How should I pace my next race?

Start with a controlled, slightly easier effort than threshold for the first 3 minutes, then settle in for threshold pace for the next half hour. Try to slowly 'accelerate' through the last 15k or so of the race. Also, save some 'bonus watts' for hills and tailwinds where watts are much more productive in terms of relative distance gained for the effort. Additionally, make sure that you get in a good warm-up prior to your start time so that you can quickly settle in to your pace. Instead of watching the power or heart rate numbers so closely, athletes may want to consider racing based on how they feel. Racing has a way of bringing about efforts that you may not have seen during training. You may want to break your strategy into blocks based on how you are feeling. This might look like: start easy for the first 3-5 minutes building into a steady effort that you feel you can maintain and then really push the pace for the last 15K keeping in mind that you are going to hurt. In this case, let the power settings fall where they may and then chart them after the race to see how they compared to your pre-race estimates. I find that when athletes watch their power levels and/or heart rates too closely during races, they often race conservatively and end up feeling as though they could have pushed harder during the race. If you can monitor power levels and still get your absolute max effort, then stick with your strategy.

Continue Learning about Sports & Athletic Performance

Preventing Sports-Related Eye Injuries
Preventing Sports-Related Eye Injuries
On February 18, 2009, the point guard for the Phoenix Suns, Amar′e Stoudemire, was poked in the eye by LA Clippers’ forward Al Thornton. The result? A...
Read More
How can I get back into active sports again after my injury?
Derak Glover, NASM Elite TrainerDerak Glover, NASM Elite Trainer
Your physician has cleared you; now it’s time to realign. Depending on your injury, your body has c...
More Answers
Calories Elite Athletes Burn During Summer Sports
Calories Elite Athletes Burn During Summer SportsCalories Elite Athletes Burn During Summer SportsCalories Elite Athletes Burn During Summer SportsCalories Elite Athletes Burn During Summer Sports
Learn how many calories top athletes might burn playing these summer games.
Start Slideshow
4 Sports Safety Tips for Kids
4 Sports Safety Tips for Kids

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.