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Neg-uh-tiv Split-ing

noun, verb

Negative splitting is a pacing strategy of running or cycling faster during the second half of a race.

Example usage: I'm going to try negative splitting the next race.

Most used in: Races of long distances, such as marathons and triathlons.

Most used by: Triathletes and endurance athletes.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 2/10

Also see: Interval Training, Pace Work, Fartleks, Pyramid Intervals,


What is Negative Splitting?

Negative splitting is a technique used by cyclists to help improve their performance in long-distance events. It involves cycling the first half of the race slower than the second half, with the aim of having a faster overall time.

The idea behind negative splitting is that a cyclist can use their energy more efficiently by conserving it during the first half of the race. This allows them to use the energy they have saved for a more powerful finish during the second half, resulting in a faster overall time.

Studies have shown that negative splitting can be beneficial for cyclists. A study from the University of Colorado found that cyclists who employed negative splitting techniques had significantly better results than those who did not. The study showed that the average time of cyclists who used negative splitting was 8.6% faster than those who didn't.

Negative splitting is a great technique for cyclists who are looking to improve their performance in long-distance events. By conserving energy during the first half of the race, cyclists can use it to power a stronger finish in the second half, resulting in a faster overall time.


The Origins of ‘Negative Splitting’ in Cycling

The term ‘negative splitting’ has been used within the cycling community since the mid-20th century, primarily in the United States. It refers to a strategy where the second half of a race is completed faster than the first half.

The term was first used in the 1954 edition of the American magazine ‘Bicycling’. The article, titled ‘Negative Splitting: A Racing Technique’, discussed the benefits of the strategy. It argued that by pacing oneself slower in the first half of a race, one could conserve energy to be used in the second half.

Since then, the term has been widely used by cyclists throughout the United States. The idea of negative splitting has also been adopted in other sports, such as running and swimming. The strategy is seen as a way to maximize performance and minimize fatigue.

Negative splitting is now a popular strategy among competitive cyclists and athletes. It is a useful tool for pacing oneself and can be used to achieve better race results.

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