Many athletes overlook transitioning in their training programs. And while you are not going to win the race on the transition, you may lose it. If you're looking to improve your time by minutes with very little effort, transitioning is where you will get the most bang for your buck.
First, you need a plan. Too many triathletes wait for race day to start thinking about what they are going to do at each transition point; and this lack of planning shows through in the time it takes them to pass through. You have to start thinking about and practicing transitioning weeks before the race.
If you are wearing a wetsuit, then you'll want to wear biking clothes underneath it. This way, when you emerge from the water, all you have to do is peel of your suit and you're ready to go.
At the swim-to-bike transition it's best to have your shoes already clipped to your bike. Also, make sure the pedals are in the proper position so that when you run with your bike to the mounting area, they won't get caught on the ground.
Most triathletes prefer not to wear socks on the bike; it saves a lot of valuable time if you can just peel off your wetsuit, put on your shades and helmet and be on your way.
The bike-to-run transition is also very important. Make sure you get off your bike in the appropriate area. If you are doing a sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, you may decide to wear racing flats so you can skip the socks for this leg as well. Whatever the case may be, make sure to tie your shoes tight and grab any accessories you may need like hydration belts, visors, etc.
If you practice transitioning at least once a week, you will undoubtedly improve your overall time substantially. Plus, you won’t run the risk of forgetting something or getting injured while trying to make the switch.
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