General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man? Rss Feed  
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2017-03-06 4:04 PM

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Subject: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
I will be racing a 70.3 in July this year. Transitioning is something I have never done, as this will be my first triathlon. For those of you have completed longer distance triathlons, what would you say would be your best tip for transitioning?
Thank You !!!

Edited by anime_lover1992 2017-03-06 4:04 PM


2017-03-06 4:46 PM
in reply to: anime_lover1992

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
The simple ones:

#1 - Lay out a good plan for both transitions and practice them.
#2 - Don't be afraid to spend a minute to lube up with product that works for you (Body Glide, Butt Butter, Vaseline, et cetera)
#3 - Focus (like you did in practice.) Don't over-rush but don't dawdle.

Good luck!
2017-03-06 4:47 PM
in reply to: anime_lover1992

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?

I'll infer that from this being your first tri, you're not trying to shave 30" or 1' off your time but want to get through transition smoothly and set up for a solid race.  If that is a poor assumption (like you are trying to rock it on your first go, instead), then the below doesn't apply so much (and I'll be happy to give a different perspective).  It'll be a bit detailed, but hopefully that helps.

So, that said...  my orthogonal advice is to enjoy the heck out of the day!  First tri - awesome!  First HIM - a PR!  I would suggest that finishing is a great goal for the first long course (but, again, that might not apply).

Set up your transition area so it's neat and you know where everything is.  Then practice the routine mentally, visualizing what you'll do between each leg in detail (this is actually super helpful the first few times you race, or at least was for me).  On race setup day, walk away from the transition spot and approach it from the different views you'll have coming in.  Pay attention to "landmarks" so you don't over or under shoot where it is.  Sucks to be looking for your number after the bike when you might not be at your sharpest!

I usually put my race number on a belt and wear it on the swim.  That way I don't forget it.  I just turn it around to the back on the bike, and turn it to the front on the run.

Coming into T1, do not get all sprinty coming out of the water and spike your HR to redline.  This is very easy to do, as there is a lot of excitement to get out of the water and on to the next leg.  So walk, jog or light run, not hammer, to the bike.  The last 150-200 yards of the swim, I'll go to a bit more aggressive kick (from my standard "zero beat kick" to a 6 beat light flutter) to get some blood going to the legs before standing up.  Swim until you're in like a foot or less of water (you'll swim faster than others who start walking at waist deep - feels funny swimming in the "shallow end," but it works).  Coming out of the water, I usually first put my goggles up on my head, then unzip my wetsuit (if wearing one) and peel it off my arms while moving along, then with my suit at my waist peel my cap and goggles, with goggles on the inside of my inverted cap, together and hold on until at my bike.

Some people will peel cap and goggles and let go inside their sleeve as they're peeling off the suit.  I am always concerned about losing my goggles (I'm cheap), so I don't.

At the bike, put down the cap/goggles on/in your bag or what have you. I high step out of my suit, stepping on the crotch with one foot and pulling the other leg incrementally free, repeating with the other side back and forth until it's off my feet, then put in your pile.  Others will use a suit stripper, but I have never done so and can't comment on it (I've always been a pretty quick undresser!).

I'll have my shoes (I don't wear socks with my tri shoes, but here's where they'd go on) on my bike (with bottles and such already loaded on it), my helmet on my aero bars and my glasses and any nutrition (2 gel flasks for me) in my helmet.  I also have a bike bottle with just water that I will use to squirt the sand off my feet, if any.  Glasses first, then nutrition, then helmet (can't take my bike without putting it on!) then grab my bike and run to the mount line holding on to and pushing from the seat.  If I don't have it taped to my rig, I might also put a Vittoria Pitt Stop in my pocket here.  I usually also rack my bike by the seat, so I can grab and go, but not all seats allow this.  I do not do a flying mount, but get my feet in on the bike.  Many will be more comfortable putting the bike shoes on AT transition and running in them (more common and sometimes required by Ironman, even in a 70.3), so just know which you prefer and attend the athlete briefing to see that they'll enforce.

If you do socks, I'd also have a towel so you can dry off after rinsing your feet.  Otherwise, socks can be a pain to get on.  This'll be true on the run, too.

At the end of the bike, I usually aim to do a few minutes at target power but higher cadence (spin up to ~93 for me, YMMV).  I find that it helps me transition to the run.  Personally, I get my feet out before dismounting, but I would not recommend that unless you practice that a bunch before the race.  Like a huge bunch (race is not where to try that for the first time, for safety reasons).  Not doing that, I'd cross the dismount line (and don't come across at full speed or you might blow through!), unclick like normal and jog to transition.  I rack my bike handlebar first here.

For this transition, I like to have a very small mat set out, a towel to dry my feet, my shoes each with a sock in them and ready to put on.  I'll rack my bike, take off my sunglasses, put an earpiece thingy in my mouth (so I don't forget them), take off my helmet (unless you want to be THAT person), towel off my feet, pull on my socks (careful not to have any folds or such that could cause a blister), drop any empty gel flasks (I usually finish one on the bike and take the other on the run - but this will depend on what you do for nutrition).  Turn my number around as I'm jogging and put on my glasses.

Then all that's left is getting to the beer tent.

Hope that helps.  Clearly just my limited experience, but it'll give you one person's view for a starter...  Enjoy the training and the race!!

Matt

 

2017-03-06 5:33 PM
in reply to: #5215210

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
You've got some good advice here already. I do the "head down, foot up" approach, meaning for both transitions I take things off from the head down (goggles/cap or helmet) following down the body to my feet. This works well, since I always end up sitting down.

Tips:
1.) roll socks (if you wear them) to make them easier to get on
2.) if you don't use no-tie laces, loosen your shoes up to make them easy to get on.
3.) take the extra time to reapply sunscreen in T2 during a long race
2017-03-06 8:38 PM
in reply to: drfoodlove

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
I am going to politely disagree with mcmanusclan5. I do not attach my shoes to my bike nor do I leave them attached as I am dismounting. I feel like I am going to wipe out (or worse, wipe someone else out) if I am trying to get my feet in my shoes and strap them up. Running in bike shoes is not that big of a deal. If you are going to attach them, there is a slick way you can use a rubber band to keep them pointing the right way. Practice this!

Another item I was surprised by was that I can swim for an hour in the pool, but almost every time I stand up after swimming in open water during a race I am am light headed and a little dizzy. Watch yourself.

Couple other items:
Bring a disposable towel to wipe your feet off from the grass and/or sand before you put on your socks. Nothing worse than a grain of sand in the wrong place in your sock.
I learned a lot from watching a couple Youtube videos about transitions. Was great.
If possible, try to go and watch a tri before you race and watch transition.
Empty your bladder in the lake before you get on your bike [oops, did I really just say that?]
Don't hurry, an extra minute in transition is not a big deal for your first time.
2017-03-06 10:35 PM
in reply to: #5215219

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
No disagreement on clipping in shoes. It's what I do, but not what I would recommend for a first timer.

True that a newb can certainly do it, but you have to practice to make it safe, and it's prolly not worth the effort on the first go round, IMO.

Just another option...


2017-03-07 3:22 AM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?

I waste time in transition on primarily two things.  First, looking for stuff I need in the order I need it. Second, OCD-ness about "am I forgetting anything / do I have everything?"

After doing multiple WTC IMs, I like the T1 and T2 bag approach commonly used by WTC. One bag for T1, one bag for T2.  That way I don't need to poke around in running stuff in T1 or biking stuff in T2.

To save time looking for stuff, I stack the contents of the bag from top to bottom so what I take out first I put on first and so on. 

To avoid OCD-ness, I aim for the bag to be empty when I'm ready to leave that transition. That way I don't have to worry about forgetting anything.  For optional things like spare contacts & saline, or the like, I put all that into one or more clear heavy duty slide-lock plastic bags.  So if one of those is left in the bottom of the bag that's fine.

At WTC events you have to drop off the bags ahead of time.  To avoid OCD-ness, when packing the bag I set everything on top of the bag on the floor neatly arranged.  When I think I have everything ready to go, I take a photo of the bag and the stuff going into the bag, then pack the bag.  That way if I'm worried "Did I remember to put X in the T2 bag?" I just look at the photo on my cellphone and all is well.

I've attached the race checklist I use.  I print it out and either cross out items I intentionally don't bring, or check mark them when I do pack them.



Edited by brucemorgan 2017-03-07 3:26 AM




Attachments
----------------
ironman race checklist v5.xlsx (12KB - 17 downloads)
2017-03-07 3:35 AM
in reply to: anime_lover1992

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
small towel
- run belt and visor/hat under your running shoes (belt already snapped together). You can don the belt while running out of T2
- further from rack, your bike shoes and socks (if you wear socks). Roll the leading edge of your socks down to make them go on easier
- Helmet on top of bike shoes - sunglasses in helmet

This is the order you'll put everything on. Put your sunglasses and helmet on as soon as you get there.

Lay this out.....exactly as you will on race day.....the night before (in your living room or hotel room). You'll likely discover something you're missing.

Good luck

Oh.....I'm not even sure bike shoes clipped to the pedals is faster (in the long run). I CERTAINLY wouldn't do it in my 1st tri.
2017-03-07 7:01 AM
in reply to: anime_lover1992

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
Since it is a 70.3 there are probably no transition bags, everything is set up at your bike.

DO NOT clip your shoes on the bike- if this is an IM event that is actually illegal except for the pros. Why because it causes so many accidents.

Take you time in transition this is a 70.3 ; 5 to 10 minutes in transition feels like forever, but will not mean added much to your total time. However if you rush through transition and forget something it could spell disaster for your race.

Go find some sprint races a month or so before your event and watch how people transition. Talk to people at the event , you can learn a lot.
2017-03-08 6:44 AM
in reply to: nc452010

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
I fear putting my helmet on the bike with my glasses inside as someone may knock it off and then you're looking for your stuff. I use a bright colored transition mat (Lime Green) so I can find my spot easier. Number bib on belt in back, shoes on top of number to keep it from blowing away, small towel on top of shoes, water bottle on top of towel to rinse sand. Bike shoes in front, velcro open, rolled socks inside, Helmut upside down on bike shoes to just flip up on head, glasses inside helmet opened and in correct position to put on face. So I go glasses, helmet, socks, shoes. All nutrition already on the bike.
2017-03-08 6:48 AM
in reply to: Limewhite

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
About all I can add to this is if it's sunny or much of the ride/run is along the water, it never hurts to reapply sunscreen. Every time I have neglected to do it in both T1 and T2, I have regretted it, except maybe for one HIM where it was very cloudy all day. I also like to put baby powder in my socks, bike shoes, and run shoes. Makes them easier to slip on and reduces the chances for chafing and blisters.


2017-03-08 7:25 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
Originally posted by brucemorgan

I waste time in transition on primarily two things.  First, looking for stuff I need in the order I need it. Second, OCD-ness about "am I forgetting anything / do I have everything?"

After doing multiple WTC IMs, I like the T1 and T2 bag approach commonly used by WTC. One bag for T1, one bag for T2.  That way I don't need to poke around in running stuff in T1 or biking stuff in T2.

To save time looking for stuff, I stack the contents of the bag from top to bottom so what I take out first I put on first and so on. 

To avoid OCD-ness, I aim for the bag to be empty when I'm ready to leave that transition. That way I don't have to worry about forgetting anything.  For optional things like spare contacts & saline, or the like, I put all that into one or more clear heavy duty slide-lock plastic bags.  So if one of those is left in the bottom of the bag that's fine.

At WTC events you have to drop off the bags ahead of time.  To avoid OCD-ness, when packing the bag I set everything on top of the bag on the floor neatly arranged.  When I think I have everything ready to go, I take a photo of the bag and the stuff going into the bag, then pack the bag.  That way if I'm worried "Did I remember to put X in the T2 bag?" I just look at the photo on my cellphone and all is well.

I've attached the race checklist I use.  I print it out and either cross out items I intentionally don't bring, or check mark them when I do pack them.




X2

I am not a list guy in my normal life, but this is a must for an IM. Way too many things you can forget or put in the wrong bag (since you have 5 bags to deal with).

Edited by scottficek 2017-03-08 7:25 PM
2017-03-09 7:54 AM
in reply to: scottficek

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
There is some awesome advice here.....take heed!

Overall just remember to stay calm, calm, calm. When coming out of the water....think "Be Calm". When in your last mile or two spin out a bit and think....."I'm going to stay calm and cool.". When in transition.......keep thinking the same thing.
2017-03-09 8:36 AM
in reply to: FurnaceM3

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Subject: RE: Transition Tips for a Half Iron-Man?
For what it's worth and if your training plan allows for it, try a local Sprint or Oly distance tri just to focus on transition and working out the jitters. If you have an actual race transition under your belt it can go a long way to help you mental conditioning and keep you calm, which keeps heart rate down.

If you don't/can't/won't race a short distance, at least make sure you try some 'trunk transitions' laying everything out in the back of your car and switching from biking to running in a parking lot.

Any practice helps but the best would be a short distance race or two in my opinion.
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