How To Pace Your Race

  • By Scott Fliegelman
  • Published Mar 31, 2015
Photo: John David Becker

In most cases you can’t walk away from a from a race (especially an Ironman) and say, “I had a great bike, but an awful run”; one is directly related to the other. It’s all about pacing. If you pace the swim and bike right, you’ll set yourself up for a better run and a stronger finish.

Most age-groupers make the mistake of comparing their performance with other racers or a goal time instead of looking more closely at how they used their fitness throughout the race.

Going into your next race, set a reasonably challenging goal that is based on the actual training you did, not the training you had hoped to do. Use recent field tests, time trials or practice races in order to clarify your realistic current fitness and then follow the tips below to smartly pace your race.


Don’t worry about time. Triathletes can make the mistake of gauging swim success based on time, but courses are almost always short or long, so there is no sense in getting overly excited or dejected due to seemingly random buoy placement. Instead, base success on a smart start position, minimal contact and anxiety, skilled sighting and maintaining good technique from start to finish.

RELATED – By The Numbers: The Iron Swim

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