Triathlon Tips #2 — T2 Bike to Run
In my last triathlon article I discussed T1, liberal use of lubricants, and a running bike mount, so naturally you’ll want to know how the fastest triathletes get off of the bike and head into T2 quickly. A running dismount is not that hard, but just like the running bike mount must be practiced to be executed safely while racing.
First, get your feet out of your shoes when you’ve got about a quarter mile before returning to the transition area. Reach down and unstrap your shoe, then push on the heal of the shoe and your foot should slide right out as long as you used enough lubricant. Place your foot on top of the shoe to pedal, keep your speed up, and regain your balance before trying for your other shoe.
Once both feet are out, keep pedaling with your feet on top of the shoes as you approach the transition area. There should be volunteers pointing out the dismount area, so slow down, but keep moving as you stand up on the pedals with one leg down. I recommend using your left leg to support yourself, this will keep everything safely away from the drive train and chain. Swing the leg in the up position (right leg recommended) over the seat and let it hang behind leg that is still supporting you weight on the down pedal. This may take some practice if you have poor balance on the bike, and some triathlon bikes are a little shaky riding like this, but you’ll get the hang of it, and trying it on the indoor trainer first is helpful. In the last few yards before the dismount line keep moving, but put your trailing leg on the ground, shifting the weight to that leg, then take your lead leg off the pedal and start running. This should carry you safely and quickly into the transition area to start T2.
Now that you have made it into T2, find your rack spot and rack your bike. Don’t forget to take off your helmet and place it safely in your bag or hanging from your handlebars. Slipping on your shoes should be a cinch if you are running without socks and put plenty of lube in and around your running shoes. Practice running without socks in your training and you’ll figure out just how much lube to use and where to place it to reduce blisters.
Next, grab anything else you like to run with and don’t forget your race number. I use a hydration belt for longer races with my number pinned on it, but for sprint triathlons I use a simple race number belt with a gel strapped on with electrical tape. I also like to run with a visor to keep the sun off of my face, but let the sweat evaporate from the top of my head.
Finally, don’t waste time standing by the rack putting a hat and race number on. Exit the transition area with your gear in your hands and put it on while you’re running. Coming out of T2 might feel a little weird off the bike, and most triathletes exhibit the «triathlon waddle», but keep a good cadence with short quick steps until you get the feel of your run back. Stretch out slowly and get into a good rhythm as you pace yourself to the finish line.
You are now a master of the transitions, so don’t just finish a triathlon; get out there and RACE a triathlon!
Joel Getty has been racing triathlons for almost 10 years and has qualified for the Age Group National Championships multiple times. He supports his love for triathlon by working full-time as an Optometrist in Central PA.He also loves to create his own Triathlon T-shirts and you can see all the designs he created at Triathlete T shirts .com You can also read more triathlon articles and tips on his Triathlon Blog.