Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tri Talk Tuesday - Transitions

Happy Tuesday!  Here were are, the first week of JUNE already.  I've got my first race of the season this Saturday and then Eagleman is the following weekend.  GULP.   I have all sorts of mixed feelings about that...but that's another post entirely.  Anyway, on to the FUN stuff!  Today is Tri Talk Tuesday and Cynthia, Courtney and I are talking about Transitions.   Transitions are the perfect place to regroup, catch your breath or, make up speed.  There are so many things to remember to do when you're in transition, it can be incredibly overwhelming.  Here are my top 5 tips for smooth transitions.  I have a few more in this post as well!

1.  Remember where you racked your bike.  I kid you not.  It's like trying to remember where you parked at the mall except there aren't any pillars with letters or numbers on them. You are going to be disoriented when you get out of the swim so you'll need to get your bearings with visual cues.  I always try to remember the numbers that are posted at the end of the rack my bike is on. 

2.  Lay everything you need out in the order that you'll need it.   Bike shoes first (velcro straps open), helmet either sitting on top of your bike shoes or sitting on your aerobars (strap unclipped), sunglasses sitting inside your helmet.  Running shoes & socks (if you wear them) next.  Think about getting race laces for your running shoes so you're not fiddling with trying to tie up laces.  All you need to do is pull them on and you're good to go.

How I lay out my transition stuff.  My cycling shoes usually have the velcro UNDONE.

This was my transition set up for IronGirl last year.

 3.  Practice getting in and out of your wetsuit.  It's not easy to wriggle out of wet rubber so the more practice you have, the easier it will be.  T1 of my first ever triathlon was 4 minutes because I couldn't get out of my wetsuit.  I've gotten pretty good at it over the years.  I still think I could be a little bit faster but I'm not willing to chop anything off my $700 wetsuit.  That's how the pros get in and out of their suits so quickly - the cut the sleeves and the legs a bit so the opening is bigger.   I even made a handy video, ha ha.  Sorry about the sound....

4.  Take a walk through.  Know where the bike exit is and the run exit.  I've been lost in transition because I didn't take the time before the race to familiarize myself with where the exits were.  When every second counts, the last thing I want is to be running circles around transition.   

5.  BREATHE.  It seems so simple.  So logical but I know when I'm rushing, I don't always take the time to calm my self down and breathe.  When I do that I'm much more efficient at getting everything done quickly. 

What else would you add to the list?

Head on over to the link up to check out all the other posts or post your own!


Kristen said...

I completely agree with the simple task of remembering where you racked your bike. During my first Olympic tri, I was totally disoriented when I got out of the water and started running in the wrong direction. Thank goodness it was easy to spectate and my husband was there to yell and tell me I’m going to the wrong way. He ended up somewhat guiding me with the point of a finger to my bike. It was hilarious. Duh!!!

For me, laying out a towel is key. Nothing worse than putting on socks or shoes with a bunch of water/gunk on the bottom of your feet. Rock in the shoe = no bueno!

I'm so excited that your race season is starting this weekend. I get to live vicariously through all my tri faves this summer. :)

Victoria said...

This is so helpful! I'm doing my first triathlon (well, it's a try-a-tri) on Sunday and besides the swim this is the part that I'm most nervous about! I'll take any tips I can get.

Also, would you recommend renting a wetsuit for a 350 m swim? I'm hesitant to but I'd figure you'd have an idea.

Krysten Siba Bishop said...

oooooh that dreaded wet suit!! You make it look so seamless!

I look like a total nut trying to escape it hahaha

Kelli said...

One of these days I want to figure out the bike shoes clipped into pedals mount. I may try to figure this out before the draft-legal sprint in November where a strong swim and fast T1 helps you get into a fast bike pack.

Amy said...

I think it would be a funny video to make a mash up of triathletes getting into and out of our wet suits. Totally not glamorous.

alison @racingtales said...

I love your wetsuit removal video - very helpful! I hate the last part because I feel as if my calves are going to cramp. I like it when there are wetsuit strippers at my races!

Courtney@The TriGirl Chronicles said...

Oh man, I've totally gotten lost in T1 before. It's so panic inducing! I've started tying a brightly colored hand towel around the rack bar right next to my bike to help me not only spot it in T1, but really find my spot sans bike in T2.

I kind of knew people cut their wet suits, but I could never do that. Mine, similar to yours, is like $700. Whole lotta nope!