Race Day - Triathlon Transition 2 (T2), Bike to Run

Transition 2 is a fun time.  You are usually in a position where, even though you might be fatigued, you can “taste” the end of the race.  You know that all you need to do is run 3 miles (if it is a Sprint Tri) and anyone can gut out 3 miles!  You have done the swim and the bike — it should be a good feeling.

T2 should take less time than T1 did.  T1 is pretty involved, transitioning from a water sport to a land sport.  T2 is all about going from one land sport to another.  Many triathletes can do it in well under a minute, but just focus on doing it as fast as you can while paying attention to what you are doing.

  • Jog/walk your bike inside the transition area to your bike spot. Hold the front of the bike firmly to avoid a jack-knife (when the front wheel turns sharply left or right and you fall over the bike).
  • It is illegal to ride your bike inside the transition area.
  • If you were wearing clip-in cycling shoes, leave your shoes clipped into the bike and jog/walk barefoot to your spot.
  • Put your bike on the rack (in the correct slot).  If the racer next to you is still out on the bike course, take care to not infringe much on his/her transition spot.

If this sounds complicated, it is not.  Remember, practice makes perfect, so do a few Brick workouts in your training and try to simulate T2 as best you can.  You will soon find that it is a piece of cake.

  • DO NOT GO INTO THE RESTROOM TO CHANGE; Do not put on underwear.  This is all about getting into the bare minimum gear you need to go for a comfortable run.

  • The transition to running tends to be simpler than the swim-to-bike one.

    In some cases, especially for females, you might take your bike shorts off (but leave your swim suit on); Put your running gear on over your suit. You can also simply run in your swim suit if you want — watch out for chaffing though. This advice is good for any triathlon shorter than an IronMan Distance Triathlon. If you were competing in an IronMan, you’d go into a changing facility and to change.

  • For men, or women with tri shorts, you don’t need to do much.  Just leave your tri shorts and top on.  It is really pretty simple.  This is why we are such big fans of Tri Shorts (and this is our favorite pair on the market today).
  • Put on your running sneakers if you don’t already have them on.

  • Take off your helmet.  Keep your shades on if you use them.

  • Run/Jog out of the transition area

It really is as simple as that.  T2 should be a pretty quick event, but it still makes sense to practice it if you are able to.  Keep in mind that you don’t need to start the run super fast.  Give your legs time to get the feel of running – it will take a couple minutes.  Pretty soon, you will feel like you are on one of your training runs and you can get up to whatever pace you want to finish the race at.

And remember – when you are done with this leg, you are done with the race!!

Related Articles Recommended Resources:


Triathlon Swim : – Get the low-down on gear and read tips for training and events.

Triathlon Bike: – Learn how to structure bike workouts, find safety tips and read recommendations on great bike gear.

Triathlon Run : – Get the ultimate skinny on running sneakers, running gear, safety tips and much more.

There are Newbies Starting Triathlons Every Day. Today Just Happens to be YOUR Day!