How to Execute Smooth Transitions

Developing Your T2 Script

1. Are you going to leave your cycling shoes clipped on the bike as you go into T2 or are you're going to take them off after you get off your bike?  If it's the former know where you're going to start getting out of your shoes coming into T2 so you don't run out of road. And be sure to practice this dismount many times in training!

2. Will there be volunteers taking your bike as you come in or do you have to rack it yourself? 

Note: You can email the race director with questions, however, the information is usually found in the FAQ section of the race website.

3. What's your sequence for putting on your run gear? 

4. Do you have to bag your bike gear or can you just leave it on the ground by your bike?

More: Dave Scott's Bike-to-Run Transition Tips

Other Considerations

  • Is it a mass start or a wave start? If it's a wave start chances are it won't be that crowded in the transition area. But if it's a mass start T1 in particular can be a madhouse and you'll want to account for that.
  • What's the race distance? Little things like whether you're going to wear socks or not can be important because what you can get away with in a sub three-hour hour race is quite different than one lasting 10 to 14 hours or more.

Note: Always apply lubricant (patroleum jelly, glide stick, etc.) on the seams inside your cycling and running shoes to reduce the chance of blistering, socks or not.

More: 5 Ways to Save Time in Your Transitions

Write it Out

Once you have your answers, write down your plans. Start from when you exit the water and go all the way through getting on your bike and riding cleanly away from transition. Then repeat the same process for T2. Put in as much detail as possible so you start to get a vivid picture of what you want to happen on race day. Once you have the script, read through it and get it locked in your mind. After that, visualize just 5 to 10 minutes, a couple of times a week, to ensure the plan is ingrained in your mind.   

Want a short cut? Try this: Go through each numbered item in this article and write down an answer to each question at least 6 to 8 weeks before your next event. Review and update your answers at least once a week leading up to the event. This less rigorous approach isn't nearly as effective as writing a script but it will save you time and energy during transitions on race day. 

Taking time to visualize transitions has a direct effect on reducing finish times. An added bonus? Reducing race-day stress which saves valuable energy you can use later on when you may need it most.

More: 5 Little Things That Make a Big Difference on Race Day

Active logoSearch for your next triathlon.

About the Author

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM