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Sports NotebookSports Notebook: Tricky transitions

Sports Notebook: Tricky transitions

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What’s the trickiest part of competing in a triathlon, the actual swimming, biking and running, or the transitions between the first two event?

Participants might agree it’s the transitions, and the many technical aspects that are included in the change overs.

In the official breakdown of times for triathlons, transition times are included between the initial swim and bike, then the bike and run.

Triathletes include detailed transition practices during their workouts in order not to have any big time-costly foul ups.


“You have to pay attention to every component of the transitions because so many things can go wrong,” said Madison High School freshman Lydia Mikhin, who competes in triathlons. “Every second matters and seconds can be lost.”

When the biking portion is complete, bikes, helmets and gloves have to be first racked in an assigned location, not just dropped on the ground so the triathletes can immediately start running. After the swim, wetsuits, goggles, swim shoes and caps also have to be put in certain spots and baskets.

There are penalties for not putting the gear in the right places.

There is a proper way and order to disrobe from a wet suit, Mikhin explained.

“They can be hard to take those off,” she said.

Mikhin said those transition spots can by chaotic and crazy.

Maybe, then, it would be more entertaining to watch a triathlon’s transitions than the actual competition.

– Dave Facinoli


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