TRIATHLON TRANSITIONS D. Frantz 1999

PRE-RACE*

Preparation for Swim to Bike

Just before or right after getting your body numbered:
Lay out helmet, sunglasses, and shoes so that they can be put on rapidly. Have your bike in a fairly low gear for quick acceleration.
If you might wear something other than swimsuit for the ride, have a towel ready near the point where you will exit the water, so that you can begin to dry off on the way to the bike. It is very difficult to pull clothing on over wet skin.
If using clipless pedals, consider attaching your biking shoes to the pedals before the race start. If you will be doing this, repeatedly practice getting feet into shoes while riding days before the race.

Preparation for Bike to Run

Have running shoes (and socks?) and running cap ready to put on quickly after racking your bike. If race number is to be worn only on run, have it pinned to an elastic belt, ready to put on.

Transition familiarity

Before or after your warm up for the race, walk from where you will exit the water to the location of your bike. Take notice of things that will guide you as you are hurrying, such as the number of the bike row you want in transition area, trees or other landmarks, etc. Be sure you know which way to go at the start of the bike portion. Find out where you will be reentering the transition area after the ride, and be sure you will be able to find your bike-rack location quickly. Study the beginning of the run route. Study the race route maps. (It is recommended that one drive the bike and run courses the day before the race, but that is not often feasible.)

DURING RACE:

Swim to Bike

If possible, do some drying off en route to bike. Put on sunglasses and helmet, fasten helmet chin strap, then put on cycling shoes (unless you have them already on the pedals). Walk bike to point where you leave transition area.

Bike to Run

When a few hundred meters from the end of the bike ride, begin to stretch calf and hamstring muscles by standing on the pedals and lowering your heels. When about 50 meters from the end, loosen shoe straps [or toe clip straps] (if shoes are clipped into pedals, pull feet out of shoes and put feet on top of shoes). Dismount before entering transition area (leaving shoes on the bike if they are attached to pedals). Rack your bike, then undo helmet and remove it. Slip on running shoes and cap, and race number belt (if applicable). If during the run you feel muscles trying to cramp, stop for 30 seconds to stretch calves and hamstrings; it will save you much more time than that before the race is over.

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* See document Tri checklist.