Transitions…… I say the word and the David Bowie Song…. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! Pops in my head!
Ask one of the Otters, and they will tell you how important transitions can be. In fact, Clara will tell you how she went from 7th place to 20th place in her last race, because her transition was not the best.
But what is transtion besides the ‘ATHLETES-ONLY’ space where you get to store your gear during the race?
Transition is where the change from swim to bike, and then bike to run occurs.
Transition is the fourth leg of the race. (Nutrition is the fifth).
With that said, transitions need to be practiced. (Cat is optional).
If you ask my Otters, we spend a lot of time putting on our helmets and shoes. We learn to set up transtion so our helmet sits in our shoes (my Otters are not yet wearing cycling clip-ins), so the first thing we do is put our helmet on our head. We may lay out a towel to dry our feet, and place a hand towel either on top of or beside the helmet to dry off quickly. Socks, if we are wearing, are placed on top of our shoes.
So, dry-off, goggles and cap off, helmet on, socks, then shoes! RaceBelt on, drink some water! Unrack Bike! And you are off!
When returning from the bike: Rack Bike, change shoes (if wearing clip-ins), drink more water, and off for your run!
Practice setting up your transition. What works for you? What is comfortable? What helps with flow?
Practice putting on shoes and socks when you are wet. (Step in a bucket of water, or do this after you swim. It helps).
Practice drying off and putting on helmets, racebelts and other gear.
Practice putting shoes on standing up. Do you tie your shoes or do you have zip-ties?
Practice running your bike. How you move in and out of transition while pushing your bike demonstrates your comfort and can help your comfort with the overall race. I know there are times I overthink things, and fail to flow even when I fumble and make mistakes. Keep moving onward.
Transitions do not seem like much, but this can influence your overall race. Practice to build your comfort and skill for your race.