It is relatively easy to take time out of your competitors and off your PB by practising your transition from swim to bike (T1) and bike to run (T2). To take the same amount of time out of your swim, bike or run is much more difficult…but still worth aiming for! Coaches love the saying “perfect practice makes perfect”. When it comes to making your transitions faster it is absolutely true. Here are some tips that I hope you find useful.
Before the race:
- Look for landmarks in transition that will help you find your place in transition.
- Walk through transition noting bike exit and entry points and the run exit.
- Set up your transition area placing your equipment out in a familiar pattern.
- Put your number on (pinned or on a race belt) under your wetsuit.
- Place nutrition for the bike (if it is sealed) in the pockets of your tri suit under your wetsuit.
- Use Body Glide or similar on areas where your wetsuit tends to get stuck when pulling it off.
- Have your bike in an appropriate gear.
- Attach your shoes to your pedals (if using clipless pedals) and have rubber bands holding them in the right position i.e. horizontal with cranks also horizontal.
- Use elastic laces in your running shoes.
- Use talc in your shoes for ease of foot entry. Some people also use Vaseline around the heel.
- You can open the neck of your wetsuit to allow water to flush through as you exit the swim.
- Open the velcro neck tab of your wetsuit with your left hand.
- Pull down the zip with your right hand.
- Pull the right shoulder down with your left hand and remove your arm.
- Pull the left shoulder off with your right hand and remove your arm.
- Remove goggles and cap (some people prefer to do this earlier and leave the goggles and cap in the arm of their wetsuit)
- When you reach your transition area pull the wetsuit down as far as possible i.e. to the ankles, and kick you feet out.
- Fasten bike helmet. You must do this before moving your bike to avoid a penalty.
- Remove bike from transition and run to ‘mount line’. If you mount your bike before the line you will be penalised.
- Mount your bike and place your feet in your shoes once you have some momentum and flat ground (if shoes are already attached to bike).
- Remove your feet from your shoes while still on the bike as you near transition.
- Dismount just before the dismount line. If you dismount your bike after the line you will be penalised.
- Rack your bike in transition. You must do this before moving your removing your helmet to avoid a penalty.
- Pull on your running shoes.
- Remove your helmet.
- Grab extra nutrition if you are taking it.
- Leave transition turning your race belt around as you leave, putting nutrition into pockets if you want to and pulling on a hat if you choose to run with one.
Sound easy? Give it some practice and see how fast you can get moving from one discipline to the next. Let’s see if we can have the quickest transitions at the North Norfolk Triathlon!
See you bright and early Saturday. Bring your wetsuit if you want some time in the water wearing it and don’t forget those fins and pull buoys! Tim (LFTC Coach)