What are negative splits?

The other day I was reading one of my favorite ‘healthy’ blogs and ran across a term I had heard before but never knew what it meant. Thanks to Caitlin from Healthy Tipping Point I now do!

Negative Splits are when your split times decrease over the length of the race. For example a 6 mile run might look like this:

  • 10:15
  • 10:05
  • 9:55
  • 9:45
  • 9:35
  • 9:25
  • Avg Time 9:50

So why would you do that? Simple when your nearing the end of your race you will still have something in reserve to give. I wish I had known about this my first 1/2 marathon My time probably could have been 1 min better but the last mile was brutal and it was all I could do to not walk. Here are a few reasons to try running negative splits:

  • Running at a slower pace in the beginning of your workout or race allows your muscles and joints to warm up thoroughly, which can help prevent injuries such as pulled muscles.
  • It gradually increases how hard your heart and lungs need to work, so it’s less of a shock to your system.
  • Mood-boosting endorphins will naturally be flowing in the second half, so you’ll have increased energy that allows you to run faster without feeling much effort.
  • Running faster in the end of a race puts you at an advantage psychologically. You’ll feel more confident and a sense of strength as you pass other runners by.
  • They offer quicker postrun recovery.
  • When consistently doing negative splits in training runs, you’ll inevitably become a faster runner.

So I tried it out on my long run on Sunday 10 miles I forgot to write down my exact splits but it was something like this

  • 10:15
  • 10:00
  • 9:55
  • 9:40
  • 10:45 (what?!?)
  • 9:50
  • 9:40
  • 9:38
  • 9:35
  • 9:30
  • Avg 9:53

Those weren’t my exact splits I know my range was from 10:45-9:30 and my average was 9:53 which is 2 seconds faster than my normal  plus I still had plenty of energy at that end I could have kept going easily! YAY, such a difference.  I’m going to keep training this way and hope for great results for my 1/2 marathon in October.

Speaking of which is anyone out there running the Des Moines IMT Marathon or 1/2?

Come back next week to see HOW i’m implimenting negativne splits.

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