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Sunday Run Day: Negative Splits

Sunday Run Day: Negative Splits

What a day! After a cup of coffee and a Larabar for breakfast, I kicked off this morning with my 8:00a.m. flag football game. Since JP and Maria are both out of town this weekend and the game was so early, Matt and I were worried that we wouldn’t have enough players to play today’s game. Luckily, our team showed up {some in better shape than others :)} and we completely dominated the undefeated white team! We won 26-6!!!

After football, I knew that I needed to run. On the training plan was 9 miles, but after being on my feet all day yesterday and a flag football game this morning, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I left the house with my fuel belt and energy jelly beans to hit the trail for a nice 6 miles. When I got to the trail, I decided that 7 really wouldn’t be so bad. Once I got to the 3.5 mile marker, it seemed silly to turn around there when I could run 1/2 a mile more and finish with a solid 8. So I continued on and pushed hard for a  solid 8 mile run!

I think I was actually more proud of my negative splits! For those of you who don’t know, a negative split is when you run the second half of your race or training run faster than your first half. This is the ideal way to run a half or full marathon. You can also run negative splits between each mile which is where you get a little bit faster with each mile that you run. In a race, it’s so easy to dash away from the starting line with so much adrenalin pumping through your body. The problem with this is that you tire much more quickly and the end of the race is much harder than it should be. I have had this problem many times in the past. One particular instance was the Disney Princesses Half Marathon. I was so excited to be there and ready to go that when it was time to start, I shot out! I had an amazing first half and PR’ed my 10K {which has since been beaten :)}. Unfortunately, an unexpected potty break and tired body made my second half quite a bit slower. While training this summer and fall, I have made it a point to start off slower and give my body a chance to warm up. This has been beneficial on my body, my lungs and my time!

Here were my splits today according to my trusty Garmin!
Mile 1: 8:43 min/mile
Mile 2: 8:34
Mile 3: 8:31
Mile 4: 8:30
Mile 5: 8:17
Mile 6: 8:22
Mile 7: 8:17
Mile 8: 7:53

You probably noticed that Mile 5 was actually faster than Mile 6. When I’m running on the trail, I have a habit of speeding up after my turn around mark. I think this is because I’m excited that I’m already half way and it’s all downhill from there! I’ve noticed that I speed up around Mile 7 during my half marathons because I know I’m a little over halfway there. I guess I get a little kick of adrenalin at the halfway mark!

Here are some tips for starting out slow at the beginning of your run in order to improve your overall pace and achieve negative splits!

  • Focus on starting slow. If you have a Garmin, check your pace. If you don’t, make sure you’re just running at an easy pace. Let your body warm up. You’ll be thankful you did later.
  • Set up your iPod so you have slower songs on the start of your playlist. It’s easier to stay with the tempo of the music.
  • Run with a buddy. You can help each other to focus on starting slow and gaining speed along the way
  • No Garmin? See if a friend will pace you at the beginning. Maybe you have a friend that only wants to run a few miles, but you want to knock out a long run. Have them help you to take your first few miles a bit slower.
  • If you’re in a race, start in your position. Don’t start at the front with runners that are faster than you because you’ll want to run at their speed.
I hope this help any runners out there looking to reach new goals! Feel free to send a comment or an e-mail if you have any questions or would like more tips!
Updates from So You Think You Can Dance and Gorilla Challenge coming tomorrow! Tons of fun stories and pictures 🙂

Until next time…
With love and God bless,

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