Running jargon busting No.3: Negative splits

Sample usage: “I upped my pace and set negative splits in the second half of the race”

More common sample usage: “I tried to set negative splits in the second half of the race, but my legs ached too much”

Running a race with negative splits basically means running the second half faster than the first half. It’s that simple. Really it is. Your split times for the second half of the race are quicker than the ones you set in the first. See? Simple. That’s all there is to it!

In a perfect negative split race, every split you set would be quicker than the last. Like I said: simple.

Well, it’s a simple theory, at least. In practice…

In practice, setting negative splits means speeding up during a race, which means going faster around the point when you start aching the most. That’s why, in reality, negative splits aren’t so simple.

Running a race to negative splits requires a good deal of self-discipline, to ensure you don’t start out too fast – easy to do when everyone else near you at the start goes charging off. And then you have to work out how to keep upping your pace throughout the event without either taking it too easily at the start, or pushing too hard near the finish. Not so simply done  – and it gets harder to do the longer the run. Negative splits in a marathon? No. Just… no.

But isn’t that the great challenge of running? Everything about running is pretty simple in theory. It’s just doing it that can be hard…

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Running jargon busting No.5: Parkrun | Atters Goes Running

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