Gain confidence and finish strong. These guidelines set you up for success on the run. Understand that 80 percent of the field will not be racing this way: They will ignore the early disconnect between actual effort and perceived effort, working much too hard without realizing it, and not saving energy for increasingly difficult conditions. So gain confidence knowing you’ve executed the bike correctly and have set up a great run!
This advice to negative split your bike leg becomes more urgent as the length of your race increases—a long race creates more opportunities to make mistakes, and those mistakes have more time to express themselves on the run. Think you’ve ridden the first third of the Ironman bike too easy? You now have 26 miles to fix that. But if you rode too hard, that mistake now has 26 miles to express itself. How good will that bike split look when you’re walking 10 miles in the dark?
Rich Strauss is the co-owner of Endurance Nation, a coaching outfit that has trained more than 5,000 athletes since 2007 (Endurancenation.us).