Archive for April 24th, 2009

All the Gear! (a race day checklist)

It is easy to think that triathlon is quite simple, you swim, bike & run, sounds basic. Whilst on race day if you have prepared correctly it can look basic, it actually requires a substantial amount of equipment, meticulous preparation & dedication to a structured training plan. What I am covering here is the gear (equipment) required on race day.

This may not be a comprehensive list as each individual has specific requirements & some of the equipment may not always be required at every race, but it should give you an idea of the gear required to compete in a triathlon. Whilst the list will be lengthy one of the keys to success in racing is keeping it simple, therefore the aim is to keep your racing equipment used during the race & left in transitions, as simple & user friendly as possible with little changing or hassle involved.

A good way to prepare for your race is to plan in advance & write a list of equipment you need to race, so on the day before the race you simply need to pack what is on the list & nothing should be forgotten. Keep the list as a document on your computer & update it after every race so it is ready for next race (it will not be a static list).

Race Essentials

  • Directions to Race & Race Instructions (ensure you have read the race instructions well in advance & that you are fully aware of the course, transition location & content (eg water or energy drink etc) & location of aid stations)
  • Race number & timing chip (if already issued to you)
  • Race Licence


  • You will need a large plastic container (around 20 – 25 litre capacity) or a large sports bag to carry everything.
  • A towel or mat to put down next to your bike to arrange your equipment & wipe your feet on after the swim (nb in some races eg Ironman or 70.3 your equipment will be in bags so therefore you will not be setting up your equipment next to your bike)
  • Pre race nutrition (you should have eaten 2 hours prior to race, to give the body time to digest your meal)
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Bike tools in the event any maintenance is required (last minute adjustments to bike set up are definitely not recommended)
  • Recovery food or drink (for post race)


  • A wetsuit, not always essential, depending on temperature of the water but advisable if permitted. You do not always have to buy one, you can hire or borrow. Whatever your method most important is to make sure the fit is perfect & the wetsuit is designed for swimming.
  • Goggles, swim cap (as a back up), neoprene swim cap (for cold water)
  • Swim suit (a tri suit is recommended to save changing for the bike & run)
  • Lubricant to help the wet suit slip off & to stop chaffing (body glide or body butter are good products to achieve this purpose)
  • Plastic shopping bag to help put the wetsuit on (place over your hands or feet)
  • Sports watch (even though most races provide electronic timing we are all obsessed with monitoring our own time)


  • Racing Bike (should be cleaned, degreased & lubricated, tyres checked for any embedded objects)
  • Helmet (aero), sunglasses (or clear glasses if no sun)
  • Number belt
  • Spare tyre (if on tubs), tube, co2 cartridges or pump (even if you think you will not repair a puncture & continue racing, think about how you will get back to transition if you do puncture, it can be a long time waiting for a support vehicle)
  • Track pump (if possible pump your tyres up at your car & leave pump in your car)
  • Bike Shoes (including rubber bands if you attach your shoes to your pedals), socks are an optional extra
  • Water Bottles & any nutrition for the bike (eg energy drink, gels or bars)
  • Bento box (usually only in long distance races to store bars & gels)
  • Talcum powder (also for your running shoes)
  • Bike clothes if not racing in a tri suit


  • Running shoes with elastic laces. Socks again an optional extra depending on distance
  • Talcum powder
  • Run clothes if again not racing in a tri suit
  • Running cap
  • Nutrition required for run

Having a list you can rely on & check off when packing your gear should give you the confidence that nothing has been forgotten, so you can focus & concentrate your mind on the race ahead. Most of all you should sleep easy knowing that everything is packed.

“If you are comfortable with your training regime then you should be concerned. You can only make the big gains by being out of your comfort zone.”
- Me

Events Calendar

April 2009

useful links