The Elusive Negative Splits
This past summer a runner asked another runner before the race, “What is your race strategy for today?” The runner replied “well, I am going to go out hard, I mean super hard, and then I am going to positive split this course like no other.” The first runner was quite perplexed as you all maybe at the moment, the usual goal for a race is to run negative splits or at the very least keep those splits even, it is not too do the exact opposite. “Well,” the other runner explained, “I always try to negative split and it is just so hard, I figured this time I would just set out to do what happens each time anyway.”
Let us take a step back for a second and explain further. Sometimes with all this type of runner lingo it can be hard to tell which end is up. In basic terms here is what we mean:
Positive Splits: When you run positive splits, your first few miles are your fastest miles and then you progressively get slower and slower. Generally, runners try to avoid this as it leads to overall slower times and more difficult runs or races. Time in the bank, an entirely separate blog, does not really work, thus you are better off doing the complete opposite.
Negative Splits: The complete opposite of positive splits. You start out with your first miles being the slowest and progressively get faster. This is usually considered to be a smarter way of running and an easier way to do your best.
Even Splits: In this case, you go out and run generally the same speed the entire time. This could be as fruitful as negative splits but generally runners try for negative splits first.
No big deal right? Just run slower to start and get faster; unfortunately it is not that easy. In fact, many runners struggle or fail to meet such a goal of negative splits due to race excitement, fatigue, and ambition. While positive splits are by no means the end of the world, they generally leave runners with a slower time than they were hoping for. So how do you avoid it and run negative splits instead.
Stay tuned for next time to learn how best to negative split. For now, tell us do you usually try to negative split?