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Transition Clinic

We recently hosted the Triathlon Club of San Diego’s monthly BYOC event. Our topic was Free Speed; get faster through preparation, organization and efficiency. We had local triathlete, fast runner, and Moment sponsored Brandon Mills and Rachel Wills, triathlete, shop employee, TCSD volunteer swim coach as the hosts for the evening.
Check out the pictures – Thanks Chris!

Here are their 10 tips for a faster transition:

#1 Practice 
Nothing new on race day! Make sure you practice your plan until you can do it without mistakes. Work on removing that wetsuit FAST after each swim. Before and after each bike, practice the flying mount/dismount (explained below). Train with the shoes you race in. Have a plan of exactly what you are going to do and practice it over and over again in training and then rehearse it mentally several times on race morning. By the time you are in transition in during race you should be moving on autopilot.
#2 Minimalism
Clutter will slow you down! Don’t have any distractions on your transition mat/towel. Don’t leave your body glide out, no extra water bottles, no sweatpants from the morning. Place all that stuff that becomes unnecessary during the race in your transition bag – out of sight.
#3 Shoes on the Bike
Coasting down the course at 15 mph while you put your feet in your shoes will move you far ahead of your buddy sitting on his butt in T1 doing the same task. Set your bike up in the transition area with your shoes attached to the pedals and rubber bands looped between the heels and frame holding them horizontal. On leaving T1, pedal with your feet on top of your shoes. Once you are cruising at speed, coast and slip your feet into your shoes. Keep your eyes ahead on the road, not down on your feet. On the return, slip your feet out of your shoes before you reach T2. Learn this skill first on an indoor trainer before taking it out on the open road.

# 4 Run with your bike

The distance from rack to mount line can be considerable at large triathlons. By running safely and quickly with your bike, it is easy to fly over this distance. Run upright with good form on the left side of your bike holding your seat with your right hand. Left arm swings by your side. Hold the bike upright to go straight and lean it to the side to turn. Practice in an empty parking lot.
# 5 Speed over the mount/dismount line
 Learn a cyclocross mount / dismount to cruise over this line without losing any momentum. In the race you will be doing this in bare feet but initially learn and practice this skill wearing running shoes.
# 6 Bike Organization
You have one task on the bike – go fast. Everything else takes up time. Make sure everything you need on the bike course is attached to your bike. Tape gels to the frame or use a Bento box, water bottles should already be on board (and have the appropriate number for the race distance), sunglasses looped to a cable, spare tube in a seat pack and CO2 cartridge taped to the seat post.
# 7 Tri Kit

Start the swim with your full bike/run outfit under your wetsuit. Any clothing changes will add lots of time.

# 8 Navigation
Have trouble finding your car in a crowded parking lot? A large transition area is even more chaotic and you don’t have the panic button to help you out. Walk through transition before the race. Note where your rack spot is and how to find in from the swim exit and bike entrance. From your rack, know where the bike and run exists are and the quickest route to them.

# 9 Speed laces
Tying your running shoe laces in a bow takes time. Eliminate this step using lace locks or speed laces. We have plenty of color options at the shop to satisfy your matchey maychey needs. To help your feet slide smoothly into your running shoes, prime them with a sprinkling of baby powder or body glide to prevent blisters. Check out Yankz!
# 10 Grab and go
In T2, grab what you need and go. Put on your hat and race belt while you are running. It is always faster to complete your tasks moving down the course rather than standing in front of your rack.
Have fun, breathe, and go faster!
Brandon and Rachel

Thanks to Christopher (our newest employee!) for the great photos!