Found on RunnersWorld and written by Jenny Hadfield (Coach Jenny)
Personal records: They don’t come around all that often, but when they do, it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate, share your story, and evaluate what went right.
I’ve written about the many lessons learned from personal worst performances (a.k.a. a really bad day). This week’s post honors my 97 running friends who earned a personal record time this season and shared their reflections on how it happened on my Facebook wall (thank you).
Congratulations and a big high five! Keep running strong.
Kimberly Tate: I ran a PR in the half-marathon by twenty minutes. I attribute it to eating clean, persistence, dedicated runs, and BODYCOMBAT.
Stephanie Quiney: Weight training at least twice a week.
Chad Schaben: Speed-work training and form training. I earned a 1/2 Marathon and 5k PR.
Rebecca Powell Winkler: I PR’d by 9 minutes in the half marathon in less than a month! Training with a group was the big difference for me!
Lea Genders: Hill repeats and lower body weight training.
Emily Large: BELIEVING that I could! 🙂 I PR’d in every race this year – four 5Ks and two 10Ks!
Tyler James: I PR’d by about 40 seconds in the mile this track season. I would mainly contribute it to training hard weeks in advance, not getting caught up in racing and focusing solely on running well. And a great deal of adrenaline.
Eric Smith: Cut my 10K time by 6:31 to 51:14….I owe it to consistent training and running with some very talented people! I’ve also cut my 5K to 23:07 and broke 2:00 in the 1/2 marathon already this year.
Mara Sammons: For me it was a song that came up on my Ipod. I’d been training and training, but probably got too focused and couldn’t break my mile time barrier. Then on a routine run day, a song I love came up and I was able to relax and really let go and get lost in the music. I PR’ed my mile by 45 seconds.
Patrick Mitchell: Definitely the training. I use the Runner’s World training app and it’s led me to a PR every race so far.
Joy N Young: Training and your mind is a powerful thing.. I put the good Chi out in the Universe…:))) Best time ever.
Yolanda Rogers: Training and grit!
- Shannon Marrs: I earned a PR on the State Street Mile in Santa Barbara by 8 minutes I think the 50 pound weight loss contributed as well.
- Denise Gerber Klinger: Sticking to training and nice cool weather.
- Jim Allen: My 5k PR was mainly because the course ended up being a quarter-mile short! (LOL) But if I had run the same pace over 5K, it still would have been a PR. I believe it is because I’ve been doing hill work, cadence drills, and tempo runs religiously!
- Fredy Cortes: I ran a PR in the half marathon! Trail running and hiking during the weekends and regular runs during the week made it easier during the incline and declines in the race.
- Caitlin Constantine: I PR’d in every distance from 5K to the marathon this season. I think four factors played a role: 1] I was consistent with my training. ] I did more strength training with my legs. 3] I did speed work once a week. 4] I lost about ten pounds.
- Amy Neuman-Cavallaro: I focused on speed work, hill repeats, rest days and not over doing the carbohydrates.
- Bethany Lannon: I ran a 2:06 half this year – a 3-minute PR for me! I recently started doing TRX Classes once per week and I went from struggling to run average a 10:00 minute per mile pace to consistently running in the 9-minute per mile range. I even ran my first sub-8 minute mile a couple weeks ago at the end of my 4-miler! I’m attributing it all to the TRX Classes.
- Lea Hobaica: I ran my best 4-mile run at 44 minutes. The course was hard and I’ve run it several times. It was breezy, early in the day, and my husband was nearby so of course I had to look good.
- Mark Pradels: I PR’d in the half marathon by 8 minutes thanks to more mountain biking.
- Brittany Cohen: I PR’d in a half marathon by almost 10 minutes by staying well hydrated, learning from my mistakes in training, and keeping a competitive spirit to beat my old race time.
- Tina Virgona-Nathanson: I ran my first 10K at the Long Island Festival of Races – so it was a PR 🙂 I couldn’t have done it without using a breathing strip on my nose (Breath Right) and yoga. For me breathing properly is key.
- Andrea Gaffin: I PR’d in a 5K last weekend one the first anniversary of running my first 5K! Weight loss, training and running with a friend who pushed me definitely contributed to it.
- Frank Wisneski: I ran a PR two weeks ago at the Pasadena Half Marathon – 1:45:18. I attribute it to nailing my fueling and adding speed intervals to my training.
- Kelle Quathamer: I PR’d in a 5K this season by about 4 minutes! I’ve been very consistent with my training, but I think the big factor is that I’ve actually figured out how to shorten my stride. The 20-pound weight loss didn’t hurt either.
- Joshua Williams: I cut my half marathon time down by 18 minutes, 27 seconds. I quit smoking and I used better shoes. I think those were the largest contributors, except for the fact that I became a smarter runner.
- Gayle Krueger: I earned a half marathon PR. It was definitely from doing lots of speed work and hill repeats.
- Jenny Dulas Steuer: I had a PR and shed 15 minutes off my half marathon this year. Clean eating, group runs that consisted of hills and speed work and the thing that made the biggest difference, Bootcamp!
- Aaron Wheeler: I ran the Hospital Hill Half Marathon in Kansas City – the hardest half I’ve ever ran. Everybody tells you not to expect to P.R. and just enjoy yourself, so I took that advice and the week leading up to the race I did some MAJOR tapering. I ended up getting a 2-minutes PR! I contribute it to the proper tapering.
- Cortney Casey: I realized that when I ate steel cut oats prior to running instead of my usual egg beater, spinach, tomato and cheese scramble breakfast, I had more energy, felt less sore/fatigued afterward, and didn’t have stomach issues the rest of the day like I did before.
- Dameka Quimby-Dubuc: I had an 11-minute half marathon PR! I believe it was my amazing training group!
- Kurt Rinaldi: I ran a 1:36:33 at Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in Pasadena in February. My previous best was 1:37:50, and was on a much flatter course than Pasadena. The biggest factors were building a larger mileage base in the winter and running trails.
- Crystal Moya: I PR’d in my last half marathon and that time qualified me to bypass the lottery for early registration by the skin of my teeth! I did it with good quality tempo runs in my training!
- Briget Burr Stronge: I PR’d in a 5K by 55-seconds with a gun time of 26:20. It was definitely a flatter course than my previous time but I also know MTV consistent half marathon/cross/strength training months before made me stronger.
- Susanna Maines: I set a marathon PR on Saturday by 18-minutes. I think what helped was the weather, doing leg weights at least twice per week, and the training. I made sure I did speed work and hill repeats and it sure did help.
- Heather Chapman Gies: I broke 29 minutes for my 5K PR – 28:53. The course was flat with little wind, I did interval training, and my husband served as my rabbit during the race. He’s much faster than me.
- Colleen Beirne: Swimming three times per week plus fartleks!
- Maria Ray: After training for a full marathon, I blasted a new 5K PR. Knowing that I can run 26.2, I was fearless and blew through 3.1 miles and won first place overall female!
- Jen J King: I am working on breaking 50-minutes in the 10km. Last weekend I ran a PR of 50:48. I am getting closer and closer. I think my speed sessions are very helpful. My mental attitude too. Each time I push myself a tiny bit harder because I know I can go a bit harder. Also, factors like hills, heat and hydration. I have new, bright green Asics flats and every time I’ve worn them, I’ve had a PR! My goal race is the 10km at Gold Coast Marathon on 1 July. Wish me luck! (CJ: Good luck Jen!)
- Renee Potts: I PR’d in a 5K last weekend and went from a 28-minute to 24:56 finish time. I attribute it to switching my stride (shorter steps) and lots of hill intervals and hydrating for three days so I didn’t have to stop at water stations. A positive attitude. I envisioned myself jumping with joy at the finish line. I told everyone I knew I would run it in 25-minutes so I had to hold myself accountable and couldn’t back down. A positive attitude takes you further than you think.
- Alexa Boyce: I ran only three days a week. One long, one tempo and one speed workout. Run Less, Run Faster shaved 20-minutes off my last marathon time. Cross training kept me interested and ready to transition to the triathlon season. I was just shy of qualifying for the Boston Marathon which I wasn’t even trying for. Now I can’t wait to train for my next race with a Boston Qualifying goal!
- Sandie Snitkin Stanley: I PR’d in a half marathon last month. Proper fueling before and during the race was the real key for me!
- Allyson MacKay Bulger: I PR’d my last half marathon by 6-minutes and I think it was being better trained and being stronger mentally.
- Kimberly Marryott Lee: I PR’d in a 10k by 7-minutes and a half marathon by 12-minutes this year. I attribute these to running more consistently, adding speed work and tempo runs, and including rest and cross training days. What likely has helped the most is really listening to my body and modifying scheduled runs as needed and not taking running so seriously. I’m never going to be an Olympian, and just putting the “fun” in the run has helped to relieve the pressure of trying to achieve something impossible. As a result I have achieved so much more than I thought I could before.
- Missy Mock Beatty: Weather and strategy… I took an easier approach to the uphill climbs, then I had plenty of energy to let loose on the downhills!
- Allyson MacKay Bulger: My PR was at the Big Lake Half Marathon and I finished in 2:22 (previous PR was 2:28). This was a much hillier course so I was very happy 🙂
- Don Robertson: I did the Hospital Hill Half Marathon last weekend. It was my first official half. I previously had ran the distance twice. I was told — just have fun, the Hospital Hill Run is hard. The hills are grueling. I was 71-secsonds/mile quicker than my goal, 23-seconds/mile quicker than my previous 13.1mile run. I bested my fastest 10K time by 16-seconds/mile. I practiced in heat, humidity, and turns out, much bigger hills. I read up on what to bring and what to do and I didn’t kill myself going into it either.
- Denise Stark: I ran a PR at the Portland RnR Half Marathon and shaved 7 minutes+ off my time (in spite of 3 times having to wait while police let traffic through). I think it was a combination of working on my speed, shedding a little more weight, strength training, and running with a friend who helped push me to go just a little harder.
- James Robinette: I ran a half marathon in 1:49:20 which is three minutes faster than my previous personal best of 1:52:25. I ran in the early morning when it was nice and cool. I have worked hard coming back from hernia surgery in November by running more consistently.
- Jeff Hiott: I incorporated full body workout classes into my week. I ran a 10-mile PR at 38 years old – sub 60-minutes!
- Milly Hough: I had a PR of 1 minute, 48 seconds at the 2012 Heart and Sole Women’s Five Miler in Columbia, SC. I attribute it to the endurance and physical and mental strength gained from training for my first marathon in March, which is a really hard, hilly course. The leg strength and mental toughness from weeks of running hills helped me turn on the speed in the fifth mile. Plus, it was the fourth anniversary of my first race – -that made the PR worth fighting for!
- Geoff Ford: I started running last year in an attempt to lose weight. To date I’ve lost 31ks. I ran my first half marathon a few weeks ago and did 1:30:06, followed that up the following weekend with my best 10K in 40:35. I attribute this to eating the right things (protein, good carbs) and a good combination of speed work, tempo runs, fartlek, hill repeats, track work and long runs. I feel my best is yet to come.
- Spencer Day: I took 13-minutes off my 13.1 PR. Training with people faster than I am helped massively and eating better -a lot more salads and cutting out meat.
- Greg Harmon: I did my first marathon in May – Kaiser Colfax Denver Marathon. Training and mindset is the biggest thing for me. Your body will tell you that you hurt but you have to be strong with the mind.
- Kristen Strohmeier McIlwraith: I ran a 5K and 8K PR. I’ve been doing 400-meter intervals at 30-45 sec faster than PR on one run a week (on a treadmill). Also light clothing.
- Maria Quezada-Jensen: I ran an average of 15-minutes per mile in a half marathon ( prior to that my avg was 16:30). I was following Galloway’s run/walk method. I’ve also been doing Power-90 six days a week. I think that was key.
- Erin McLaughlin Griffin: I ran a PR at the Zooma Half Marathon in Annapolis. It is the third year I ran that race. The first year, I missed my goal of 2 hours by about a minute. I didn’t care about times too much then. Last year, I finished in 1:48:10 and was pleased. This year, I ran it in 1:41:06, and was especially happy because I PR’d at the St. Luke’s Half in April with 1:41:12. I attribute it to consistent training, following a running plan written by someone who knows more about running than I do, and following Coach Jenny’s advice for how to run two halfs so close together. I don’t even do speed work or hill work, but I am trying to start!
- Maya Murthy: I shed 3-minutes off my half marathon time at the Hospital Hill Run. Speed work on hills, alternated runs between mon/wed/friday/saturday and tues/wed/thurs/sat just to get some variety! Eliminated soda, had my fill of veggies, quinoa, eggs, pasta, arugula, almonds, peanut butter and cold showers to reduce inflammation. I wasn’t sore at all post run!
- Erika Meck Salinski: I ran a 5K PR of 26.47. Definite contributing factors were training and the support of my husband and friends to overcome my insecure mindset!
- Laura Postma Meengs: I PR’d in a half marathon by 12-minutes and ran 1:58:17. I ran lots of miles every week – peaking at 50 and I added a spin class once a week.
- Mickey Esters: I dropped 5-minutes off of my 5K and 4-minutes off my 10K – just by slowing my training pace!
- Lorena Gonzalez Duquette: For me, the most important things that help me to achieve my PR in a half marathon was: not trying to do too much too soon, change diet, keep a log, that’s how I knew what was working or not, and listening to my body, taking a day off is better than running and hating it. I always felt stronger in a race when my body was rested. Some times the excitement makes you want to push your body too hard, so you have to focus in your own personal goal, mine was not to get injured in trainning and finish the race strong and happy.
- Tristen Larson: I set a PR in the 10K at the Get in Gear in Minneapolis this April. It was a cool morning with some light rain. I was able to go full out without getting too warm and that really helped my energy level. I also paced my first 3-miles a little slower then my target pace so I still had a lot in the tank for the final 3.2 miles which I ran under target pace.
- Andrew Tomlinson: I broke 27-minutes for my 5K last month. I think training for a 10-miler and running an 8K and 10K race this spring helped a lot. I felt like I could speed up my 5K pace knowing that I had run 10-miles at my old 5K pace.
- Stacey Ellerman: I PR’d in the Hospital Hill Half Marathon and ran a 1:44:46 – a 5-minute course PR (10 minutes faster than last year), and a 3-minute half marathon PR. I’ve adjusted down to running three days a week and cycling on a fourth day. I attribute the PR to the weather and deciding to just go for it and push my limits.
- Catharine A. Yates: I PR’d at the Derby Festival by following Coach Jenny’s advice and running technology-free and listening to my body. I also love your advice to go ”fishing” at the end. (CJ: sweetness – and fishing rocks!)
- Kevin Hall: I set a PR in the 8K (30:00). I took 5-minutes off my time. I looked at a lot of pace calculations and I really tuned into what the internet thinks I should be running. I made sure to do my tempo runs at the right pace and run easy on easy workout days. I also started running trails that included A LOT of elevation gain.
- Esperanza Escobar Teasdale: I ran a personal best in the 5K in 38 minutes! A good night sleep, hydration before hand (Gatorade and Aquafina) and great friends to motivate me!
- Sarah Franklin: I set a 5K and 10K PR this season by pushing myself out of my comfort zone on more runs. Instead of running five days per week, I cut it back to 3 -4 and ran harder on those days. I also realized it’s okay to fall a little short and make it up in the next run.
- Diana Mitchen: I had a 5K PR by 1-minute (to 24:15) and a half marathon PR by 6-minutes 12-seconds (to 1:50:15). I earned the 5K while marathon training and the half PR, four weeks post marathon. I think all the extra base miles made a huge difference for me. I also focused on pre-race fueling to prevent cramping; a banana 30-minutes before and a green apple powerbar gel immediately before the start.
- Andi Buchanan Ball: I PR’d by 13-minutes in the Columbia, MD IronGirl Half Marathon! It was great weather, I was well-rested, properly fueled, and surrounded by strong women! Awesome day and an awesome race!!
- Melanie Fry: I ran the Soldier Field 10-mile and beat by time from 2 years ago by 10-mintues. It was much cooler this year which helped but I’m also a better runner. In the past 2 years, I’ve completed three half marathons. I knew I could run the distance even if I didn’t feel that great that day. When I ran it two years ago it was the farthest I had ever run so I wasn’t so sure I could make it.
- Ally Hickman Lofgren: I’ve PR’s in my last five races and I definitely credit it to increasing strength training and eating more whole foods.
- Andrew Espinoza: I ran the Culinariasa 5K again and went from 25:13 to 23:13. The weather was much more humid this year too. I had run a marathon earlier this year and got my diet in order. More than anything else, losing weight has helped me improve my times. I made some needed changes and was able to reach my goal to PR. I almost broke the top ten for my age group. I never thought a 20-minute 5K was ever in reach until now.
- Debbie Joiner Frose: I PR’d both my 10K by three minutes and my half marathon by over four minutes this season. I contribute it to more conistant mileage, getting more long runs weekly hill runs in. I also believe having another year of running under my belt after a few years of being off due to having kids helped. I did do some speed work but not enough.
Don Hinds: I was able to knock 10-minutes off my marathon time this year. I feel it was due in part to running very hilly trails twice a week and speed training once a week. This additional training also upped my weekly mileage to the 25-35 miles.
Ryan Taylor: I shaved 20-minutes off my marathon time by focusing on my nutrition, especially the week leading up to the race. I started to carbo-load a few days before the race.
Karrie Christensen Vincent: I had three great races in a row. For me its training ,especially cross training and Achiva native energy drink. When I drink it my muscles don’t fatigue nearly as fast as when I don’t.
Lori Schneider: I ran a half marathon PR by 21-minutes. My life circumstances finally permitted me to complete my self-designed training plan almost exactly as planned (no personal or work crises to disrupt my schedule). I really focused on running hills, started hiking a lot of hills and wore compression tights. I blogged about my training progress to a small, global audience who acted as cheerleaders, gave advice, and kept me honest about my process and results.
Tracy Haskell: I cut 2-minutes off my (still generous) 5K time by finally being consistent in my workouts and incorporating intervals of faster paced running.
Michael Bares Sr.: I ran a half marathon PR – cut my time by 10-minutes in threemonths. My key: sticking to a good training plan, nutrition/hydration, and awesome race day weather! My 10K PR – I added hill training into my weekly training runs! My 5K PR – I added speed training into the mix and started doing half-mile warm up runs about 20-minutes prior to my 10K and 5K races – that definitely helped.
Melinda Owens: I earned a PR at the Hospital Hill Run and beat last year’s time by almost 21-minutes. I invested in a lot of sleep, carbo-loaded, swam and drank tart cherry juice. I avoided from unhealthy eating and caffeine!
Renee Samuelson: I ran a PR in a 5K in April. I know it was because of my running coach and running club. Their consistent support, guidance and encouragement through the winter made it happen! Thanks Ron Byland and Minnesota RED!
Jim Herdt II: I ran a PR during my Saturday 10K in 53:28 down from 1:04:02. I switched shoes from Nikes to Mizuno about three months ago – continue to build my weekly miles for my November marathon prep – and finally have the right fueling diet nailed down. I shocked myself at the time as I was just hoping for something under an hour.