Pacing Yourself

As a veteran of running across Australia, The U.S.A and the European Union, as well as having cycled across Australia, I know from experience the importance of pacing yourself during the early stages of the event. At the beginning you will feel highly energized, and the adrenalin will be surging. You will be bursting to go. You will also (hopefully) be super-fit (possibly the fittest you have ever been). But all these things could lead to your downfall if you are not careful. I have seen some of the fittest specimens on earth start out too quickly in a trans-continental race. More often than not they are back home within a week, having been forced to abandon. Although it is a race against other people, ultimately, it is a race against yourself. Never let your pace be influenced by someone else’s during the first week. Get through the first week, and then, maybe, if you are hoping to be competitive, then is when you should start to race it. Remember, you need to finish it first, to have any chance of winning. The race can’t be won in the first week, but it can certainly be lost.

For those of you with no competitive ambitions and your goal is to finish, the same also applies. I suggest going really easy again for the first week. That is the key time. Also, if you look at the race route daily mileage, day ten is only 98.6km. After averaging nearly 200km for the first nine days, stage 10 will seem something of a rest day. Starting at 6AM, most riders should be finished by 10AM, giving nearly a whole day of rest and recovery. Plus the fact that the day’s stage finishes on the edge of the beautiful Bunda Cliffs, in South Australia. I can honestly say, when I stayed there during the Trans-Australia Running race, it really was the highlight of my life. It is just an amazingly beautiful place that words can’t even do it justice.

That afternoon, there will be a barbeque for riders, organisers and support crews. Mentally, I would suggest splitting the race into three. Get through the first nine days unscathed, enjoy the ‘rest’ day on day ten, and then push on for the final fourteen days. This is what I would do. You are equally welcome to take my advice, or use your own strategy if you feel it works for you (everyone is different).