Hilly Ironmans: how should you pace the run?

Got a hilly Ironman coming up, and wondering how to cope with hills on the run leg and how you should pace it? Scott Findlay, triathlon coach for the Hartree Jets, has this advice.


 The best way to pace a run is to negative- split it, which means the second half is faster than the first. This could prove more difficult on a hilly course, but it’s still possible.

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Another option is to try and hold an even effort for the entire run, so that when you hit the hills you’ll be running a lot slower than on the flat sections. But by maintaining the same effort level, you can reduce the risk of going too hard. 

You can achieve this by setting an upper heart-rate limit. If you don’t have heart rate or prefer to work off RPE (rate of perceived exertion), make sure the first half/two-thirds of the run feel comfortable. 

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Also remember that what goes up must come down. You can make up the time on the way down by relaxing and letting gravity take you down the hill for some free time! Soak up the atmosphere and finish the run strong and it’ll be a memory to get you through many more tough training sessions to come!

Scott Findlay is a tri coach with Hartree Jets Triathlon Squad and you can follow him on Twitter @SNFindlay