It’s All About Transitions

It’s funny how you progress through training. 
We were discussing this issue one weekend during a Crystal River race this season. When were were training in year one our transition bags were full to the near busting with everything you could imagine, plus a back up of everything you could imagine. Now, a season down and well into the second season, it’s interesting to note how small our transition areas have become. To the point that I always think I have forgotten something and keep rechecking my gear. 
Running Shoes? Check
Goggles? Check
Ear Plugs? Check
Bike Shoes? Check
Watch? Check
Hat? Hydration? Glasses? Check, Check, Check
Um….is that it???
How can I be able to do a race with so little gear?? A year ago I had three goggles, 5 water bottles, two towels, a basin for fresh water, fresh water for the basin ….. 
Why the HELL did I need all that STUFF?? 
Chalk it up to progress I guess …. 
Thoughts on T1

This transitions has always been a problem for me, usually because I have such problems breathing in the swim area that I need extra time to “collect” myself in order to move on, so I take my time getting the bike ready and getting out. It has gotten better though, and now I can get in and out in around 2-3 minutes. Not too bad, but can improve. Specifically:
  • I need to just SIT down to get shoes on instead of spending 1:00 trying to get them on standing and then end up sitting anyway.
  • Ride the bike without socks instead of fighting to put them on wet feet.
  • A quick drink, but save anything else for the ride.
  • Make sure I am in a low gear before leaving the bike
  • Put the race number on here and flip to the back.
Thoughts on T2

Now THIS transition has been the biggest improvement. At the beginning especially. My legs were ALWAYS dead after the bike, so the act of getting dismounted and RUNNING to my area was not happening. I would get off the bike and walk there, hang up the bike, get shoes, helmet, gloves, off, then put hat and shoes on, get hydration belt on, and walk to the run area, and usually for the next mile or so before my legs came back. Where most people had their lowest times in T2, mine were normally loner than my T1 times. But no more.
Now I can handle the jog back to my area, even though running legs are still an issue. I don’t carry hydration, so now getting in and out of T2 in under 2:00. I can still be faster though.
  • I need to try to run without socks, but not sure I can. Either way, getting socks on is an issue. SIT DOWN.
  • Grab Gu or other Gel and take with me on the run instead of doing it at transition zone.
Transition is such a small part of the race, and rarely will win a race for you, much like the swim. But I have found that while it won’t win you a race, or end up even giving you a good race, it can definitely kill your race. Like the swim, no one has ever won a race being the fastest swimmer, but plenty have lost it being the slowest one.
And the journey continues …. 

3 thoughts on “It’s All About Transitions

  • July 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm
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    Well I've only done one tri but I tend to me on the minimalist side of stuff.. I don't remember having a huge pile at my half IM, just the necessities. I didn't wear socks, did forget to put on my hat though before the run(it was 96 degrees on the run) I think getting my wet suit off is what took the most time.

  • July 26, 2012 at 12:29 am
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    The wetsuit did take some time I agree, but I have only worn one in two races (and will be wearing one in Augusta 67(!) days. I have run with biking gloves on, and ran without a hat. I think we all do that at some. Every time I try to go sans socks I get blisters on the run, but I may try it again in Saturday's race since it is only 3 miles.

  • July 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm
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    I have only done on Tri but I also had an issue with shoes. I kept feeling rocks in my shoes when I was running. I don't have clips and couldn't tell while on bike. I think for this next tri I will take two towels one to use as a mat and then I am wearing minimalist shoes this time that I don't wear socks with. Hopefully it will turn out better.

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