Tips for a Faster Triathlon Transition Time
Triathlete Rachel shows us how to save time during your triathlon transitions to get ready for race day.
-Hi, I'm Rachel Sturtz with Fitness Magazine. I just finished my first triathlon, the Aflac Iron Girl in Lake Las Vegas. I wrote a blog about training for my first triathlon which you may have followed, and today, we're gonna talk to you about how to setup a transition area----the area where you keep your gear for biking and for running, you know, which is essentially a great way to cut time if you can do it quickly during a race. So normally, the night before a triathlon, you setup your bike in the transition area. It's not until the next morning, usually some ungodly hour of 4 a.m., that you can actually go out and setup your transition area, meaning, the stuff that you need for that bike and run. Now, a good thing to do with the night before is actually set it up in your hotel room and practice the transition so that the next day, it's fluid. It's flawless and you don't even have to think about it. Normally, that's outside in the parking lot or some other area of the triathlon. Today, it's in the psychingly hot conference room of Fitness Magazine. We already setup our ghetto transition area. And usually, there are---- there could be anywhere from 6 to 10 bikes per rack, which means, space is limited. So, what we've laid out here is our towel, and usually, this is all the space you get, if not less. Usually, it's even more crowded. So, you wanna set everything up on this towel as you will use it when you come to the transition area. So, when I come back from the swim, what I'm gonna need is my socks 'cause I like to bike with socks; the shoes; the gloves; my helmet; and my sunglasses. And I try to put everything in the order that I will put on. After that, I come in. I have my hat for the running and my running shoes, and Bodyglide also if for any reason I have chafing and can take care of that whenever I come to this area. The other things that are not here that you will want are a goo or, you know, like a Luna Bar or something else that you might use that you wanna eat to help replenish energy, and especially on your bike, you will have water. You'll probably also have Gatorade. But it's also a good idea to have an extra bottle here in case you wanna wash off your feet from the sand or if you just wanna grab a drink there and not even have to worry about taking anything off and then putting back on your bike in the transition area. So, what we're going to do is we're gonna show you exactly how that is done. First transition we're gonna work on is from swim to bike. So this will give you an idea of how fast you move, or in my case, just how slow. So on that note, let's get started. So a quick tip: Before you even get to the transition area, when you're coming out of the water, you should already have peeled off the top part of your wet suit. So that should not even factor into your time. And a nice thing to do is when you start have it looped up here so it's an easy grab. So when you're coming out of the water, it's just a matter of pulling down, taking off the Velcro, and peeling it down your arms like this, and don't worry about it just getting inside out. So that by the time you arrive to your transition area, you're to this point already. So the only thing you need to take off is the bottom half, and that's where we'll start the timer. Go. [unk]. This could slow you down, the gloves. Okay. Take the bike and run. 47 seconds. It ain't bad but I'm hoping that I can make up time in the bike to run transition. A couple of things about that transition: Gloves are really important because they protect you if you fall off the bike. They'll protect your hands from scraping because if you take a digger, it's not gonna be pretty. The helmet, you really wanna make sure that's buckled before you even think about throwing a leg of your bike because the minute that you get on your bike without it being buckled, you will be DQed. Glasses are always a great thing when you're biking for bugs, anything else, just to protect your eyes not only from the sun, but anything else hitting your face. And for socks with shoes, some people don't like them. I like wearing socks. I've always worn them. So, that's another way you can cut down time if you don't include socks. Now, onto the bike to run transition. Go. So that, in a nutshell, is how you transition. And my transition time here in the office today, total was 80 seconds, or about a minute and 20 seconds. And so that time will be added on to my final competition time if I were in a race, which is why it's---- it's so easy to---- one spends 6 minutes transitioning but, you know, those 6 minutes could be the difference between you winning your age group or, you know, maybe placing 4th, just out of medal range. So, it's an easy, easy fix to make and, you know, it should all go well in the race. You don't wanna lose it on the transition.