There’s never a bad time to work on your transitions, whether you’re looking for faster changes in your winter duathlons or just want to get yourself practiced and ready for next season in advance. Here are some top transition tips to ensure you don’t falter on triathlon’s ‘fourth discipline’…
When setting up transition, only take the essentials in with you. Anything you know you won’t need, leave with family & friends or at home. This will help you get in and out of transition quicker with minimal fuss and stress! A laminated checklist with what you need on it will ensure you won’t forget anything on the day.
Know you’re way around the course
Transition can often be a busy and sometime confusing place on race morning. Make sure you know your swim exit, bike out & in and run out to help gain those precious seconds!
A great way to save easy seconds and even minutes of your time is in transition. Practice jumping on and off your bike, mounting and dismounting with your shoes already clipped in (very much an ITU style mount/dismount and probably for the more experienced). A good tip is to use elastic bands to keep your shoes in a horizontal position to make this easy. Practice running up to your kit and how are you going to put your sunglasses, helmet and shoes on quickly. What’s the best set up for you? For example, you could put your sunglasses inside your helmet, with the arms open so they can be put on straight away and then put your helmet over the top.
Walk through transition
Familiarise yourself with the path you will take from swim to bike and out, and then from bike to run. Look out for something visual near where you bike and kit is set up so it’s easy to spot when you’re running to your bike, such as a tree that stands out, or an advertising sign nearby.
Talcum Powder is a triathlete’s best friend
Use it sparingly in your bike & run shoes to help slip your feet in easier & reduce the chance of mid-race rubbing.
Setup your bike
Make sure your bike is set up in the right gear to start your race. If you have a hill out of transition you probably want to start in an easier gear, so you’re not struggling in the first few meters of the race when you try to pedal.
Below is an example list of items you’ll need before a race. It includes all the kit you’ll need, plus a few other pre-race checks and optional items…
- Goggles (maybe a spare pair too just in case!)
- Pre race nutrition/gels –
- Water – sometimes it’s useful to have an old water bottle with you to sip on as you’re warming up or waiting for the start. You can then just throw this away at the last minute
- Timing chip
- Garmin set up and mounted on bike – set the screen so the data you want to see on the ride is accessible and easy to see
- Pump tyres to the right pressure
- Check you’re in the right gear on the bike for starting out
- Shoes on bike, with elastic bands
- Talcum powder in shoes
- Nutrition for bike leg
- Fluid for bike with bottles filled
- Bike helmet
- Socks (for half or full distance)
- Race belt
- Nutrition for run (gels, with an elastic band around so they’re easy to grab)
Spares (just in case)
- CO2 canisters
- Tyres/Inner tubes
- Electrical tape
- Elastic bands