In a triathlon, time spent in the transition areas is included in your overall time. The triathlete will want to perfect their transitions to get the best possible time.
The best way to ease race day stress is to practice setting up your transition area before the race.
You don’t want to leave anything behind that you feel is important for the race, but generally less gear equals less time for the transitions.
The Evening before the Race
The night before the race you will want to lay everything out one more time to make sure you have everything you need.
For most races you will need to park and then get your gear and bike to the transition area. Choose a bag for your gear that can hold everything and be comfortably carried while maneuvering your bike. Another helpful suggestion is to have three smaller bags within your main bag; one for all your swimming gear, biking gear, and running gear.
The Morning of the Race
Before you leave for the race there are a few things you can do to make transition set up easier. Put on your tri suit ahead of time so you don’t have to at the race. You can always layer over it depending on the temperatures. You can secure your number with pins onto a jersey or running belt ahead of time and place your number sticker on your bike helmet.
At the Transition Zone on Race Morning
You may be assigned a spot according to your race number or in smaller races you can sometimes choose your spot. In races with lots of participants, some athletes will secure something to the bike rack that makes finding their place easier, such as a helium balloon. All bike racks are labeled, so if you have a good sense of direction this is not necessary.
• You will need to see a race official in the transition area with your race number, so they can mark your number on your arms and legs.
• Secure your timing chip band on your ankle.
• Beside your bike, many athletes like to lay a towel out to set up their gear (this can also be used to wipe away any sand or dirt from the swim).
• Set aside your swim gear (wetsuit, goggles, and swim cap)
• On the front of your towel you will want your bike gear because transition one (T1) will be swimming to biking.
• Make sure your water bottle or hydration method stand filled and secure on your bike. If you are participating in a long race many athletes tape energy gels to the bar of their bike.
• Set your helmet on your towel or on the aero bars of your bike. Set it out with the straps open and over the sides. Inside your helmet place your sunglasses.
• If you use bike gloves leave them unstrapped on your towel.
• Put your racing shirt or belt on your bike seat or on your towel so you can just grab and go.
• Make sure your bike is in the right gear for leaving the transition zone.
• If you have clipless bike pedals and bike shoes set your shoes open and ready on your towel.
• If you are planning to wear you running shoes for the biking section set them on the front of your towel.
• Transition two (T2) will be biking to running.
• If you have clipless pedals and biking shoes you will need to set out your separate running shoes.
• Leave your shoes laces loose and tongue open, you want to get into your shoes as quickly as possible.
• Place your socks inside your shoes (if you wear socks).
• Lay out your sunglasses, visor, or anything else you might use during the run.
• Set any water bottles, nutrition, or miscellaneous gear beside the biking and running equipment.
• Put on your swimming gear (a wetsuit if you use one, goggles, and swim cap.)
• Re-check everything on your towel.
You are ready to head the start of the race with the confidence that your transition will go smoothly.