Triathlon - event transitions?
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08-05-03, 10:36 PM
I'm considering doing either a biathlon (run/bike) or duathlon (run/bike/run) in my area in October and I've never done such a thing before... (I'm not much of a swimmer, so tri's are out.) :)
Do you practice for the transitions between events? What's the best way to do this? :confused:
Also, when training for a bike/run event, do some of your training days involve doing both back-to-back? Presently, I alternate bike days and run days, 2 to 3 each per week.
I haven't "practiced" transitions but I do take a lot of time preparing how I want stuff laid out. For example, I make sure that everything is placed to optimize my efficiency.
I do Tris so my "process" is a bit different but here are some things that I do that cut a few seconds here and there...
*I roll up my socks and shirt so that I can slip into them with minimal effort. Being wet adds a whole other facet to putting on clothes! *My shirt has pockets to store the GUs I will need for the run *I open up the legs to my sunglasses *I make sure helmet straps are unbuckled *I have something in my transition area that stands out. Usually there are tons of bikes and tons of bike racks. Either count the number of racks to your bike pre-race or have something you can see from a distance. *Have a race belt. You don't want to worry about your number coming off due to cheap safety pins and you don't want a rouge safety pin sticking you.
You will have to make the decision of comfort versus time. So, minimize as best you can but make sure the cost doesn't outweigh the benefit.
Your transition time will actually be pretty minimal since you won't be doing a swim leg. If you are doing a sprint you may even want to consider changing your pedals to cages so that you don't have to incur the time to change shoes.
08-06-03, 04:31 PM
I practice the bike to run transition. The way I do it is by doing a 45-60 minute bike ride then immediately change into running shoes and shorts and head out again for a 20-30 minute run. Ive heard that the ideal footstrike rate is 90 per minute. So if you are doing 90 rpm on the bike, going to the run is a little easier. I find I spin probably around 100-110 or so, so I always bump up the gear a little before I need to dismount the bike so I get my legs used to moving a little slower.
08-09-03, 03:35 PM
Thanks, cindy & TriDevil for the insight. Another question... for the bike/run, do you run in your bike shorts during the event? Or do you ride in running shorts since the distance is not very long? :confused:
Ok, 2nd question... what's a 'race belt'? :)
Thanks for your patience with these (probably very elementary) questions.
08-09-03, 04:44 PM
I do the whole triathlon in 'tri-shorts', they have a little padding for the bike, are water proof for the swim, and are fine for the run. Changing clothes is really impractical rather than maybe throwing a top on coming out of the water. A race belt is simply a snap belt that your race number goes on. A couple reasons for wanting one: run without a shirt so where are you going to pin your number? Do the whole triathlon in a top and bottom so dont want to get the number wet in the swim. Doesnt flap around as much on a shirt. I dont have one, I just pinned my number to my shirt and then threw my shirt on after the swim.
08-11-03, 10:44 AM
Just a quick word about T2 (bike to run transition). This one is definitely one you will want to practice. Bricks are not something that usually comes naturally to anybody and the transition can be brutal if you aren't used to it. After spinning your legs in circles for 90 minutes, they usually don't understand "up and down" very well. Add a brick to your training every other week and it will help a lot.
You absolutely need to practice transitions. Think of them as the fourth discipline. And the shorter the race, the more important they are. Saving a minute in each transition is an easy time pickup.
For T1, make sure your bike is easily findable and ready to go. I try to get a spot on a row end and I tape a pom-pom to the bike rack. Some people use balloons, but they can flop in the wind or pop. You could use a little flag or ribbons. Next to my bike shoes I set out a towel to wipe my feet. If you wear a wetsuit, pull it half off on the run from the water to the bike. Remember to take off your swim goggles. I put my sunglasses in my helmet which I set out on the aerobars. Put on your sunglasses, put on your helmet and clip the chinstrap, wipe off your feet, put on your shoes, grab your bike and go. Usually, you have to jog your bike out of the transition area.
For T2, it's a lot simpler. As you approach the dismount line, reach down and undo your shoes and get ready to clip out. Look for your pompom/flag/balloon, rack your bike, take off your helmet and put on your hat (if you wear one), take off your bike shoes, put on your running shoes. Take time here to make sure you don't get pebbles/twigs/sand in your shoes. Jog slowly out of the transition area. Your legs will feel weird. Just focus on turning your feet. Eventually, you'll get into your running rhythm. And then catch that fast guy ahead of you!
This is great information everyone! I appreciate it as a newbie. Doing my first sprint Triathlon
08-21-03, 08:45 AM
Caloso, I did a sprint tri this past weekend and followed the advice you gave in your above post exactly. Transitions went perfectly.
I did had two difficulties with the race:
1) Overexertion in the openwater swim. This was my first open water swim and the mass start and crowding was unfamiliar and frustrating. I definately need to practive open water swimming and learning to better pace myself in a mass start swim.
2) Belive it or not I accidentally mixed my accellerade to strong. I didn't find out until I got on the bike and took a sip. It tased like acid. I'll never make that mistake again.
Congrats, Memphis Jim! I'm so glad things went smoothly. And I totally understand what you went through. I'm not sure that there's any reasonable way to train for the mass start swim. (I think I remember a Clif Bar ad where a guy has his friends get in kayaks and whack him with those American Gladiator jousting poles). I just try to remind myself that everybody else is going through the same thing and that no one is kicking or punching me...intentionally. :)
As for the accelerade thing, oh boy! I made a similar mistake myself one time. I thought it would be a great idea to mix gatorade and tea (for the caffeine, of course). I spent the entire run focusing on trying to keep everything down. Not good....
What works best for me is one bottle of plain water and one bottle of 50% strength sports drink.
Congrats again! :beer:
08-22-03, 02:24 PM
On the note of making your bike easy to find I guess I can share a tip I use. I run Vredestein Fortezza Tri-Comp tires on my bike and I bought yellow ones. Most bikes on your row are going to have black tires, so yellow or red or blue will stand out quite a bit, I also use a transition towel that is unique in some way. The one I use right now has the "twister" game on it with the big colorful circles.
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