Race Day - Triathlon Transition 1 (T1), Swim to Bike

The first transition at a triathlon can be an interesting one for the first-timers.  This is the longer of the two transitions for every triathlete, so don’t fret if you feel like you are taking alot of time.  For many triathletes, the 1st transition (T1) takes twice as long as the second one does.  Plus, if you are anything like a normal athlete, you might be winded or even dizzy coming out of the water.  Here are a few of the things to keep in mind for T1 basic.

  • Think about your transition ahead of time, as soon as you get to the race and setup your spot.  Look to figure out where you will exit the water, where you will need to run, and how you will find your spot.  Visualiztion works!
  • Walk/jog up the beach/grass/pavement andover the time carpet and begin unzipping your wet-suit.

  • If the terrain is rocky you will look for your slip-on shoes for your jog up to the transition. If you can’t find them, waste no time, suck it up and head up to the transition without them.

  • If you can’t get the wetsuit off becuase you can’t reach the strap, ask a spectator or official to lend a hand. They will!

  • You may feel a bit disoriented. That’s OK! Keep going! Find your bike.

  • Look for the brightly colored item that you tied onto your bike.

  • Take off your goggles and cap and place them on your towel.

  • DO NOT GO INTO THE RESTROOM TO CHANGE; Do not put on underwear; Put your gear on over your suit. This advice is good for any triathlon shorter than an IronMan Distance Triathlon. If you were in an IronMan, you’d go into a changing facility.

  • Put on your t-shirt/tank top with your bib number on it. OR you can ditch the shirt and use just your bike shorts (with your number on it)

  • Rinse off your feet in the bucket.

  • Put on your socks and clip-in cycling shoes or running sneakers.

  • Put on your helmet.

  • Put on your sun glasses.

  • Make sure that your water bottle is on your bike.

  • Walk/Jog your bike to the bike starting point.
    Do not ride it in the transition area or you will be disqualified.

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!