Negative Split Workouts

By Rick Morris

There are a lot of race pacing strategies you could use, but in most race situation you will enjoy the greatest success by running negative splits or by running faster, later in your race. Negative split pacing not only gets you to new PR’s; it is also a very enjoyable way to race. When you increase your pace in the last miles you will pass a lot of competitors. Who doesn’t love that? You also gain a lot of confidence in your ability to finish strong and the more conservative early pace keeps your pain level down. You need to specifically training using negative split workouts.

The key to running successful negative splits is being able to maintain a high intensity pace, just slightly slower that your planned pace, and then increase your pace to slightly faster than your planned pace for the last part of your race. That is a skill that doesn’t come naturally – you need to practice running negative splits. Here are some valuable negative split workouts that will have you flying past your competitors in the all important final miles of your race.

3 x 1200/400 Meter Compound Sets

This is a good 5K negative split workout. Run 1200 meters at 5K race pace, then speed up to mile pace for 400 meters. Take no recovery between the distances. Repeat this 3 times with 5 minutes of recovery between each set

10K Progressive Run

Start your run at an easy pace. Gradually increase your pace throughout the training run. You should reach 10K race pace with about 1 mile left in your workout. Run all but the last 400 meters of your final mile at 10K pace, then speed up to sprint pace for the final 400 meters.

3 x 400/1600/800/400 Compound Sets

This one is a good race simulation training run that is a good workout for the 5K, 10K and even marathon training. The fast start and finish simulates race conditions. Start your run with 400 meters at mile pace. Then slow down to 10K pace for 1600 meters. Now increase your speed to 5K pace for 800 meters before finishing with another 400 meters at sprint pace. Take no recovery between the distances, Recover with 5 minutes of passive rest between each compound set.