Triathlon Transition

by / Monday, 16 February 2015 / Published in sport

You might be a beginner or an experienced triathlete but for everyone the importance of triathlon transition can’t be underestimated – its the 4th sport in a triathlon! In no other sport does the ‘getting changed’ element matter more! OK it might only make the difference of a few seconds to your race time but a well orchestrated transition can relax you and set the standard for your race. Here’s a few tips we have picked up over the course of hundreds of triathlons that might help with your preparation:

  • Take what you really need – don’t take everything in your wardrobe you don’t need it and it will just add to confusion on race morning. Make a list of essential items (wetsuit, goggles, bike, helmet, runners, nutrition etc) and what you might need in case of an emergency (tyre tubes, spare goggles, first aid kit, a change of clothes etc.) Stick to these items but adapt them for future races if required.
  • Get a bag – the Amphibia X2Bag is developed specifically for triathlon transition – folds flat, is waterproof, comes with a changing mat and separates all your gear. Some races don’t allow bags or instruments of any kind within transition so you must adhere to the rules, but even then a good bag still makes getting to and from the race a lot easier and can also be used for training, commuting etc.
  • Your transition area – most races allow a small towel or mat to mark out your area beside your bike.  A brightly coloured one will help you locate it easily – its amazing how you can get disorientated in the hustle bustle of a race.  Lay out your area only with the few items you will need.  You helmet and sunglasses should be placed on your bike handlebars so they are the first thing you do.
  • Check for your race briefing beforehand for transition set-up, exit / entry points etc and walk it out when you arrive, also pinpointing the exact spot where your bike is racked amongst the hundreds or thousands! Some races have numbered bike positions, others are first come – first served so it might be worthwhile turning up a little earlier for these ones to get a more advantageous spot.
  • Get a race belt  saves you putting holes in your tri suit, means you can spin your number around (to the back for cycle, to the front for run) and can carry gels.
  • Swim – cycle: more advanced racers will have their bike shoes already clipped into their bikes but its not required and will only save a few seconds. If you prefer to wear socks then do, better to take a few seconds putting them on than getting blisters! Or do as i do and just put socks on for the run element when your hands have warmed up.
  • Cycle – run: for the last few hundred meters of the bike, drop down to an easier gear and rotate your legs quicker than normally, this will get your legs going in preparation for the run. A nice easy jog into transition will get your legs ready for whats coming.
  • Make sure you do brick sessions (combinations of swim/cycle/run) to get your muscles used to the various sensations.  Also practise your transition beforehand, wetsuit off, mounting and dismounting the bike etc. Dont try anything new on race day, always practise beforehand! Oh and most important of all enjoy it – something might go wrong but you can correct it for your next race!

One Response to “Triathlon Transition”

  1. […] experience more enjoyable.  I have written a more general ‘Doing Your First Triathlon’ blog here, but this is more about my own personal experience. They say the only thing better than learning […]

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