The Long Course Triathlon Execution Seminar, Lesson #3 — Bike Pacing and Hills
In this lesson, we will cover pacing the bike and riding hills. This is critical because…if you are going to booger 6-9 months of training and ruin your race, you’re going to do it on the bike!!!
Rich & Patrick
Part 1: Ironman® Bike Overview
We’ve done a lot of races ourselves and have coached hundreds of athletes to Ironman® finishes.
We’ve spectated and officiated on the courses.
We’ve seen the 10,000 foot view of the bike AND the run and we can tell you…that 90% of field doesn’t know how to execute the bike.
As a result they ride significantly harder than they should and subsequently detonate on the run. Again, your objective on race day is to set up the last 8-10 miles of the run…not to put up a fast bike split!
How fast does that bike split look when you are walking or shuffling on the run?
- Ride your should bike split, not your could split. Should sets up the run. Could likely results in a lot of walking and “try again next year.”
- There is no such thing as a “good” bike split followed by a poor run.
- 90% of the athletes don’t know what they are doing and are riding too hard. If you find yourself doing the opposite of everyone else, especially on the hills, that’s a good thing!
- All: Ride at least one hour, or more, at a Zone 1, Just Riding Along (JRA), Go All Day pace.
- Heart Rate Athletes: After this first hour or so, for athletes expecting to ride longer than about 6hrs, dial in an upper Zone 1 heart rate. Sub 6hrs = low to mid Zone 2 heart rate.
- Power Athletes: Proper Ironman® pacing is an Intensity Factor (IF) of .7-75.
Part 2: Riding Hills
If you follow our advice below you’ll find yourself going backwards on the hills relative to everyone else, which is a good thing! You’ll also find yourself passing these rockstars on the crests and on the downhills. More importantly, you’ll set yourself up for a great run!
Please read our hill climbing guidance here: Climbing Smart on Race Day
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