Negative Splits – The Positives
When you’re running, or working out in general, the body burns glycogen as it’s prime fuel source. Physiologically the body burns glycogen more efficiently if you gradually work into a faster, more intense effort and not the other way around. And it doesn’t make just a little bit of difference, but a lot. The amount of time you go out too fast in the beginning could leave you slowing down 2-3 times that amount in the later stages of a race. That means that should you go out even just 10 seconds too fast in the first kilometre, you could be paying for that with 20-30 seconds/kilometre by the end.
And trust me, those seconds will feel WAY longer than the time on your watch indicates
A negative split or the action of negative splitting is a racing strategy that involves completing the second half of a race faster than the first half. It is defined by the intentional setting of a slower initial pace, followed by either a gradual or sudden increase of speed towards the end of a race.
Predict your pace accurately. One of the most important keys to running negative splits is pinpointing an accurate race pace. The table doesn’t take hills, wind, heat and other race conditions into account. So stay on the safe side by adding 5 percent to the time predicted in the table. Remember, you can always speed up at the end if you’re feeling good.
Start slow. Begin your race 10 to 20 seconds per kilometer slower than the race pace you have predicted. Don’t be tempted to speed up when you notice all those other runners flying by. Instead, hold back by imagining yourself comfortably passing them later in the race. Gradually build speed. As you near the middle of the race – 8 to 10 km into a half marathon, for example – you want to hit your race pace. Then, towards the end, use those fresh legs to pass as many tired runners as you can.
With 1 km to go, keep your head up and start to try and catch people in front of you. Pick one person and focus solely on reeling them in, nothing else. As you pass them, surge and put your eyes on the next person and repeat. Imagine tying a fishing line to their back and reeling them in. Kick hard the last km and finish fast!
An ideal negative split run is when each kilometre is faster than the last. Most runners still consider the run to be a negative split if you start slower and finish faster, even if there is a kilometre or two in the middle where your pace is slightly positive.