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Top 5 Triathlon Transition Tips

Here are five ways to ensure a smooth and stress-free transition experience on race day

A triathlon transition set-up – the area where you rack your bike and get changed out of your wetsuit and into your bike gear during transition one (T1) and out of your bike gear and into your running shoes during transition two (T2) – can make or break your race, especially if you’re a newbie to the sport. Having everything organized and easily accessible will not only help you get out of transition faster, but also will cut down on any race-day anxieties – because nothing’s worse than misplacing your sunglasses or sport gels and tearing apart your nicely set-up transition area while the clock is ticking down just to find them. Here are five triathlon transition tips to make sure you have a smooth and stress-free experience on race day.

1. Know your way around – When you rack your bike the day before (or morning of) the race, make sure you know where you’ll be entering T1 from the water and where you exit with your bike for the cycling portion of the triathlon, as well as how to get back into the transition area and where you’ll exit for the run. Sometimes it’s not always obvious and there might not be anyone around to point you in the right direction, so walk the routes in and out of transition a few times to familiarize yourself with the area.

2.  Start taking your wetsuit off as soon as you exit the water – To prevent unnecessary wetsuit struggling in T1 with a bunch of other athletes, unzip the top of your wetsuit (if you’re wearing one) as soon as you’re up and out of the water, and pull one arm out of your suit at a time as you run towards your transition area. Your wetsuit should be half off by the time you reach your bike in T1, so all you need to do is step out of it and place it to the side so you can get ready for the bike portion of the event. 

3. Place your cycling sunglass in your helmet – When you’re setting up your transition area the morning of the race, place your helmet front and center (either on or next to a towel so you can dry off easily from your swim) with your cycling sunglasses inside of it so you have to put them on first. Your cycling shoes should either be attached to your bike already or placed on either side of your helmet with your preferred fuel and hydration sources either inside or right next to your shoes (if it’s not already stored on your bike) so you don’t forget it. 

4. Run past the mount line before hopping on your bike as you exit T1 – To prevent the added stress of a T1 exit bike pileup, run with your bike past the mount line and hop on when you’re away from other cyclists to give you a bit of space to get going. It won’t slow you down any, and will help speed up the exiting process for other athletes.  

5. Attach your bib to a race number belt – Instead of messing around with safety pins to get your race bib pinned to the front of your shirt or shorts for the run portion of the event, have it already attached to a race number belt so all you have to do in T2 is rack your bike and get your bike gear off, get your running shoes, hat and race number belt on, grab your sport gels and go.
 

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