The negative-split trick is a self-awareness trick for runners and walkers competing in marathons, half marathons, and other endurance races.
A Popular Use of the Term “Negative Split”
The term is often used by track runners and their coaches. Imagine a track coach with a stopwatch who is timing each of a runner’s several laps around a track. The term “split time” refers to the time it took the runner to complete a “split” of the overall distance — in this example, one of the laps around the track. And a “negative split” indicates that the runner took less time to complete the current split than to complete the previous split. If you compare the current split to the previous one, the latest split time is “negative” relative to the previous split time.
For example, if a track runner completes his first 400-meter lap in 1:10.05 and completes his second 400-meter lap in 1:08.37, then the runner achieved a “negative split” — by 1.68 seconds — in the second lap versus the first lap.
The Application of “Negative Split” to Endurance Races
Runners and walkers who participate in marathons, half marathons, and other endurance races traditionally use the term “negative split” to compare the time to travel the second half of the race distance to the time to travel the first half of the race distance. For example, if a woman runs in a marathon her first 13.1 miles in 2:05:49 and runs her second 13.1 miles in 2:03:17, then she has a negative split — by 2:32 — in that marathon.
Why a Negative Split Is Valuable
Starting a race with a modest pace leads to these kinds of self-talk sentences in the first several miles of the race:
- “This is not so bad.”
- “This is easier than I expected!”
- “I can do this!”
And this self-talk sets the stage for a positive attitude throughout the remainder of the race. Running or walking the second half of an endurance race at a faster average pace than in the first half of the race leads to these kinds of self-talk sentences:
- “Going faster now is fun!”
- “I got my second wind!”
- “I can easily finish this!”
And this self-talk will give you a sense of exhilaration that will help to carry you to the finish line.
How to Get a Negative Split in an Endurance Race
If you have ever completed an endurance race with a positive split — in which your time in the second half is longer than in the first half — then you probably know how demoralizing a positive split can be. Similarly, if you have ever completed an endurance race with an obviously negative split, then you probably know how motivating a negative split can be. But achieving a negative split in a race is more easily said than done. The trick to using the negative-split trick in a race requires two key actions: lg 1.5 ton 5 star dual inverter split ac
- Monitor your pace frequently. You can do this with something as sophisticated as a GPS wrist unit that constantly displays your current pace. And you can do this with something as simple as getting your pace at each mile marker. A third approach is to wear a portable metronome that “drives” you to keep a particular cadence in the first half and to keep a slightly faster cadence in the second half.
- Practice getting negative splits in training. Just as it is extremely difficult to run an endurance race at a particular pace without ever having trained at that pace, it is extremely difficult to achieve a negative split in an endurance race without having practiced getting negative splits in training.
By being self-aware enough to keep up with your average pace in each of the two halves of an endurance race, you can leverage the mental benefits of the negative-split trick on race day.