5 Apr

That PB Feeling

Wall Clock

Ah, there's nothing quite like a PB is there? 'PB?' non-runners might ask. You don't really hear much about Personal Bests in other sports.

But it's one of the true beauties of the sport of running. There are goals for everyone to strive for - not just potential winners. Golf has its handicap system which levels the playing field and gives everyone an individual target, but there are few other sports that can really offer personalised goals as running does.

Even for those who have ran for many decades and whose faster days are clearly behind them, there are season bests, age-group bests and perhaps even longer distance challenges to conquer. It's why every mass participation road race features men, women, young, old, all shapes and all sizes. Everyone on the start-line has something to go for. I had the joy of a PB at the weekend.

I knew I was in PB shape, but didn't expect to be slashing five minutes off my half marathon best. I was nowhere near the winners' prizes, but the guy who finished first couldn't have felt any happier than me.

There were many members of the running club I am a member of that had the same PB feeling as I. And before I go on, probably the biggest contributor to my PB, is being a member of a club. It's not just the benefit of training nights, it's the sharing of advice with fellow runners, the internal competition among club members and the simple extra enjoyment of running with a group which helps you raise your game. It was fantastic to hear of other people's newly acquired PBs, some faster than mine, some slower, but all equally rewarding to that individual.

The course was the Brooks Paddock Wood half marathon, well-renowned as a PB course. I'd never really chased particular courses based on their rumoured speed before. But the PB feeling is addictive. I might change that policy from now on.