If you’re a triathlon newcomer, you probably see transitions as the perfect time to catch your breath and revel in your performance so far. If, on the other hand, you’re a pro, chances are you’ll see transitions as nothing less than the antichrist robbing you of precious seconds.
Shaving three seconds off your swimming time could take years of intense training – reducing transition times by a good few seconds however can be so much easier. So, with this in mind, here’s a quick look at our favourite tips and tricks of all for minimising transitions and maximising performance:
1 – Practice and Prepare
Above all else, you need to meticulously prepare in advance for every transition and know what you’re going to do and when. In addition, it’s not a bad idea to physically rehearse every transition a bunch of times before going anywhere near the event or training session.
2 – Less is More
Some accessories are essential and others are superfluous…or at least optional. The fewer bits and bobs you have to worry about, the faster your transitions will be, so feel free to do away with anything you don’t strictly need.
3 – Pedal Power
Here’s a trick the pros swear by – have your cycling shoes ready and waiting for your feet to be slotted in right on the pedals themselves. This way you can keep momentum and get your shoes on while in motion, rather than sitting on your rear-end and doing the job stationary.
4 – Practice Bike Running
It’s tricky to improve your standard running speed without huge efforts, but you’d be surprised how much ground can be made by practicing running with your bike. It’s awkward, it’s unnatural and it’s a skill that takes practice, so do so!
5 – Sticky Stuff
It sounds silly, but the more items you have safely away in pockets and pouches, the more time it’ll take you to access and use them. By contrast, if you attach things like sunglasses, water bottles and spare tubes directly to the frame of your bike, you need to only swipe for them when you need to grab them.
6 – Quality Clothing
It’s also worth bearing in mind that quality triathlon clothing isn’t designed to just look and feel good, but also to be as easy as possible to get in and out of. Our Zone 3 wetsuits and Vittoria cycling shoes for example are in leagues of their own, so be sure to keep quality in mind.
8 – Slip n’ Slide
Here’s another pro tip that just couldn’t be easier to make use of – when using shoes with speed laces or any other fastening method than involves sliding your feet in, add a little dash of baby powder to the inside of the shoes to ensure a fast and smooth slide.
9 – Wear ‘em In
And finally, the feel of new triathlon gear is always nice and can be borderline exciting, but in terms of pure performance and ease of transitions, it’s much better to use gear you’ve worn in for a little while. So if your gear is nice and shiny-new, be sure to wear it in for a while before competing.