Transitions in Triathlon
Last edited on 26/12/12 at 3:42 am
Transitions are unique to multisport events and occur between sports. Athletes “transition” from one sport to another, changing equipment in the transition area. The transition area is a focal point of races, where athletes keep their equipment. Is is usually an exciting, chaotic, and crazy place.
Transitions require different skills from swimming, cycling, and running. More fine motor skill use is required to perform specific skills like putting on helmets and shoes, taking off swim caps, and moving the bike on and off the transition racks. Below is a list of the typical set of events that occur in T1 and T2 (the two transitions) in a triathlon. Transition training is fun and should involve many variations of skills so athletes get used to performing in a chaotic environment.
T1 (swim to bike)
Exit the swim (pool, lake, or ocean).
Remove cap and goggles.
Run to the transition area. Terrain can be sand, grass, stairs, artificial turf, road, sidewalk, flats, hills, or a mix of all these!
Find transition spot and place cap and goggles near bike.
Put on any clothes, if required (most athletes race in their bathing suits, singlets, or triathlon suits. There are NO BARE TORSOS permitted, which means everyone has to wear something covering their chest and stomach).
Put on helmet (must be fastened BEFORE touching the bike).
Put on shoes.
Unrack bike (unhook it from the bike racks).
Run or walk bike to the exit of transition (NO riding in transition).
Mount the bike at the mount line and begin cycling.
T2 (bike to run)
Dismount bike at dismount line (slow down before dismount!)
Run or walk bike through transition to you transition spot.
Rack bike BEFORE removing helmet.
Take off helmet.
Change shoes if necessary.
Put on hat if necessary (e.g. in hot sun).
Run out of transition to begin the last leg of the triathlon (run).
Tips for getting through transitions faster
- Practice the T1 and T2 transitions in training, and time yourself.
- Work out a fixed order for getting through T1 and T2, and stick to it during training and in every race.
- Practice taking off your wetsuit while holding goggles and swim cap; if the legs of your suit don’t come off easily, you may need lubrication
- Practice changing from bike shoes to running shoes; elastic laces make this process faster.
- Put your gear and bike in a position that is less likely to be jostled by other athletes.
- Memorize the location of your gear; you can count racks or look for memorable features nearby