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Triathlon transitions – not a place, a part of racing

The transition in triathlon

Lost in transition

The transition area is the big, chaotic place where the “fourth sport” in triathlon takes place. This is where all your gear is between the sports, and where you change gear during racing. The times that you spend in this area during racing are called T1 and T2. And stand for transition one (swim to bike) and transition two (bike to run).

You have trained well and shaved time off of all the disciplines, but maybe haven’t practiced the transitions, losing time and momentum during this part of the race?

Time to talk about planning and preparing your transitions. We like to put time into our training programs to work on these skills.

Coming to the transition area

When arriving at the transition area, look for landmarks that can help you find your spot in it coming in from the swim and bike. So it will be easier to navigate when your race mode is on. 

Unpack your things, and structure all the gear so that you have easy access to everything and don’t need to start looking for things during the race. 

Did you remember to pack everything? Download our race day checklist so you won’t forget anything!

Transition 1 – swim to bike

Coming out of the water, take the goggles and swim cap of. And pull down the zipper on your wetsuit. Look for your landmark, and start navigating to your spot. When you arrive at your bike-rack, Take the wetsuit off and place it where it is not in the way for your bike or run gear. Put your helmet on, and then your race belt with your bib placed on your back. Depending on if your shoes are on your bike, or not. Put them on, or unrack the bike and head off to the bike-on area. Remember that it is not allowed to ride your bike inside the transition area.

Transition 2 – Bike to run

The last couple of K’s on the bike should be a time where you prepare your body for running. Loosen up your legs and take in some needed nutrition. 

Arriving at the bike off-sign. Get off your bike and look for that landmark again. Lead your bike back to the bike rack, and rack it. The take your helmet off and place it so that it won’t be in the way for any other racers. Put on your running shoes, and other gear you like to have during the run (hat, sunglasses et cetera). Flip your race belt around, placing your bib on the front of your body, and off you go!


Good luck with the run-leg. The finish line awaits!

– TOT Team