It seems counter intuitive, start off slower so you can be faster, but that is exactly what negative split running is all about, with the goal in the end is to become faster. Many runners start off too fast, trying to store time to give themselves a cushion at the end of a race. It’s risky because you can crash and burn in later miles.
One key to pacing the perfect half-marathon is a negative split. For races longer than 15 minutes, running the second half of a race faster than the first, will turn out faster times. A goal would be to run the first half up to two percent slower than the second half.
“It should become second nature to race this way,” says Greg McMillan, renowned author, exercise scientist, and coach at McMillan Running. Why? “It’s much easier to start slower and end faster than the other way around!” says Jason Fitzgerald, a 2:39 marathoner, coach, and founder of Strength Running.
Completing weekly progression runs with negative splits will help acclimate your body to running faster while fatigued and drill the practice into your legs and lungs. McMillan suggests completing the first 75 percent of a training run at an easy, conversational pace, then picking it up to your 10K race pace or faster for the last quarter. Another option is to break your workout into thirds. If you’re running for 30 minutes, jog the first 10 minutes at a very slow pace, the middle 10 at a medium-fast pace, and the last 10 quickly. “This workout helps teach you where your ‘red line’ is,” McMillan says.
Start Slow on Race Day
When the starting gun goes off, resist the temptation to surge. Start at a pace that’s about 10 to 20 seconds slower than your goal tempo. Think of it as a warm-up. After one or two miles, settle into your goal pace. “Races should feel easy for the first quarter, medium-hard in the middle, and very hard in the last quarter,” McMillan says. So if you’re aiming for a 2:15 half-marathon—a 10:18 pace—run up to the first three miles at a 10:30 pace, then progress to your 10:18 pace for the middle miles. “This leaves ample opportunity to speed up during the last one to three miles, because you won’t burn through too much energy and fuel early in the race,” Fitzgerald says.
Learn how to be a more efficient runner:
- Running Drills for increased stamina and endurance
- Free 30 Day runner specific Exercise Challenge
- Strength and Mobility Exercises
- Postural and Stability Exercises
- 6 and 12 Week Training Plans
- Step by Step Coaching
- Audio running cues
- Knee rehab program
Source: Shape Magazine