Design Your Personal Space
Put some thought into your transition
Mark Your Territory
Your little plot of real estate within the greater transition area is sacred ground. This includes your section on the bike rack and a little bit of ground next to the bike tire. If all athletes respect each other’s borders, peace and harmony will abound. Disrespect these boundaries and you might witness an exchange of heated words or worse. Chicago Triathlon 2009: she moved her stuff into his area and they almost came to blows. (And that fight would have been hard to call!)
A clean and well organized transition area will help you get in and out as fast as possible. Don’t be messy with your triathlon transitions.
There is only one thing you need to mark your space: a mat. Most
people use an old towel. A small towel is all you need. Others use crates or buckets or some combination of towels and buckets. If you want to get fancy, you can buy a special mat made just for triathlon transitions. It’s not necessary to buy a special mat, but the neoprene types are handy because they don’t scrunch up like a towel and they dry quickly.
They make great gifts too.
By placing the mat on the ground next to your bike, you establish property lines. Within those lines, you can do pretty much anything you want.
Keep It Clean
Transition is a dead spot. It’s where most people slow down, because they are gathering their thoughts, putting shoes, drying off. I even know people who have fallen asleep in transition on longer races!
If speed is your goal, the transition area should be a speed boost. Every thought and action should be well rehearsed and planned out so you get in and out as fast as possible. One minor thing that helps with this goal is to keep the area around your bike as clean as possible. DO NOT CLUTTER THE AREA WITH THINGS YOU WON’T USE.
As you walk around the transition area, take a look at other personal spaces. See what others are using to hold their gear and how much junk they put on the mat or in their box.
Whatever system they use may work for them, but the fastest way to find your gear when you are in a hurry is to have the least number of choices and decisions. A clean and tidy area will help with that.
The Bare Maximum
Don’t put any more than this on your mat unless you like clutter:
- Run Shoes
- Number belt
Bike shoes (if you use them) and helmets should go on the bike if you’re advanced, otherwise they can go on the mat. If you wear socks, put them in the shoes with the ankles rolled down.
Put A Little Thought Into Your Transition
With a little foresight and practice, your transitions will be lightning fast. The main point here is to train yourself to not slow down. Do whatever you have to do to get through T1 and T2 as fast as you can while being considerate of the other athletes around you.
See you at the races.
Stay to the right, pass on the left and keep on smilingLG