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"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
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TRANSITIONS: From the Eye of the Rabbit

Triathlon is made up of a swim, a bike, a run, and getting through transition shouldn't be rocket science. Everything you need to bring to a triathlon should already be on your body or fit into a small cinch bag. These items should include: tri suit (to be worn in all disciplines), bike, bike helmet, cycling glasses, bike shoes, goggles, running shoes, race belt, copious amounts of Body Glide, wetsuit, and, only if it is a sunny day over 75 degrees, a running hat.

Under no circumstances should these items find their way into a transition area:

Socks: also known as time consumers, people can lose minutes trying to pry socks onto their wet, dirty feet while Body Glide on the feet and baby powder in the shoes does a better job preventing blisters and chafing.

Bucket: you should be in and out of transition in less time than it takes to sit down and get up.

Towels: you're going to be wet in the swim and sweaty during the land portion of a triathlon - there is no need for a towel just deal with the fact that you are going to be wet.

Different exercise outfits: you are not in a swimming, cycling, or running event; it's a triathlon therefore, you only need one race suit, not two or three.

Hair brushes, make up-products, etc. -- this isn't a fashion show; it's a triathlon. Who cares how you look? You will be covered in sweat, snot, and lake grime by the end any way.

The secret to a good transition is Body Glide ($7.98 for enough to last two seasons at Poulsbo Running), lots and lots of Body Glide. Before the race you should apply it to any body part that could chafe due to clothing (armpits, crotch, belly, etc.), all over arms and legs for easy wetsuit removal, every square inch of feet to prevent chafing and aid in putting on shoes.

Setting up transition should take less than two minutes. Rack your bike with cycling shoes already clipped into pedals and the back of the seat resting on the rack so you can pull it straight off. Then place cycling glasses in air vents in your helmet. Place the helmet with the inside up, with the straps unclipped and spread wide, on your handle bars. Set your running shoes (with their elastic easy laces $4.98 at Poulsbo Running all ready to go, no exceptions) next to your bike with your race belt open and set next to them.

Your transitions should go like this:

As you exit the swim and RUN into transition, pull off your cap and goggles and remove your wetsuit from your arms and torso. When you arrive at your transition finish pulling your wetsuit off it will slide off easily because of the Body Glide so sitting down is not necessary. Once the wetsuit is off, toss it casually away so it is not in your way, don't fold it, don't hang it up, don't care where it ends up, no one will steal it and you can pick it up later. Put your helmet on without touching your glasses, grab your bike and go. Start the bike ride with your feet on top of your cycling shoes until you have sufficient speed to put your feet in your shoes, then put your cycling glasses on.

Coming off the bike, give yourself ample distance to take your feet out of the shoes so you don't have to scramble to get them off at the dismount line. RUN into transition and rack your bike by putting the brake levers on the rack. Quickly remove your helmet and slip on your running shoes which don't need to be tied due to your Easy Laces which you got at Poulsbo Running for $4.98. Grab your race belt and start running, put the race belt on while running.

Transitioning, while it's not rocket science, does take some practice in order for it to go smoothly on race day. So make sure your first full speed transition is not on race day. Start practicing NOW.