I am just starting the process of training for a sprint tri. I will probably have several questions. I watched my first tri today, and can't wait to participate. Is the time in T1 counted toward total time? Reason for asking, is I noticed several athletes would take their sweet time setting down, wiping off, drinking water, etc. While others were in and out with minimum time. Wet sandy feet, and no socks look like a blister heaven, but a lot left in that condition on the ride. Have these people practiced this so much, they have leather feet? Everyone I watched, treated T2 like every second counted. What an awesome morning, I can see why people say it is addicting.
Trek Madone 5.2, Kona Dew, Centurion Dave Scott Ironman
Yes, every second counts toward the total. If you look at race results there are big differences in the time it takes people in T1 and T2. Those with a bit of experience usually fine tune the transitions to be quite quick about it. Go for it, just build, follow a training plan and you can do it. Trust me, you will be glad you did! Between this forum and beginnertriathletedotcom there is a world of help and info that will allow you to succeed.
I haven't trained myself to ride without socks, and I agree that sandy feet seems like it would make the rest of the race miserable. I keep a towel in my spot in the transition area. Usually by the time I reach T1 my feet are dry, and I just have to give them a quick wipe to remove the remaining sand particles. I take about 10 seconds to put on socks, but I prepare them by putting them on before hand and rolling them down off my feet. Then I can just stick my toes in and roll them up during the race. A lot faster than trying to put them on the normal way.
Some people mount their shoes on the bike and start the bike leg by putting their feet on top of them to pedal, then once they're rolling they'll put their shoes on completely. This takes practice, and frankly I'm not elite enough to worry about the 5 or so seconds that might save me. My run is so slow I'm better served by trying to shave 5 seconds off of that.
I wait to drink water for when I'm on the bike. That's easy enough to do.
So for me it's enter T1, wipe down my feet, roll on my socks, put on my shoes, put on my helmet and sunglasses then grab the bike and start running out of the transition area to the bike mount area.
Oh, and don't forget your helmet. Did that once and had to run back to get it. Doh!