Personal bests and how to achieve them

Personal bests and how to achieve them

If your fitness involves racing the clock or other people, you will always be looking for ways to get that winning feeling. There is one person that you should always be looking to beat – yourself.

Personal bests are a great way to measure fitness progress, and they need not be limited to competitive sport.


If you are a runner or a cyclist, you have lots of help. There are (of course) lots of tracking apps for runners and cyclists. If you are taking part in an event, many now allow you to tell them your previous personal best for the distance. If you improve on it, there will be a chance for a photo opportunity and maybe even an extra souvenir!

If your sport is swimming, there are waterproof tracking devices for you too. From the reliable but simple waterproof watch to the latest in swimming activity trackers, being in the water doesn’t mean you can’t keep tabs.


First, set your target. Your goal may be to beat a certain time for a particular event. It may be to set a percentage improvement. It may even be to be able to get up one particular hill without being utterly breathless at the top.

The hard work of planning has been done and there are dozens of structured improvement plans available. Whatever your sport and whatever your level of starting fitness, someone will have done it before.

Whatever your goal, break it down and make it possible. Look at your weaknesses and work on those, take care of your body and don’t neglect those important rest days.


Being able to see improvement is a major motivator – and that produces more improvement. Believing that you can improve and seeing it in a personal best is a great way to keep up exercise enthusiasm.

Track your personal best and see real progress. There’s no better encouragement.

The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Jim R.
16 March 2018

Jim R.

I remember my waterproof watch with a lap count function - who knew that there were modern equivalents. Off to drop strong hints regarding my upcoming birthday!

michael j.
15 March 2018

michael j.

Great advice.

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