There’s a lot of talk about negative splitting a race. It’s the ideal way to execute a race strategy and is a proven confidence booster.
Run the second half of a race faster than the first half and BOOM! You’ve accomplished something many runners aren’t able to do – run a negative split.
It sounds simple enough, but in reality it is very difficult to execute on race day.
Here are three simple to execute workouts to include in your training so that you can nail a negative split on race day
#1 Fast Finish Long Run
This is a really simple, yet challenging workout to execute. Never underestimate the effort it takes to run fast during the final miles of a long run.
Run the last half mile to two miles of your long run fast.
What does it mean to run “fast”? This depends on your fitness level and training experience. Here’s a simple guide to follow:
- Beginner level: Run all your miles except the final mile of your long run at an effort level 4 or 5. Then run the final mile at effort level 7 (here are my effort level guidelines).
- Intermediate level: Run all the miles of your long run at effort level 5. Then run the final mile at effort level 8.
- Advanced runners: Run all the miles except the final two miles of your long run at an effort level 5. Then run the last two miles at effort level 7 or 8.
#2 Long Progression Run
This workout can be a bit intimidating, but it is a great confidence booster. Start your long run at an easy pace or effort level 4. Over the course of your miles, gradually start to pick up the pace.
Here is a sample progression run based on effort level:
10 Mile Progression Run (best for half marathoners, but also good for full marathon runners):
- Miles 1-5 at effort level 4
- Mile 5 at effort level 5
- Miles 6 & 7 at effort level 6
- Miles 8 & 9 at effort level 7 (tempo pace)
- Mile 10 at effort level 8 (just a smudge faster than tempo pace)
#3 Goal Race Pace Run
A great way to nail your goal pace on race day is to get comfortable knowing what that pace feels like. While you will not run the total race distance at race pace before race day, incorporating miles at race pace during training is important. There are several ways you can do this, but the workout below will help you nail race pace and a negative split.
- Total distance for the workout: 7 miles
- After a dynamic warm-up, run 5 miles at what feels like goal race pace, then run 2 miles at 15-20 seconds faster than goal race pace.