View Full Version : Negative Splits

October 8th, 2004, 05:14 PM
Let me throw another question out there. I understand the term negative split - in a 100 yard swim, the second 50 should be faster than the first 50. BUT, what throws me is how the heck you accomplish that!

When I'm swimming and doing 100's I usually go all out, so by logic my second 50 is going to be slower than my first 50 because I've already expended a bunch of energy. So if I'm supposed to negative split these things, am I only to go 80% or so for the first 50 and then 100% on the second one?

Any input on this would be much appreciated. Thanks!

October 8th, 2004, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by bckirkland
So if I'm supposed to negative split these things, am I only to go 80% or so for the first 50 and then 100% on the second one?

Yes. The idea is to work on the second half of your swim so you don't die in a race. In a race it wouldn't be a good idea to negative split a short race such as a 100, but it is a good idea to even or negative split a distance event, such as a 1500/1650.

October 10th, 2004, 08:17 AM
Are you referring to negative splitting in practice or in competition? Most swimmers do not negative split 100 yard or meter races. Ideally the first 50 should be about one second slower than your best 50 time, and the second 50 should be within two seconds of the first. Your ability to follow this formula probably depends on your training. I'm not aware of any of the Olympic swimmers negative splitting 100s in competition.

October 10th, 2004, 08:46 AM
One tends to see negitive spliting on middle to long distance races. As one swims longer distances, it is expected that they go slower. That is to say, the fastest part of the race will be the length that has a start -less resistance through the air than water I suppose as well as more energy for the start of the race...

Anyhow, if you look at the splits for middle to long distance races (like at usaswimming.org) there is a small progression to the times that get eventually slower --sometimes it's like a half a second or less!

People go nuts when a swimmer negitive splits because it's so difficult to do! It does take a lot of training and I think luck to pull it off --even if that was your swim plan.

October 11th, 2004, 02:35 PM
It was drilled into me during college to negative split. We would do 100's, 200's, etc and you would try to negative split them. In almost all of my 400 IM's I have done I have negative split each 100 of stroke except for the fly. You will just have to practice it to really get a good feeling for it. Another thing we would do would be 75's (from a dive) where you would relax the first 25 and then get after the 50, this will help you to not spend all you energy on the first lap.

This type of training is hard but it is very rewarding. Nothing feels better than passing someone on the last lap of the 1650 and they can't do anything but watch you go by...


October 11th, 2004, 03:30 PM
Good stuff. Thanks for the input. I was specifically talking about practices because I couldn't imagine negative splitting a race unless it possibly would be the 1650. I'll definitely move forward then and try to negative split all of the swims that I do, I'll just have to be sure not go too slow on the first half! Thanks again for the input!

October 12th, 2004, 08:10 AM

Practice this in practice. If anything just get the feel of negative split. Even if you have to really slow down the first half. The more you work on it, the better your body and mind will adjust when it is time to try it in a meet. Even if you don't actually negative split a race, you will learn to pick up the end of the race rather than dying.

October 21st, 2004, 08:43 AM
I always negative split. I do this in both swimming and running. There is no better feeling then to know that no one is going to past you at the end of a race and that you can past that swimmer that is right in front of you towards the end of the race. It can be hard when some swimmers go out fast at the beginning of a race but you have to remind yourself to hold back a little and work on catching them towards the end. I do have to say I do this with anything that is a 200 or longer. Just swim the first half at 100% and the second half at 110%. Then you know you did your very best.

October 21st, 2004, 12:19 PM

October 24th, 2004, 04:42 PM
Thanks for the input. I have been trying to work on negative splitting. This morning I actually did do it, kind of. While I interval train throughout the week, on Sundays I just swim a mile -- 33 lengths -- non stop and call it a day. So on the first 11 laps I kept it at an upbeat pace, pretty quick but not all out, on the second 11, I slowed the pace just a tad so I didn't burn myself out, and then on the final 11 laps I picked up the pace again and needless to say I swam the last 11 faster than the second 11, but not quite as fast as the first 11. So it kind of was a negative split. A modified negative split if you will! But the real bright side is that by doing the mile that way, I did accomplish to drop close to 1:00 off my time from just last week. And that felt awesome!

So again, thanks for the input and I'll definitely keep trying to negative split!