Thursday, August 17, 2006

Running Negative

It is August in Chicago and a time when all you see on the Lakefront path is runners training for the Chicago Marathon. Although I am not training for Chicago this year (Our team, Chicago Endurance Sports has over 400 this year so I will be coaching) I am training for a few great races this fall.

One of my favorite training runs is what I call a Negative Split Run or Running Negative. Although it sounds negative, it teaches you how to pace from the start and pick up the pace in the last half of the race.

If you try it, plug it in as a "hard run" on your schedule. Head on a out and back course and take the first half at an easy pace. At the turn around, run back at a comfortably hard pace or at a pace that is just outside your comfort zone. If you are in to heart rate monitors it would be 70-75% out and 80-85% back. Your second half time split should be 1-3 minutes faster than the first half of the run. That depends greatly on the total time and your running speed.

It sounds easy but is a very challenging run. It takes discipline to run easy in the first half of a training run and a race. This is one of the most important skills to learn for race day. Pacing yourself from the start will conserve yourself for the final miles. You will end up passing more people, feel better in the final miles and most importantly, look GOOD for the finish line photo. And that is what it is really about, isn't it:)

Happy Trails,

Coach Jenny

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