PBs (personal bests) used to be things that were talked about rarely as that was the frequency that they were attempted to be set/broken. They were sacred. They were the highlight of one's season, in some cases, one's life.
Like many things, they are a drug, a natural high, and in the era of closer data tracking and more data points across all sports, the focus has wrongly been tied in many cases singularly to ones PB as the measure of success.
It's paralyzing many but we are addicted, and when we see ourselves moving further away from our PBs, inevitably, frustration and desperation kick in as we believe we are underperforming.
Unless the sport or discipline that we are focussing on our PB for is our life endeavour or puts food on our table, then the tact has to change.
The fallouts of always chasing a PB (aside from the psychological ones above) can be catastrophic from a physical standpoint as we are trying to drive the high-spec human being of a supercar at max speed all the time. It just does not work.
Thus leading to more "downtime" in our training/sport /endeavours (which are supposed to make us better at life) than "uptime." And with more downtime comes less training and a further shift away from the PB that we have yearned for so much!
Welcome to the 80% rule to be applied on two levels.
- What would your achievements be if you were able to train for 80% of the weeks of the year? Very different is the answer, as your consistency would be off the hook, which is the key!
- What if you could amass more training hours at 80% rather than weekly trying to shoot for 100%? The answer is that you would attain consistency from shooting for point 1 above.
The new age PB mindset does not allow for the 80% rule, as athletes across all sports seek to PB weekly. However, the 80% rule allows for PBs on the right timelines to continue to rise and makes the training process more meaningful and, therefore, more enjoyable.