Running, Race Nerves and Randoms

Ya’ll I am so glad it’s Friday, how about you?

Yesterday, I got up very early and ran 5 miles around the neighborhood. It was pretty humid out but not unbearable. I ran negative splits again. I’m practicing negative splits with pretty much every run lately.

Running

Believe me when I say negative splits are not an easy thing to master but once you do, it makes a huge difference. I ran 4 more miles this morning and I ran hills, and I still managed to pull off negative splits. Not a fan of hills by the way, but I ran up and down those hilly beasts like a boss and I am pretty proud of myself.

I believe negative splits are the main thing that’s going to help me reach my goal of a sub 2 half marathon, well that and all the cannoli’s I’ve been eating.

Each day after I run I take the dogs for a walk. It gives me a chance to cool down and stretch a bit and the dogs get their much needed exercise and also because look how cute they are….

Boomer And Hank

runner funny

I’m still really nervous about my race this weekend. I am hoping it isn’t real humid or hot and I hope my Achilles behaves! I have a strategy but it may change based on the weather so we shall see….Do you get overly preoccupied with a race and nervous to the point where you get a little scatterbrained? I mean like forgetting where you parked your car? Uh, Okay.

Well, anyway, yesterday I forgot where I parked the car. MacGyver and I had gone to Target and after a shopping trip that was anything but enjoyable we were so flustered we couldn’t find the car.

At that point I did the only thing that I could do and I used my proven method for finding the car in a crowded parking lot. I’m not sure whether MacGyver was horrified or impressed because he just stood there with his mouth open as I hit the panic button on my key fob and followed the sounds to my car.

I don’t think I will tell him that this is how I find my car on the reg. In fact, I once told a mall security officer that someone might have broken into my car because I could hear the alarm but I could not find my car. I made up this story about how I thought I had parked in spot A but it wasn’t there and I wasn’t sure if that was exactly where I parked it or if someone had tried to take it because I thought I could hear the alarm. He drove me around in his golf cart for 35 minutes until we located it….right where I had parked it.

I never told Mr. Mall Security that I set off the panic button so I had to spend an additional 20 minutes while he ‘inspected’ my car for signs of forced entry. The next time I lose my car, I will not enlist the help of mall security no matter how comfy the golf cart looks.

Now, if you’re not laughing at me, go laugh at these funny runners:

Do you get nervous when you have an upcoming race? Have you ever lost your car in a crowded parking lot?

My Tuesday Training Tip

Happy Tuesday! It still hasn’t gotten that cool here yet. When I left the house this morning, the thermostat read 77 and it was pretty humid. I still managed to bang out 5 miles though, so not a bad start to the day.

I have a race coming up on Sunday. It’s just a 15K but that means, I’ll do my long run on Friday again and take Saturday off.

Pretty in Pink 15K

I’ve also got to watch my miles and try not to pack in too many and risk injury because two weeks after Sunday’s race, I’ve got 5 half marathons and one full marathon all within 8 weeks. A half marathon in October, 2 half marathons and a full marathon in November, and 2 half marathons in December. I may change the full marathon in November to a half since I have another full coming up in January…but we’ll see, because I’m practicing for a half marathon PR.

Anyway, in my humble opinion, one of the best race strategies you can have is banana negative splits! With that being said, here is my Tuesday Training Tip:

I’ve been working on my strategy for a few of the races in November by practicing my negative splits and last week another runner at the park asked me how I determine what pace to run each mile at and I gave her this link. It’s a neat little calculator that will help you figure out the pace beforehand so you can practice now. It works with any race distance and you can calculate a slight negative split up to an ultra negative one and even something in between.

In this example I calculated a slight negative split with a gradual pace change in a half marathon with a projected finish time of 1:58:00 as my goal:

Calculated Negative Splits

You can see in the example above how the calculator breaks it down into miles for you. I write the miles down on a strip of paper and tape it to the band of my garmin.

Now, let me just say for the record, I am not a coach, nor do I play one on TV. But this is what works for me. You can determine what works best for you but if you decide to try it, let me know what you think.

If you’ve got a race coming up go to the race website and look at the race course. If you can, go run it and get familiar with it. Then use the calculator to determine your splits and go practice.

I wouldn’t suggest practicing at your actual race pace but add 15-30 seconds per mile for training and then practice your race pace during your tempo or speed workouts.

Do you use any calculators to help you when you’re training? Which ones? Got any Tuesday Training Tips to share?

Can I do a split, Negative but I can do Negative Splits!

Happy Thursday. Yesterday I ran 4 miles on the treadmill and this morning I ran 6.2 miles on the treadmill. I’m taking a well deserved day off tomorrow. 🙂

Instead of my typical run today, I ran negative splits.

I love negative splits but it took me some time to learn how to do them properly and to get used to them. Once I did, they helped me to improve my endurance and speed on my long runs and I credit them for my pr in the half marathon this year.

Running Negative Splits

In case you’re not familiar with them, negative splits are when you run the second half of your race, training run, etc, faster than the first half.

The reason negative splits work is because it can take your body several miles to get warmed up and for your muscles to get charged, your joints lubricated, and endorphins to flood your system and once that happens you can run faster without feeling any additional effort.

Anyone can benefit from running negative-splits but I found it even more beneficial when training for half marathons or longer races.

Because of the summer heat, I’m not running as far as I normally would so this morning I ran a 10K training run and I practiced my negative splits. I ran the first half in 30 min and the second half in 28:41.

I started out running a 9:40 pace and then after the first half I gradually sped that up to around 9:15. I finished the second half in 1:19 faster and it felt great.

The biggest challenge of the negative split run is to figure out what your starting pace should be. You don’t want to start out too slow or too fast. I ran negative splits for quite a few weeks before I narrowed it down so practice is the key in my book.

So, when running a negative split, you start slow and gradually build speed as you near the middle of your run. Try to hit your race place or as close to it as you can and when you get toward the end if you have some reserve, kick it in high gear and run full out.

Do you run negative splits? How often?