Be early: There is nothing worse than pulling up to a race, parking illegally, sprinting to transition, throwing your bike on the rack then sprinting down to the start line to realise you are still wearing your runners. Trust me I have done it and it’s not fun – especially when you return to your car after the race with a medal and a parking fine. Make sure you find out the times when transition areas are open and closed. For some races it is a first served basis where you can choose your own transition area. If this happens to be the case, try and go for an end post so you don’t have to stress about finding your bike.
Pick a Landmark: If you have been designated a spot on the transition rack with your name and number (So Pro!) it is best to pick a large landmark that is near your spot to you can easily identify your bike as you are running into transition a little delirious after the swim. Look for a large tree, sponsored banner, or sign that is in line or close to your bike. Also check what number row you are in. Using a bright towel can also help locate your bike in a sea of carbon fibre.
Walk the transition: Before every race it’s a great idea to head down to the swim to check out the course and conditions, walk the swim exit back to your bike, out to the bike exit and bike re-entry back into transition, then out to the run exit so you know exactly where to go and which direction to run in for T1 and T2.
Become a Neat Freak: A neat transition area makes it not only easy to find and access your gear quickly, but it is safe and just general good manners. If you are using cycling shoes either have them on the bike clipped in already, or have the straps open ready to slide your foot straight in. Make sure your helmet is already unclicked (untangle the straps) and you can either step into your race belt or click it around your waist. When running out of T1 your number should be on your back. For the run, try using elastic laces on your running shoes to put them on quickly and swing your race belt around so your number is on the front.
Select the right gear: When racking your bike ensure you have it in the correct gear to start. It’s a good idea to check whether the start of the bike course is flat or if you are heading up a hill straight away. This will help getting onto your bike quickly when it is a mad panic at the mount line. A good gear to start is usually the big cog and halfway along the cassette.
Leave: Once everything is set up and you have double checked your equipment leave the area and do your warmup! Remember you cannot leave any bags in the transition area, so must take everything you are not using in the race with you. It is a good idea to pack an extra drink bottle and pair of shoes to warmup in, and stay hydrated before the race.