Seriously, do you think we believe this slowed you down in T1? Come on, do we look stupid?
We are entering the heart of racing season. Even though we discussed transitions recently, I think there's always room for information and discussion that might make you a couple percent better. A bit faster and definitely safer.
The recent blog was titled Why You Need to be the Best at Transitions which you could check out. http://www.johnpostmd.com/john_post_md/2013/05/tom-brady.html
Take away points from it were:
1) Triathlon transitions must be practiced at home to work out the kinks.
2) Each of us can save minutes, not just seconds, with efficient transitioning.
3) With planning, practice, and careful preview of the transition area, we can avoid falls on wet surfaces, crashes into fellow competitors or tripping on unfamiliar objects, etc. leading to an unplanned visit to your local medical professional.
4) We continue to be educated in this discipline as we compare our T1 and T2 times against those in our age group. And, while staring at race results, race number still affixed to your singlet, recovery drink in hand. Just like we wonder what we can do to drop our bike times, we must also plan what's needed to drop transition times. It's really just that easy.
When you watch the people who excel at this, they are exceptionally well prepared, early arrivers, and have only what's needed on the ground next to their bike. If you arrive at your race site early, you can get a good handle on where the landmarks are, entry into the compound from the swim, exit for the bike and bike mount line, exit for the run, etc. You can take care of pre-race bathroom needs, body marking, tire pressure check and final examination of goggle and helmet straps... you do have that spare pair of broken-in goggles in your back pack, right? ... and those last minute items without feeling pressed or rushed. Now that you've figured out the lay out of the compound, and traffic pattern around you, the best place within given guidelines to rack your bike and set up your stuff become obvious.
When I volunteer for races, I like to see the differences between the veterans and some of those newer to the sport. Through practice and simply lots of experience, the vets transition areas are spartan by some descriptions. Only what's absolutely necessary. Most of us are not that good and still need to be concerned with things like partially drying our feet, perhaps by just standing for a second on a towel while your helmet goes on, etc. We all race without socks in sprint tris. Yes, like they say here in VA, we all.
Now that you have the bike and gear where you desire, walk back to the entry point from the swim and jog to your row of bikes noting some landmark other than the race sign with the bike #s in that row on it. I've seen these get knocked to the ground so you need some kind of back up. A pillar, a permanent sign, corner of something, anything that will note your row. Some folks will tie a red ribbon on the end of their row. And while they swim, some race personnel will sometimes remove red ribbons from row ends. As an aside, the athletes who make it to Kona know all these tricks and will mark their transition bags with any number of ribbons, tags, stuffed toys, you name it. However, the evening before the race, two very efficient women named Bev and Nancy, kind but rule followers, go through and remove them all.
So, still planning the details, you jog from where you'll enter the transition after swimming, to your little bike home and do a sort of mental...wet suit off, heave it into a pre planned area out of the way, helmet....etc. And jog to the bike exit. Then do the same for the location of bike entry back into the compound pretending to rack the bike, don running apparel and scoot to the run start. Many do it more than once.
One last thing. You have plenty of time, so know/ask where first aid will be located - the first couple people won't know - and ask what to do if your chip should fall off in the swim, on the bike, etc. Are you supposed to get another one, if so where, or just carry on?
The more you know, the faster you go.
Images 2, 4 Google images