Pacing – negative split

You may have heard of how elite runners run they race using negative split pacing strategies. Why should you also use this? Negative split means that you run first half of the race slower than second half. Mostly starting at comfortable pace at the beginning and gradually speed up and the last few kilometers run as fast you can. Many of the runners start they race way too fast, and after halfway they are exhausted and dragging themselves further slowly.

Negative split gives your body time to warm up, after a few kilometers your body start to produce endorphin and your nervousness has calm down, you start to feel good.

At the beginning of race you may feel that all the other runners pass you and crowd cheering, but stick on your own pace and you will catch them later on when they are exhausted. This will also give confidence and power when the finish-line comes closer and you pass those all other runner.

There are many reasons why some runners walking during their race, for example lack of training, failed tapering but also too fast starting. If you get too excited at the beginning and sprint and try to go too fast, your body has to produce so much energy to keep up with that pace, and often it’s failed. This process, also known as lactate threshold, which means that when running fast pace, working muscles start to produce waste products. Metabolism need to oxygen to remove these wastes, but if the running pace is faster that body is used to keep up it has to slow down or stop as there are not enough to oxygen to remove waste.

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Negative split need to preparation and training to succeed. You can start shorter distance first, for example running 5km so that first kilometer is about 10-15 second slower than your race pace, then run 2 to 4 kilometers slowly gradually speeding up, and final kilometer as fast you can.

Negative splits are mental game during the race, you have to be mentally prepared and strong to stick to your pacing plan, run totally your own race, ignoring all the fellow runners and their pace. You can write split times on your hand if that helps you to sticking to them.

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