How an estimated finish time kept me going to a PB

Garmin 235 watch face

Some of you will know that I recently achieved my fastest 5km this year and a new 5km PB. I know it's not all about how fast you can go, but I wanted to touch on something about how an estimated finish time kept me going.

I have a Garmin Forerunner 235 * and whilst it has many features, there was one I used last Saturday at parkrun.

(* disclosure - this is an affiliate link, and you don't have to click on it or buy. But if you do, we earn a few pennies from it)

Under the training menu, it has the option of selecting Finish Time. This will give you an estimated finish time which will be displayed as you set off on your run. 

PB at parkrun?

Following a few weeks of marathon training that has included some speed work on the track and 'lamposts' I was curious to find out if it has had any impact on my 5km time. 

Although my recent 5km runs that I did during the week were around 32-33minutes or so, on my way to parkrun I did wonder if I could push to perhaps a new PB, or certainly how close I could get to it. 

My previous best was 27:05 and I hadn't been near that since I did it way back in October 2017. I think the closest I had got to it was 29:48 or something like that, so a little off.

I selected Finish Time whilst we were waiting for the start and got ready, and no sooner was my watch ready we were off.

How did it keep me going?

The 1st 1km of our local parkrun can be a fast one with it pretty much being a little downhill section. So when my watched buzzed for the 1st km it was around 5:10 so predicting a finish time of 25:50 or close to that. 

My first thoughts were, 'Right!!' and 'No Way!!' or thoughts to that effect.

As I kept going and round the course, I could start to feel it getting tougher as not only had I not run as fast as this for a while, I hadn't run many full 5km's either!

Anyway, I was thinking of taking a walk break at the 4km mark but there was something about how I was feeling largely ok and then seeing an estimated finish time of 27:00 or thereabouts. 

I knew that I could try and push on as with a km to go, I could potentially have a new PB here. This kept me going and not taking that break. And in doing that I did indeed set a new PB of 26:59!

It's not all about how fast

As I mentioned earlier it's not all about how fast you can go, this was more chasing a goal, a PB. I always say that PB has two important words. 

Personal and best. It's about you. No one else.

I wanted to see if I could reach or maybe beat my PB at parkrun and knowing at 4km that I was very close to it, I wanted to push myself on. It became a mind battle of not taking that walk break, but to keep going.

I was competing against myself.

Have you ever used Finish Time or similar during a run? Do you have any other things that keep you going rather than stopping? Let me know in the comments below.



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