WHAT TOPS MEANS FOR TRIATH­LETES LOOK­ING FOR THAT WIN­NING EDGE AT KONA

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - SUMMARY -

Look at the chart show­ing com­bined swim/ bike per­cent­ages of fin­ish time. What jumps out? First, the win­ner of the Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship last year was, in fact, the slow­est of the top 20 male fin­ish­ers into T2. At nearly 66 per cent, his race strat­egy seems to in­di­cate he raced his own race, not other ath­letes. Let ’em pass, he might have been think­ing. Be­cause his bal­anced ap­proach up to the run was on track. More than on track. He charged on the run course with a plan, a good idea that he could ex­e­cute, and fin­ished with a 2:39 marathon and a two-minute vic­tory.

Re­mem­ber above when we looked at sec­ond-place fin­isher Lionel San­ders’s race in terms of time? Well, trans­late that to TOPS and you can see in this chart, with nearly a 64 per cent swim/bike per cent of fin­ish time, he was doomed to spend the next 36 per cent run­ning. A two per cent gap to Lange.

Re­mem­ber when we em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of a one per cent dif­fer­ence in TOPS fin­ish per cent equals five min­utes on the course? San­ders en­tered T2 10 min­utes ahead of Lange, or two per cent TOPS. Lange steadily made up that two per cent and passed

San­ders to win by two min­utes.

You couldn’t have a bet­ter il­lus­tra­tion of the suc­cess or dis­ap­point­ment of ap­ply­ing TOPS. Bal­ance your race. Don’t be afraid to take the swim and bike slower, to emerge with a higher TOPS per­cent­age en­ter­ing the run. If you’ve ex­e­cuted to plan, you’ll have a faster run and a bet­ter chance to win. That’s the kind of new edge pros are look­ing for.

Ray­mond Britt is CEO of WinSight.net Ecom­merce Con­sult­ing, Pub­lisher of RunTri.com, a 29-time Iron­man and three-time Kona fin­isher. His email is Ray­mondBritt@WinSight.net.

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