Transitions = Free Time
With the right approach and a bit of practice there’s no reason why your transition cannot be as fast as the winner of the race.
1. Plan ahead
The most important aspect of transition speed is to have a pre-planned, pre-practiced routine. Sunglasses can be attached to your bike so that you can put them on while riding. Cycling shoes are already attached to your pedals so you can slip into them while riding. And make sure your gels and race number are inside a hat that you can grab in one go, and organise while already moving on the run.
2. Don’t rush
Sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it? But years of experience have taught me that the more flustered I am, the more I fumble and make mistakes. Aim to make all of your required movements smooth and decisive. Never panic. If you rush an action, like buckling your helmet strap or slipping on a running shoe and it takes you five times to do it properly, you’ll use more time than doing it once slowly and deliberately.
3. Practice makes perfect
Devise a set routine. Set up a mock transition area and practice, over and over. Familiarity is your friend. Once you know your routine, run through it in your head, especially the day before your race. Then, while in the race, be thinking ahead before reaching your rack. When exiting the water start running through your routine in your mind: what is the first thing to do in your plan, what do you need to remember? All this being said, I do appreciate that for the participants with a goal of simply completing the race, the transition is a place to take your time and get your breathing back under control before heading off on the next leg. Everyone likes a sneaky little rest.
PRO TIP: “RUBBER BANDS”
Attach rubber bands to hold your cycling shoes in place to reduce chances of accidental unclipping while running with your bike. The rubber bands simply break off when you start turning the pedals.