Here’s how to attain PR
When was the last time you set a PR? A PR is a personal record, a personal best, a memory of a race where you truly excelled and ran faster than you have ever run before.
Unfortunately, the older we get, the harder and harder it is to reach a PR. If the memory of a PR has been longer than you care to remember, or maybe never experienced, then take heart, because this summer you will have a perfect opportunity to reach a PR.
When I was 36, I set a PR for 10 kilometers that still amazes me. It was at the Sacramento International Triathlon and the weather was cool and damp. The triathlon was an Olympic distance event with a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike and a 10K run. It was raining lightly throughout the swim and when I got on my bike, the roads were wet and very slick so all I could do was take it easy and cruise. This allowed me to save my strength for the run. By the time I got off my bike I was so frustrated that I just took off without even thinking about my pace or anything else. It was cool and I just felt like running. How or why I was able to run as fast as I did, I will never know but when I crossed the finish line and they announced my time, I could not believe it. At first, I thought that the course must be short or there was some kind of mistake, but when I rechecked the results and compared them with other triathletes who had raced, I was finally convinced.
I hold on to that memory and it helps drive me to reach another PR. I doubt that I will ever run a 10K as fast as I did that day, but I can still reach a PR by running longer and longer races. If you have never run a marathon, then your first successful finish will be a PR. If you have never run 50K, then your first 50K finish will be a PR. I am now up to running 100-mile races and I am not sure if I will be able to continue this strategy for much longer, but now there is an alternative.
The Tahoe Mountain Milers Running Club, in conjunction with the Road Runners Club of America, is starting a 5-kilometer race series beginning in May and running through October.
The RRCA has developed a handicap system for all ages so that every runner can compare their finishing times with a nationally ranked average to see how they compare. I can now race against myself and compare my times with the times of other men my age to see how my running is progressing.
At every race, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to each runner who meets their age-adjusted standard for the 3.1-mile distance. Each week, you can measure your level of improvement and evaluate your training. This is the perfect opportunity for walkers and runners of all ages to challenge themselves to improve their times and set PRs. Children and adults are welcome. The races will be on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at Sawmill Pond. The course is an out-and-back with a slight uphill on the return. The club will charge a $3 fee for nonclub members and $2 for members, for every race. If you would like additional information about this series, check out the Mountain Milers web page at http://personalweb.sierra.net/~tahoedwc or call out hotline, at 541-5122.
One of the best examples for achieving a successful PR is David Kurtzman, owner of Aspen Realty. When we started the Mountain Milers Running Club two years ago, David joined in order to start a running program and have someone to run with. Since that first day, David has progressed from running 5Ks and 10Ks to half-marathons, marathons, 50Ks and just two weeks ago, David completed the American River 50, his first 50-mile race. Congratulations, Dave, on a great achievement and setting a new PR. Dave is now focusing on the 100K and he will soon seek his first 100-Mile Buckle.
If you have questions about training, nutrition, shoes or anything else to do with running, stop by World’s Toughest Endurance Sports or call me at 542-6296. For those runners on-line, my e-mail address is Wtough@oakweb.com
Run long and keep smiling!
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