Something I have really been concentrating on this year is transitions. It's amazing how practicing this over and over again can make the difference between first and second position.
Here’s an example of my lists I put together before the race
Before the swim –
Tri shorts and top
Transition Bag 1 –
Swim to bike:
Skin arm warmers
Gloves (just in case)
Tri top filled with nutrition
Race belt with number on it
Cycling shoes and socks
tool kit: tube, CO2, levers, multi-tool
Transition Bag 2 –
Spare pair of socks
What I have been doing over the last few weeks is practicing getting my wetsuit off as quickly as possible. Watch videos of the pros doing this, there’s lots of great tips. I tend to pull the front half down between lake and transition and the second half in the transition tent.
T1: The Swim-Bike Transition
The day before:
Know your way around:
I make sure I know the transition area like the back of my hand. I do a pre-race walk-through from the swim exit to where my bike is racked. Walk it through like you will do in the race so you know the fastest path from the bike to the mount line, from the dismount line to where you will transition off the bike, and how to get from the exit of transition and onto the run course. I walk it a few times so I feel comfortable when it comes to doing it in the race.
If you are using a bag lay everything out in an easy grab on approach. Some people empty the contents of their bag on the floor – but I find that leaves me in a panic looking for everything.
On the day:
Get that wetsuit off. I work from the top down. Helmet on, glasses on, race belt with number on and finally bike shoes on. If you can attach your shoes to your bike and put them on while moving do. It’s something I am trying to practice at the moment.
T2: The Bike-Run Transition
Approaching T2: Start to mentally prepare and remember where you have to go. I tend to get ready for T2 by sliding out of my shoes and pedal the final few yards with your bare feet atop the shoes.
Off the bike: Dismount and run to your transition bag. Once I am there I take off my helmet and get into my running shoes and off you go. This should be such a quick turnaround.
In the last meters of the swim, or the last few miles of the bike I visualise what I am going to do when I hit transition.
DON’T FORGET YOUR TIMING CHIP. I am embarrassed to say this has happened to me twice. Make sure you exit transitions when setting up the right way so you get your timing chip. There’s nothing worse when realizing when you’re back at the hotel and you have to make the journey back again!
IF IT’s HOT Let your tyres down slightly so there’s no risk of them bursting. Pump them up in the morning before the swim.
Take your own pump. This is a personal preference, but there’s been so many times that I can’t get the one in transition to work. You don’t want anything to stress you out in the morning.