Triathlon Transition mastery
Many triathletes overlook the importance of a quick T1 transition, but wasted time in transition can cost you a personal best, podium, Kona qualifications, or even winning the race. Last year at Ironman Lake Tahoe the female winner had slower swim, bike, and run splits but she won because she transitioned quickly. Even if you are not dreaming of a top age group finish, a fast transition can be beneficial to the overall flow of your race.
Here are my top points on how to neaten up your swim to bike transition:
- Simpler is better: the less equipment you have in T1 the better. You do not need a bucket of “just in case” gear. All you need is a towel (to dry off your feet and mark your area), cycling shoes (if they are not already attached to your pedals), socks (or go sockless), helmet, sunglasses, race bib, running shoes, fuel belt (if needed), and sunblock (if needed). The cleaner your T1 area the faster you will be.
- Organize: It can help to put all of your cycling things (sunglasses, race number (if required), beanie, nutrition) into your helmet and hang it from your bike. Everything is in one place and your area is clean.
- Know your location: Do not be “that guy” with the balloons marking your bike. Instead use landmarks like trees, light posts, and/or bushes to know your position. Make sure you count the rows too so you can easily run through transition without getting lost. Practicing the run out never hurt either.
- Strip: If the race has strippers (not that type of stripper), use them to your advantage. I find that they save me time not only from how quickly they pull off my suit but also because I can run faster to my bike. Stippers are not always provided so at the waterfront pull off your wetsuit to the waist and take off your goggles and swim cap as you run. Practicing this before the race a couple times is recommended
- Flying mounts: Flying mounts are only effective if you know how to do them well. If you are not practiced at them then either practice them or carry your shoes to the exit.
Remember to practice anything before you race. Whatever you are most practiced at is what you will be fastest at.
Coach Chris and Kev