It’s said that there are really four sports in triathlon – swim, bike, run, nutrition. Anyone looking for triathlon tips or advice on how to train will surely be told to train for those four, which is logical, as nutrition is a key element for training and racing success; but if an athlete breaks down the actual event, there are two very important parts of any triathlon race that should not be forgotten in training – those are T1 and T2, the triathlon transitions.
A smooth triathlon transition will not only prevent an unnecessary heart rate spike, it also means free speed! In a sport where speed is hardly ever free, here are some triathlon transition tips that only cost a few minutes’ worth of time:
1. Make transitions a spectator sport
Although the swim and bike portions of a triathlon might lack in entertainment value, you can learn a lot by simply making time on a weekend to be a spectator. By watching what other athletes do and don’t do in transition, you essentially will learn from other people’s mistakes! How do other athletes set up their transition area? Who does what to get in and out the fastest? Who appears to be losing time and why? What gear, triathlon clothing, equipment seems to cause the most delay for athletes? Setting aside a few hours each season to observe a race transition can give you plenty of insight into what might or might not work for you, and you'll most probably have a blast cheering on the athletes too!