Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Transitions. It's a word familiar to anyone with triathlon experience. As I prepare for my first triathlon, which is just over 6 weeks away, transitions have to be my second biggest concern. The swim will remain my biggest concern until after this first race.

But the swim is something for which I can prepare, and over which I have at least some amount of control. Transitions are another story. First, there aren't a lot of opportunities to jump out of a pool and hop onto a bike in very short order. And when that chance does exist, there aren't generally a bunch of other people doing the exact same thing.

The image in my head is based upon aid stations during marathons. Chaotic. And often made more chaotic by first timers without the knowledge of good race etiquette. My goal has always been to find a big opening, and get in and out as quickly as possible. That leaves room for those who want to stand at the tables.

Only this time the beginner will be me. I'll be the guy looking lost and out of place. No amount of professional looking clothes can make up for that. Luckily, the race I've entered seems to be relatively small, with maybe 50 entrants. And there's a good chance a large number of them will be long gone by the time I exit the water.

Even so, the art of exiting the water and hopping on a bike, then switching from bike to run real time will be something to which I will be paying keen attention on June 3. Of course, the one comfort is that every triathlete has a first race, just as every marathoner has a first distance event. And the registration for the Trinity Triathlon included a "rate yourself" question. I selected complete beginner, which should clue them in. Help this guy...

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Transitions can be daunting. Practice a couple times, especially the bike to run transition a couple times before your race. The jello-legs feeling can be pretty disorienting if you haven't practiced.

The main thing to remember is to lay everything out in the order you'll use it, and don't put a half full bottle of Gatorade in your transition bag, because it will most likely leak.

Maybe we'll be doing some of the same races this year. :) I'm considering the Fox Cities race as my first full marathon (assuming my plantar fascitis has faded away), and also the Aurora High Cliff as my first half Iron distance this summer.