With all the time spent working on your swimming, refining your cycling and speeding up your running, the transitions can be overlooked. Understandable; it's only a small sliver of your total time from start to finish.
But what if you could make it even smaller? Or, at the very least, what if you could assure that your transition time doesn't get any longer (either by accident or by a lack of preparation)?
Triathletes have tried a lot of things to keep the transition area from being a time suck. Here are three ideas to make sure your time in transition is as minimal as possible.
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Make Your Area Hard to Miss
Row after row of bikes can make it hard to find your stuff in a typical triathlon.
If your transition area is at the end of a row, it's probably fine. But what if it's right smack in the middle of the lot, surrounded by rows and rows of bikes? The last thing you want to do coming out of the water is spend any amount of time figuring out where your bike is.
At the 2013 Encinitas Triathlon in California, the transition area was highlighted by a giant helium Angry Birds balloon tied to the rack, floating about 5 feet above the mass of bikes and other gear.
It elicited a chuckle from several spectators walking by, but it wasn't meant to be funny. It was a way for that racer to get out of the water and head straight to the right spot. Just follow the angry bird.
If a balloon isn't your thing (or isn't allowed), drape a hot pink towel over your bike seat. Or something else that will be hard to miss. It could end up preventing a disastrous (and deflating) delay in the middle of your race.