Imagine the effort you make to knock a minute off your swim and run times for example. There would be no purpose if you didn’t treat the transition as part of the race.
Swim to Bike
Being organised in your transition layout will go a long way to improving your overall time.
First things first, the basics – make sure your tyres are pumped to the right pressure, with your drink bottles on your bike. Seconds can change everything, so hang your bike up by the saddle facing outwards ready to go. If you are using bike shoes you should have them already clipped into your pedals. Your helmet should also be ready on your handlebars with straps facing outwards.
Energy gels are essential. Strap them to your frame and eat them while riding. all you’re doing once you get to your bike is taking off your swimsuit, putting your helmet on and you’re on your way. No time to restore energy between the transition.
Bike to Run
The transition is similar for Bike to Run. Ideally, if you have bike shoes, you should leave them attached to your pedals, taking your feet out once you’re 100m from the end. Your running shoes should be opened out with elastic laces so you can slide your feet in and get going nice and quickly.
A big tip, that many Triathlon runners will agree with, is to super glue down your inner sole to the base of your shoe. This is because it can be difficult to put damp feet into your shoe without dislodging the inner sole, which often ends up crunched up unevenly in your shoe, making the 2nd leg very uncomfortable.
On race day, try to take a mental photograph of the surroundings of where your bike is and plan the route from the where the swimming ends to your bike. Pick a landmark, perhaps a lamp post or a tree for example. Do a few dry runs as part of your warm up from the entrance to your bike, because you won’t believe how much this helps when you do it for real!
Last piece of advice is to remember that the transition is not recovery time. It’s part of the race and there is no reason why you can’t run the same speed through transition as you would on the run course. Although you shouldn’t change too fast if you rush too much you may not put your shoes on or change clothes as well as you wanted and it may even take longer because you will be stumbling. We advise a good 7/10 speed, because you’ll be doing it fast but you’ll have enough time to really think about what you’re doing.
Make sure you familiarize yourself with the transition area, so that you can easily pick out your station and get off as soon as possible.