Mastering the Transition

Mastering the Transition

Kate Bevilaqua
MetaSport Coach

Professional Triathlete
Ultraman World Champion 2016
3 x Ironman and Ultraman Champion

When training for a triathlon, there is a lot more to consider than just swim, bike, run. One of the areas quite often neglected is the “transition” – switching from one discipline to the next. Just like anything, there should be regular practice incorporated into your training routine for a less stressful and faster race day!

There are two transitions in triathlon – Swim to Bike (Called T1) and Bike to Run (Called T2). These are an important part of the triathlon event where crucial time can be gained or lost.

T1: Swim-To-Bike Transition

After the swim, you will exit the water and make your way to the Transition area and T1. This is where your bike will be racked. 

Here you will remove your swim cap and goggles;

Take off your swimskin (if you are wearing one!);

Put on your bike shoes and helmet;

Take your bike off the rack and run or walk to the mount line.

You can only get on your bike and start riding once you have passed the mount line (you will receive a penalty if you get on your bike any earlier!).

Things to consider for T1

Make sure you familiarise yourself with the swim exit and run/walk to your bike before the race So you know which rack has your bike on it and how to navigate your way there, knowing that there will be hundreds of other bikes in the same area. As you make your way to the transition from the swim exit you can remove your cap and goggles.

At your bike, you can then put on your helmet, bib number, and shoes (unless you have practiced with them already clipped into your pedals) and any other equipment you need (sunglasses, nutrition, etc.).

T2: Swim-To-Bike Transition

Once you have completed the bike course, you will go through the second transition – T2. You must get off your bike and rack it in the transition area (before taking your helmet off), and this is where you will swap your cycling gear for your running gear.

Things to consider for T2

As you approach the end of the bike, there will be a dismount. You must slow down and get off your bike prior to this line (otherwise you will receive a penalty). If you are using cleats and have already practiced getting your feet out of your bike shoes prior to the dismount line, this will also save you time.

Your bike needs to be returned to exactly the same place you took it from during T1, and this should be where all your run gear is located (unless bagged).

It is important to note that you must not remove your helmet until your bike is racked! 

Once your bike is racked, you can unclip your helmet and place it on the ground, then change into your running shoes. Grab any nutrition, hydration, and additional equipment you might need (hat, sunglasses).


Arrive at transition early. Check what time it opens and closes so you know when you can get in and when you must leave. Give yourself enough time to set up your space, and have another check over the swim entry, bike exit and entry, and run exit. Most importantly – READ THE ATHLETE’S GUIDE: TRIATHLON & DUATHLON

Especially if you are doing the T100 Race. Every event is unique and it is YOUR responsibility to know the Do’s and Dont’s of the events you are taking part in. 

Being organised means less stress, then you can have fun doing what you enjoy the most – Swim, Bike, Run! 


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