When I first started racing, I went out too fast. Because I didn’t know how to pace myself, I blew up and had to take walk breaks during 5Ks. I was trained for the distance, but I went out at a pace I couldn’t sustain for the race.
As I got into longer distance racing, I still had no idea how to pace myself and often ended up running the last half of the race much slower than I ran the first half of the race.
Running a positive split race is rarely ever fun. Suffering from going out too fast makes the last half of the race feel like punishment.
- Train: Add progression runs and fast finish workouts to your training schedule. If you are not executing a negative split run during your training, it’s very difficult to do so on race day.
- Practice: Due to excitement and race day adrenaline, it’s difficult to run with control during a race. Schedule a tune-up race to practice executing a negative split in a race setting.
- Plan: Write out a race-day strategy plan. Many runners show up to the start line without a plan. Map out a pace plan for each section of the race and stick to it.
- Be Patient: In the early stages of the race, you’ll want to run faster than you should. Hold back your pace and stick to your race plan. Patience will pay off.
Executing a negative split race is a huge confidence booster. Running the second half of a race faster than you ran the first will help your ability to run a smart race and set you up for success.
The added bonus of running a negative split – you’ll pass a lot of runners in the second half of the race.
This post first appeared on Women’s Running where I blog weekly.