Negative Split Training

If you want to increase your speed, increase your strength, move past a lot of people then you might want to race negatively. Yes, it does sound contradicting, but it is one of the secrets to winning a race. For several years, racing negatively has been used. A good number of world records, especially in marathons, are carried out utilizing the negative split, which is also the same with swimming. Negative split simply requires one to run the other half of the event a pace faster than the initial half of the race.

Take for example, if you need 45:00 to complete a 10k race, in a negative split you will run the first 5k in 23:00 and finish the second 5k in 22:00. Seems easy, doesn’t it? Then why do most runners choose to do the reverse? You start the race fast, only to end it at a less energetic pace. Don’t you find it frustrating to find runners pass you by as you near the finish line? Well, it’s time to stop this. Master and incorporate negative split in racing. This is how it should be done:

Tempo Runs

This should only be performed on a course that is flat and then progresses to rolling. Spend around 10-15 minutes warming up and then for the first half of the course cover it in a slightly slower pace than your regular race pace. After that, conquer the last half at full speed.

Alternate with the following:  for the first half, run at a pace that is a bit faster than your race pace and then for the second half run at a pace that is not as fast. It may take a while to get the hang of this; thus, you should be patient.

Intervals on the Track

For this kind of preparation, I prefer to utilize the following distances: 800m and 1 mile.

After you finish warming up properly, get ready to run 6-8, 800m repeats, which are equivalent to 3-5, 1 mile repeats. In the 800m workout, I try to make use of the negative split. For example, you finish the whole 800m in 4:00, or 8:00 in a mile. First, you conquer the first 400m in 2:02 and finish the other half in 1:58. The point is to use the negative split for the whole duration of the training session. Finish the whole 800 meters in 4:10 and then for each repeat reduce your time to a few seconds, like from 4:10 make it 4:08 in the next repeat, 4:06 in the next and so on and so forth. You can use the same technique in mile repeats as well. Using the pace you are used to, kick start the race then as you feel tired kick up effort a notch higher.

These training methods are also applicable in other sports like swimming and cycling. You may utilize your time to complete a 500 yard lap in the pool then swim faster on the second 500. The same course in running can also be used for biking. When you re-enter the course, bike faster.

Master negative splitting and you’ll be smashing your times in no time at all!

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