Today’s a bit busy, so here’s a Triathlon 101 posting! Pleasant Prairie Triathlon is coming up this weekend, so I’m thinking about my transitions there to be as speedy as possible!
So one area that is sometimes challenging for new (& experienced) triathletes is transitions. Actually, transitions & change are always hard – triathlon or not!
What is a transition?
Simply put, transitions are the switch between one sport & the next in triathlon! You’ll need to get rid of some gear, pick some other gear up, and get moving on out to continue your event.
Transitions are often considered “free time” in the triathlon, especially at shorter distances. You can be one of the faster people, but if you dawdle in transition, your overall time will be slower — and someone could beat you!
I personally happen to have slower transitions, and it’s something I’m going to work on this spring.
What should I bring to transition?
You want your transition spot to have the essentials of what you need to complete the race, and anything else that may help you. Don’t bring the kitchen sink, because you have limited space AND the more you bring, the longer you spend looking for stuff.
Here’s a good starting point list – broken out by sport:
- Bottle with water or sports drink
- A gel or chews in case you need them
For the Bike (T1):
- Helmet (must have)
- Bike gloves, sunglasses
For the Run (T2):
- Running shoes
- Race belt with bib
What should I do in “T-1”?
If you wore a wetsuit, get out of the top part of it ASAP! Walk/jog to your transition spot, and get the rest of your wetsuit off. Dry your feet off, and wipe off any sand. Put on socks (optional), and the shoes you’ll wear on the bike. Put on your helmet, cycling gloves, and sunglasses. Take a drink of water or sports drink, and a gel if you need to.
Walk your bike out of transition and to the “Mount” line where you’re allowed to get on the bike & start riding.
What should I do in “T-2”?
Get off your bike at the “Dismount” line. Walk your bike back to your transition spot. Take your helmet off your head, and if you need to switch from bike shoes to run shoes, do it now. Take another swig of sports drink, grab a gel in case you need one, grab your “packet o’ stuff” and head out to the Run Out exit from transition.
Sample Transition Setup:
You can see that I have a small towel underneath, with my bike shoes laid out first (since I’ll use them first), a water bottle, and my visor/race belt packet on top of my running shoes. My socks are rolled up for easy putting on, and are on top of each bike shoe.
My bike is right next to / on top of this, and my helmet is on top of this, with my sunglasses & bike gloves in my helmet.
What’s that “packet o’ stuff”?
In the photo above, look at my visor. There is a hair tie that is holding my race belt inside my visor. I can pick this up easily, dispose of the hairband (or put on my wrist) and put my race belt & visor on while I’m jogging out of transition or starting on the run!