Two triathlon transition drills to practise for race season

Perfect these exercises and you could become as fast as the Brownlees, if only in T1 and T2

(Image: Jonny Gawler)

As race season approaches, it’s time to prioritise race-specific sessions. And the good news is that in triathlon’s ‘fourth discipline’ of transitions, it is possible to become just as fast as the pros…



You might scoff but you really can be as fast as the pros in transition. It’s a matter of technique, practice and knowing the race-day environment like the back of your hand. Transitions done once a week, maybe twice if you have time, will make you faster. Fact.

>>> Five ways to stop your legs cramping out of transition


Race bike, race helmet, run shoes, bike shoes and anything else you routinely put on (gilet, gloves, sunglasses or arm warmers, for example). Also have your T2 equipment to hand, such as run shoes, socks, visor and calf guards.


Take this easy, you’re not working hard today. Low- to mid-Z1 (60-70% HRmax) on the bike for 10-15mins. On arrival back home take off your bike shoes, helmet and run 10mins in mid-upper Z1 in training shoes.

Main session

4 x (5-8mins) cycling a safe local loop at 85-90rpm upper Z1 (75-80% HRmax). As you approach home try to transition smoothly and quickly into race-day run gear, setting off for 4-6mins at a fast but relaxed tempo.

The aim is to become skilled at the change from one discipline to the next and learn how to best use your gear, stride length and posture on the approach in to make the most fluid change from bike to run. This is a chance to try rubber bands on shoes, helmet position on the bike and shoe lacing options.


If local riding options aren’t good, use a turbo trainer. If you want less fitness and more transition practice then make the session a 10 x [3mins turbo plus 2mins run].


Allow time to reduce heat build-up and loosen the legs after the last run. Approx 10mins light effort, small chainring.


Same as the beginner session but with the following as the main set:

Main session

6 x 5mins cycling a safe local loop at 85-90rpm, building through from rep one to six increasing from a steady first effort at upper Z1 to a final time-trial effort at low Z3 (88%-90HRmax). Use your tried-and-tested race strategy but also check if you could tweak it to go even faster.


For lots more advice on how to swim/bike/run faster, head to our Training section