In the second of our By Triathletes For Triathletes series, XTERRA giant Sam Gardner shares his advice on nailing those transitions.
Practice makes perfect
Take the time to plan how you’re going to transition from one discipline to another then practise it… over and over again! It’s no exaggeration to say that smooth, problem-free transitions could shave a couple of minutes off your race time.
Plan your route
Races can be frenetic and busy at the best of times but during transitions, things can get chaotic. Ahead of race day, spend time familiarising yourself with the swim exit, bike in and out, and run exit to shave off seconds.
Do you really need those socks? Can you do away with the sunglasses? Is that dish bowl for washing for feet essential? Cut back on your equipment – and therefore your tasks – to reduce fuss, stress and the time taken between disciplines.
Losing your bike in the transition area can be a demoralising and time-sapping experience. Make your bike stand out from the crowd by draping a brightly coloured towel or transition mat over the handlebars (some go for a balloon on the rack – but you wouldn’t catch a pro doing this!).
Stick to what you know
Race day is not the time to try a rolling dismount or starting your cycle with your shoes already attached. Sure, these are brilliant ways to streamline but you’ll need to practise them first… which takes us back to point 1!