Taking off your wetsuit in a triathlon

When it comes to triathlon, there is no hanging around faffing with your wetsuit.

Those precious minutes you have earned from through months of swim training could easily be lost if you don't have a slick T1 transition.

Here are a few top tips to get you out of the rubber and onto the bike

  • Preparation is key: Take time to put your wetsuit on properly and lube up your ankles and wrists. Finding out your arm rotation is hindered 5 minutes in is not going to feel good. Lube can make it easier to get your suit off.
  • The aim is to get your wetsuit down to your waist as you move from exiting the water and into T1.

The aim is to get your suit down to your waist during the run from water to T1

  • As you get near your swim exit start visualising what you will do
  • As you come out of the water try and scoop some water down your neck by  pulling it open. This water will push through the suit and help ease it off.
  • Lift your goggles onto your head (if you take them off you will only have 1 hand to use on your suit)

Goggles onto the head as soon as you exit helps see your way

  • Open your zip, making sure the velcro is open
  • Take one arm out of your wetsuit at a time, moving from the shoulder first.
  • Push your suit down to your waist (you are still running at this point)
  • As you enter transition, find your spot and push your suit down as far as you can down your legs
  • Take your legs out, one at a time. Stand on the fabric of one whilst pulling the other out can help. Sit down if that is easier.

Standing on the legs to get them off

  • Store your wetsuit away in your spot and get your bike gear on

Most importantly PRACTISE, practise, practise. Time yourself, try different things. When it comes to triathlons, there is enough to think about on the day. Making sure you have slick transitions is a quick win.

Take if from someone who has desperately scanned the crown looking for a pair of scissors to cut herself out of her suit, don't wait till race day to realise you can't undo the zip without help!

Jude Palmer is an experienced wild swimmer, triathlete, swim runner and Open Water Swimming Coach, Trail Running Coach based in Surrey. She loves nothing more than sharing her love for adventure with others. Follow her on social media @RunSurreyHills

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