HOW TO MASTER TRANSITIONS ? 

That's it, you take on your first triathlon and you wonder how to switch from one discipline to the other without wasting too much time? Or maybe you've already experienced the three-discipline event and want to work on faster transitions? This article is for you!

 

Indeed, this moment when you switch disciplines in a triathlon is a key moment.

Switching smoothly and efficiently from the swim to the bike leg in T1 (Transitions 1) and from the bike leg to the run leg in T2 (Transition 2) is not something you improvise.

It requires preparation and the training should start long before the race! Mastering transitions will help you save valuable energy and a few seconds on your final time, provided that you know the rules. Follow the guide!

 

BEFORE THE RACE : PRACTISE TRANSITIONS 

To be able to smoothly switch disciplines on race day, schedule specific training sessions for transitions. The easiest is to practise the bike to run transitions by running a few minutes after your ride (or home trainer session) so that your legs get used to the transition. Do this regularly and notice how the sensation of heavy legs you feel the first few times gradually disappears. If you feel comfortable and are training for a long distance triathlon, do not hesitate to gradually increase the running distances, your body will feel even more ready on race day.

To get used to switch from swimming to cycling, you can go for a swim at the pool or in natural waters, followed by a home trainer session. It is also interesting to switch from swimming to running to get the body used to go from the lying to the standing position to run to the transition area.

 

Another option for you is the interval brick workout: ride for a short distance, then run for a short distance and get back on your bike, and repeat several times. This should be used with moderation because this intense workout is very demanding for the body.

 

 

ON RACE DAY : THOROUGHLY PREPARE YOUR TRANSITION AREA 

To ensure smooth and stress-free transitions, it is important to organise your transition area, this area in the bike park where you will store all your gear during the race. This area is small and must therefore be fully optimised and tidy to avoid wasting time during transition.

I recommend you to prepare a small towel (it's more comfortable when you arrive with wet feet in T1), your cycling shoes, and your running shoes. Put your open helmet on the floor or on the bike handlebar (using the chinstrap), put your sunglasses and the race number belt in it for easy access when you come back after swimming. If it is very warm, put a cap and a water bottle besides your shoes to splash on yourself before running.

If you are very comfortable, you can attach your shoes directly on the pedals in a horizontal position with an elastic, so that you can put them on while riding the bike. Open the shoes wide to easily insert your feet in them. Be aware that this technique requires some practice!

Finally, take good note of your bike position in the park before you leave for the start line, so that you're not lost when you come out of the water. You can either use a visual reference in the bike park or count the number of rows of bikes.

 

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T1 : FROM THE SWIM TO THE BIKE LEG, ORGANISATION IS KEY 

You can start unzipping your wetsuit as soon as you come out of the water to relieve the chest and feel more comfortable to jog to the transition area. You can even take off the top while running to save time in the transition area. Take the suit off and put it on the towel so that it does not obstruct the way.

Then put on your shoes, your race number belt (with the number in the back) and your helmet (remember to close the chinstrap!), sunglasses, some sunscreen, push your bike to the cycling start line and go for the ride! Make sure to get on your bike after crossing the white line, referees are watching and you could be sanctioned if you get on your bike before the line.

Remember to drink before you leave or once you are on your bike, eat a cereal bar if you feel the need.

 

T2 : FROM THE BIKE LEG TO THE RUN LEG, THE FINAL STRETCH 

At the end of the bike leg, make sure to get off your bike before the white line, then go to your transition area to drop your bike in its starting location.

Make sure to remove your helmet only when you're at your area, the referees are watching and you may be sanctioned!

If you rode with cycling shoes, now is the time to put on your running shoes, ideally equipped with elastic laces, so that you can put them on quickly. Don't forget to turn your number belt to the front and go at a comfortable pace to the run start line.

Remember to drink and to eat a gel before you leave if you need energy for the run leg. Now it's the final stretch, you can give it all!

 

You get it, the combination of disciplines, a very specific feature of triathlons, requires some preparation and some anticipation to tackle this event as serenely as possible.

charlotte-signature

Charlotte

Passionnée de sport, j’ai longtemps pratiqué la danse avant de découvrir le triathlon qui est devenu une vraie addiction dès ma première course ! Adepte des distances Sprint et Olympique, j’aime la variété qu’offre ce sport tant au niveau de sa pratique que de l’environnement dans lequel il me fait évoluer. Le triathlon c’est toujours de beaux défis en perspective avec beaucoup de plaisir à la clé !

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