If you read this blog regularly, you know I do a lot of study on triathlon race dynamics, especially the Ironman World Championships. There is a fantastic study I was a part of over the course of almost 2 years, with students and staff from the University of Connecticut, and was recently published in The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. We found some very interesting correlations between performance and downhill pacing, at the Ironman World Championships.
Specifically, we saw that athletes who maintained faster relative speeds on downhill segments, and who had smaller changes in HR between consecutive up and downhill segments were more successful relative to their goal times. The study shows where these segments were in the race, according to the bike and run course profiles. You can read the study here.
Many thanks to Evan C. Johnson, J. Luke Pryor, Douglas J. Casa, Luke N. Belval, Julie K. DeMartini, Carl M. Maresh, and Lawrence E. Armstrong on their hard work to make this great study happen.