What Are Splits in Running?

What Are Splits in Running

Are you wondering, “what are splits in running?” How can running splits help you improve your running? Learn more about this concept below!

If you are training for a race in the near future, particularly endurance runs, you need to know about running splits. I remember when I was trying to learn how to pace myself, someone introduced the idea of running splits to me. This helped me plan my next race. They might be able to help you as well. 

If you are looking to learn more about running splits, review these tips and check out Runner's World

What Do Running Splits Mean?

Running splits refers to the amount of time it takes you to run a specific distance usually measured in minutes. If you track your split times, you can achieve a consistent, steady pace during longer runs.

You can divide running splits into any distance you like. For example, if you are running five miles, you might want to track your splits every mile. That way, you know if you are on pace. 

Why Should You Track Your Running Splits?

The main purpose of tracking your running splits is to get a better idea of how you are pacing yourself. If you notice your splits starting to increase, this is a sign that you are getting tired. 

Some other benefits of tracking split times include: 

  • Running splits can help you stay on pace to achieve your target race time. 
  • You can avoid exerting yourself too early in the run if you know what your pace should be. 
  • If you are trying to qualify for an official event, you can figure out if you are on target. 

Running splits are one of the most common tools that runners use to help them plan a race, aiming for the goal finish time. You might even use splits to set a record time at the finish line!

Should You Aim for Negative Splits During the Second Half of the Race?

You may have heard about something called negative splits. A negative split refers to a runner who runs the second half of the race faster than the first half. Because you naturally start to get tired at the end of your race, you expect your second half to be slower than your first half, preventing negative splitting.

Even though a lot of runners try to keep even splits on the road, many runners prefer running negative splits. If you are an experienced runner, you can use negative running splits to increase your endurance and improve your results. You may also be able to catch runners who get tired at the end of the race. 

There is also something called a positive split, where you run the first half of a race faster than the back half of your race.

Can You Train Using A Negative Split?

You can even incorporate racing splits into your training. You can measure your speed, stride rate, and splits to determine if you are completing long-distance races accordingly.

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Split training can help you improve your race performance

Some of the ways that you can incorporate running splits into your training include: 

  • You can track your mile splits as you train, trying to reduce them. 
  • If you run longer races as you train, you can try to achieve even mile splits. 
  • If you have a marathon coming up, you can also train to achieve negative splits as you run, increasing your endurance. 

Incorporating split training into your workout schedule can help you improve your race performance.

How Can You Reduce Your Split Time?

If you are introducing running splits for the first time, you may not know exactly how to use them. Some of the tips that you should follow include:

  • Consider listening to music. Then, match your stride to the beat of the music. This can help you achieve a consistent cadence. 
  • Run laps on a track. A typical track is 1/4 of a mile. Therefore, it is easy to track your splits. You can practice pacing smaller distances as well. 

If you practice running splits regularly, you can get more out of your workouts.

How Can You Calculate Your Target Running Split?

Tracking splits in running
By tracking running splits is you get an accurate idea of how even your pace is

Calculating your target running split requires a bit of math. Some of the most common running splits include:

Mile Splits for A Marathon

If you are trying to calculate a mile split for a marathon, divide your target time by 26.2 miles.

Mile Splits for A Half Marathon

If you are trying to calculate a mile split for a half-marathon, divide your target time by 13.1 miles.

Mile Splits for A 10K

If you are trying to calculate a mile split for a 10K, divide your target time by 6.2 miles.

Mile Splits for A 5K

If you are trying to calculate a mile split for a 5K, divide your target time by 3.1 miles.

If you would like to calculate your split time for a different distance, you can swap out the “mile” in the equation above for your desired distance. 

How Can I Increase My Running Tempo?

You always want to finish your races strong. Therefore, you may want to increase your running tempo at the end of the race. There are several ways you can practice this. 

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You may want to increase your running tempo if you want to finish your races strong

Interval training can be helpful. For example, you may want to run quarter-mile repeats separated by 30 seconds of rest after each interval. As one of the top strategies, try to run each interval faster than the last one. This can help you increase your tempo, mimicking the end of a race. 

You can also listen to music with a faster beat to increase your turnover.

Final Word on What Splits in Running

Running splits are an important tool that can help you pace yourself during a race. A split refers to the amount of time spent racing a specific distance. Splits could be quarter-mile splits, half-mile splits, or any other distance.

If you are trying to improve your endurance, consider using negative splits. If you run faster at the end of your training session, you can push your body just a bit harder, improving your ability to run long-distance races.

FAQs About What Are Splits in Running

How fast should the song go if you are listening to music about practicing running splits? 

A good tempo is 180 bpm. You will be running three strides per second. 

What is a good running split? 

Everyone runs at a different speed. A good running split for you may not be a good running split for someone else. If you are using running splits for the first time, aim for even running splits during the race.

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