How to run a negative split marathon by Galen Rupp

In winning the Chicago marathon Galen Rupp has broken a long drought since the last American won in the windy city. The first since 2002 to win and the first American born in 35 years.

He has done so with an impressive negative split. Run was ultra consistent running with a large lead pack through halfway in 66:11. the second half of the race run in 63:09. Rupp was extraordinarily strong over the last five miles running his last five mile splits in 4:39, 4:35, 4:30, 4:34 and 4:33 finishing the last 5.2 miles or sub 2:01 marathon pace and gave himself a 38 second personal best at the marathon.

A 66:11 first half is certainly not fast by runners of these standards but for Rupp to be able to still have this type of speed at the end of the marathon is highly impressive. The absence of pacemakers in Chicago impacts the times compared with the fastest marathons in the world. Be interesting to see Rupp line up in London or Berlin in time and test his ultimate marathon speed against the likes of Kipchoge an co.

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For the average marathon runner this may be a ‘don’t try this at home’ moment. Being able to run a large negative split in a goal marathon is obviously difficult. It’s much easier and safer to run a consistent race.

Even if you were to run below your goal race pace for the first half there is no guarantees you’ll be able to run above your goal pace late in a marathon. There is not many of us have the ability of Galen Rupp to run a large negative split and still run your best marathon time on the day.

 

 

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4 comments

  1. I am glad you posted this. My 20 mile run completely distracted me from the Chicago marathon. This is for sure something I will need to consider in December. In two weeks I have a 20 miler split in half where I am supposed to run at a comfortable pace for the first 10 miles, then do strides and drills and run the next 10 miles at a considerably faster pace. This will be a huge test for me and negative splits.

    • That will be a good run. Will teach you to run fast when the body is fatigued. A few weeks before Seoul I ran a 30km run with the first 10km at 5:00min/km the next 10 at 4:30min/km and the last 10 at 4:00min/km. Tough the last 10km but so useful for teaching me how to get through the last part of the run

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