How to do Negative Split Swimming and Why is it Beneficial?
Negative split is a technique in swimming that is adopted by many competitive swimmers for its various benefits. It’s a method where the second half is always swum faster than the first. The following article elaborates on method of this swimming technique and its various purposes.
Swimming enhances endurance and offers numerous health benefits. It is a good source of exercise for all age groups. Various styles of swimming provide a complete body workout and increases the strength in bones and tones the muscles. It works towards strengthening the overall body fitness.
Negative split is one such swimming technique that helps one to make the maximum use of the energy in the second half of the swimming race. Often swimmers swim faster in the beginning and lose stamina towards the end of the race. This leads the swimmer to lose the race as he has little energy to deliver the punch at the finish. The reason for this is that anaerobic metabolism which gives you speed, uses carbohydrates and not oxygen and it makes you to produce huge amounts of lactic acid. After certain levels, lactic acid starts fighting the hormones that break down the carbohydrates leaving the swimmer fatigued. At this time, this swimming technique comes handy.
There are certain athletes that learn the skill of this swimming technique, by which they can suddenly increase their speed towards the end of the swimming race. This is a technique that enables the athlete to hold back the energy i.e. delaying the occurrence of peak lactic acid level, and suddenly bring out their energy at the end of the competition. It is not easy to master this swimming technique, but it has some good physical and psychological benefits too. There are many swimming techniques that a swimmer can learn to enhance his performance during the competitions.
Many swimmers may not even use the method during the competition, but it helps in enhancing endurance and strength. It also helps in gaining control over stamina throughout the competition. It even allows the swimmer to be patient and confident during the race. The purpose of this swimming technique is to stay unpredictable and keep the competitors uncertain about your swimming pace.
Negative Split Swimming Style
Every set in negative split must be faster than the previous. It is not an easy skill to develop and requires patience and tremendous practice. At the onset of the race, many swimmers tend to swim fast to take the lead, but as they reach the end of the race, they lose momentum and seemed to be fatigued. To avoid the situation of being overtaken by competitors and losing the race, using this swimming technique always helps. However, when this technique is used with correct judgment of time and speed, you are likely to even win the race.
- It is difficult to determine the swimming speed without a clock. Therefore, always time your swimming pace. A coach will always call out the time once you are half way through. In case the coach is absent in your training then use a wrist watch or make sure you can have a clock in your sight to check the time at half way point.
- If the swimming pool is 200 meters in length, then at half way point (100 m) check the time that you have taken to cover it.
- Continue swimming and when you reach the end of the pool again check the time.
- Ideally according to this technique, the time taken to cover the second half should be less than the first. You may finish the first half in 2:06 minutes then aim to finish the second half in 2:04 minutes.
- It takes time and practice to get the right judgment of the length of the pool and swimming pace.
- After you cover the first half and feel tired towards the end of the second half then, it is not considered as negative split swimming.
- Do not feel disappointed if you cannot get the technique right. It is a difficult method to learn and only practice can make you the master of negative splits.
The idea of this negative split is to start slow at the onset of the race and suddenly increase the tempo of your swimming strokes to win the race. A swimmer must develop the skill of controlling and storing the energy at the beginning and raise the tempo of strokes in the second half of the competition. Once you gain stability and improve in negative split performance, it will gradually boost your confidence and even keep you mentally and physically tough and healthy.