TRAINING ARTICLES

TRANSITION MUST-HAVES IN A TRIATHLON RACE
By: COACH MIGUEL “IGE” LOPEZ

Multisport Coach (ITU Level 2), Endurance/Adventure Athlete,
Founder of Transition ONE Multisport Apparel

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One of the unique aspects of the sport of triathlon is what they call a TRANSITION AREA. This is a special area wherein a triathlete transitions himself/herself from one sport to another.

After swimming one has to go inside a transition area to change into cycling gear and after cycling heads back again to transition to change into running gear. Each participant is allotted his/her own special transition area wherein you place all your race-day essentials in your own unique way. A lot of races usually have one transition area however; there are some races that have two transition areas.

But what do you actually put inside your transition area?

Basically, you put all the things you think you might need during your race. This will take time and experience for you to master the art of transitioning well.
Below is a list of essentials that I believe can be very useful for each triathlete on race day.

1. BICYCLE

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You definitely must have your bicycle in your transition area. Your bike should be neatly parked in your special area without hogging too much of a space on the rack.

2. SPARE TUBES / TOOL KIT / BIKE ESSENTIALS

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It is very important to have spare tubes/tubulars or a patch kit on your race bike in case you get a flat. Having a tool kit can come in handy for any loose nuts or bolts on your bike. Other bike essential that can be very useful would be the following: mini pump and CO2 cartridges.

3. BICYCLE FLOOR PUMP

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Having a big floor pump at transition helps you save time pumping your tires to your ideal tire pressure (it may vary from 100-120psi depending on the tire’s recommendation) Not having an appropriate pump when you need one on race morning can add up to race day stress so better bring one and don’t depend on another one’s floor pump.

4. BIKE HELMET

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It is a requirement on the bike leg for you to wear a certified bicycle helmet. If you want to have an aero advantage having an aero bike helmet can shave you seconds or even minutes on longer races.

5. BIKE BOTTLES

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It is important for you to take in essential fluids and electrolytes while racing so placing them on your handy bike bottles will definitely do the trick. You may fill them up with plain water or your preferred hydration need such as a carbohydrate drink or electrolyte drink. Having an extra water bottle in your transition area can also be handy if you want to take out the sea water taste on your mouth after swimming.

6. BIKE SHOES

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Bicycle shoes are important as this will make you ride better and make you feel as one with the bike. Leaving them on the bike and placing some elastic bands at the ends so they are parallel to the ground can save you time in transition also. Putting Talcum powder inside your bike shoes can keep your feet dry and avoid blisters. Placing petroleum jelly around the tongue and lip of the shoe also helps with smoother transition.

7. SUNGLASSES

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Protecting your eyes from the sun, dust and dirt that can ruin your performance is very important so having your favorite sports eyewear ready at T1 can make your ride more pleasant.

8. TRANSITION TOWEL

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Having a transition towel can be truly handy especially if you’re coming from the swim. This will help you remove the sand on your feet so you will be comfortable as you wear your bike shoes. It will also help you mark your own little territory in transition. Having a smaller towel can also help you wipe off some dirt or saltwater on your face or body.

9. RUNNING SHOES WITH ELASTIC LACES

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A very important gear you shouldn’t forget as this will take you to the finish line. Always have them with elastic laces as this will quicken your transition from biking to running. Just make sure you put in the right pressure on your foot before placing them in transition. Putting some talcum powder inside can help dry your feet and prevent blisters. Lathering some petroleum jelly at the tongue and inner parts of the shoe also can make you transition faster.

10. RACE BELT

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Leave them open and wide and placed near your helmet and eyewear so you can transition faster after the swim leg. This is where you will place your race number which is very essential on the bike and run legs.

11. RACE NUTRITION

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Don’t forget your preferred energy gels/energy bars. Place them accordingly on your bike or on your race belts.

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