After speaking with a few friends who are racing in a sprint triathlon this weekend, I felt compelled to write about the commonality I observed among this group of beginner triathletes. Each made the mistake of focusing solely on training for the three main events: swimming, cycling, and running, and overlooked the significance of the transitions.
Strategically executed transitions will make the difference between a racer's overall position and wasted time and energy that is nearly impossible to recover in a sprint race. For a beginning triathlete to become more competitive, he or she must approach triathlon as a five-stage race: the swim, swim-to-bike transition (T1), the bike, the bike-to-run transition (T2) and the run.
The most practical way to gain experience would be to compete in more races, but beginners who lack real-time experience can practice T1 and T2 to master these skills. Our very own Active Expert, Gale Bernhardt has compiled a list of techniques to help you perform screaming fast transitions.