5.17.2009

Race Strategy

INTRODUCTION
The following is the summation of notes I took while attending the Playtri Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 Triathlon Camp. There are a number of good tips here that, if practiced and implemented, should pay dividends come race day. In general, you should schedule no more than two "A" races per year. An "A" race is your biggest race of the year. It is the race that all of your nutrition and training is geared towards.

SWIM
  • Start in the front and off to the side. If you breathe right, start on the left side. If you breathe left, start on the right side.
  • There is no need to breathe bi-laterally for triathletes. You need to store up oxygen for the bike and the run.
  • Always draft off of someone. In murky water, draft off their hip. In clear water, draft off their feet (bubbles).
BIKE
  • Go easy and calm down the first 15 miles in a 70.3 race. If your heart rate is too high, you cannot absorb nutrition.
  • Legally draft off of someone (stay four lengths back). This way, you gain the benefit of changing gears when they do, eating/hydrating when they do and avoiding bumps in the road when they do. It helps limit the amount of mental energy you have to exert.
  • A cadence of 80-90 is ideal for triathletes on the bike as we generally run at a similar cadence.
  • Coast down hills with your feet level.
  • Corner with outside leg straight and inside leg bent.
RUN
  • The race begins on the run.
  • Mental toughness is the key to survival and success on the run.
  • Pump your arms more when climbing hills to propel your body upwards.
SUMMARY
  • You should never find yourself alone during a 70.3 or Ironman race. If you are alone, you are doing something wrong.
  • Always draft off of someone on the swim, bike (legally) and the run.
  • In each leg of the race, go easier the first half and faster the second half. That is the recipe for obtaining a PR.
  • If you can run a 1:45:00 half marathon, then you should be able to run a 1:45:00 half marathon during the run leg of a 70.3.
  • It is said that the swim takes focus, the bike takes patience and the run takes heart. Practice focus, patience and heart to overcome and triumph come race day.
SOURCES
Coach Ahmed Zaner, Platyri

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