This weeks post comes from Sportiva Events who have provided their expertise on Triathlon Transitions. Simple Tips for lightning fast triathlon transitions. At Trivelo we are thrilled to partner with them on this fantastic post. They provide some fantastic insight on the fourth discipline of triathlon that being honest most of us don’t spend enough time on!
Introduction to Triathlon Transitions
The ‘transition’ is often referred to as a triathlon’s “fourth discipline”, and not without good reason! Many beginner and novice triathletes alike can lose significant time. Faffing around with shoes, helmets and wetsuits. Those precious couple of minutes can make all the difference when it comes to the results.
What is a Triathlon Transition?
Triathlon transition is the period in between individual sports in triathlon. It is both a period of time and a place. The transition area is where the triathlete equipment is set-up for the race. A triathlete uses it during two timed transitions. First, during the first transition, between swimming and cycling. Second, during the transition between cycling and running. It is usually organised by fencing around a “transition area”.
Triathlon transitions are also a time or duration. The transition between each of the sports is timed, just as each of the the phases of swimming, cycling and running are. Proportionally, the time spent within the transition is small. That means being good at transitions isn’t going to mean you can win a triathlon. Being bad at triathlon transitions though can erode any hard work you put in with training wasting time with inefficient transitions.
So, here are some top tips to help you get through triathlon transitions like a pro:
Know your Triathlon Transition Area
First and foremost, you need to know exactly where in transition your bike and gear is going to be located. The last thing you need during the race is to fly into transition only to realise that you have no idea where your bike is. Rehearsing the path from the run in/run out to your area can really help with this, as using the nearby and surrounding bikes can be risky – Remembering your space is next to the bright orange bike is all well and good until you get to transition, and the orange bike is already gone. Finding your spot in transition should be almost second nature by the time the event starts.
Be Organised When Setting up your Transition Area
Once you get to your space in transition, you want to be able to grab the gear you need for the next leg of the race and go. This means that everything needs to be laid out neatly and organised so that you don’t waste any time trying to find your stuff. For example, leaving your helmet upside-down with the straps open can save precious seconds when transitioning from the swim to the run, likewise with leaving your shoes clipped onto the pedals on your bike – you can simply place your feet on top of the shoes to get going and then slip your feet inside once your away and up to speed.
Use a Race Belt for quicker Triathlon Transitions
A great bit of kit to help with your organisation and transition speed is a Triathlon Race Belt. Race belts are primarily used for holding your race number without the need for safety pins or clips, which also means that when transitioning from bike to run, you can simply spin the race belt around so that the number is now on your front! No need to re-attach and stick more holes in your tri-suit! For a quality race belt at a low price, we recommend any beginners triathletes check out the Sportiva Events store at https://sportivaevents.clubtrac.co.uk/shops/sportiva-events-shop-101.
Use sealed pouches
Another great feature included with many race belts is sealed pouches – These mean you can simply run through transition, grab your belt full of supplies and go, rather than standing around, stuffing your pockets full of energy gels and bars. We also recommend elastic laces for running shoes, to save a few extra seconds.
Slow Down for a Fast Triathlon Transition
A good transition is a fast transition, but a fast transition is not always a good transition! It might sound counter-intuitive, but rushing your way through transition isn’t going to get you anywhere. If you slip up or forget an item, or even just put your helmet on a bit too late, you may be awarded a time penalty, or be forced to go back into transition and correct your mistake (depending on the rules on your specific event), so taking the time to make sure you have done all the steps correctly is critical. It’s not uncommon to see triathletes in a hurry putting their helmet on back to front, so a good tip to make note of is “Less haste equals more speed”. But if you must slow down to double check everything, then how do you get through transition faster?
Practice Triathlon Transitions for Speed
Practice is the most important part of speeding up your transition – Practice getting out of your wetsuit, practice putting on your bike helmet and glasses, practice putting on your running shoes and race belt, practice flying mounts/dismounts from your bike, practice every single motion you go through in the real deal until you couldn’t make a mistake even if you tried. Once you have practiced every step of the transition, you’ll be ready to triathlon like a pro!