Triathlon transitions: they can often make-or-break a triathlete's ability to outpace their competition and maximize their race-day potential. (Not to mention drive many triathletes absolutely bonkers.)
But with so many contradictory triathlon transition tips--("Go slow"; "Go fast"; "Go REALLY fast"; etc.)--we decided to go straight to the experts to get the scoop on this crucial aspect of triathlon training.
Whether its Kona legend Dave Scott or famed tri coach Gale Berndhard, here are seven triathlon experts offering their tips for executing an effective T1/T2.
Triathlon Transition Tip No.1: Start Practicing...Now!
"Too often, athletes wait until the week before the race to practice transitions. That is too late. You need to practice now to execute the fastest transitions possible and have them be second nature.
"One way to do this is to include transitions in your brick workouts. Also, set aside some practice time to work exclusively on faster transitions--don't worry about an aerobic workout that day."
Triathlon Transition Tip No.2: Find a Bike Position That Works for You
"The problem is that the perfect (bike) position does not exist. There is only the optimal position for a given athlete, because every athlete is unique. Everyone has different dimensions, different degrees of flexibility and different physiological capabilities.
"Finding the position that is best for you—instead of copying the seemingly perfect position that works for someone else—will leave you with much more speed and power on the bike plus a faster transition and run and much more enjoyment in your racing overall."
Triathlon Transition Tip No.3: Know Where You're Going
"Walk from the swim finish to the transition entrance to your bike. Walk from your bike to the bike transition exit. Walk from your bike to the run exit. Do it again.
"Transition areas are confusing during a race, so you'll want to know where you are and where you need to go. Mark your bike spot with a balloon or other tall and non-obtrusive object if you think you need the extra help."
Triathlon Transition Tip No.4: Ditch the Fashion
"Transitions are free time, so don't waste them putting on your favorite biking shorts and shirts. I've raced in my triathlon race gear up to a half-Iron distance race. Most manufacturers do a great job in designing racing clothes that you can wear swimming, biking and running. You too can race like the pros by investing in race gear.
"Once a year I race a local sprint triathlon and use it as a baseline measurement of my fitness. One year I improved my time by about 10 minutes. Five of those minutes came from a faster transition time. I understand that five minutes may not seem like a lot, but try lowering your 5K time by five minutes. I bet that's gonna cost a lot more in time and effort than a new race outfit."