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Transitions(10 posts)

May 13, 2002 9:45 AM
I compeated in my first triathalon last weekend.
My times for the individual events were very respectable but I was VERY slow in the transitions.

Whats the best way to improve transtion time?

What are some steps I can take to learn how to put my feet in my shoes on the bike?
re: Transitionsbrider
May 13, 2002 10:14 AM
First, just like all aspects of triathlon, you need to practice the transitions. Visualization can go a long way once you have the process laid out and practiced it a few times. I've done the T1 with shoes both on the bike and putting them on before mounting the bike. I had best luck putting them on prior. Two things to consider if you want the shoes on the bike: (1) do the shoes open up wide to allow you to easily put your feet in? and (2) can you get going fairly easily with your feet on top of the shoes instead of inside? If you can't get your speed up without the shoes on, then you won't have the momentum to slip your feet into them and fasten them once you do get going. Also, if they open up nicely, it will actually be FASTER to put them on prior to getting on the bike. I've passed a LOT of people that were struggling with their shoes (and weaving all over the road), and never seen them again in the race. Practice this. And by all means, if you MUST have your shoes on the bike, make sure you get them upright, as turning out of a transition area can dislodge the shoes from the pedal -- then you have to turn around and get them.
re: Transitions74
May 13, 2002 12:03 PM
Visualisation is great and something I use already (Ive been road racing my bike for quite a while). When you dont have much of an idea on what to do visualisation isnt going to help. What exactly (step by step) do you do in the transitions?
re: Transitionsbrider
May 13, 2002 2:36 PM
I've posted some rather lengthy disertations (sp?) on transitions, start to finish, either here or at Slowtwitch, or at Tri-Newbies online. I've got to get outta here now, but I'll get back on this tomorrow. There's a few tricks that can speed things up, and I've pretty well catalogued them. I'll give you more details tomorrow. Until then, check out Slowtwitch and tri-newbies.
you tell us....SteveO
May 13, 2002 10:51 AM
Think back to your time in the transition areas... what, exactly, were you doing for most of your time? Eliminate any wasted time. The best way to cut times is to cut everything but the basics:

quick T1 : Get out of water. rinse feet. put shoes, helmet, glasses on. DO NOTHING ELSE

quick T2 : Rack bike, change shoes, take off helmet, put on shirt. DO NOTHING ELSE.

Also, never walk between events...always keep moving!

I doubt Concentrating on premounted shoes will dramitically improve your time... i can put my shoes on in about 8 seconds; So what can you possibly save, 2 seconds?
you tell us....74
May 13, 2002 12:15 PM
Heres what I did (ive put an * next to things that Im not gonna do next time)

get out of water
bike nicks * (Im going to buy some shorts that you can swim in)
tank top
socks * (Im going to loose the socks altogether)
gloves * (Im going to loose the gloves to)

change shoes
helmet off

My thoughts on having the shoes on the bike are as such...
might take the same time to put the shoes on either way (with practice) but if the shoes are on the bike in that time you are moving.
time shaversSteveO
May 14, 2002 3:53 AM
1. swim, bike, and run in the same shorts (you can swim in your bike shorts....plenty do - but tri shorts are generally better)
2. Scratch the socks.
3. scratch the gloves.
4. scratch the shirt until the run (you can put the shirt on WHILE your running, you cant while riding)

i still say youre not saving much by premounting shoes; How much time will you be losing trying to put your shoes on while riding when you could be clicked in and hammering? Not worth the hassle, imo, unless youre losing races by 2 seconds.
re: Transitionsbm
May 13, 2002 11:20 PM
i'm a newbie, but here are some things that help me.

1. bike/tri shorts so i can swim but don't chafe

2. no socks, instead baking soda to kill moisture
vasline to add some 'slip'
(the only thing is my feet get very cold from the ride)

3. if i start in a swimming pool, leave my biking jersey on pool deck and put on as i run through bike transition.

4. my gloves are velcro-d to my handle bars and put them on when convenient.
re: Stuff for shoessctri
May 14, 2002 10:09 AM
Some tips

Vasaline on the enside heels of both pairs of shoes
Elastic laces... I tried them for racing, and discovered that i love them.. they are fast to get on and never untie

best of luck

OK, brider's tri primer (say that three times fast)brider
May 14, 2002 10:26 AM
Okay, here's my dissertation on tri and transitions, considerations, etc. gleaned from years of doing and reading. Wear whatever you're going to ride in under your wetsuit. I just went with a Speedo, and sometimes a tank-top type jersey. Tri-shorts didn't work for me. Occasionally I'd put non-padded bike shorts over the speedo for the ride (half-IM or so), then take them off for the run.

Pre-race -- Set up your transition. Get there fairly early and claim your real estate. A towel helps. Try to get an end spot. Dish pan of water for rinsing the feet after the run from the swim finish. Bike shoes laid out and open. Bike shoes laid out and open. Helmet on the aero bars with glasses inside. Number belt (USE ONE) either in the helmet if you're going to wear it riding, or on your running shoes. Survey the course, the transition area, practice in your mind the entire transition from water to bike, and bike to run. How will you find your bike? Count the rows from the water. Know where to go with your bike. Check out the swim start -- what can you sight from that's high above the water line? Don't just go by bouys, and don't expect to see the transition area with your eyes just an inch above the water line and other people thrashing about.

Swim start -- Put the goggle strap UNDER the cap. You'll find out why later. Unless you're well versed in water polo, don't get into the feeding frenzy at the start. Line up to the outside of the first turn. Tinley tells of a guy who, at the gun, instead of diving not the water, ran down the beach about 5 yds and jumped into a rip tide that carried him out past everybody. Moral -- if you know tides and such, use them to your advantage. At the start, you WILL have elbows in your back and people kicking you. Deal with it. Relax, get some open water, and settle into your stroke ASAP.

Swim finish/transition -- Keep swimming until your hand firmly hits the bottom of the lake/beach. Stand up, and take your goggles off. With the cap on over the goggle strap, taking the goggles off will automatically peel the cap off. You want to do this first because the goggles will otherwise INSTANTLY fog up, and you won't see where you're going. After you've got that off, reach back and pull the "rip cord" to undo the wetsuit. Peel it down to your waist. Hopefully you've been running/jogging this whole time, and you're near your bike. Once there, push the wetsuit to the ankles and stand on it to get the feet out. Sit down. Rinse your feet in the dish pan, then put your shoes on (get some experience before you try the shoes-on-the-bike approach). Stand up, put on the helmet and glasses (whatever order you need to do that, but buckle the helmet before even putting a hand on your bike). Grab the bike and head for the T1 exit. Start out somewhat easy. You're going to be a little unsteady from the swim, and possibly cold. Don't worry, you'll warm up and get stable soon.

Bike finish/transition -- As you get near the end of the ride, you can downshift a gear and spin if you need to. For me, that never really made much difference. If you can do a cyclocross dismount, that might save you a second. Once you're at your gear, rack the bike, unbuckle the helmet and take it off, drop it, or whatever, then sit down. Take the bike shoes off and put the number belt and running shoes on. Get up and run out of T2. Considerations for shoes -- comfy first. Socks definitely optional (I never used them). Some people swear by Yankz, but I just used lace-locks. If you use lace locks, tie the ends of your laces just long enough that the lace-lock bottoms out on it allowing the shoe to open enough for easy slip-on, then trim off the excess.

Finish -- Smile and enjoy the fact that you've done a good race.

Well, that's all that comes to mind for now. Hopefully that helps. Don't be afraid to experiment.