Okay, it's official. I just lost my age group at the Door County (Wisconsin) Sprint Triathlon this last weekend IN TRANSITION.
Side note: I'm not used to placing in my age group. I was not a competitive athlete as a kid. It's been happening this year for reasons I don't understand (lots of training, perhaps), and until this last weekend, I didn't care that much. Until...
I LOST FIRST PLACE (and second, third, fourth, and fifth) in FREAKING TRANSITION!!!!!
I pulled the final results into Excel and "did the math" and I actually had the fastest swim-bike-run time of all 30-34 women, but I completely blew T1. The race was really close, and the first 7 women of my age group were separated by 40 seconds.
Indeed, I could have easily shaved the 39 seconds separating me from first place off my swim time, but I lost 1:24 to the winner in T1. Really.
Can anyone help me with the following:
1) Not feeling like a complete idiot
2) Getting better at T1
3) Transition clinics, anyone? Is this something the club would do??
What were your T1 and T2 times?? What was the average times in your age group for both?? If there is a huge difference, then it is more than fixable. Transitions are highly overlooked in our spot, until something opens your eyes to them. I believe that something has hit you. Drop me a line
T1: 2:59.4 (TERRIBLE)
Like I said, I'm totally psyched because I met my goals (20 mph on the bike and sub-8's on the run), but it's SAD to think... I actually COULD HAVE WON MY AGE GROUP.
Here's what hurts to look at... I'm Sanford... 6th place. I actually ranked #1 on the bike in my age group, and I have the fastest combined time on the exertion parts of the race.
SBR="swim-bike-run" and TX=total transition time.
SBR TX Total
Pettersson 1:26:02 0:02:38 1:28:40
Varness 1:25:28 0:03:36 1:29:04
Sirianni 1:26:23 0:02:42 1:29:05
Bretwisch 1:25:17 0:03:58 1:29:15
Werth 1:26:07 0:03:09 1:29:16
Sanford 1:25:11 0:04:08 1:29:19
Lawell 1:26:09 0:03:11 1:29:20
Mittag 1:26:14 0:03:45 1:30:00
Herlache 1:25:39 0:04:26 1:30:05
Weber 1:29:18 0:02:50 1:32:08
Dunbar 1:30:00 0:02:14 1:32:14
Whitfield 1:28:42 0:03:43 1:32:25
Well, some tips from recent swim to bike transition clinic, among other sources:
Coming out of the water, take off your cap and zip your suit partway down to save time.
Use a race belt.
Practice getting your wetsuit off pronto.
Have your socks in your bike shoes, and your sunglasses on your flipped over helmet.
Memorize the entrance and exit, and where your gear is on the blanket.
Hustle. You can rest on the bike if need be, then catch up later.
Practice makes perfect.
Skip the socks. If you must wear them, roll them down to the toes. That way you can roll them onto wet feet as opposed to pulling them on. Leaving your shoes clipped in at both T1 and T2 saves significant time, and takes only a little practice. Basically you are moving while getting in and out of your shoes instead of standing still. Last, as Ed said, make sure that your helmet is flipped upside down with the straps arranged so that all you have to do is buckle them once it is on your head. As for T2, use quicklaces such as Yanx (or just knotted elastic laces) on your running shoes, so that you can just pull them on and go.
Sadly... I did a lot of the things mentioned... Cap and goggles off while running. Helmet and sunglasses laid out. Socks rolled down to toes. Yanx.
Where I probably lost time:
Pulling on a shirt (to which my race number was pinned):
It was 63 degrees and very windy, and I thought I'd be more comfortable and able to go fast on the bike if I was not in danger of getting wind-chilled.
Putting on my shoes:
I am not skilled at the shoes-already-clipped-in mount, so I put my shoes on and ran to the mounting area. Falling in the transition area would have cost more time. :)
Getting out of my wetsuit:
I have never utlized a volunteer "peeler" before and I'm sure I was inefficient. She had to tell me what to do! But, in the end I think it was faster than trying to get out of it on my own.
What's the deal with race belts?
Race belts are the natural byproduct of wearing the same outfit all race. Swim with a tri outfit under your wetsuit, bike in it, run in it. The race belt has your race number on it so you don't have to pin it on. You click the race belt on either before the bike or run and voila you have your number. Putting the shirt on and getting your wetsuit off sound like where you lost time. You may want to go with a tri suit or tri top and shorts next time. That way you don't change. For the wetsuit, you'll want to practice peeling that thing off, including the stomp stomp at the end to get it down your legs, then hooking under your ankle with your thumb to get the first leg off. Another consideration is that T1 is actually a lot of running. Depending on the swim exit, transition, and bike start, faster runners can have an advantage (like in our training triathlons). It's worth it to sprint that and then rest on the bike. Not sure if that impacts you. You probably want to sit with a vet to have them talk you through some things. Good luck!
do a search on the fourm there are multiple threads on this and one has a link on how to do faster transitions.
and practice. All these "tips" and such are useless unless you actually take time to practice faster transitions.
also i have to disagree with race belts, if its wetsuit legal swims then pinning your number on under the wetsuit will always be faster than a race belt just one less thing to rembmer
also the wetsuit removal comes down to 1 thing, practice, there is no shortcut on getting a wetsuit off. This is of course assuming you have no previous injuries that do not allow full range of motion in your joints or such. but basically if you fairly flexible and have full range of motion and also average balance, it should take no longer than 7-10 seconds to get out of a full wetsuit tops.
Does anyone know if there will be a transition clinic somewhere like the one at Conte's last year where they had a pro come in and teach us how to transition fast? It was awesome and I dropped 2 mins off my transition times!