When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange, who you are and what you're gonna be.....(think Brady Bunch tune...). Yes it's time to talk about change, but not the type of change you're thinking (or the type the Brady's were singing about). This newsletter is dedicated to talking about change, as in triathlon change, as in change from one sport to the other. We're continuing our series of talking about everything triathlon, specifically the 4th discipline, not nutrition, not recovery, we're takling about Transition. In Triathlon there are two transitions, the first 'transition' is from swim to bike– T1 and the second from bike to swim T2. Transitions are important because the clock never stops in a triathlon. The time you spend putting on your shoes, taking off your helmet, grabbing your race belt, and nutrition all counts toward your total time. In a sprint triathlon an extra 20 seconds in transition can mean the difference between winning and losing. This is not the time to sit and have a cup of coffee as you put on your bike shoes. Anything you can do while you're moving forward is going to save you time. So if you really need that cup of coffee, drink it while walking out of transition...
I'm going to share a number of tricks to help you have a fast transtion so you can beat your competition or (at least shave precisous seconds off your race time) without even breaking a sweat! For the super speedy to the lazy folks in the world, this article is for you.
T1 = I survived the swim, time to get ready to roll on the bike
As you exit the water, start taking off your swim cap, goggles, wetsuit, tri-suit (ha, gotcha. I wanted to make sure you were paying attention). This is time that you're actively moving and getting ready for your change from swim mode to bike mode. If you can, walk swiflty or jog lighlty to your transition area. Once back at your bike, drop your goggles and cap at the top of your towel as you step into your bike/running shoes. Your shoes should be lose enough that you can step in easily and then tighten with one motion. If you're wearing socks, before the race roll up the socks and place a sock in each shoe so that you can put your toes in and roll the sock up. Next your sunglasses should be open and resting in your helmet so you can put them on and then your helmet. Clip the helmet, grab your bike and start moving toward the bike exit.
T2 = No crash bike leg, let's get these jelly legs ready to run
Rack your bike at your transition, take off your helmet and put it at the top of your transition area or resting on your bike aero bars, slip out of your bike shoes and slip your running shoes one (use quick tie laces such as Lock Laces so you don't have make loop-de-loops as you tie a double knot). Leave your sunglasses on as you grab your hat/visor/racebelt/nutrition and start walking/running toward the exit. Why sit still and put this stuff on, grab and go-- that stuff is mobile, think of it as take-out. Put all of your accessories on as you're moving = no time wasted = faster transition time = winning!
OTHER QUICK TIPS
1.BODY GLUIDE: this is your new best friend. If you plan to race without socks, put body gluide ALL over your feet and shoes. This will keep away those nasty painful, 'no pedicure can help make that look pretty' blisters.
2. SUPER FAST COORDINATED PEOPLE – listen up. Want to make your transition even faster and look cool while you're at it?? Clip your bike shoes in to your bike BEFORE the race. Yes really. That way you'll save time in transition and you can race out of transition pedaling away from your competition as you gracefully put your feet in your shoes. When you're coming back toward transtition, take your feet out of your shoes and keep pedaling to the dismount line. Presto, you're way ahead of your competition by eliminating one task in T2.
PSA = PLEASE be mindful of your fellow competitors. Keep to your little space. Your transition set-up should not go beyond the rectangle of your transition towel. You have about 3 feet total space. A lot of bikes need to fit in to a small space. Make sure your stuff doesn't ruin someone elses race. That's not a cool way to win, and in life it's all about being cool. Sha na na na na na na na na,