Transition ( the 4th discipline)
Most triathletes tend to overlook how important the transition section of the race is to their overall performance. A good transition can knock off minutes of your final race time so it’s worth spending time doing transition training.
To get you started see below some key points for a quick transition.
- Know your kit
- Practice going through what you will be doing
1-know your kit
Make sure all your kit is in good working order, you will be surprised how many races end before they have even started. Give yourself enough time to put on your wetsuit and get it fitting right, check goggles for fitting and leakages (bring a spare pair) Check cycle/run shoes are OK and straps and laces are loose enough for quick change over. Make sure helmet fits OK and in good order, this will normally be checked by race official, they may stop you from competing if helmet not up to standard. Lay out helmet facing the right way and remember to put it on first before touching your bike. Make sure your bike is in the right gear to start so select an easy gear. Place everything on the ground in your transition area in the order you will be using it. So bike shoes need to be in front of run shoes with socks ready with each shoe if you intend on wearing socks. Knowing your kit and what order it needs to go in will save you time, prevent making mistakes and gives you confidence.
All I would say is practice practice and practice. Transitions may look different from race to race but the basic structure is the same. A Rack for your bike, you have a place to put your shoes and helmet, although the area will be small so you will have to be organised. There will be a run in/out entrance and a bike in/out one and a competitor’s entry/exit area which will be controlled by a marshal. Remember your racking area, so make it stand out by laying a bright coloured towel down or tie a small ribbon on the rack next to your bike, look for focal points like a tree or a flag and maybe write your number on your hand so you don’t forget it. Be prepared for the competitor next door to you not being as organised as you are so they may get in your way, then it’s even more important to know your kit and practice and stay relaxed.
This might seem a bit of a daft thing to try and do during a race especially if it’s new to you. But if you follow all the above, know your kit, rehearse and practice you will be a lot more relaxed than most of the competitors. Be calm in transition, hurrying and panicking leads to silly mistakes and will slow you down.
GOOD LUCK AND ENJOY!!!