What does “PR” Mean in Running?
Are you a runner? Do you want to improve your performance times for races? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then perhaps you might want to start considering training for a PR.
Granted, getting a good PR is not easy. While it might be difficult at first to break from your usual speed, being motivated and disciplined will help you achieve your goals in becoming a better, faster runner.
In this article, we will first offer a general outline of what does “PR” mean in running, as well as ways to go about improving it. Let’s get started!
Short for “personal record,” a PR is your fastest time recorded for a particular race distance, whether it is a 100-meter dash or a full marathon. It is also known as a “personal best,” or “PB,” for short.
Why does this concept exist? In other words, it’s a form of motivation, as it helps to inspire and to push you to be in top shape, as well as gives you a reason to brag about running times with your running buddies.
Now that you know what a “PR” means, it’s time for you to start getting one! No one can go about improving their race times without some hard work and effort, but there are other factors involved in doing so as well. Here are some major components in order to get your PR:
While it might be obvious to you that training is necessary in order to enhance performance, many runners may choose to ignore this aspect when it comes to working out, and instead aim for short, irregular bouts of exercise from time to time.
However, it’s important to keep a regular workout schedule, as it’ll not only condition your body to get used to this type of training, but also get it into good shape to handle any challenges when it comes to racing or other possible running milestones.
Get a coach. Although it’s possible to self-train, it would be more beneficial to find a professional coach who can advise you on which workouts to do, in order to maximize your potential. Besides giving workout advice, coaches can also push and drive you to maintain a consistent schedule, especially on days when you’re not feeling particularly keen on running. For some running advice from professional coaches, check out this video:
Get a running buddy. Whether it’s another avid runner or a family member, having someone to run with (or at least, cheer you on) will help you stay on track for breaking your personal record.
Running consistently is not the only thing that will help you get faster and stronger for racing; so is your diet. Eating foods high in fat and sugar (e.g. fried foods, desserts, etc.) will no doubt counter balance all of your efforts in getting in shape.
With that said, it’s important to eat a good, balanced meal. Aim for foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates (e.g. fruits, vegetables, meat, whole grains), and especially load up on carbohydrates like pasta right before race day to give your body that extra burst of energy.
For tips on how to eat well for runs, here’s a video:
Training consistently doesn’t necessarily mean running every day; allow yourself a day or two in between workouts to rest. Especially if you’ve been doing long, strenuous exercises to get better, taking time off will not only relax those
On the other hand, rest days don’t mean lounging around all day. Use that time wisely to perform lighter activities, such as a small jog or a walk in the neighborhood. Staying active will help you remain conditioned and prepared for your next training session.
Essentials for any sort of success, whether on the field or in life, is of course, having motivation and dedication. Without these two paramount aspects, reaching your PR will prove challenging.
Hence, having a solid idea of what you want to achieve, as well as a clear plan of how to go about attaining it, will help you stay on top of your goals, thereby leading you to run your best time ever.
Listed from the easiest to the most difficult, these workouts are ways that you can use for hitting your next PR.
• Long slow distance.Ranging from 60 to 90 minutes long, this workout is done at a relatively slow, conversational pace (in other words, you shouldn’t have a hard time breathing). Aim to do these once to three times a month.
• Strides.These are short, speed exercises done for about 50 to 100 meters. They are used for warm ups, in order to extend leg movements and get the heart rate going. You can do strides either before workouts or prior to racing.
• Intervals.Short, fast periods of running, followed by a slow jog for recovery before repeating them in regular sets. For instance, a 400-meter set would include a 100-meter dash with a 200-meter slow jog, then be finishing it up with a 100-meter dash once more.
• Fartleks. Known as “speed play” in Swedish, these are similar to intervals, but done in irregular sets. For example, you might do a 200-meter dash that is followed by a 400-meter slow jog, then a 100-meter dash.
For a how-to demonstration on fartlek runs, check out this video:
• Race pace. Done at a speed close or at the racing time. This is a way of testing out your PR time, in preparation for the actual event.
Known as a “personal record,” PRs are a great way not only to keep you in good shape, but also motivate you to become a better runner. That sense of accomplishment after breaking your previous time is nothing but thrilling, and can inspire more success in the future.
Here’s a quick list of what we’ve covered, to get you to your next PR:
Enjoyed this article? Feel free to comment if you have any questions!