Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Quest for the Negative Split

I can't pace myself. No matter how good my intentions, or how in depth my mental preparation is, as soon as I hear the word "go", natural instincts override everything, massive exercise excitement sets in and I go off like a rocket.

Every time I do a timed 400m in the pool, it's the same trick. I stand at the edge of the pool, take some slow, deep breaths and nod sincerely to the coaches as they tell me, "steady for just the first 50m, Egg". I stand and visualise going easy and repeat the mantra "just one minute, then you can pick it up..." The countdown begins and within one minute I am blowing. I spend 3 minutes getting my breath back and the remaining time just hanging in there.

5k races, same scenario. Small person syndrome kicks in as I barge and weave my way to the front. A swift glance down as I hear the garmin beep for the first kilometre reveals an entirely unmaintainable pace every single time and each kilometre gets slower and slower unless I manage a little sprint at the end. When I ran Bath Half I ran the first 3 miles at 5k pace and spent the next 10 miles feeling like I was going to die. I just don't learn.

If trainers this loud don't make me faster, nothing will...  
..What's that? Training? 
I'm unconvinced that going slower at the start will make me go faster overall because it seems that it's always my fast start that saves me a good little chunk of time. However, I am yet to find a single person that agrees with me so I may have to admit that my technique is wrong.

For the upcoming marathon, I am absolutely determined to get this negative split business nailed. I want to run the first half comfortably and try my damnedest to save enough and attempt to run the second half a bit quicker. I started this quest in new trainers which I hereby declare to be magic negative split trainers. I tested them out for a quick 5k and did a little happy dance when the garmin data revealed that the second half was in fact a whole ONE SECOND quicker than the fast half. It's a start!

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