Last weekend, I ran a 13K competition and repeated an old mistake, starting out too fast and getting hit with the hammer after 5km, making the last 8km very slow and painful. At the time, I felt like I was running easily enough at 12km/h, but got a big hit after the first round (it was pretty hot too).

A friend of mine suggested switching to the Negative Split method, because it also gives your body time to 'warm up' as it were and because its psychologically easier to speed up at the end and 'catch' people.

How do you calculate what pace to use at your negative split though? And do you split the race in two or in three? Any pointers on this negative split method would be highly appreciated.

FYi, I'm 37 and currently running between 11km/h and 11.5km/h depending on distance.


2 Answers 2


If you are having a problem with pacing I'd break your splits down to 1K if possible. Your exact strategy from there is going to depend on what your limiting factor is. Lactic acid build-up? Winded? Psychological...

I'd recommend that you start out aiming for even splits to your goal and just give the last 1K all you have. From there you will probably get a better idea what a realistic goal time is and you can play around with loading different parts of the race for optimal physiological and psychological results.


I sometimes do negative splits for my workouts. However I don't do the entire distance in one go. We might do something like 4 x 800m, or 1600m/1200/800/400 or 400/800/1200/800/400 with 1:30 to 2:00 rests. With the varying distances, we'd average the lap time and try to beat that pace.

The last one I did was 1600, 1200, 800 and 400. My pace for the first 1600 was a good minute slower per 400m than my 400m. Which is about 1.7 times slower. To get a negative split is easy, just increase your pace for some portion of the next distance then fall back to your old pace.

I'd say you can split your 13km into whatever you want.

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