Does getting a PB for a shorter distance count if done as part of a longer run?

Does getting a PB for a shorter distance count if done as part of a longer run? E.g. Getting best 5k time during a 10k event?

An interesting debate was had on this topic. There are a wide range of feelings towards those grabbing each opportunity to cut time off their records, and those who want to be official and go by the book.

There were 33 responses to the #runrichrunblog survey on this topic and the results are:

  • 22 runners (66.7%) don’t take mid-run PBs as their new PBs
  • 2 runners (6.1%) take them as ‘unofficial’ PBs
  • 9 runners (27.3%) claim any mid-run PB as a PB

My personal view is that I am encouraged at being able to run that distance at that speed/time, and it will focus me to improve to that speed/time for a standalone run. My official 5k PB time (at time of writing!) is 28m52, but at MadDog 10k had one half of the run at 28m00 for 5k. I now know I can run that speed, all be it with a slight hurricane behind me, but until I run that 5k point ot point then I am not ‘claiming it’ as official. But everyone is different, and it is nice to see some of the range of opinions around it.

I didn’t claim this one, even though Garmin wanted me to!

Some of the yes reasons were:

  • I ran it, I’m claiming it!
  • If garmin says it’s a PB, it’s a PB.
  • 5k is 5k, whether dedicated distance or as part of a long run.

Some of the no reasons were:

  • Don’t count it unless a full race.
  • When someone else times it, then I’ll count it.
  • Usain Bolt can beat the 100m as part of the 200m but the IAAF won’t recognise it.

You decide what you want to do with your records, no one should tell you what you should and shouldn’t take as your own personal achievements. But let all your accomplishments drive you forward to greater runs in future.

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1 Response

  1. Charlie Pearce says:

    Another good reason for not counting "Garmin" PBs is because you’re not comparing like with like. In any organised race, the course will have been accurately measured, but you’ll invariably run further than that due to not staying on the racing line, running wide to overtake people etc. Your 10K (for example) PB is the time you cover a 10K course, no matter how much extra distance was actually included – if your GPS device tells you it thinks (don’t forget they’re not 100% accurate!) you’ve just covered 10,000 metres in a new record time, if you translate that to an actual race you’re probably not even in the finishing straight yet…

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