“Worried about your Triathlon times? Below are tips for a faster transition. Read them now!”
Transitions are the portions of a triathlon between each of the three sports (2 transitions total) that allow you to quickly prepare for the next portion of the race. T1 is the first transition between the swim and the bike and T2 is the second transition between the bike and the run. If we spend countless hours honing our swimming, biking and running, shouldn’t we also be practicing our transitions? The answer is yes.
Triathlon Transition Tips
Transition practice is frequently overlooked. But like anything, the more you practice transitions, the faster and more efficient you will become. Prior to race day, be sure to spend some time doing several mock transition sessions. Know where you will lay everything out (more on that below) and the sequencing in which you will put everything on. It sounds simple, but knowing your sequencing will prevent fumbling and wasted time. If you are doing some open water swims, bring all your gear and practice running out of the water, putting all your bike gear on and running out. Then, practice coming in with your bike and transitioning for the run. If you want to get really hard core, video you’re yourself doing your transition practice and watch to see where you are encountering errors or challenges so you can fix them. Confidence is preparation. Help boost your confidence by going into race day prepared for your transitions.
Walk through your transitions in the transition area the day before the race.
All athletes should have access to the race transition area the day before race day. Not only should you familiarize yourself with where your bike will be situated, but you should practice walking from the swim exit to the transition entrance to your bike and out the bike exit. Then, walk the bike entrance to your transition area and out the run exit. When your adrenaline is going on race day, it can be confusing if you haven’t mapped out your game plan. Mentally rehearse the exits, entrances and finding your transition area. This will help reduce unwelcome uncertainty on race day.
Identify a visual cue to help you find your transition area quickly.
While mapping out your transition area the day before the race and on race morning, find a visual cue that will help you easily identify your bike rack and row. Perhaps there is a big tree, a fence post or promotional flag. Find something that will help you spot where to go when you are in the transition area. When races are on pavement, I bring a piece of chalk with me and write the first initial of my name on the ground by my bike so I can see it as I run. First timers often tie Mylar balloons to the bar near their bike or ribbon.
Arrive early on race morning to secure the best space.
On race morning, your nerves will be kicking in and the butterflies will be dive-bombing in your stomach. Reduce added stress from rushing in the transition area by arriving early. Arriving early will also help ensure you get a good place on your bike rack and have adequate space to lay out all your transition items. It’s always unsettling when you arrive late and barely have a patch of land to place all your gear by your bike. Control the things you can control. (And remember, never touch or move anyone else’s belongings in transition.) More at Triathlon Transition Tips to Become a Faster Triathlete