By Coach Em Quinn
It is a little bit of a general consensus that as athletes move into longer distance racing (70.3 to IM) that there is less of an “importance” placed on transitions. To a degree I agree with this, in sprint and Olympic distance racing you cannot afford a second to be lost and usually the things you need to consider are minimal. In longer distance races, there is more that an athlete needs to consider (nutrition, wetsuit off, appropriate bags, change of clothes, sunscreen application etc). I am always in favour of checking and rechecking you have everything you need in T1 and T2 in long course racing, however I also think it is of equal acknowledgement that an athlete can ultimately get “free time” in transition. If you are organised, controlled and most of all proficient in your execution of T1 and T2, the time you will spend in there will no doubt dramatically come down.
I think it is something we are all guilty of, neglecting the smaller things, the things that don’t involve swim, ride or run within our race. However, what if you could save yourself 2, 3, even 5 minutes by perfecting this fine art? The key is to practice, even the small things. Practice getting the wetsuit off, practice mounting and dismounting with shoes on the bike, practice running through a transition simulation. No doubt these elements won’t make or break a well-executed race but they will no doubt contribute to saving you some time, time that could mean a PB, a podium, a step up in placings or simply nailing cut off times. No matter the level of the athlete, this is a component of racing that we can all improve. So talk to your coach about fine tuning these skills a few weeks prior to your key races or the start of the racing season, once perfected you will only improve and will be in and out of T1 and T2 like a flashJ Below are my top 5 tips for perfecting T1 and T2 over all distances of triathlon from sprint distance through to Ironman.
Happy training and racing and I hope everyone is surviving the cooler months :)