70.3 Race Pace Strategy

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    Hey everyone, my first 70.3 is in exactly 1 week, getting nervous but excited! I wanted to go over my race pacing strategy and just see if anyone thinks it’s on point or if I need to adjust something. For reference, my goal is just to finish, but I’d still like to do as well as I can.

    So in my 10K race a couple of months ago, I realized that HR was a somewhat useless metric during it. My HR was higher than my RPE, and higher than expected, so I actually just went by feel and I think it was successfully paced. I stayed very consistent and built some speed the last mile or so. Finished 10 minutes faster than expected.

    I know for a 70.3 race, I should stick to Zone 2 throughout. But I’m thinking of going totally by feel/RPE and checking HR on the bike and run every so often to make sure nothing crazy is happening. I’m thinking my HR could probably get into the 150s on the bike and maybe in the 160s on the run. Even though this is above my Z2, I have a feeling it’ll “feel” like Z2 the day of the race. Adrenaline just seems to make my HR shoot up in these races. On the swim, I plan to take it mostly easy, unless I’m directly going against a current (then I’ll have to pick it up through that part).

    Is this a decent strategy or am I setting myself up for disaster by not strictly sticking to HR zones? How much higher can I expect my HR to be the day of the race, 10 bpm or so?

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by courtg47.
    Leyla Porteous

    This sounds like a great approach to learning how to pace by feel. i would say use your feel and then check in with the watch to see what it’s saying – but trust to a big extend what you are feeling. It’s important to remember though that in those early parts of the bike you can be a little unsure on how steady to go – excitement and increased HR from the transition can have you thinking things feel easy – but in fact they are not really. So bounce between your watch, your feel and your breathing rate. This will be a great way to ensure you have a steady bike leg and set yourself up for a good run!
    Good luck


    Thanks for the tips! I will try it out this weekend and maybe hold back just a bit early in the bike.


    It sounds like you have a good sense of RPR, so I think this would be a good strategy. You might set a maximum pace alert as an extra safeguard, just in case your adrenaline is going crazy and you take off too fast. But it sounds like you’re on the right track. Hope it all goes well!

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