Transition, the fourth discipline……

The transition part of the triathlon experience is mostly overlooked by the athlete even thoughyou do that part three times compared to only once for the swim, bike and run. This aspect of the race should be practiced and visualized as well for a successful race.

In transition the key word is simplify. Have with you only what you need. How many times have I not seen people bring everything but the kitchen sink. Also, be organized. This takes time and practice. Get to transition early. It avoids a lot of stress, especially if you arrive and find that you have a flat. It happens. Pump your tires, put your nutrition/water on the bike. Take up as little space next to your bike as possible for your gear. It is simple courtesy and you avoid people running over half your stuff. If you wear socks put them in your shoes and have them rolled open. If you use powder for your feet put it in your socks. Put your helmet on your bike shoes with your glasses in the helmet. For the run put your visor or hat on top of your run shoes, if you wear headware, along with your run belt that has your race # attached to it. For the swim put your goggles in your swim cap. Keep it simple and together.


In your transition bag have a can of ant spray, especially in Florida, and spray underneath your bike and transition towel on which you are putting your shoes etc. You do not want those fire ants on your feet or equipment.  Pack some Tush Wipes, too. You might laugh now, but you won’t when you are using a porta potty that has run out of toilet paper. Another reason to get to transition early…..avoid those pesky lines for the facilities.

I prefer to wear a triathlon race uniform. They are very comfortable, dry quickly and saves you the time and nuisance of changing clothing between segments. With that in mind never race with shoes, clothing, equipment etc. that you have not already trained in or with. That avoids those blisters, chafing, overheating etc. that can certainly put a damper on your race experience.

While in transition before the race make sure you know where your bike is. Look for landmarks or count the bike racks. Site where the different exists and entrances are. Do a walk through. Know where you need to go before you need to be there.

Finally, after the swim when you get to the bike put your helmet on first and strap it provided you have taken your swim cap and goggles off. Don’t laugh. A swim cap underneath a helmet is a sure fire way to sweat like crazy on the bike and goggles make for uncomfortable eyeware. Practice putting on the helmet on first and strap it right away. Make it a habit. One last thing, don’t forget to take your helmet off before you start your run. I know from personal experience how embarrassing it is to have spectators yelling at you to take your helmet off while you are running. I wish I was such a fast runner that I needed a  helmet!

Keep in mind to keep it simple, be prepared, be organized, be early and, above all, have fun!

Carl Knutsson

USAT Florida Region Council Member

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Posted in Athlete Development, Latest News, Regional Championship, Training

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