/ should I trust a parkrun PB over my Garmin PB

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elliot.baker 13 Jan 2020

So on Saturday did my 5th park run and was pushing to beat a certain time, came in well under that which was pleasing! but as I crossed the finish line of the Parkrun my Garmin watch said 4.94km or something like that, so I let it carry on until I'd walked through the funnel etc. to get it to 5.00km, then stopped it, but then the Garmin time, which has sync'd with Strava and MapMyRun is 40 seconds slower than the ParkRun time.

Now I've looked back through all my runs, and I think the ParkRun time represents a new life time PB for me for a 5k.

I am assuming they measure the ParkRuns with a wheel and therefore that's more accurate than the watch. 

Just wondered if other people have had this and what they've done? because now all my data online is not really reflective of my true PB.

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stevevans5 13 Jan 2020
In reply to elliot.baker:

If you look at the recorded track from the garmin, does it cut off a load of the corners etc? By default a lot of them have "smart" tracking enabled which means it only saves datapoints when the speed or direction changes enough, but tends to lead to inaccurate recording of the run. 

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elliot.baker 13 Jan 2020
In reply to stevevans5:

Yeah it does and it was two laps and the two laps are slightly different, I suppose.... in future could I just stop it at the finish then manually amend the distance to say 5km 

I'm thinking out loud now basically 

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HB1 13 Jan 2020
In reply to elliot.baker:

> Just wondered if other people have had this and what they've done? because now all my data online is not really reflective of my true PB.

What is truth exactly? PBs are difficult to pin down, and certainly difficult to anticipate for most of us. Back in the day I used to time every run, and if I didn't get to a particular point on a particular run, I'd start to sulk, lose rhythm etc. My best time for a 10m race came when I didn't have a watch on, and my best 10K came when I arrived late, and had to catch everyone. I think that's when I decided to spend more time fell-running - times don't mean so much there!

Don't be a slave to the watch - enjoy the running

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stevevans5 13 Jan 2020
In reply to elliot.baker:

Check to see if activity tracking is set to smart in the settings and set it to every second or whatever the most accurate option is in there. Strava also will have linked your run with lots of the other people doing that parkrun (or at least as a flyby) so you could have a look at what other peoples devices had recorded to see how yours compares? 

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DancingOnRock 13 Jan 2020
In reply to elliot.baker:

There’s a list somewhere of officially measured parkruns. All the others are approximate. 

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galpinos 13 Jan 2020
In reply to elliot.baker:

PBs for "distance" is always difficult. You've got a Parkrun PB, well done, be chuffed with yourself and your performance. Parkruns are measured but the accuracy can vary, I think they describe themselves as as close to 5k as local conditions and restrictions allow. They used ti have a different classification on Power of 10 as they weren't officially measured 5ks.

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DancingOnRock 13 Jan 2020
In reply to elliot.baker:

A list of courses that have been measured as 5k BUT are not certified as 5k for parkrun because parkrun is not a race and doesn’t have a race permit.

http://coursemeasurement.org.uk/parkrun/index.htm

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dread-i 13 Jan 2020
In reply to elliot.baker:

>...my Garmin watch said 4.94km or something like that,

That's 60 meters. You could average your pace over a 60m stretch when you were going full speed and see if it matches the park run times.

If the difference between your PB's is a second, then the extra 60m might be a big deal. If not, then don't worry about it. Your PB is for you and you alone. If it makes you happy, then enjoy. It's not like Park Run is the entry qualifier for the Olympics. One year the Manchester marathon was 380m short. That was a race qualifier for some people, and for others, who may only do one marathon in their life, it wasn't a proper marathon.

If you are really, really bothered you could walk the route. There will be more data points, so a more accurate distance can be measured. Or you could run faster next week ;-)

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