Couch to 5K
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Negative splits……that is what we should all be doing, apparently. This is not a description of my relationship problems with my darling Gwendolen Runkeeper, but a simple statement of the manner in which we should be approaching all our runs. Simply put, it means running the second half of the run in a faster time than the first half. By pacing carefully and running with something in reserve you can increase your pace in the second half and finish strongly. The psychological benefits of finishing your run with a burst of speed, rather than staggering across your notional finish line, wondering exactly when every component of your body is going to give up the ghost, is pretty obvious. Also later in your run your joints are lubricated, your breathing settled, everything is generally working better, so long as you haven’t thrashed it at the start,…… Dan.

It is what the pros do and it makes such sense. Why oh why can’t I do it?

This morning Gwenny and I made up our differences and, as is so often the case after a tiff with that special one in your life, we got down and dirty, for one hour two minutes and fifty seven seconds, before a veritable flood of endorphins left me just about spent. I realise now that G is just not one for talking much, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. When I rolled home and switched off the activity page, the lovely lady had a great big congratulatory message waiting just for me . “Congratulations on completing a 10k run, with 9 days to go. Not too shabby.”

She is so considerate, if somewhat understated, knowing how much it means to me. If I take the ****ing gates out of the equation, (there are more now the route is longer, they are breeding like…..well….gates, I suppose) then I reckon that is a sub one hour 10k and I would have been happy with 1hr 5min.

All thoughts of abandoning the glorious Gwendolen have been banished from my heart. I have to learn to listen to her more carefully (where have I heard that before?) and act on the information that she is so patiently giving me. Then, and only then, I might just learn how to achieve negative splits.

6 Replies

Had no idea what this was. Thanks for posting it. I found an article about it, I'm going to give it a go I think. The Stamina podcast is a bit like that and I do that regularly, now to try it every time.... oh err :)


This forum has taught me two things tonight! Just figured out what "PB" was (I could only think in terms of Paddington Bear, though I couldn't imaging him getting involved with running) and now you have explained what negative splits are. Brilliant! I'd heard them mentioned by my fitness obsessed friends, but never got round to finding out what it meant. In return, I share with you the information that according to a recent survey, approximately 14% of French people can't count beyond 7. They apparently have a huit allergy. I'm going now.........


We need an emoticon of someone shaking their head with disapproval...


Keeping something in reserve definitely helps mentally, especially when running a Parkrun, it's nice being able to overtake a few people in the last km!


glad you made it up!


'Negative splits', mmm I do it other way around, shall try to do slow and fast next time then..thanks!


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