I am a textbook shotgun runner. The race starts and I blow out of there way too fast, pooping out when I still have 3/4 of my race left. Worst case scenario, I get a horrible gut-wrenching side-ache that has me walking most of the rest of the race. It is a living nightmare. So...in the interest of running more efficiently, and more intelligently, I'm working hard to pace myself and focus on earning negative splits. Until just recently I didn't have a clue what that meant. Here is my definition:
Negative Split: Running subsequent mile splits faster than previous mile splits.
It is your basic acceleration run. You start out slow, as slow as you need to be able to run each mile a tad faster than the previous. In the end you finish strong, building stamina and confidence as you go.
I tried this out today. I still started out too fast, even though I felt like I was taking it easy. The challenge is that everything feels easy at mile 1! So I think what I will try to do (while it can be annoying) is check my pace every block or so for now, to learn how to keep it slower. I really need to learn this badly.
So after my first mile, I felt myself pooping around mile 1 1/2. I literally felt the glycogen stores being used up and my muscles starting to feel weak. So I slowed it down. I just didn't want to stop. Around mile 2 I felt a bit of a burst as I took a slightly different, more scenic route. I blasted the last straight-stretch and earned a negative split for mile 3! Yay!!
So I am getting this gradual thing figured out. Moral of the story...there is always something to learn in the sport of running!! Always!
** By the way, I updated my Nike+ app and today I had Tim Tebow congratulating me on my run. I can't wait to see what other athletes they added! It's kind of cool that some are athletes besides elite runners.