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Personal Record Tips

Posted February 07, 2023 by Laurie Regallis, BS, LAT, ATC

Man winning a marathon

All runners think about it, some achieve it and some train specifically for it. What is it you ask? A PR – Personal Record. The only competitors are yourself and the race clock. For the majority of runners, getting the elusive PR or personal best (PB), requires a great deal of work, including adhering to a strict training plan and nutrition plan. Along with consistency in training, utilizing some general strategies will also help you toe the line confidently.

  1. In the weeks and days leading up to the race, it’s important to visualize the race that you want to have. Don’t worry about your competitors as a beginning runner, just focus on doing your best. Review the course prior to race day. Know the hills, turns, water stations and aid stations. Don’t be surprised on race day. Really imagine yourself in that day, take in the air, the smells, the feelings, your heart racing and mentally prepare yourself.
  2. Use your training runs to know your limits. Know what pace you can maintain for the specific race that you are running. Don’t start out a race at a faster pace. The excitement of the start line, the crowds and the nerves all play into your race day experience and most runners start out way too fast and hit the wall before they finish. Know your pace and stick with it!
  3. Find an opponent who is running about the same pace as you and stick with them the whole race. Stay close by them and allow them to pace you. If you’re feeling good at the end, pick it up a notch and beat them.
  4. Be confident in your training! You’ve put in the work and you deserve to have a great time and a great race. Remember, not every race will be a PR. If you don’t achieve it this time, don’t hang your head! Recover and get back out there with the same goal! Take ownership of the process. Don’t toe the line thinking, “I’m just going to run and see what happens.” Go into the race knowing your specific goals and go after them! Be your own hero!


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