ITU Triathlon racing your transitions have to be SPOT on.. Enjoy these tips on transition.
"Barrett Clipping IN coming out of Transition on from the swim"
4 Tips for a faster transition
Transitions are an often looked-over part of triathlon, but they are extremely important. Most competitive triathletes pay fanatical attention to detail in their training plans and equipment choices, but will often brush off things such as transitions. Don't make this mistake! Take a moment to read over these tips for a faster transition, and help yourself to much faster race at your next triathlon.
First things first, you simply need to practice your tranistions just like you practice swimming, biking, and running. Being smoother and quicker through transitions is "free" speed: it is time you can take off your race that doesn't use any extra energy. For triathlon, the shorter the distance of the race, the more important transitions become. In a sprint race transitions can make up to 5% of your total race time, while in an Ironman it is less than 1%. Even something as simple as putting on your helmet and buckling/unbuckling your helmet is a great start. Do not be afraid to schedule "transition practice" into your weekly training regimen and go through a full transition practice . It will keep you sharp, and make you faster.
1. When you get to transition, try to look around a find a landmark or something that will help you locate your bike. Things such as balloons, banners, or even something like a tree can help you quickly navigate to your bike-rack spot. If it is a particularly big or diffcult transition to navigate, try tying a brightly colored ribbon or other object to the rack to help indentify your rack position. This is especially helpful in T2, when you only have your racing shoes and/or race number to guide you to your spot.
2. Apply baby powder or vaseline to both your cycling shoes and your running shoes. These will help make it easier to put them on and also help reduce blisters during the race. It is an easy way to make your day more comfortable.
3. Practice taking off your wetsuit or swimskin during your training. You should be able to get a wetsuit off in less than 10 seconds if you practice. One thing that will enhance removal (and also ease chafing) is by using body glide or similar lubricant (I have seen people use just about anything that is greasy). Put this lubricant on the outside of the wesuit legs and arms and apply liberally.
Pro Tip: If you have trouble getting your wetsuit off your legs, do not be afraid to cut the legs a little bit with a sharp scissors. Every pro I know cuts their wetsuit to speed up the removal process. Just remember, measure twice, cut once!
5. While the previous skills are applicable for all triathletes, the following is a more advanced skill, but if you want to be competitive in your age group, is one you should learn and master. Before the swim, clip your cycling shoes into your pedals. When you grab your bike in T1, you run barefoot, mount your bike, and put your cycling shoes on while you are riding your bike. You also need to learn the "sister skill" which is removing your feet from your cycling shoes (while they are still clipped in) and pedal to the dismount line. Dismount your bike barefoot with the cycling shoes still attached to the pedals. Mastering these 2 skills, more than any other, will likely result in the largest reductions in your transition times.
While these skills may be a bit daunting, with a little practice, it becomes easier and will soon be second nature. A great place to practice these are in an empty field or parking lot. Simply pedal around in circles, reach down and take your feet out of your shoes, pedal for a few turns, and then put your feet back in the shoes. Repeat over and over and over until it becomes second nature.
By following these tips, you can make your next transitions in your triathlons much faster and smoother.