Any pointers on how to pace one's self on the bike leg of a Tri? I am new to the sport and came from a running background and thought that the running leg would be my best leg. Well, so far the bike is with out a doubt developed in my strongest leg. The downside is that in the last couple of Oly length Tri's I have bonked real hard on the front end of the run segments. While I suspect someof that has to do with fueling/hydrating during the race I am also sure that I might be pushing to hard on the bike.
Since I am still new to this I was hoping that some of the club folks might have some pointers on knowing how to when you are going fast enough on the bike to still have enough left for the run. Any pointers that can help keep the run from turning into my version of the Bataan Death March would be most helpful.
Pacing on the bike is somewhat personal in my opinion. Though one thing you should do (if you haven't) is a FTP (Functional Threshold Power/Peformance) test. You can then gauge your efforts based on the results.
Now I'm not a fast triathlete so you may want to take what I say with a grain of salt.
If you feel like you are pushing the pace hard, then it will impact your running. I try to bike comfortably hard but not crazy. It is a fine line. Also, continue to bike more. I am also a runner and it took me a few years to get stronger on the bike. Nutrition intake is also key. I used an aero bottle between my bars to force me to drink enough. Keep it up and it will all fall into place with experience!
I don't think that anyone can really tell you how hard or soft you can/should push on the bike and still produce a solid run since that is so dependent on fitness across all three disciplines. Do a bunch of brick workouts during your training. People use all kinds of metrics (i.e., power, heart rate, cadence, pace, perceived level of effort, and etc) feedback during brick workouts to give them a good gauge of what they can get away with. Even if you had a personal coach, the coach wouldn't be able to tell you how hard/soft you should push on the bike without some of the metrics that I mentioned.
Two of the main reasons why folks do brick workouts are
1. Figure out how hard to push/hold back on the bike and still produce a solid run
2. Figure out a nutrition plan that works best
For elite age groupers at the sprint/Oly distance, their pacing on the bike is hard enough to almost taste their vomit. Obviously, many of us normal folks don't have enough bike/run fitness to get away with a strategy like that.
What can we get away with? That's an evolving question/answer that comes with practice and fitness over time.
Kev7 is a stud/freak of nature runner. He aint' too shaby on the bike either. Hed what he said about taking a few years to become stronger on the bike. Until then, dial back on the bike speed a bit. If you are walking at the beginning of your run, chances are that you are not as strong on the bike as you think you are.