Pacing For A First Triathlon

I'm new to triathlons, am about to do my first one and am not sure about pacing. It is 0.5k swimming, 6.5k biking and 3k running.

I can swim good and run decent and have no experience biking but have no clue how to pace myself.

What event should I put most effort into or what should I do to maintain a pace where I will not run out of steam quickly? Thanks for the answers.

Intelligent Triathlon Training replies:

If your aim is to complete the triathlon and enjoy the experience without worrying too much about the time, and not crawl across the finish line, the general rule for the bike and run would be to go at an intensity at which you could hold a conversation.

However, if you wish to complete this as a race, getting your best time and finish feeling like you’ve had a hard, physical challenge, then you need to increase the intensity.

On the bike you should be able to maintain a pace where breathing is deep but even, and not laboured. Allow yourself to recover a little on the downhills (if there are any) and maybe push a little bit more on the uphills.

On the run, again, breathing should be controlled and regular but conversation might not be easy.

Another tactic would be to build up to pace in each discipline, gradually increasing intensity as you go, depending on how you feel. Practice your pacing in training to see how much you can push yourself – find out where the line is between going hard but controlled and going too hard.

Remember to take into account the course and weather conditions. So don’t go too hard early on if you know there is a hill towards the end of the course, even if you feel really good early on. Equally, if it is a hot day remember you may tire more quickly.

Experience is helpful with pacing in a triathlon, so hopefully you’ll enjoy this experience and then go on to do another where you can push yourself a little more!

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