Last weekend during Ironman Tulsa pro triathletes went all in on the bike, proof of which comes from Canadian pro triathlete Cody Beals, who offered some insight on his power output. One thing stands out: there were some hard efforts. “The opening miles of a Championship Ironman ride are madness!” he writes on Instagram. Due to two flat tires, Beals decided to pull out of the race after the bike section.
“Looks more like a short course race than the start of an 8-hour day,” he continues to say, as he shares a graph of his ride. Weighing 71 kg, Beals managed to push 748 watts for ten seconds at his peak. An average over one minute was 424 watts, 399 watts for two minutes, 376 for five minutes and 346 watts over 10 minutes.Text continues below picture
“Why do the pro men pace so unevenly?” Beals wonders. “Contrary to conventional wisdom about pacing, the pro men’s Ironman contenders almost always go out very hard with a controlled fade later on. It’s partly strategic: jockeying for position out of transition, bridging up, maintaining a legal draft advantage in a pack and deliberately dropping weaker cyclists. But it can also feel like testosterone and adrenaline fueled mutually assured destruction. For reference, I’d aim for an average power of 270-280W for the full ride at (71 kg).”
Beals isn’t sure whether this tough approach is really the best. Looking at his past results, he can actually say a time-trial style seems to work better. “My first three Ironman winning rides were more like steady individual time trials. My last three Ironmans with stronger fields have been a different game in terms of dynamics and tactics. Training and racing with power helps me identify and prepare for these demands.”