T1 – transition from swim to bike
Chris from TriUtah just informed me that the first transition is slightly different this year in order to avoid to separate transition areas. It looks like we will exit the water on the boat ramp and then run up and across the road into the transition area. Chris recommends bringing good shoes to cover this section (about 400m) between the water and our bikes. You can also use sandals which are easy to get on and off but harder to run in. Or you can choose to run it barefoot. I am going to come prepared, take a good look at this stretch, and then decide whether or not I will want to take the time to put on shoes/sandals.
I like to stay in the water and continue to swim until it is so shallow that my hands touch the bottom. Then I get up and run to the shore. By doing this, I avoid expending lots of energy trying to run through deep water. As soon as I am out, I unzip my wetsuit and remove it down to my hips. Then I take my goggles and cap off. Once I find my bike, I take the wetsuit off completely, step on the towel, put my biking shoes on, then my helmet, then sunglasses, and I am ready to go. Make sure you fasten your helmet before leaving the transition area! This is a USAT rule. Push your bike to the line that says “mount here” and hop on. If you know it might take you a second to get on your bike/clip in, please be courteous and move to the side a little, so others can pass. Then, enjoy the ride!
T2 – transition from bike to run
Take it just a little easier at the end of the bike, so your legs feel as fresh as possible on the run. Slow down enough to be able to stop at the “dismount here” line and hop off. I will definitely be slowing down a little more this time, seeing how it is another downhill bike finish. Last weekend I had too much momentum and when I got off my bike I fell right on my bum. I’d rather avoid this happening in the future.
Make sure you put your bike back where it was. The bike racks can get pretty crowded and everyone else needs a spot for their bike as well. Take your helmet and shoes off. Put your (socks and) running shoes on, grab your race belt (and visor) and off you go! In a sprint distance race, I might also grab a gel if I need it. In an Olympic distance race I definitely bring one along.
More on nutrition next time.