If you're looking to improve your triathlon PB, getting your transitions as seamless as possible could be the key. Read on for tips on how to improve your transition times and get the edge in your next race.
6 Ways To Improve Your Triathlon Transition Times
Practice makes perfect
As with everything in life, you will only get better if you practice, practice, practice. If you are part of a triathlon club, transition training will be something you do as part of your race preparation. In the weeks leading up to your race, practice getting out of a wetsuit and running with your bike. It will come with time, and you will find that your technique becomes more streamlined the more you practice.
A great trick that many professional triathletes use is quick-tying laces on their running shoes. Having to sit on the floor and tie your laces before your run can be very time consuming, so being able to smooth out this part of transition can save you a lot of time.
You can add quick-tying laces to the running shoes that you already use. These laces will fasten with a toggle which you can simply pull to tighten the laces and head off for your run.
Practice mounting and dismounting the bike
This is something else that will come with practice, especially as you need confidence to pull it off. If you are looking to go all out, a flying mount and dismount will not only save you time but will certainly impress your fellow triathletes. Pro triathletes will strap their cycling shoes to the pedals with rubber bands so that they can run with the bike without the shoes scraping on the floor. Once they reach the mount line, they will jump onto the bike and immediately start pedalling with their feet sitting on top of their shoes. Once they reach a decent cruising speed, they will reach down and secure their feet in the shoes.
This is something that will really take practice, but can save you huge amounts of time in your transitions if you're really trying to save every possible second and gain the edge over your competition.
Recce the course before the race
There's nothing worse than becoming disorientated in a large transition area during a race, with some athletes running towards the mount line, some still coming in from the swim, and some crossing the finish line nearby. Before the race begins, take a look around and make a mental note of where all the entrances and exits are in the transition area. Plan out your entry and exit points and how they will flow during the race and go through the process in your head.
Once you've done this, you should be able to work on autopilot during the actual race without becoming confused and wasting time.
When every second counts, you don't want to be fiddling with a water bottle or putting on socks. If you're really looking to steam through transition, eliminate everything that isn't absolutely necessary. This includes socks! Make sure your bottle is already on your bike, your gels are taped to the stem, and everything you need is ready to go.
Identify your bike quickly
At larger triathlons, there can be hundreds or even thousands of bikes in the vast transition area. Especially if you ride a popular brand of bike, it can be difficult to identify your place and this can waste a lot of time. There are many different tricks you can use, ranging from a brightly coloured towel to tying a balloon to your section of the rack. Just make sure the organisers allow it!