Monday, July 22, 2013

Transition training

These sessions help develop leg speed off the bike and are one of the most effective ways to simulate race transitions, writes G. Nugent.
In my last article I wrote about brick (or combo) sessions and I want to reiterate the importance of these sessions in your training routine. Incorporating brick sessions into your training program around eight weeks prior to a race is one of the best ways to maximise your fitness and prepare you for race day. Added to your base program, brick sessions and transition training will set you up for a big summer of racing.
To kick us off, I’ve started with a couple of simple combo sessions that involve all three disciplines – swimming, cycling and running – and included a few tips for smooth transition work. Remember, the more you put these tips into practice, and practise good technique, the better your results will be.
These sessions help develop leg speed off the bike and are one of the most effective ways to simulate race transitions. Depending on the race distance you’re training for, you can slowly build up the ride and run distances of your brick sessions.
If you haven’t yet started to include brick sessions in your training, make the effort ahead of your next big race. You will reap the rewards on race day.

The fourth leg: Transition
One of the most neglected areas of triathlon is the transition, be it swim-to-bike or bike-to-run. Most triathletes spend the bulk of their training time focused on the three race disciplines: swimming, cycling and running. But the transition between each leg also requires specific training.
If you’re new to the sport, you need to get familiar with the two transition phases of a race. Each triathlon has two transitions: a swim-to-bike (T1) and a bike-to-run (T2).  If you have never been shown what to do in a transition, it can be a very daunting element of race day. Knowing what to do in transition sets you up for a good race right from the gun, can improve your mid-race position in the field and can even save you minutes on your finishing time.
The following basic tips will help you perfect your race transitions:
Transition set-up
•    Your gear should be located on the right-hand side of your bike. Regardless of whether you rack your bike by its saddle or bars, always set your gear up to the right of your bike.
•    Line up your gear in the order you will be using it, with your bike shoes, runners and helmet on top.  Place your sunglasses inside your helmet, and always have your helmet unbuckled and with the straps out ready to wear.
•    If you haven’t already, invest in a pair of good quality elastic laces for your runners. Replace your normal laces with elastics and hey, presto – you’ll be in and out of transition in no time.
•    Dust the inside of your shoes with talcum powder. This will not only help you slide them on more easily, it will soak up any moisture on your feet.
Transition 1 (T1): Swim to bike
•    Coming out of the swim – stay calm! There’s nothing worse than not being able to get out of your wetsuit, fumbling around or dropping your helmet. You want a fast transition, but you also want it to go smoothly.
•    Don’t touch your bike until you have fastened your helmet.  It is illegal, and you could get disqualified.
•    Once your helmet is secured, pull on your bike shoes (if they aren’t already clipped onto your bike).
•    Un-rack your bike and run with it on your right-hand side, holding your seat with your right hand.
•    Your bike should be pre-set to an easy gear. Run your bike to the mount line and jump on. Remember, you can’t get on your bike until you pass the mount line. There are a number of ways to mount your bike and if you’re unsure of what to do, it’s worth joining a squad and having an experienced coach or athlete show you what to do. Once you master the fast transition mount, you need to practise.  
Transition 2 (T2): Bike to run
•    Slow down ready to dismount at the dismount line. Remember, you must have both feet on the ground before you reach the dismount line.
•    Keep your helmet fastened until your bike is racked back where you began the cycle leg.
•    Rack your bike and take off your helmet – do this first to avoid running out with it still on your head. Pull on your runners (if they’re not already on). If you don’t have elastic laces, get some ASAP!
•    If you’re wearing a hat on the run, don’t put it on in transition – just grab it and go. Put it on while you’re running and you’ll save yourself valuable time.
A good transition takes time to master, so use these tips and practise, practise, practise. You’ve trained hard and practised all the things you need for race day, so get out there and enjoy yourself – the swim, the ride, the run and most of all, the finish line.

article courtesy of  G. Nugent.