July 28, 2008

Lessons Learned in T1

Volunteering at Ironman Lake Placid was an experience I will never forget. When the first athlete to finish the swim, Pro Francisco Pontano, came into the men's transition tent it was a lesson in speed and what to do right during transition. He was in and out in what seemed like 40 seconds. (Of course his T1 time was recorded as over 3 minutes because it starts somehwere between exiting the water and getting out on the bike). But the actual time he spent getting ready was incredible. I know that I tend to linger in transition especially in my two Ironman races. My thought process is that it's a long day so I might as well take my time. Of course there is no money on the line either so that might be a reason for staying longer.

What I learned from Francisco is that I need to go through my transition in mind prior to the race and envision what I am going to do. I need to only do what I need to do. Keep it simple. I also need to improve on some of my functions. For instance, one example of this is that I tend to put my race top on in T1. Since my body is wet, it tends to get stuck on my shoulders. The answer to this is to either put it on under the wetsuit or use one that has a full zipper down the front. That way I can just stick my arms in with less friction. It can also be helpful to write down what you are going to do in T1 and then follow through on race day. Don't drift from your designated plan.

If you use visualization before entering T1, I think it can really save you minutes on your overall race time. I am going to practice this in my next race. Whenever that is.

No comments: