Achieving Goals with Negativity

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May 9, 2012 by Danielle

Not negative thinking…negative splitting!

Not this kind of negative split either. Probably the most entertaining (disturbing?) illustration I found of negative splitting

Negative splitting is finishing the second half of the race faster than the second half. Runner’s World explains that it can take several miles for your body to warm up, so if you play your cards right during the first half of a race, your body will be warmed up and ready to race for the second half. [Pros often use this method-click on the image below to see how Geoffrey Mutai took the NYC Marathon by negative splitting]

If the pros can do it, I can too

After signing up for the San Francisco Marathon, I researched the race course,  read race recaps and ultimately decided that since the course is front loaded with infamous San Francisco hills, negative splitting would be the only way that I would reach my goal of a sub four hour marathon time.

Of course, one large problem stands in my way: I have not been the best at negative splitting in the past.  Although no catastrophic slowing occurs, I tend to get excited,  go out faster than planned and end up slowing down until the last few miles. Exhibit A.

Yesterday, I set out for a slower seven mile marathon pace run. My legs felt great and the miles were clicking away, so I knew I was going to run faster than marathon pace-I told you I wasn’t good at committing to paces of any kind. Since I scrapped my original plan, I decided that this was the perfect time to try out negative splitting. In order to reign myself in, I committed to running the last three miles at progressively faster pace. Apparently threatening myself works.

I reigned it in and ended up consciously negative splitting, for probably the first time ever! I’m definitely going to keep this workout in the wings for marathon training. As I’ve found out, negative splitting is something that has to be practiced and learned, so here are a few articles from the experts full of tips and workouts to help master the negative split.


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