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Why I don’t want to PB…

Feb 3, 2015 | Running | 7 comments

Berlin Marathon medal

Pretty much since I first started running a four years ago, I have gone into most races wanting to get a PB, (unless I was using them as a marathon training run). I’ve lined up at the start line, and run the race as fast as I could at the time, and I know I’m not alone in this.

The thing is, I feel PB’s should be earned. They should be trained for, both physically and mentally. It almost undermines the title of a PB if you just show up and claim one. Sure there will be some flukes, some days where everything just fits, or some new distances raced where to finish equals an automatic PB- ultra anyone?

Getting my Berlin marathon PB was the best thing ever. I truly earned it, every second of it. I trained hard, I fought hard and I won (obviously not the race, not even close to the 2.02.57 world record!)

I’m not training for any races at the moment, I’m running for fun. I just don’t have it in my head, and more importantly, my heart, to go for a PB. I don’t have the drive, the determination that I feel is needed. But that’s OK. I have decided that my goal for the year is to get to November and the start of training for the Tokyo Marathon (not signed up, but really, seriously thinking about it) as physically fit as possible to work my ass off for a PB in February.

Remember that they don’t all have to be PB races, you don’t have to make excuses as to why you didn’t run faster/better/further than the time before. Think about why you run, why you train through frosty mornings and bitter evenings. A race shouldn’t be thought of in terms of PB’s or not, enjoyed only when you achieve one. This weekend at the London Winter Run, I;

  • ran to have fun with friends whilst wearing glittery lips and snowflakes on our cheeks.
  • ran to say goodbye to someone who has become one of my best friends since I met her two years ago at a run club.

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  • ran to catch up with friends who live in different cities.
  • ran to the nearest McDonald’s to find a loo (the marshalls had NO idea where the next ones were on the course, or if there even were more loos)

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London winter run

  • ran to see the sights of London.
  • ran through a tunnel that is part of the London marathon course, and reminded me how far I’d come in the last three years.
  • ran for the brunch and the medal!!

And I had a great race. I finished in about 58mins, although due to the McDonald’s escapade, we missed the timing mat at 5K and don’t get a proper time. Whoops!

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Thank you to Human Race for a complimentary entry to the London Winter Run, and to Leah for organising such a wonderful post race brunch! 


  1. healthyhappierbear

    I completely agree. I’m training and putting my focus into the Savannah Half on March 28th but if there are fun races this summer, it will most likely be for the fun of it.

  2. MrsB | Mind over Matter

    I feel sad now that I didn’t sign up. Running through ‘snow’ looks like great fun.
    And you’re right about not going for a PB every time. I enjoy the races I do for fun / with friends / pacing someone / etc. just as much as the ones where I go for the PB.

  3. Nicole

    Great thoughts. I agree. Running makes us so self-competitive that we forget sometimes its okay just to get out there and run, and not make it about a PB

  4. misswheezy

    Great attitude to have! Its important to take some time out to enjoy what we do and not be constantly pushing, pushing for the next race, the next fastest time. Sunday was great fun! And btw, Tokyo sounds awesome! 😀

  5. Lauren (@PoweredbyPB)

    I’m really sad I had to miss this race! Tokyo sounds amazing, I’ve heard it’s pretty impossible to get in through the ballot, are you going to do it through a company?

  6. Jasmine

    Great post Charlie. Sometimes just getting out on a cold, dark weeknight feels as virtuous as a PB!


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