6 Tips for a Fast Triathlon Transition
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6 Tips for a Fast Triathlon Transition

How To Do a Fast Triathlon Transition

Transition is a chaotic place. There’s a lot going on. Athletes are coming and going, buzzing around.

With all the commotion, it’s easy to get flustered. Instead of effortlessly clipping on your bike helmet, you stand there fumbling with the straps. Small things can turn into big things if you let them get to you.

Here are six tips to help you speed through transition.

  1. Keep it simple and uncluttered – The temptation is to bring anything you could need into transition. Instead, only bring exactly what you will need. Nothing more, nothing less. This takes some figuring out, but resist the temptation to over-complicate and/or clutter your transition setup.
  1. Clip your cycling shoes into the bike pedals – One easy way to unclutter and that saves time is to clip your cycling shoes into your bike pedals. Ever try running with cycling shoes? It’s pretty tough because they create a negative drop (ie your forefoot is higher than your heal). Instead, run through transition barefoot, mount your bike, pedal for a few hundred yards to build up speed with your feet on top of your shoes, and then slip them in. Another helpful tip, fasten a thin rubber band to the heal of your cycling shoes and then to your rear derailleur to keep them from spinning around in transition.

Clip your shoes in for a faster transition

  1. Speed laces – Another tip that keeps things simple. Sure, it generally won’t save you a ton of time, but when you’re coming into T2 after a hard effort on the bike, do you really want to be fumbling with laces? Consider replacing your old laces with ones that don’t require tying, such as Xtenex or Yankz.
  1. Set your own routine – With so many other athletes around you while setting up your transition area, it’s tempting to sneak a peak to see what your neighbour is doing. Where is their helmet? How do they lay out their sunglasses? But, resist the temptation to emulate what others are doing. Know your setup and be confident with it. As long as it works for you, that’s all that matters.
  1. Stay calm – Exiting the water or dismounting from your bike and your heart rate is probably sky high. You’re pumped. You’re probably also a little fatigued. And when our brain feels fatigued, we make mistakes. Try to calm yourself as you come into transition. You have your plan. You know what to do. Something might go wrong, that’s okay. It’s not going to end your race. Sacrifice a few seconds to get it right instead of rushing through and making a mistake. Now execute.
  1. Practice – Transition should feel effortless. You shouldn’t be thinking. Every movement should be habit, something you’ve practiced and rehearsed before. Dedicate time in your training to practice your transitions. Test new things. See if you can cut a few seconds here or a few seconds there. Most importantly, be prepared. Know exactly what you’re bringing into transition, where it will be set up, and in what order you will use it. Then go have a great race!

Craig Moscetti

Craig Moscetti, MPH is a public health & wellness consultant; runner and triathlete on the Timex Factory Team; founder of Craig Moscetti Training Systems; freelance writer and blogger; and Minnesota Distance Running Association Board Member. www.craigmoscetti.com
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Author: Craig Moscetti