Your Road to Faster Run Splits

June 27, 2017 3 min read

Calf's of a runner on a dirt path in the woods.

Every avid runner, no matter whether amateur or seasoned, strives to attain faster run splits during a race.

According to Jeff Gaudette in Runner’s World: “Every current world record, from the 1500m to the marathon, has been set by an athlete running negative splits; in fact, according to research by South African sport scientists Tim Noakes, Ross Tucker and Mike Lambert, in the history of runs that set new world records at 5,000m and 10,000m, only once has any kilometer other than the first or last been the fastest of the race.

“Analyzing the greatest performances in history at events from the 5K to the marathon reveals another statistic about the importance of pacing--specifically, how fine the line is between too fast and too slow,” notes Gaudette.

When it comes to how your body works, adds Gaudette, one of the limiting factors in marathon performance is how efficiently you can burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, since, once you burn through your available carbohydrate stores “your performance will suffer, most notably from bonking" or running out of fuel.

Unfortunately, the faster you run, the greater the percentage of fuel and energy that comes from carbohydrates. Therefore, by starting faster than goal pace and putting "time in the bank," you're actually burning through your available carbohydrate stores faster, and you will almost certainly run out of fuel and crash.

Optimized nutrient intake can supercharge your race performance and help stave off that avoidable crash that stands between you and personal-best run splits.  

For Faster Splits, Focus on Your Diet!

For runners hoping to achieve faster split times, they need a nutrient-dense diet rich in antioxidants, amino acids, flavonoids and carotenoids, minerals and vitamins.

Many of us aren’t getting the daily nutritional value we need, and most of the time we don’t even know it due to the overabundance of cheap but nutritionally devoid foods readily available and advertised as beneficial to one’s health.

When in doubt of your dietary nutritional intake of crucial ingredients, it’s best to opt for supplements that enable you to meet the daily recommended intake of flavonoids, amino acids and antioxidants.

Pacing and Consistency

All runners, regardless of physique, need to accurately and precisely manage their movements and pacing in order to avoid over-exhaustion and lagging behind. Learning to pace themselves and carefully gauge how balanced their speed and exertion of force is on their feet with each step taken is crucial. Otherwise, it is the equivalent to sailing blind, and raising sails to speed up only when it feels appropriate, despite it possibly not being the ideal time.

By effectively managing your bursts of energy during each split, you can attain a regular pace that helps you achieve shorter split times with continued practice.

Speaking of training, it is important to respect your regimen and not fall behind in practice. By running in less-than-pleasant conditions such as rain, snow, or wind, you are subjecting your body to bracing conditions that help to build strength and help you get accustomed to adverse environments. This increased hardiness could very well give you the advantage against competitors staying inside on an unpleasant day, as you are gaining that extra day of practice ahead of them.

Ultimately, the key to running faster splits is physical, nutritional, and psychological dedication. A nutritional and healthy diet, determination, passion and a steady training and pacing regimen all contribute toward improving as an athlete and doing the most to make your physical potential come alive.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.