Triathlon Run Training - Race Pace

Two questions here: I’m planning to build in some race pace efforts at the end of my longer runs to make sure I keep some speed in my legs. Question - training for a 70.3 should these be my standalone Half Marathon pace, or my 70.3 Half Marathon run pace?

This comes to my second question, how much is typically the difference between the two? I’ve only done one 70.3 and there was quite a difference (2:05 compared to 1:37).


Couple of things here, if you’re looking at gaining/keeping some speed in the legs then I’d say that doing strides a few times a week after gentle runs is the generally recommended way of doing it.

Race pace during or at the end of long runs is to get the body familiar with what it feels like to run race pace whilst fatigued not for speed training. Note here that race pace 5 months from now is not your current race pace, so adjust accordingly otherwise you’ll be training too hard for the purpose of the session.

Regards stand alone HM pace or triathlon HM pace then given what I wrote above and assuming that the triathlon is your goal then I’d say it should be triathlon HM pace you aim for.

1 Like

Thanks. Good points, I do include strides or pickups as well. So for the race pace at the end - do you normally do this closer to the event?

I believe I’ve read somewhere along the lines of about 10+ minutes… But like with most things, this is a general guideline and not the rule.

I had a great HIM half at the end of October running a 1:31 and finished an open HM today at 1:20 and change. So just over 10 minutes.

As a lead up to the HIM, my key workouts were 20-30 seconds faster than race pace… As I got closer to race day I slowed things down a bit to RP or just below (faster) than RP.

Given the large discrepancy with the times you noted I would venture to guess a number of things could have possibly occurred; less than ideal race conditions (weather wise), fueling issue or possibly over-biked?

I think your run for an open 1/2 vs a 70.3 half will depend on you bike fitness and how well you paced. It might be 10 min difference but if you overdid the bike your split will be quite a bit off. Weather plays a big factor as well.

1 Like

My training paces were always based on my open times, not my triathlon times. Never had an issue with it…that said, most of my tri runs were at an easy / endurance pace (even shorter runs) due to being injury prone, so it didn’t amount to a huge pace difference. But even my tempo runs were based on open times.

But whatever lets you run more and injury free is your best choice…

ETA - similar to FTP tests, you should run the occasional 5k effort at race pace to determine what your pace zones should be if you don’t have recent open times to refer to. Don’t base training paces on historic best race times. Your training paces should be based on current fitness level.

1 Like

Fueling and bike pacing I would say! 20-30 sec quicker than race HIM pace … which I guess should be similar to HM pace. Thx!

Makes sense. Yes, I usually use a ParkRun time to get training paces.


1 Like