Friday, 16 August 2013

Negative Split: Check. Next: World Domination

Yesterday I was in a state of pure delirium. I wandered up my driveway tapping frantically at my Garmin₁ to see what I had just run. It had felt good, but usually when a run feels good it is because I have pootled along without much effort .  This felt different. The data looked promising, but I stopped myself getting too excited until it was uploaded, then I could view it and analyse it properly and be absolutely sure it was good. Until you can see numbers on a computer screen, it doesn’t count.

You see, I have a problem. My problem is over-excitement and lack of control. I can’t pace myself, I’m not sensible and I have no skill whatsoever in this “moderation” business that people speak of. If my goal is to go for a fast run, I simply get out the door, start running fast and hang on as long as I can. This is not a good tactic, and doesn’t actually work at all but I keep telling myself that as I get fitter, I’ll be able to hang on for longer and longer and eventually, I’ll be able to run fast forever.

My goal last night was to run 8k (5 miles) at a pace of around 8:50 per mile. It started well and I actually stuck to the pace, which was partially due to a headwind and a gradual uphill but let’s just brush over that for a moment. After two miles I was still on pace; something weird was happening, I was running evenly! It was bizarre; it was as if I had energy in reserve that I hadn’t completely spent already in the first mile.

I started to pick up the pace, just gently, bit by bit. As I hit the town path – my home straight – I had enough left in the tank to push a bit harder before hitting my 8k goal and starting a cool down jog. I won’t bore you with data (unless I see you in person, then you’re going to hear all about it) but basically, for the first time ever in my life since taking up running, I ran a negative split₂.

This was just a training run but who knows what lays ahead!? Maybe I’ll negative split a half marathon, maybe I’ll actually manage to calm myself down at the start of a parkrun and do a negative split there. The possibilities are endless! Maybe, just maybe, my next timed 400m swim will come with a fast finish. The training world is my oyster!

₁ A Garmin is a watch with a built in computer that uses GPS and tracks your training; telling you speed, distance etc etc
₂ A negative split is where you are faster in the second half of your training session than you are in the first half.

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