…… after a 1900m swim, it was time for Transition1 and the bike section of the race. Getting ready to get out of the water, feeling dizzy, thirsty and wet (funnily enough!), one of the race stewards helped me get out of the water, away from the slippery floor on the edge of the lake. Now it was time to feel great that the swim was done. Before you ask, YES I did enjoy it, in fact I loved it but in Triathlon you have to cycle after the swim and run after the bike section, so I feel good every time I finish one section as it takes me one step closer to the finishing line. In Triathlon, rather than think of the finishing line from the start, we need to think section per section. There are many things to consider and concentrate on:
End of swim – Starting to take off the wetsuit as you come out of the water and running towards Transition1 (T1), then taking the swimming hat and goggles off. When arriving at T1, where your bike and well prepared cycling gear is …. that’s another thing by the way…… the T1 prepared area! (a whole other story). Before the race start, I lay my towel neatly on the floor next to my bike to dry my feet after the swim, with the cycling shoes, a drink and an energy gel at the ready next to the towel. On the Tri-bars, my helmet, my sunglasses, cycling gloves (as it’s a long race) and race belt again neatly set up for a fast transition. Water and energy gels already on the bike. I will go through T2 in Part III.
So, after running about 150m with my wetsuit down to my waist with goggles and swimming hat in one hand, I was at T1. Took my wetsuit off as fast as I could as explained on http://www.triathlonwetsuits.co.uk
“Get it off AND quickly
Getting your wetsuit off quickly is just as important as swimming in it. After all, there’s no point coming out of the water in front of everyone if they fly past you as you’re struggling to get out of your wetsuit. Reach behind you and grab the zip cord of your wetsuit as soon as you exit the swim. Then start to pull the zip open as you walk or run into transition. If you can, get the suit open, and both arms out, so you enter transition with the wetsuit pulled to your waist. Don’t forget that it’s the layer of water inside the wetsuit which makes it easier to take off. The longer you take, the more of that water will have drained out and the trickier you’ll find it to get out of the wetsuit. Once you’re standing by your bike, pull the suit to your knees before stepping out of one leg. Then use that free leg to stand on the wetsuit, so you can pull your second leg free. You’ve done it! “
then dried my feet at the same time as putting my race belt and helmet on (takes practice!). Once cycling shoes were on, I took the energy gel, folded my wetsuit into one of the race bags (part of the race rules) and was finally ready to go with my bike looking at me impatiently! Once I picked up my bike, I had to run about 50m to the mounting area holding my bike up as the gravel track to it was full of puddles and big stones. I certainly didn’t want a puncture right at the start of the bike section!
Now it was time to seat down! have a drink, and think about the next stage of the race, 90km of cycling through the beautiful New Forest.