Have you heard other runners discussing it celebrating these but secretly wondered, “what are negative splits in running?”
Friend, I’m here to define negative splits and discuss how you can achieve one!
What is it?
Negative splitting is when you run the second half of your race faster than your first half.
This strategy has been proven to be an effective way to reach your potential in a number of distances.
Fun fact: Most world records above 800m have been set with negative splits.
Why does it work?
Negative splits shield your body from producing too much lactic acid at the beginning of the race, which will help you sustain your pace for the race’s duration.
When your body is clearing the lactic acid as quickly as it is manufacturing it, your muscles can continue to contract optimally, allowing you to run to your potential!
Additionally, negative splits make staying optimistic throughout a race a lot easier.
It’s a great feeling to look down at your watch and see your mile splits getting faster and faster as you go along.
As you know, if you can stay strong mentally, your body is much more likely to oblige to the demands you are placing on it!
How do you practice them?
In training, you should implement progression runs, which mean you incrementally get faster.
Example: if my marathon pace is 8:00 per mile, I may run a 4 mile progression run beginning at 9:00, moving to 8:30 in the second mile, then to 8:00 in the third, finishing the fourth with a 7:30 pace.
You can also finish long runs fast (last 10-20%) to practice what it feels like to speed up as you go along.
Example: in a 10 mile long run, I’d run the last 2 miles at tempo pace (20%).
These types of workouts can teach your body (and mind!) how to hold back in the beginning and switch to the next gear later on.
Here are some additional race specific tips you can transfer to whatever distance you’re attempting next:
Want more help with your training? Get on my waitlist for 2022 coaching by contacting me.
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