How To Negative Split Your Next Marathon

We’ve got another great post from my running coach, Marc, today. He’s going to be talking about the elusive negative split. I don’t think I have yet to do that in a half marathon or marathon…maybe next weekend in Philly? We’ll see :)

Let’s read!

negative-splitPhoto Credit: ~Oryctes~ via Compfight cc

Marathon running is hard enough as it is. Don’t make it any harder by using up all of your energy before you get to the finish line.

Plan to negative split – which means going out a shade slower for the first half and coming back quicker. Here are 3 ways you can practice doing this.

  1. During your long runs, go out at just slightly slower than your typical long run pace. This will ensure you feel good and give you that extra push to run the last few miles at a quicker pace. Remember, the more you practice going out comfortable and under control, the easier it is to do it in a race.
  2. Know your fitness. If you aren’t ready to run a marathon at a specific pace, you shouldn’t try and do it for the first time during the race. Prepare your body for what you expect it to do during the race. This includes doing tempo runs, threshold runs, and long runs.
  3. Prepare your mind. If you want your body to run a specific pace for 26.2 miles, you also have to train your brain to be able to handle the amount of time you’ll be spending on your feet. You can’t train your brain without logging some hefty miles, so the brain and the body are one in the same. Be patient with your brain – when you see a long run of 20 miles on your calendar, but you’re starting out at 8, you might scare yourself. 

Remember, marathons are tough, but with proper work and training, anything you put your mind to, you can achieve.

For tips, tricks and your very own training plan, visit


Have you ever had a negative split in a race?

Do you practice negative splits or race pace during long runs? 


Follow Reach Your Peak:

Share this article!


  1. I am so not good at negative splits. I have the mentality to go out faster because I know I’ll end up slowing down near the end. That way I’m ahead of my goal time so if I slow down I still make my goal. Now, I know this is completely wrong but I haven’t been able to figure out how to reverse my mentality. But now that my marathon is done and I’m working on increasing my half marathon time, I think I’ll try working on negative splits.
    Jen @ Pretty Little Grub recently posted…Amazing race audition & all the peanut butterMy Profile

  2. I negative split my first marathon, but I was also just in cloud nine by the end haha. This time around I had planned to but then got all caught up in trying to catch my pacing group after a bathroom break. I usually go for consistent. If I can do that I’ll be happy!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Happy Dance and Class Pass Referral Discount (Thinking Out Loud)My Profile

  3. I would love to negative split my next marathon. Thank you for the tips.
    Jennifer recently posted…Tasty Thursday – Pumpkin Greek Yogurt MuffinsMy Profile

  4. I seem to do negative splits on the majority of my runs but then when race day comes I do the opposite. Maybe next race I can manage this!
    Daisy- Fit Wanderlust Runner recently posted…Two Year Wedding Anniversary!My Profile

  5. I have always run a negative split without trying. I think it’s because I focus on not going out too fast so the run naturally ends in a negative split. My husband on the other hand, goes out fast!
    jill conyers recently posted…The Skinnytaste Cookbook GiveawayMy Profile

  6. Great advice! Best to take the first 3-5 miles at about 10-15 seconds per mile slower than goal pace and then slowly increase the pace.

    I like to tell people that the marathon should be fairly steady pace with each mile +/- :15 GP but with a ever increasing perceived effort.

    Remember: Proper Pacing Prevents Poor Performance!
    Kyle Kranz recently posted…Your next running breakthroughMy Profile

  7. Never tried negative split in my race. Been wanting to try but just cannot find the right technique. Thanks for these tips.
    NextLevelFitness recently posted…How to Properly do Bodyweight SquatsMy Profile


  1. […] Saturday’s weather wasn’t 100% ideal, it still provided the somewhat chilly temps that a marathoner needs to run a decent race.  We spoke in great detail about how she should run this marathon and decided on negative splits – running easy early and picking up the pace as the race gets underway.  Check my blog post on Patty’s site about negative splitting a marathon. […]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge