In Part 1 of Transitions & Triathlon 101, we went over:
- The checklist of things to bring
- Practice Practice Practice
How to Identify your spot
At bigger triathlons (or medium sized ones), yours won’t be the only Trek/Cervelo/Fuji bike out there. You need to figure out how you’re going to find your bike, or your empty spot, quickly! Here are some tips:
- Walk and count the number of racks from Swim In to get to your Bike. And same from Bike In.
- Use a landmark (e.g. a tree) to identify your spot.
- I have some pink camo duck tape I’ve used to put on the ground and help me find where I need to turn into. Or to mark my spot on the rack (for when I come back)
- Tie a bandana to the rack (it’s slightly bigger than a piece of tape).
At the Chicago Triathlon, the largest triathlon in the world, I saw all sorts of stuff. I saw pussy willow branches (in August) taped to the rack. I saw balloons tied up (be aware – these can float into other athletes spaces, and are not allowed by USA Triathlon). I saw tons of duck tape on the ground.
How the Pro’s Do It
At the Cap Tex Tri in May (where I was a handler for the Paratriathlon division), I got the chance to watch the pro’s do their transition! Here’s a video of Hunter Kemper and another pro. The whole video is 20 seconds long:
But I saw that Bucket…
There are all sorts of ways to do your transition! I’ve seen people with buckets, or tupperwares, at triathlons. There’s no perfect way to do things, and here are some variations:
- A bucket – to carry your stuff, and to sit on.
- A big tupperware – filled with water, you can dip your feet in and get the sand off your feet.
Ultimately, you should do what’s best for you, and PRACTICE!!! I’ve lost good time in transitions, and a minute in transition lost in transition is the same as a minute lost on the run, bike or swim. If you can shave it, you should! And this isn’t something you need to get more fit at, you just need to practice.