Transition in Triathlon: 5 things you need to know

As any triathlete knows, to achieve a smooth transition in triathlon legs, preparation and strategy are necessary. Apart from the competitions themselves, a triathlete should not only consider the transitions between sports during the training period; but also the transition area and how they can utilize it.

So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced triathlete, the objective here is to use the transition area to your advantage. To that end, we’ve compiled a few tips for a fast and smooth transition.

5 tips to perfect transitions in triathlon competitions

1. Inspect the transition area well

To begin with, inspecting the transition area is an essential element towards an effective and fast transition in triathlon races. Usually, a triathlete visits the transition area twice; however, in some races, the transition area for swimming-to-cycling is different from that of the cycling-to-running transition. 

If you find yourself in the latter situation, it would be wise to inspect both areas. Remember, you need to have a clear picture of the venues before the race; even when it’s not made mandatory by the event organizers. By the way, this applies to triathlon events where they instruct you to leave your equipment in the transition area.

2. Keep your equipment neat & tidy

When preparing for the race, it’s important to be proactive and organize your equipment well — and, per sport. On one hand, this will allow you to have a clear head that day, and not panic; and, on the other, to have everything in place to move fast — it’s a competition, after all. Once you have this part settled, nothing can stop you!

3. Mind your bike, no matter what 

During transition in triathlon, you’ll get a position for your bike; as well as a basket for your equipment. First, you need to remember where your bike is; if you have trouble with orientation, try to remember visible signs nearby. Then, mentally calculate the shortest route to get there. By doing so, you won’t waste time looking for it. 

After positioning your bike — and having put the necessary marks to track it easily — it’s time to place your equipment in the basket. If there’s one transition area, you’ll need to have the equipment for the bike ready first; hence, place your bike kit on top of the basket. 

To elaborate, the equipment is placed in the order in which it will be worn — from top to bottom. When there are two transition areas for each sport, things are a bit more clear. 

ATTENTION! This may seem strange, but do not forget to remove your helmet before starting with the running segment. This happens a lot, as athletes wear it for a long time, and they don’t feel it as a foreign body on their head, from a certain point on.

4. Bring your energy supplies

Finally, in addition to the previous tip, it’s necessary to have enough ‘fuel’ to keep you going on the day of the race. Always bring a bit more than you’ve estimated you’re going to need; just in case. 

When you get in the transition area, nourish and hydrate your body well, while preparing for the next phase of the race. Mind you, bring supplies that you’ve tested during training and you know they work well for your body’s needs.

5. Abide by the rules set by the race committee

Every athlete should pay attention to — and observe — the rules set by the respective committee of the race, regarding the transition area. It’s a pity to get canceled because you left the clothes of the previous race out of the basket; or to lose valuable time, because you came out through the wrong exit and are instructed to go back. So, be careful to follow the rules!

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Tackling triathlon transitions

Transition in triathlon races is one of the greatest causes for anxiety, for the participants; especially for novice triathletes. Although transitions between sports and the transition area, itself, may initially seem confusing, they really needn’t be. You simply have to be well-prepared, and well-trained. Moreover, it’s good to include transition simulation workouts in your training program, to get the hang of it. Now you know! Just follow the aforementioned tips to stay on the right track, and you’ll have nothing to worry about ✌!

Transition in Triathlon: 5 things you need to know was last modified: July 27th, 2022 by Marilena Kokkinou