Triathlon Transition Tips for Faster T1 and T2 Times


If there is one golden rule when it comes to triathlon transition tips, it is to simplify everything! This is especially true in the T1 transition. The more steps in the process means the longer it will take. Your triathlon apparel can be especially problematic this way. Your triathlon wetsuit may keep you warm and buoyant while you’re swimming, but it can conversely cause you to overheat unless you take it off quickly after the swim. If you use a wetsuit during a wetsuit legal race, you need one that fits your body type perfectly, gives you flexibility and provides you with the right kind of protection..

In that spirit, extra apparel such as socks, shorts and shirts have little benefit versus what they cost you during transition time. Hydration is important, but you can tend to that when you are in the biking course or in the case of T2, on the running course. Your focus is to get to the next leg of the race as quickly as possible.

Know Where Your Tri Bike Is, Don’t Look for It

The first part of your T1 transition is actually getting on the tri bike, and you have to know where it is beforehand. In fact, you have to know where everything is—time spent looking for stuff is time wasted. Your shoes and sunglasses also should be ready to go and exactly where you need them to be.

One great way to keep track of your biking shoes and sunglasses is to attach them to your bike. Using rubber bands to attach your sunglasses to the handlebars is a great way to save time. When you change into your running shoes in T2, make sure that your running shoes are on the same side as your rack so you don’t have to go around your bike to get to them.

Above All, Practice Your Transitions

These bits of advice are great, but to really shave the seconds off of your transitions, you need to rehearse them repeatedly. When you do this, always keep in mind that you are looking for ways to save time, and you will be able to eliminate habits and arrangements that waste your precious time.

Of course, with practice, everything simply becomes faster. You will fumble less with changing your triathlon shoes, donning and removing your helmet and all the other necessary steps in your transitions. Training in transitions is just as important as training in the courses themselves, and the payoff will be immense.

Use the this Triathlon Supplies Check List to ensure you have everything you need at each race:


  • Anti Chafe (body glide, Tri Slide or similar–apply to neck, shins, forearms & other chafe prone areas, as well as to the exterior of wetsuit at the lower legs and arms for easier removal of wetsuit post swim)
  • Anti-Fog Solution
  • Ear Plugs
  • Goggles
  • Neoprene Cap
  • Nose Clip
  • Race Outfit (tri shorts/tank)
  • Spare Goggles?
  • Speed Swim Suit
  • Swim cap
  • Timing chip
  • Towel
  • Transition mat
  • Wetsuit


  • Bike
  • Aero Water Bottle Straw
  • Aero Water Bottle Elastic
  • Bar-end Plugs?
  • CO2 Accessories
  • CO2 Cartridge
  • Cycling Gloves
  • Cycling Shirt
  • Cycling Shoes
  • Cycling Shorts
  • Electrical Tape
  • Floor Pump
  • Headband
  • Helmet
  • Patch Kit
  • Race Wheels
  • Socks
  • Spare Tire
  • Spare Tube
  • Sunglasses
  • Tire Levers
  • Trainer
  • Valve Stem Extenders
  • Water Bottles
  • Wheel Stand
  • Wrench Set/Tools
  • Zip Ties
  • Energy gel
  • H20 or energy drink of choice


  • Elastic Laces
  • Energy Gel
  • Fuel Belt
  • Hat or Visor
  • Number Belt
  • Orthotics
  • Reflective Tape
  • Running Shirt
  • Running Shoes
  • Running Shorts
  • Socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Water or Gel Bottle to carry


  • Advil
  • Antibacterial hand wipes
  • Body Glide
  • Bucket
  • Camera
  • Chain Lube
  • Confirmation Letter/Email
  • Contact Lenses
  • Directions to Race
  • Energy Bars
  • Energy Drink
  • Energy Gels
  • Energy Pills
  • Flip Flops/Sandals
  • Garbage Bag
  • Head Light/Flash Light
  • Heart Rate Monitor
  • Rx Glasses
  • Post Race Clothing
  • Rain Gear
  • Singlet
  • Special Needs Bag
  • Sodium Pills
  • Stapler
  • Sports Bra
  • Towel
  • Tri-Shorts
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towel for Transition Area
  • Transition Bag
  • USAT Card
  • Vaseline
  • Wallet
  • Warm Clothing
  • Water
  • Wrist Watch
  • Sun Block
  • A great attitude
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________
  • ____________________







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