Last week, we talked about the all the different parts of a triathlon except one: the transition.

It’s the period of time between swim and bike, and bike and run, because you’re transitioning from one sport to another. The transition area looks like this:

Yes, it really is that disorganized-looking from above. But really, what you’re looking at is a bunch of bikes, racked in meticulous order, so that you can find yours when you get back from the swim. If you got closer, next to each bike, you’d see something like this:

See? That doesn’t look so bad, does it? You can see that our towel is divided into half, pretty much, with our bike stuff on the left side and our run stuff on the right. (In a real race, we’d lay our bicycling jersey over our bike handlebars, which happsn to be where our helmet is, in this imaginary scenario.) We’ve stuffed our socks into our bike shoes so we know where to find them. In some races we pre-clip our cycling shoes to our to our pedals, so we don’t have to screw with them, but we don’t do that for the longer races.

We thought we’d let the considerable experience of our sponsored team speak for this section, so we asked what some of their favorite transition area tips are. Why did we go to such lengths? Why, because the transition area is free time. You don’t have to train harder to gain valuable time in your transition area; you just have to be more efficient. So here, we’ll let the experts speak:

*Use Speed Laces in your shoes so you don’t have to fumble with tying your laces.

-Titia Luise King

*Leave room at the end of your transition towel to wipe your feet on or stand on post-swim.

-Maggie Johnston

*”My tri coach, Joe Company, says to multitask, but don’t rush. For example, instead of rushing through snapping your bike helmet and then not being able to get it clipped, put it on while stepping out of your wetsuit. Then, in T2, put on shoes, grab race belt, visor, etcetera, and go. You can put those things on while running instead of wasting time standing still while putting them on.”

-Colleen Parsons

*Mark your transition location with a helium ballon, or a small flag and poles to get the flag in the air.

-Tony Rigdon,

*”Probably the most overlooked tip is to practice your transition.”

-Jason Griffin

And we just plain couldn’t resist these tips:

*Take your bike helmet off before you run.

-Trigeek test subject #1

*Take your bike shoes off for the run.

-Trigeek test subject #2

*Take your wetsuit off before you put on your bike shoes

-Trigeek test subject #3

Well, we didn’t guarantee they’d be tips you’ve never thought of before…

What’s your favorite transition-area tip?

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