Coach Katie Malone provides advice for tackling triathlon’s fourth discipline: transitions.
Often the difference between standing on the podium at your local race or going home empty-handed has to do with leaving your socks off. Here are a few of my top tricks to a speedy swim to bike transition.
The best way to make up time in transition is to run. As soon as you exit the water, take off running until you get to transition. If it is a wetsuit-legal swim, start stripping the wetsuit off as you are running. Know where your bike is on the transition racks (be sure to note all entry and exit points before the race and even do a walkthrough if you have time) and run all the way to it. Take two steps on your wetsuit and pull it off.
Skip socks when you go to put on your bike shoes. Getting socks on over wet feet is too difficult and time-consuming. If you need to wear them for the run, they’ll go on easier after they’ve been air-dried on the bike.
Learn how to run with your bike. The best way is to grab your bike with one hand by the stem. This allows you to control the direction your bike is going, which is important when avoiding other athletes. Your free arm is in a traditional running position allowing you to balance and move more quickly. Trying to carry, push it by the seat or run with both hands on the handlebars can often lead to mishaps.
Katie Malone is a USAT-certified coach and 20-time Ironman finisher who coaches athletes around the country through her business, Malone Coaching.
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