I don't have records of any of my times. So when I started running again three years ago as a 34 year old, every race was pretty much a PR. But I think they last a lifetime now...no expiration dates...

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  26. for YOU, hell to the effing, NO pr's are pr's and lifetime pr's are etched in stone. u can't ever take away the fact that u RAN those times. i think wat u mean is maybe fearing that u're lifetime pr's are a thing of the past, like wat master's runners do and have master's pr's vs. lifetime pr's. to THAT i tell u, "hell to the fu##ing NO! u are HARDLY past ur runner prime." we all have doubts, fitness changes depending on things, but i know for damn sure that given the right training/race/etc. for u, u're still going to be setting pr's...regardless of if this next one is it or not...there's always another race.

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