Learn to Run Like a Boss

Learn to Run Like a Boss


¬†Kevin Hanson of Hanson’s Running once said “For every second you’re fast on the front end, it will cost you two on the back.”

When I ran cross country in high school, the gun would go off and I’d charge off the line with the rest of the team as if we were running the 400m. Inevitably my first mile was always the fastest, generally twenty to thirty seconds faster than the next two miles. With a mile to go, I was simply in survival mode and would fade to the finish, exhausted.

My freshman year at Luther College, it was more of the same, my first mile was too fast and then a gradual fade would takeover. My sophomore year of running, I had back-to-back races where a teammate passed me with a mile to go and ended up defeating me by 10 to 15 seconds. I started thinking about his approach to running versus mine and admired how he consistently finished the race with his last mile being his fastest.

The next race, I decided that I would simply stick with my teammate the entire time, which meant starting off at a “slower” pace, letting everyone take off ahead of us and then slowly start to pick people off in the later stages of the race by either running even splits or negative splits. I ran a new personal best in the 8K and became a firm believer in racing smart!

I started running road races when I was 14 and in hindsight, I often wonder how it took me five years to figure this out. The truth of the matter is if you go to a typical road race, 95% of the runners in the race will go out way too hard, simply to fade in frustration at the end. I started to take pride in running smart and having a more technical and analytical approach than my competition.

When you train with Lions Den SMP Run Club, Tristan and myself are firm believers in even pacing and even more so, running negative splits. Now running even splits or negative splits are difficult, if you’re shooting for 4:00:00 marathon, you might wonder how you can run the first half in 2:00:00 and come back and run the second half in 2:00:00. There is no such thing as banking time, which is the point Kevin Hanson makes in his quote. In order to run even splits, you have to train to run at an even pace.

Lions Den SMP Run Club will prepare you so that you can physically run even splits and more importantly get you ready for the mental aspect of running even splits. When you hit mile 20 of the marathon, you can be the hunted or the hunter. I’ve run enough marathons to know that being the hunted and having some guy blow by you with a few miles to go, all because he ran a smarter race than you, is deflating. However, if you can master your training and pacing, there is no better feeling in the world than picking off others runners who are struggling in the later stages of a race.

Work with Lions Den SMP Run Club and we’ll teach you how to be the hunter at your next marathon or half marathon!

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