Practical Triathlon

Practical tips, thoughts and information on triathlon and multisport.

Smart pacing for top Ironman performance

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Here’s data from the 2010 Ironman World Championships (Male Pro finishers):

Not surprising to see that that Chris McCormack, the overall male pro winner, was on average 3.5% slower than the fastest male pro finisher in each discipline (-5.74% swim, -3.25% bike, -1.51% run).  The data seems to support three possible winning Ironman race strategies: 1.) disciplined pacing, 2.) be a fast marathon runner or 3.) a mix of disciplined pacing and fast marathon running.

Smart, disciplined pacing on the swim and bike (don’t try to be the fastest guy out front) will allow for an optimal run performance.  Notice that the top 10 fastest swimmers and cyclist we’re, on average, about 3.6% percent slower than the eventual overall winning time while the top 10 fastest runners were, on average, within 2.3% of the overall winning time.

Nothing exhaustive in this data analysis but it clearly displays the importance of developing the ability to, and pacing for a fast Ironman marathon.  Dropping your swim or bike pace by a few percentage points may pay off on the run.

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Written by Matt

February 27, 2011 at 10:36 AM

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