Be Negative

Sep 8, 2011 by

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia. Photo credit Roger Patterson


The Loch Ness Monster.

The Lizard Man of South Carolina.

Negative Splits.

Some would argue the first three in this list are not real.  I would argue they are more real than the 4th – the elusive negative split.  This is one term I left out of my post called Who Knew? where I listed terms I did not know before becoming a runner.  So what is a negative split?  In simplest terms, it is running the second half of a race faster than the first half, and I have yet to do this.   Why?  Mainly because it takes an extreme amount of discipline to start out a race at the proper pace.  With a crowd and adrenaline pumping, most people start way too fast and then fade during the last parts of the race. I am guilty of this.

So why should you are I care about a negative split?  First, I believe I’ll feel better at the end of the race, with more fuel in the tank.  I won’t get into too technical here, but if you start out too fast in a race (or even training) your body will start preserving itself too early by shutting down your fuel supply (hitting the wall!) and make you miserable.  Once you hit the wall, it is hard, if not impossible to get back on track.  Second,  I like the idea of actually passing people toward the end.   I hear some people do this.

So, this is a new race and long training run strategy for me,   Some might think this not giving it all, but I think this will be a smarter way to race.  I guess when I think about it, the negative split is more like a hole-in-one or a no-hitter than Bigfoot.  It is real and can be done, but it is rare.  I’ll keep you posted.



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