A negative split: running the second half of a race (or a run) faster than the first. This ‘should’ (and I don’t use the word should lightly) be on every runner’s to-do list.

However, most runners pay no heed to the negative split. Most start out fast, at a break neck pace and feeling great! Only to maintain during the middle and then begin calculating how slow they can run and still hit goal time at the very end.

Believe me, I speak from experience!


A more optimal way to run is to start out slow and build into your speed finishing with strength and even a little kick at the end. Not convinced?

Here are two reasons to consider running that negative split:

1) Injury Prevention. Starting out slowly gives your body a chance to warm up. Run the first few miles as a warm up, at a challenging, yet doable pace. Give your muscles and joints time to get used to the effort you’re putting in. Notice how your body feels. Is anything trying to get your attention? How are your knees? How’s that foot strike? Release any tension. Dial in that stride, and build a solid foundation from which to pick up the pace.

2) Confidence. During the first part of a race, you’ll notice runners passing you and will want to keep up. The adrenaline rush, and the fact that you’re feeling good can overpower the best of intentions. However, keep that pace slower, knowing that you’ll catch most anyone that passes you, as they fatigue and fall apart.

Passing people later in the race can help build confidence as you enter those final few miles that are more mentally challenging than the first few. As you pass each and every one of them you will be boosted. In doing this, you’ll cross that finish line strong – both mentally and physically!

how to run negative splits_2

Are you ready to try it? A couple things to keep in mind:

Choose an accurate race pace. It doesn’t matter how great your training plan is or how dedicated your are to each run. If you choose an an unrealistic pace time, you’re going wrong right from the outset and setting yourself up for failure. Selecting a goal time that is accurate for you and your body is critical to success.

Here are a couple of calculators that can help you in choosing that race pace – Run Smart Project Calculator and McMillan Running Calculator.

And once you’ve found that race pace – practice!

In order to learn ‘how to run negative splits’, train negative. Practice negative splits instead of speed work or fartlek sessions a couple times a month, or experiment with your longer runs. Run the first portion of your workout 10 to 15 seconds slower than your race pace. Gradually increase your time until you hit race pace (or better) in the middle of your run and maintain until you finish. Do this repeatedly until it feels natural.

Experiment with negative splits and see how it feels and condition your body and mind to be able to perform them.

Enjoy every run!

Connect here With Watchfit Expert Beth Cline

WatchFit Experts change lives!

And they can do the same for you.


Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans