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Running 101: Negative Splits


There's a bunch of jargon associated with running, which is ironic since it is one of the easiest forms of exercise to do — just lace up your shoes and go. One term to add to your list of fitness terms is "negative splits," which means running faster for the second half of your run or race than you did for the first half. This increase in speed puts you in the negative in terms of time, but here are a couple of positives for doing so.

  • Negative splits help you warm up thoroughly. Going slower earlier in your run means your joints, muscles, heart, and lungs will be primed to pick up speed in the second half of your run.
  • Running more slowly at the beginning of a race will help you conserve energy so you can finish strong. To have the discipline to race this way, you need to practice negative splits on your training runs.
  • An easy way to incorporate a negative split run in your training is to map out an "out and back" run, so you turn around at the halfway point. Simply run faster for the second half of the run. This will acclimate your body to speeding up halfway through a run.
  • When doing intervals, make the second half of each speed interval faster than the first half. This is yet another way to make intervals more challenging.

Are you going to train negative?

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