Sep 12

The Rundown – Negative Splits

If you haven’t a clue what a negative split is, you’re not alone. If you do know, but have yet to accomplish one in a race or run, you are also not alone. If you think the concept of negative splitting is bullshit, you too have company my friend.

Running a negative split means running the second half of the race faster than the first. It means saving your very best effort for when you’re worn out, tired and just plain over it. Yes, it’s as hard as it seems in running and in life.

Let’s see what we can do to turn this negative into a positive…



I’m back to running more miles in order to prepare me for my first half marathon on October 2 as part of the Rise.Run.Retreat. The most grueling workout I did this past week was at the track. The indoor track. Why is it that my grueling track workouts always fall on the hottest and most humid day of the week?

The part that made me most nervous was my coach wanted me to negative split my 7 x 800s. Spoiler alert: I did not. But, I was very consistent with my pacing!

6:22, 6:22, 6:19, 6:20, 6:19, 6:22, 6:20


The track workout consisted of 7 x 800, plus a warm-up and long cool down for a total of 10 miles. The last 25 minutes or so was rough since I was basically just “cooling down” and running in circles. But, I felt amazing afterward and it also gave me a little boost of confidence for the half.

Now I just need to race that pesky triathlon first!

Monday: Ladder drills @10K effort – 5,4,3,2,1 minutes with half the time of recovery, 5 miles total | 7:31 average after 2600 yard swim

Tuesday: 30 minutes easy after 1 hour bike and before 2000 yard swim

Thursday: 5 miles easy before open water swim drills

Friday: above track workout, total of 10 miles | 8:00 average pace, 800s at 6:15 pace

Total = 23.8 miles


Sadly, I did not spend a lot of time on my bike this week and I even had to do a workout on a spin bike! It was just a quickie and I needed the spin bike for the cadence drills my coach was having me do. I also had a swim afterward so it was just easier all around. Yes, these are my problems.

Ride ready with my Italian racing shirt on!

Ride ready with my Italian racing shirt on!

Tuesday: 1 hour ride before run and swim | 17.4 miles

Wednesday: Spin bike power drills before swim | 12 miles

Sunday: 25 mile ride before open water swim

Total = 54 miles


So my coach tried to kill me, once again, with those horrible hypoxic drills where I can’t breathe. This time I wised up and put my fins on! It went much more smoothly but I still cannot make it two lengths only breathing every 7th stroke.

However, that was not the most terrifying swim I had all week since I had not one but two in open water. Alone. One with speed work that I had to, you guessed it, negative split. Sometimes when I’m floating in the middle of the lake I just stop and think “what the hell am I doing?” And then it passes and I finish my workout.



Monday: Hypoxic training drills aka good luck not drowning drills | 2600 yards

Tuesday: Form drills | 2000 yards

Wednesday: Pace changers | 2400 yards

Thursday: Open water negative split speed drills | 1500 yards

Sunday: Open water swim | 1200 yards

Total = 9700 yards < – – I am a fish without gills


In case you didn’t know, Amanda at Run to the Finish is a genius! I struggle with fueling for my endurance workouts because I want to eat whole foods and not surgery, chemical laden GU’s, gels and waffles.

After reading Power through Long Runs with Whole Foods not Gels, I had a lightbulb moment. Since I’m a disaster in the kitchen and really just don’t care enough to make balls or gels or squares of goodness, I was ready to read it and weep. But, some of Amanda’s suggestions were so simple! I tried her suggestion of dried pineapple rings, instead of my usual waffle and cliff shot, to fuel my brick workout of bike, run and swim.

I see you!

I see you!

It worked! They tasted like pure heaven and got the job done. I ate one ring after an hour on the bike, in preparation for my 30 minute run, and then I ate one after the run for my hour long swim. I felt powered up though out and felt better about having a whole food and not a waffle and cliff shot.

Now, if I can just get these in bulk from Amazon…


After reading about what socks Wendy wears to Take the Long Way Home (see what I did there?) I decided to try out  the SLS3 compression socks for myself. I go though socks like the twins went though diapers so I’m constantly in need of new ones!


I have to say that I had never heard of compression socks (instead of sleeves) but these actually hug your feet! I’m not a huge fan of the neon colors but they did compliment my new Betty Designs triathlon kit nicely.

Just chillin' with my compressed socks on.

Just chillin’ with my compressed socks on.

I bought three pair for $24.95 on Amazon (through Wendy’s link) and it was money well spent.


Football! Besides all the National Anthem drama, it was really great to see NFL games again and, of course, my beloved Packers. Since we’re talking about negative splits this week, how about the Broncos sans Peyton Manning (and with a rookie QB) coming back from a 17-7 deficit against the Panthers at the half to win it in 21-20!

And this is hilarious…


Will people ever learn how to walk properly on a track? If you’re not running please, please, please walk in the outside lanes. I mean, how many times do I have to run around you and then move back into lane one, for you to understand this concept? I know I don’t own the track but there are rules people! Follow them.



If you have not yet seen the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe, stop everything and go watch it. I was in a better mood for days after my husband and I laughed hysterically for the entirety of the show. I need to watch it again since I was laughing so hard I was crying and, I think I missed a few jokes.

The highlights below, will not do it justice but, I can only swear so much in this space before I get blacklisted:

“Peyton Manning is here because Eli is still out making their dad proud!” – Jewel

“It’s not easy being Rob. He said being so handsome made it difficult for him to find meaningful roles. I wanted to ask Brad Pitt about that, but he was too busy acting in meaningful roles.” – David Spade

“If Ann Coulter is here, who is scaring the crows from our crops?” – Pete Davidson

And yes, Ann Coulter was treated with the most brutality and had the worst said about her but, that’s what happens when your a racist, sexist, bigoted, psycho. #sorrynotsorry



Be honest.

This shirt was from the (literally) one restaurant on Lake Bomoseen in Vermont. Luckily, the food and wine were amazing.

How was your week?

Have you ever runs negative split? 



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  1. Per usual, I have so much to say. But I don’t want to write a novel. But I do want to go watch Rob Lowe’s roast now. Sounds like good quality fun! And anything that gets Ann Coulter, the better!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…4 Quick Post Run Yoga PosesMy Profile

    1. The roast is a MUST. Hysterical!
      Report back after viewing…:-)

    I adored me the roast as well.
    I spy BETTY DESIGNS Stuff and think every damn time THIS COULD MAKE ME ATTEMPT A TRI I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
    And youre my kitchen doppelgänger.
    Im off to read Amanda’s post now too….
    CARLA recently posted…Protein-Packed Peanut Butter HummusMy Profile

    1. We’re like twins!!! I adore everything Betty but she is absolutely your spirit animal!
      Hope you get a lot of ideas from Amanda, I definitely did.

  3. People will never learn to properly walk on the track. When I used to run workouts on the track, I would run over people….it’s like proper swimming etiquette. Glad to see you preparing for your first half back. I’m excited to see how it goes!
    Hollie recently posted…Nutley DinerMy Profile

    1. It’s so frustrating and, the indoor track is small and short so the corners are particularly exciting. UGH!!
      I’m terrified to see how my first half back goes so we shall see 🙂 Thanks Hollie!

  4. You just turned my Monday face into a smile…I do love me some Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews! I’ve given up on the Bears and my youngest son has shown me the Packers’ way…

    Glad you liked the socks and thanks for the shout out! I love them and actually the neon colors make me smile. So does the compression. PF STAY AWAY!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Running Back to CenterMy Profile

    1. So glad I could help you with that and YES to another Packer fan! I will have to send you a cheesehead 🙂

      1. We have a cheese sombrero…
        Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Running Back to CenterMy Profile

        1. That is fantastic!

  5. This post came at the PERFECT time!!! I am pretty sure I am going to run a half on oct 1st . I know I am not trained for a PR, but I want to make sure I am trained for the distance, so I was waiting until after my long run today to decide. I will be in IL that weekend and I know the cooler temps will be so nice! I have have never been completely happy with my fueling so I am always looking to try things! Where did you pick up these pineapple rings :).
    Jen@milesandblessings recently posted…The Marathon from a Spectators Perspective!!!My Profile

    1. You will feel 100% better just being in IL!
      They sell the dried pineapple rings in the grocery store here so it’s just a bonus they are so easy to get!

  6. I need to watch that comedy central roast!!! I have negative split a half-marathon before. Just once. Love that shirt… Just this weekend my friend sent me a picture of the back of a guy’s shirt that said, “My pinot is bigger than your pinot.”…. Well, I’d need to be the judge of that myself. recently posted…Going The DistanceMy Profile

    1. You will adore it!!! Go watch it right now!
      Gotta love a good “pinot” joke 🙂 and love your response to it – LOL!

  7. I love fueling with real food! I stopped using gels and waffles a few years ago (I may or may not eat them for snacks though) and have been just using real food. It is so much easier on my stomach!!! Off to watch Rob Lowe!

    1. That is information you could have shared with me at RW!! 🙂 Not surprised you are ahead of the curve my friend!
      Enjoy the roast – it’s incredibly hilarious!!

    • Suzy on September 12, 2016 at 1:22 PM
    • Reply

    I’ve never negative split anything in my life except I do run my last mile of races pretty fast. I hate reading about your hpnoxia or whatever they’re called swimming workouts! I get panic attacks just thinking about it. That shirt is bomb. It belongs in a race package. LOL
    Suzy recently posted…Mileage Monday: Skagit Flats #2My Profile

    1. I don’t think you need to negative split anything since you’re just so damn fast!

  8. As usual there’s always so much I want to comment on! Awesome paces on those 800s! You are going to crush it at Leaf Peeper between those and the hill repeats you do. I look forward to meeting you soon!
    I give my athletes negative split workouts and they usually have some choice words for these runs in their comments (very understandable because I do also when I run those). I’m actually a fan of negative splits in races and usually do them on long runs, but I don’t think that’s so much a good thing as it is that it takes me for-freaking-ever to warm up in a run. But still, for a marathon? I don’t know. That sounds unnecessary and painful to finish faster.
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…California International Marathon Training Week 6My Profile

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence although the only thing I’m confident about right now for that race is my endurance!
      I agree that you don’t need to do negative split work for the marathon. 26.2 is an entirely different animal 🙂

  9. Those 800s- awesome!! I’m so bummed to miss the retreat this year… you guys are going to have a blast!

    I just read Amanda’s post too, after I stocked up on HUMA gels for the races coming up. I go back and forth between using gels and not- I generally only use them on race day so I don’t have to worry about chewing, but then there is the issue of not getting to test out how my stomach is going to handle them, which isn’t always so smart.
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Marathon training (4 weeks to go!) + Meal Plan Link UpMy Profile

    1. I’m so bummed you can’t make it! Our road trip will not be the same without you…
      Chewing is definitely easier when I’m biking and, I usually fuel in transition which makes it even easier. I forgot about the chewing and non-breathing factor on the run! Good point 🙂

    • Ana on September 12, 2016 at 3:12 PM
    • Reply

    Wow! that Gif reminds me of the half marathon I spectated this weekend, it was poorly marked and people kept standing on the turn point for runners, I saw a man almost get into a fight with a man who was leisurely walking across the bridge, as if there WASN’T A HALF MARATHON IN PROGRESS, AND WE WERE NOT AT THE LAST .10 OF THE RACE! it made me mad that it wasn’t better marked to keep walker off the course… so I moved the cones to keep other walkers out…

    I did a negative split at a half marathon once, I have no idea yet how I managed it, but I don’t think I could replicate it.

    I love your idea of dried pineapple for fuel!! thanks!
    Ana recently posted…BIH Half Training Last WeekMy Profile

    1. Oh no!! That is the worst!! What is wrong with people?? I’ve seen cars get in the way of runners in a race but usually not spectators. That is just awful and kudos to you for moving the cones!!
      And WOW on negative splitting the marathon! That is no easy feat!!

  10. amazing post, of course it’s given me tons of new ideas and things to do. like watch the roast of rob lowe. i can already imagine the belly laughs… ugh and anything related to ann coulter really is a joke!
    such a great idea about the dried pineapple!!! i’m just afraid i’d eat like 20 of them and turn into a crack head LOL. seriously i love those things and haven’t had one in years because… well i forgot they existed. outta sight, outta mind with me. oops. oh well, i love it. i guess i have never had a problem with my cliff espresso gels. i take them before and during spin classes because i have a hard time with real food. basically my tummy is the opposite of yours. i thrive on sugar gels and caffeine. haha gosh i hope that’s a joke! but it does work for me… oh well, not fixin what ain’t broke. at least i can say the most i have is 1 gel, i’ll take a small sip here and there. i certainly can’t live on them.
    i had no clue what a negative split was until some running dude told me i ran them during a half marathon, and great job. since i had no idea what he was talking about, i just ignored him and figured he was an idiot and bad with math. anything “negative” sounded odd to me… oh how naive i was. this was a long time ago. i didn’t have running friends at that time so those are my excuses.
    do i care more now? not really but if i ever happen to have them again during a race, i’ll be fine. sure, why not? lol. happy monday Ali!!!
    danielle recently posted…WIR sleep less play moreMy Profile

    1. They do taste SOOOOO good, especially when your sugars are already low!
      That is too funny about the negative split and not knowing what an accomplishment that was!! Oh the things we learn as we continue to race, right?

  11. I LOVE that State Farm commercial!! Certain boys in this house are very excited for the start of football season and the Packers win yesterday. And I have to go read Amanda’s post (because gus – yuck) and watch the Rob Lowe roast tonight. Sounds hilarious. So excited to see you in VT soon!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…I love hill running workoutsMy Profile

    1. I bet!!! I love your little cheese heads 🙂

  12. How did I not know you’re a Packers fan? How did you become a Packers fan?? I’m so sad. BEAR DOWN.

    I’m tired just reading your training. I also get tired walking to the corner, so there’s that.

    I will say that I believe in the negative split, I just find it hard to execute. Especially to execute it well. The only marathon I negative split was the Berlin Marathon, and I felt like I was FLYING at the end. It was amazing. So much better than the death march I’m used to (always go out too fast), but the big question is when you really start to drop the pace – don’t want to go too early, but you don’t want to hold on too long and not get the best time you can get!
    Susan – Nurse on the Run recently posted…Bilateral Labral Tear Repair Surgery – Post-Op Days 15-16My Profile

    1. LOL!!! I’ve been a packer fan since college when I really started watching football. I was not interested in the Patriots at the time (and I went to Boston University!) and I just fell in love with Brett Favre and Lambeau field, just the whole community surrounding the Packers, and I’ve been a cheesehead ever since!
      You’re improving daily so take it one little step at a time 🙂
      So true about the “art” of the negative split. It’s like a unicorn! At least you were lucky enough to do it once!

  13. You’re such an inspiration, and all the girls that commented here. Wow! I was trying to get back to running recently, but needed motivation – so thanks for this!
    Marina @ Life Coach Wannabe recently posted…10 Skin Care Tricks That Will Make Your Skin Look AmazingMy Profile

    1. You are welcome!!! So glad you can find inspiration here 🙂

    • Joi on September 13, 2016 at 7:19 PM
    • Reply

    I didn’t have a clue what a negative split was. I am always learning over here so I can pop the lingo while conversing with the Mister. That shirt is a hoot! My week was whack workout wise but I pounded that NY pavement while on vacation so no regrets!

    1. Love the “pounding of the NY pavement” and so glad I can teach you some things over here 🙂 Always nice to hear from you Joi!

    • Dana on September 14, 2016 at 9:40 AM
    • Reply

    I did not know what a negative split was, and now that I do I can tell you that I will never, ever run one! Unless I’m running from a bear. I’m pretty sure my son knows what they are though, does that count?

    Mmm, that pineapple looks yummy. #allaboutthefood
    Dana recently posted…Five star reads {September book reviews}My Profile

    1. Yes, that totally counts. But, if you encounter a bear I suggest you just play dead…or feed him something a pineapple ring 😉

  14. Hypoxic swimming? That sounds downright miserable. Way to get it done! Have you tried Feetures socks? Those are my go-to. I can’t live without them!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…I’m alive!My Profile

    1. It’s the worst and, honestly, one of those things I really don’t feel is necessary but I do what I’m told. Obviously, it all paid off.
      YES to Features! Most all of my socks are either SmartWool or Features so now I just have a third option. At any given time I have about 12 pair of socks in rotation but I go though them very quickly. I’m sure you can relate when you were in your marathon training years 🙂

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