Why do most runners start fast and get slower?
People tend to start too fast - they feel good, adrenaline, they get carried along with other runners, and don't realise how fast they are running.
I've not run a marathon on negative splits, but I've not run a marathon for a few years. Since I got a Garmin three years ago, all my races (including several half maras) have been negative splits.
Having the Garmin has meant I've taken charge of my pacing - and it's made a world of difference to my racing.
Some of the slowing down in the latter stages will be down to people having the lack of a decent aerobic base as well.
Not enough long runs in the 20 plus bracket will make people struggle in the last few miles
So we are all agreed, don't go off like a hare because the tortoise will catch you up?
Probably a good runner too!
If I'd managed to negative split in the marathon the way I'd managed to in all the build up races, maybe I could provide some wisdom, but it didn;t quite happen.
I think there is an element of being disciplined enough to hold back at the start, and not get carried along by the crowd & the adreneline. Sometimes takes some effort to do so. I did a 20 mile race in marathon build up and for the first 2 miles was dead last. Spent the second lap overtaking people, finishing 40th from last by the end. But the tempattion to try & keep up was really strong for the first 100 yards.
I wouldn't assume that everyone who runs a -ve split intends to. I certainly set out to run a marathon with even splits, setting out at what should have been an achievable pace. Sometimes the best laid plans just don't come off. Maybe we're all just a bit too optomistic and bank on having a good race day when deciding what pace to start at.
I ran exactly even splits in the Brighton Marathon last week, I was sure I had slowed down in the second half (meltdown at Mile 17) but managed to pull it back together from 19 Miles onwards. My pre-race 'strategy' was to stick to a consistent pace in the first 18 miles and speed up in the final 8 miles if I felt like I had anything extra to give.
Managed to stick to that plan, sort of by accident!, I didn't account for 15 minutes queuing for portaloos around 12 miles, and the 2 miles of panic and lost time 2/3rds of the way into the race. When I got running properly again at 19, I was just thinking "lets get this done" and didn't care about my time at all.
I was really chuffed when I saw my splits and realised I had stuck to my strategy, even though I was slower overall than originally planned. My problem is that I go off too fast and burn out after half way, so the last stages of training had been focused on consistency and slowing it down at the start, hopefully it will come naturally with practice.
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