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Part 3: Triathlon tips and tricks for first-time competitors


In part 3 of this 4-part series, we’ll discuss a few tips and tricks relating to the second transition (T2) of the triathlon. As a personal trainer in London of all levels of athlete, I will help you to pay attention to little details in advance of your event so that you can focus on performing at your

Transition set up

One of the most important elements in enjoying a triathlon is to control the elements you can. By planning in advance you can focus on swimming, cycling and running your best, not fiddling and creating stress on the day.

While I focus on training London-based triathletes and runners to be stronger and fitter, part of this process is to make sure that the athlete’s mind is on performing their best on the task at hand.

On that note, here are a few tips to help you organize your transition area.

Map out the process of the day to help you organize your area, and then practice this layout in your training.

By being as detailed as possible you will ensure that nothing goes missing in your packing, and you can also visualize how the day will go in advance.

For example:

2:30pm – put on wetsuit (with body glide on back of neck, outside of wrists and ankles)

2:50pm – walk toward swim start, etc…

Make a checklist in advance: go through your different events, make a list of everything you will be using (review the requirements of the event), and check it off as you pack it.

To demonstrate why this is important, I went to a race last year, where the person next to me failed to bring a wetsuit to an open-water swim. This resulted in a last minute outlay of £200, plus the additional stress of having to locate a wetsuit as well as relying on your size being available.

Diagram how you will lay out your transition as you have practiced it, and then bring the diagram with you to emulate on the day.

What I think about when laying out the transition is to think about the order of activities, and then think about how I will put things on when I get there (i.e. as I run in a hat and don’t want to forget it on a hot day, put it on top of my trainers). Planning these little things in advance will make your life much easier, and your race much more enjoyable.<

Try the following additional things in practice, and if you like them, incorporate them into your transition set up:

a. Talcum powder in your cycling and running shoes: your feet are wet when you get out of the water, so having talcum in your cycle shoes will help absorb excess moisture;

b. Attach elastic bands to your cycle shoes: this will keep your shoes in an upright position, easier to step into when you get on the bike after leaving T1, and

c. Vaseline on the back heel of your running trainers: if you run barefoot in you trainers, this will save you from nasty little blisters.

I hope you find this information useful, and comments and questions would be greatly appreciated on my Facebook page

Stay tuned, part 4 on the way…
To learn more about healthy eating habits to achieve your fitness goals, contact James Staring, a leading personal trainer in Clapham, London.

About the author

James Staring is a certified fitness professional with experience training endurance runners, triathletes, low back pain sufferers, and weekend warriors of all ability levels.

James focuses on building the best version of you and inspiring you to new levels of fitness – regardless of your current ability or age. In particular James specialises in exercise after injury and helping those who are, perhaps, feeling a little less mobile than they used to.

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