|Photo from Google Images|
In marathons ... heck, even 5K's, I am a notoriously slow starter. Typically I start my first 4-5 miles a minute slower per mile than what I finish. I guess you could say I like to eeaazzzzzee into it! I usually run the first half of races about 20 seconds slower than my overall finishing pace, and the second half about 20 seconds faster. I know a lot of runners take this approach, but I kinda take it to extremes.
|Capping off a negative-split second half at the 2011 Boston Marathon|
This whole negative split thing was very much by design. I didn't just wake up one morning and think, "Hey, why don't I run the first half of my marathon really slow ... and then kill myself the second half!" Rather, it was to prevent hitting the wall. In early marathons, I hadn't quite figured out how to run them yet. And as a result, I started REALLY fast, and then usually hit the wall and dropped way off around mile 22 or 23, sometimes earlier. If you've done this, you know it can ruin not only your goal time, but also the whole marathon experience. Walking/running those final 4-5 miles to the tune of a 5 minutes slower per mile is a grind. So I literally tried flipping that scenario around. Starting slower has allowed me to finish stronger and enjoy the experience much more. And I usually finish right around my projected overall pace, but I always look back after and wonder ... "What if I ran the whole race closer to my second half split pace?"
|The Extreme Home Makeover Bus with a police escort through Wichita|
So my hat's really off to runners who can maintain the same speedy pace for an entire marathon. I can't do it! But hopefully by changing up my training a little toward the end of the year, it will be like the Extreme Home Makeover Bus I saw in Wichita, KS this summer, except it will be an Extreme Running Makeover! And by decreasing my times earlier in the run, I'll be dropping the frog directly into the boiling water ... I'll let you know if he cooks! Have a great day!
... be great today!