Are you ready for race day? It’s an exciting time, but also one that requires a lot of preparation and planning. From fuel to clothing to gear, the right triathlon gear checklist can make all the difference between ending the day of the race with success, or disappointment.
Depending on the type and distance of your race, you may need to adjust your triathlon gear list. But for beginners or those just getting into the sports of swimming, cycling and running, here’s a general checklist to get you started, and heading in the direction of personal success.
While the race is important, preparation is the key to success. Skip the stress of remembering what needs to be done and use this pre-event list as a guide that will help fuel your success:
ID: Some races require an ID at check-in. To be safe, make sure you have yours along.
Bug Spray: If you are racing in a rural location.
Sunscreen: If you will still be racing after about 10 AM, it is a good idea to apply some sunscreen, especially to your head and neck. Be sure it is waterproof so it doesn’t come off during the swim.
Second pair of socks: You never know if the first pair gets soaking wet.
Water and electrolyte drinks: For hydration before, during and after the race.
Energy bars or gels: for nutrition during the race.
Specialty foods (e.g. banana, nuts): for fueling up before and after the race.
Medications/inhalers: A crucial thing to pack that may be forgotten in the race day stress.
Watch: to keep track of your time more closely.
Two sets of goggles (i.e., one tinted and one normal)
Brightly-colored microfiber towel
Swimsuit/wetsuit: Look for one that is comfortable and does not chafe.
Anti fog solution for goggles
Swim cap: Prevents your hair from getting in the way.
Anti chafe cream or stick: The use of this product can be critical in longer races, but also helps your wetsuit come off easier if you apply it to your ankles before the swim.
Helmet: Make sure it fits properly and is approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Bike Tool Kit: E.g. spare tubes, tire levers, CO2 or mini pump, multi-tool.
Water bottles (for frame cage)/hydration pack
Sunglasses or clear eye protection
Bike tire pressure gauge
Butt’r or other anti-chafing cream
Bag attached under seat or mounted on top tube for tool kit.
Mirror for handlebar or helmet
Running shoes: Look for shoes that are lightweight and comfortable.
Compression shorts or tights: For extra support during the run.
Running Socks: Prevent blisters and keep your feet dry.
Hat or visor: To keep the sun out of your eyes.
Race belt: To hold your race bib and timing chip during the event.
Waist bag/phone pouch
Blister band aid
Anti Chafe Cream or Stick: The use of this product can be critical in longer races, but also helps your wetsuit come off easier if you apply it to your ankles before the swim.
Change of clothes: To stay comfortable after the race is over.
The O+ Biggi from Oxygen Plus: For post-race recovery to replenish your depleted oxygen levels, helping to reduce soreness and speed up recovery time.
Calorie/protein dense snacks
Water and electrolyte drinks
Wake up early, but make sure you have sufficient sleep. Eat 3-4 hours before your start time, and only eat familiar, easily-digestible foods.
Stop drinking fluids about 2 hours before your start time. Continue sipping as needed, especially on very hot days.
Get to the race early to secure a good spot in the transition stations.
Make a mental note of your position in transition to help you easily find your rack.
Use a brightly-colored towel, or any other way of signifying your gear, so your area stands out.
Organize your gear in the order you will use it, and run through transitions in your mind to ensure this will not be a stress factor during the race.
Complete a 10-15 minute running warm-up about 45 minutes before start time, and then proceed to put on your wetsuit and hop in the water for a brief swim warm-up 15-20 minutes before your start time. Be on the start line 5-10 minutes before the gun.
These are just some of the tips and items that you should consider when packing for a triathlon race day. To ensure you have everything you need, make sure to double check the official list of requirements from the race organizers. With the proper triathlon gear checklist and adequate preparation, you’ll be ready to make any day a day of success.