How to Transition in a Triathlon

Triathlon Transition 2

As mentioned, most triathlons are organized so that a single, general area and its immediate surroundings serve many functions: starting lines, spectator zone, transitions and finish line. That's a lot of activity for one spot - know that each time you come here it won't look the same as when you left. Depending on where you are in the race, there may be many bicycles on the racks when you leave for the ride but few when you return, or vice versa. This is why you really need to know where your gear is and how to get to it fast. As you enter Transition 2, your body's been working extra hard, depriving your brain of oxygen. The less you need to think about what you're doing, the better.

To get ready for the transition, try biking in a lower gear on the last kilometer or so of the ride. This will help prepare your legs for the faster stride of the run, making it feel less awkward. It would probably help you to remember again where your gear is, since your bicycle is no longer marking your spot.

Also, be sure to get off of your bike no later than the dismount line. Once you reach your station, rack your bike and remove your helmet. Change into your running shoes, grab your shades if it's bright out, and any hat, visor, water or energy food you might need. If you have a race belt with your number, don't forget to grab that as well. Put on the headgear and race belt as you run out of the transition area.

Note that transition times vary based on both your preparation and individual race organization. The cycle-run transition should take somewhat less time than the swim-cycle transition, in part because you don't have a bulky wetsuit to remove.

Now that you know what's involved in each transition, let's explore ways to help you do it faster and with a lot less stress.