Triathlon Transition introduction
As well as having to master the running, cycling, and swimming disciplines of a triathlon, there is another aspect of the race that is extremely important to learn. And that is the Triathlon transition. Known as T1 for the swimming to bike section and T2 is the bike to run part of the race.
There is always a designated area where the transitions take place. You are allocated a bike rack and an area to keep all the triathlon gear you will need for the competition.
The transition stage can be a bit of a crazy time and stressful if you don’t prepare for it. You will need to calm your mind and have complete focus on the job in hand.
After you get your first couple of competitions under your belt, you will have got used to the chaos of the transition. If you have put in a lot of practice should be performing on auto-pilot!
Obviously, you need to practice the three main disciplines of a triathlon. But you must spend time practicing your transitions before the race as well.
Time your Triathlon Transition
Start timing your practice transitions and try to get faster, but also effortless. You want your transitions to be as second nature as driving a car. If you have practiced your transitions dozens of times before the race, you will already have a head start. Many competitors will have neglected this part of the training.
On the day of the race, mentally go through your plan again and again. If the racking isn’t numbered, try to make sure it is in an area that has a landmark near it. I have even heard of triathletes tying helium balloons to their racking area to easily sport their bikes, but maybe this is going a bit too far!
Set your Gearing correctly
Set your gear before the race; you want to have your gear ratio in a higher gear at the beginning of the competition. This will give your legs a brief warm-up before you switch gears for the long slog.
The smallest details can make a bit of difference, so make sure that you practice putting on your helmet and clipping and unclasping its strap. Little frustrations like this can add time to the race and get you in the wrong frame of mind.
Keep everything to a minimum you want the least amount of tasks to do as possible in the transition area. One example is to skip wearing socks. It takes time to put socks on, especially if your feet are wet.
You can add petroleum jelly to your shoes before the race this will make it even easier to slide on your shoes and should reduce the chances of blisters or chaffing. I would recommend running without socks a few times before the race, though, some people are more prone to blistering than others.
It’s always a good idea to check out some triathlon competitions beforehand. This gives you an understanding of what the triathletes do in the transition area. You might pick up some handy tips on what to do and what not to do in your transition preparation!