Triathletes spend hours upon hours swimming, biking, and running to save just a few minutes come race day. While training is important and needed as part of improvement process, I have a secret for you… I can take almost any triathlete and have them drop at least 30 seconds on their their race time by simply learning to transition faster! Apply the following tips and you will find yourself saving seconds or even minutes in transition in your next triathlon.
SWIM-TO-BIKE TRANSITION (T1)
1. Have your wetsuit half way off before T1
Going from swimming horizontal to running vertical isn’t easy, so take your time getting out of the water, but as soon as you get your bearings begin to remove your swim cap and goggles. As you are still moving towards T1 take off the top-half of your wetsuit and let if hang at your waist as you continue to run into T1 (see picture right).
2. Step your way out of your wetsuit
Don’t be that guy that needs help getting a wetsuit off. Contrary to what many believe there is an incredible easy way to get out of a wetsuit. All you need to do is step with your legs, which will pull the wetsuit down to your ankles where you can remove it easily (tri-slide makes this even easier).
3. Avoid changing clothes
Unless you are competing in your first triathlon, try to avoid adding or removing additionally clothing. This can literally add minutes to your time.
4. Keep It simple
Simplify T1 is much as possible. The less steps, the faster you will be. Besides donning a helmet, sunglasses, and bike shoes ask yourself what do you really need?
BIKE-TO-RUN TRANSITION (T2)
T2 is not the time to take in fuel, if you think you need to take in more calories get to the first aid station instead of trying to force down a gel in transition. Not only does this ad additionally time, but it’s easy to take in more food than you can handle.
2. Fly out of your bike shoes
Instead of un-clipping from your pedals, running awkwardly in T2, to then remove your bike shoes… Simply take your feet out of your bikes while moving and place them on top of your shoes. Then as you approach the dismount simply step of your bike and run into T2 barefoot (See picture right).
3. Roll up socks (If you wear them)
Most triathletes can go without socks for the sprint and olympic distance events, but for half-ironman and ironman events they become more important. The trick to getting socks on quickly is to roll them before hand. Then when you enter T2, simply roll them down on your feet.
4. Get situated while moving.
Don’t stand still while your situating your race belt or visor. Get moving! You can fix those things as you’re moving forward, remember that’s the point of a race!