Transitions are, most often, forgotten in the training routine of the average triathlete. So much time is spent swimming, biking, running and bricking, the transition training gets pushed off the schedule. But whether you are new to triathlons or have been at it for a while, it’s always helpful to review some information that could help give you some “Free Speed” in your transitions.
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE and then PRACTICE some more — During the race is not the time to be trying to figure out what in what order to put your shoes on and take your helmet off. By the time you get to race day, the order in which you do things in each transition should feel like you’re on autopilot.
- KNOW WHERE YOUR BIKE IS — Scope out landmarks that line up with your place on the rack. Use things like buildings and or/trees, not the fancy pink bike next to you or the garbage can at the end of the aisle. Those things might not be there by the time you get back to your area. Walk through the transition area as if you are racing to know what you will be looking for.
- BE A MINIMALIST — The less things you have, the easier and faster your transitions will be. You do not need to “skimp” on what you bring, but is it really necessary to have a big tub of water for you to rinse your feet off?
- PRACTICE RUNNING WITH YOUR BIKE — Do yourself a favor and learn to run with your bike while holding it by the seat. It’s easier to run that way and you won’t accidentally hit your shin with a pedal. Transition areas can get hectic – the more you are able to control your bike while running, the easier time you will have.
- WEAR THE SAME THING THROUGHOUT THE RACE — The only exception is if it is really cold in the morning and heats up during a longer race or, other way around, race is so long, it gets very cool while you’re still out running. There is a wide variety of triathlon apparel that will get you through all three disciplines comfortably. Not sure where to shop? Try this: URBAN TRI GEAR
- TWO MUST-HAVES: RACE BELT AND SPEED LACES — Though not required, these two handy little pieces of equipment will save valuable time! Sure, it’s easy to tie your shoes, but it becomes a little tougher when you’ve just been working hard on a bike and are winded from running back to your transition area with it! As for the race belt, most races only require it for the run and, since you’re wearing the same shirt for the entire race, you’re not going to want to stop and pin it on in T2! Race belts are inexpensive and can last year after year.
With these helpful tips and some practice, you should be PR’ing in no time!