Racing 70.3 East London this weekend? Here’s all you need to know…

Racing 70.3 East London this weekend? Here’s all you need to know…

Are you racing IronMan 70.3 East London this weekend? Its known as one of the toughest 70.3 routes in the world. Have a listen to Rudolf and Brad to help calm your nerves as they discuss all you need to know for race day, from what to expect from the route and how to pace your race.

If youre looking for triathlon specific coaching, have a look at our CoachParry Online Training Platform - a full library of training programs from sprint to IronMan distance and access to Rudolf and the rest of the CoachParry team in our members only forum. CLICK HERE to check it out!


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Welcome on to the next edition of TRI with Coach Parry. I'm Brad Brown. We've got our triathlon coach Rudolf Naude with us. Rudolf, welcome on to the show. Thanks for joining us once again.

Hey Brad, thanks for having me on the show again.

No worries. Rudolf we're talking about the Ironman 70.3 in Buffalo city this weekend on today's podcast. Before we get into that though, you've just come off a pretty impressive race in Gauteng. It was the Gauteng champs, I believe, out on the East Rand and it turned into a duathlon and I saw a couple of photos that the Mytrainingday boys were looking mighty mean but you smashed them.

Yeah Brad, I had a lucky day, the Mytrainingday boys, I know a lot of them are racing East London this weekend. So they were on full form and fitness and maybe luck was on my side on the day and I was able to beat them. So I broke through Mytrainingday train a little bit but good, strong. Good luck to everyone racing on the weekend on East London.

Yeah, absolutely. Rudolf, congrats to you as well. Let's talk about the 70.3 East London. It's a beast of a race as far as 70.3 distances go. Let's talk a little bit about it from what to expect. I mean, for someone who's never done it before, I think we need to say brace yourself. You're in for a tough day.


All you need to know about the 70.3 East London 


Yeah, look East London is one of the hardest 70.3 races that I have ever done. Even when you start with the swim, the swim depending on the sea, you can either have a nice swim, flat sea, or you can have tremendous waves that're smashing you every day. So with the swim, take it out nice and easy on the start. And also, when you get to the beach, don't start sprinting towards transition because it's a long uphill to get into transition.

That is where you get your breath back, get your legs back, get the blood from your arms into the legs. And make sure that you do your transitions nice and neatly. Don't rush it, take all your nutrition, whatever you feel that you need to take on race day, take it. Do not leave a gel or a bar or anything behind because it is a long day.

And then the cycle starts gently downhill and then you climb a little bit up until you get passed the cricket fields, then you dive down in again until you hit the highway and then one of the first big climb starts going passed the mall. So people generally say that the ride is up all the way out, downhill all the way back. That is not the case. I would rate it about 70/30% going uphill out, downhill on the way back. So don't burn all your matches on the way out on the bike because you still need a few coming back home and also the wind plays a big part in the race. You're going out and it's a tailwind, it's going to be a fast, fast cycle but if it's the other way around, it's going to be a very slow cycle.

So also pace yourself accordingly towards the weather conditions and then finally on the run, I think everybody knows Bunkers Hill hurts a lot and especially after [***3:09] you have to do it twice. It also hurts. So for my advice on the run as well, aid stations are your friend, if you have to walk the aid stations that's fine do it just get your nutrition in. If it's a warm and hot day, cool yourself down, there's ice, there's sponges, so cool yourself down and get your nutrition in and then carry on. And to everyone who is racing first time or the 10th or the 12th time, good luck to everyone and I hope you have an amazing day.

Rudolf, the East London one is an interesting one, you mentioned the swim and the swim is what it is. I mean it depends which way the wind blows and what the sea conditions are like but I think what makes East London tough is the bike and and particularly for the guys and girls who are back of the pack. That's where most of the worry comes is am I going to finish that bike within cut off. And you mentioned like don't burn your matches too early on, you've got to hold back enough because that bike course is brutal.

I mean you talk about the drop down before when you start like after the cricket ground, coming back you've got to come back up that thing. So you've definitely got to save some energy on the bike to get up that thing in one piece particularly if you're cutting close to the the sort of cut offs. But it's easy to get carried away early on in the triathlon and really smash it out but if you don't hold back, and we talk about it often is holding back and making sure you're pacing right, but if you don't hold back in East London, it is definitely going to come back to bite you later on in the race.

Yeah, definitely. It's also easy to remember, the way you go out, that's the same way you're coming back. So if you feel like this is very easy, downhill all the way, I can freewheel, just remember you have to come back on the same route. So remember for every downhill there's an uphill coming up as well. So even though there's a little bit of downhills going on the way out, there's still a lot of climbing on the way coming back.

So pacing is a very important strategy. If you have a power meter, I'm sure a lot of people do have that, listen to your power meter, listen to your coach. If you're working on average speed, it's generally a bit more difficult because it's more uphill going out than coming back so that's a bit more difficult to pace accordingly. But remember if you're going hard, if you don't have a power meter, just remember just tap down 5 or 6% tap down for on the way coming back and also you still want to save something in the legs when you have to do Bunkers twice.

Yeah, absolutely. The run's not the easiest either. It does tend to get quite hot later on in the day for the the guys and girls who are out there for a while but I also want to say best of luck. It is a tough race, but it's really rewarding, particularly the after party at Buccaneers afterwards. Enjoy it. And yeah, we'd love to know how it goes. Don't forget if you do need some help after 70.3, your next goal, be sure to check out what we are doing at If you head over to you get access to all of our training programmes from sprints through the Olympic through half Iron Man right through to full Iron Man. Definitely check it out.

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