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Triathlon Transition Checklist

Triathlon Transition Checklist

Sofiia Garifulina

So, you’re doing a triathlon.

You start with swimming, then move to biking, and finish with running.

In between each of these activities, you have to quickly change your gear and get ready for the next part. That’s what transitions are all about!

Triathlon transitions are the periods during a race when you switch from one sport to another.

There are two transitions in a triathlon: T1 (transition from swim to bike) and T2 (transition from bike to run).

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Preparing for transitions pre-race is super important, and here’s why:


Smooth transitions mean less time wasted changing gears and more time moving forward in the race.


Being well-prepared helps you stay focused and efficient, so you don’t forget anything important.

Energy Conservation

By knowing exactly what you need and where it is, you conserve energy that you can use for the race itself.

Mental Focus

Being organized in transitions keeps your mind clear and focused on the race ahead.

Competitive Edge

Fast transitions can give you an edge over other racers and improve your overall performance.

So, by practicing and planning your transitions, you can be ready to tackle each stage of the triathlon smoothly and confidently!

Here’s a checklist to ensure you have everything you need for smooth transitions.

Triathlon Transition Checklist

Transition 1 (T1 – Swim to Bike) Checklist

  1. Wetsuit (if applicable)Decide whether you will keep your wetsuit on or change into tri suit before heading to the bike.
  2. Swim Cap and GogglesRemove your swim cap and goggles and place them in your transition area.
  3. TowelUse a small towel to dry off your feet and wipe away excess water.
  4. HelmetPut on your bike helmet.
  5. Cycling ShoesPlace your cycling shoes near your bike with the straps open or pre-clipped to your pedals (if allowed).
  6. SunglassesPut on your sunglasses to protect your eyes during the bike leg.
  7. Race BeltAttach your race number to a race belt or your cycling jersey. Take a patch kit if needed.
  8. NutritionGrab any nutrition (energy gels, bars, etc.) you’ll need for the bike leg.
  9. BikeRemove your bike from the rack and head out of the transition area.Triathlon Transition Checklist

Transition 2 (T2 – Bike to Run) Checklist

  1. BikeReturn your bike to the rack and ensure it’s securely placed.
  2. HelmetUnclip your helmet and place it on your bike or in your transition area.
  3. Running ShoesSwitch from cycling shoes to running shoes.
  4. Hat/VisorGrab your hat or visor for sun protection.
  5. NutritionTake any additional nutrition needed for the run.
  6. Race BeltTransfer your race number from your cycling jersey to your race belt or running attire.
  7. SunscreenApply sunscreen if necessary for the run leg.
  8. HydrationConsider taking a quick sip of water or a sports drink before heading out on the run.
  9. OptionalCarry a small towel or cloth to wipe off sweat during the run.

Triathlon Transition Checklist

General Tips for Smooth and Fast Triathlon Transitions

  • Pack your transition bag the day before the race.
  • Lay out your transition area logically to minimize confusion during the race.
  • Practice your transitions before race day to streamline your movements.
  • Keep your transition area neat and organized to avoid wasting time searching for gear.
  • Visualize your transitions beforehand to mentally prepare for each step.
  • Follow the rules and guidelines provided by race officials regarding equipment placement and transition protocols.

These simple tips will help you be better equipped to navigate the triathlon course efficiently and focus on your performance.

Good luck!


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