Triathlon Transition Tips | Triathlon Supplies Checklist

If there is one golden rule when it comes to triathlon transition tips, it is to simplify everything! This is especially true in the T1 transition. The more steps in the process means the longer it will take. Your triathlon apparel can be

Triathlon Transition Tips

Typical Transition Area

especially problematic this way. Your triathlon wetsuit may keep you warm and buoyant while you’re swimming, but it can conversely cause you to overheat unless you take it off quickly after the swim. If you use a wetsuit during a wetsuit legal race, you need one that fits your body type perfectly, gives you flexibility and provides you with the right kind of protection..

In that spirit, extra apparel such as socks, shorts and shirts have little benefit versus what they cost you during transition time. Hydration is important, but you can tend to that when you are in the biking course or in the case of T2, on the running course. Your focus is to get to the next leg of the race as quickly as possible.

Know Where Your Tri Bike Is, Don’t Look for It 

The first part of your T1 transition is actually getting on the tri bike, and you have to know where it is beforehand. In fact, you have to know where everything is—time spent looking for stuff is time wasted. Your shoes and sunglasses also should be ready to go and exactly where you need them to be.

One great way to keep track of your biking shoes and sunglasses is to attach them to your bike. Using rubber bands to attach your sunglasses to the handlebars is a great way to save time. When you change into your running shoes in T2, make sure that your running shoes are on the same side as your rack so you don’t have to go around your bike to get to them.

Above All, Practice Your Transitions

These bits of advice are great, but to really shave the seconds off of your transitions, you need to rehearse them repeatedly. When you do this, always keep in mind that you are looking for ways to save time, and you will be able to eliminate habits and arrangements that waste your precious time.

Of course, with practice, everything simply becomes faster. You will fumble less with changing your triathlon shoes, donning and removing your helmet and all the other necessary steps in your transitions. Training in transitions is just as important as training in the courses themselves, and the payoff will be immense.

Use the this Triathlon Supplies Check List to ensure you have everything you need at each race:

Swim

  • Anti Chafe (body glide, Tri Slide or similar–apply to neck, shins, forearms & other chafe prone areas, as well as to the exterior of wetsuit at the lower legs and arms for easier removal of wetsuit post swim)
  • Anti-Fog Solution
  • Ear Plugs
  • Goggles
  • Neoprene Cap
  • Nose Clip
  • Race Outfit (tri shorts/tank)
  • Spare Goggles?
  • Speed Swim Suit
  • Swim cap
  • Timing chip
  • Towel
  • Transition mat
  • Wetsuit

Bike

  • Bike
  • Aero Water Bottle Straw
  • Aero Water Bottle Elastic
  • Bar-end Plugs?
  • CO2 Accessories
  • CO2 Cartridge
  • Cycling Gloves
  • Cycling Shirt
  • Cycling Shoes
  • Cycling Shorts
  • Electrical Tape
  • Floor Pump
  • Headband
  • Helmet
  • Patch Kit
  • Race Wheels
  • Socks
  • Spare Tire
  • Spare Tube
  • Sunglasses
  • Tire Levers
  • Trainer
  • Valve Stem Extenders
  • Water Bottles
  • Wheel Stand
  • Wrench Set/Tools
  • Zip Ties
  • Energy Gel
  • H2O or Energy Drink of Choice

Run

  • Elastic Laces
  • Energy Gel
  • Fuel Belt
  • Hat or Visor
  • Number Belt
  • Orthotics
  • Reflective Tape
  • Running Shirt
  • Running Shoes
  • Running Shorts
  • Socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Water or Gel Bottle to carry

Other

  • Advil
  • Antibacterial hand wipes
  • Body Glide
  • Bucket
  • Camera
  • Chain Lube
  • Confirmation Letter/Email
  • Contact Lenses
  • Directions to Race
  • Energy Bars
  • Energy Drink
  • Energy Gels
  • Energy Pills
  • Flip Flops/Sandals
  • Garbage Bag
  • Head Light/Flash Light
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Rx Glasses
  • Post Race Clothing
  • Rain Gear
  • Singlet
  • Special Needs Bag
  • Sodium Pills
  • Stapler
  • Sports Bra
  • Towel
  • Tri-Shorts
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towel for Transition Area
  • Transition Bag
  • USAT Card
  • Vaseline
  • Wallet
  • Warm Clothing
  • Water
  • Wrist Watch
  • Sun Block
  • A Great Attitude
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
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11 Epic Race-Day Fails…and How to Avoid Them

We’ve all experienced it—the sinking feeling that something is amiss. It’s the morning of the race, the first wave of athletes is already on the course and you’re warming up. All of a sudden you realize you forgot to pack your goggles or worse, you left your nutrition bag in the fridge. We asked runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes for their biggest race-day blunders. Here’s what they said.

 

Fail: “I worked on my bike gears the night before a criterium. My front derailleur didn’t align right and I ended up not being able to shift to my big chainring during the race. I couldn’t stay with the pack and ended up getting pulled.”

Avoid it: If you have to adjust your bike, do it a week before the race, not the night before.

 

Fail: “I accidentally packed un-tinted goggles for an open water swim on a bright, sunny morning. It was awful. I couldn’t sight for about a third of it and couldn’t breathe to the right for a third of it unless my eyes were closed. It felt like I did most of the swim blind. To make matters worse, my armpits got chaffed.” 

Avoid it: Always pack an extra pair of goggles, and always apply a good dose of Body Glide.

 

Fail: “I didn’t read the weather report before the San Diego Gran Fondo and it was cold and rainy. I had to wear my arm warmers as leg warmers so they only came up to just above my knee and I had this gap of skin exposed on my thighs that was so so cold. And I looked pretty darn silly….embarrassing.” 

Avoid it: ALWAYS check the weather report?even in sunny San Diego.

 

Fail: “I had a pedal lose a bolt during a tri and I couldn’t unclip as I came into T2, which led to a sideways, on the ground Janean. There was some bruising, but honestly, it was my pride that hurt the most!”

Avoid it: Look for loose bolts during your pre-race bike check.

 

Fail: “I was escorting a friend on the bike leg at the 2011 Challenged Athletes Foundation Triathlon and I left my water bottles in the fridge at home. I had to beg and borrow water bottles from exhibitors! I got one from the Tri Club, and another from a friend who was there to do the Spin bike event. I kept the Tri Club bottle but returned my friend’s to her full of Hershey’s Kisses as a thank you.

Avoid it: Put a sticky note on your race pack to remind yourself about food in the fridge. And if you do have to borrow a bottle, fill it with chocolate before you return it.

 

Fail: “I didn’t prepare a proper nutrition plan for my first 70.3. It was 100 degrees that day and I was forced to walk a lot. I made the same mistake again training for my second 70.3 a year later. This one was at altitude and again the temperature reached close to 100. After all that training, I only beat my first time by 3 seconds! It turns out a good nutrition plan is so hard that even the Active editors don’t always get it right.”

Avoid it: Put your nutrition strategy to the test in training, and start early.

 

Fail: “I stopped to pee during a 5K once. A 5K! My wife still makes fun of me for that one.”

Avoid it: When you gotta go, you gotta go, but if you’re running a 5K you should probably try to hold it.

 

Fail: “Traveling for a road race, I botched the setup of my trunk-mounted bike rack. When I got there, my front tire was melted. I’d unwittingly placed it too close to the exhaust pipe of the car. Did I have a spare wheel and tire? I was never a Boy Scout, but yes, one. Did I get a flat in the race? Of course.”

Avoid it: Pack spare tires in addition to spare tubes.