Training for an event starts months before you toe the line. Preparation, hard work, focus – these are all things that get you to race day. The logistics of race day shouldn’t be any different, and preparation is important to ensure a smooth and successful race.

I start gathering my race items one-to-two weeks before the event. This is even more important for events that require travel. The last thing you want to do while you are supposed to be tapering and keeping your feet up, is to run around town searching for something last minute. It’s also important to allow enough time for shipping should you need to restock some of your favorite specialty supplies from online stores.
As I begin to plan my race day, I use the following checklist to help me stay focused on the things I need. It’s been tried and tested! Consider incorporating something similar into your pre-race strategy.
Triathlon Race Checklist:
Race: Swim

  1. wetsuit
  2. goggles
  3. back-up goggles
  4. back-up swim cap
  5. anti-chafe lube
  6. tri suit / race kit
  7. sports bra (if applicable)
  8. towel, the brighter the better (for transition)
Race: Bike

  1. bike
  2. helmet
  3. bike shoes
  4. changing top/bottoms? Make sure you have proper gear.
  5. bar-end plugs (if this applies to your bike, USAT rules)
  6. sun glasses
  7. bike nutrition
  8. socks (if applicable)
  9. water bottles
  10. flat kit (CO2 cartridge and dispenser, or pump, extra tube, levers)
  11. floor pump (if you are racing with friends, you can coordinate who brings this) for athletes using a disc wheel, make sure you have your “crack pipe” adapter. You just might make some new friends with it!
  12. extra water bottle with water in T1 to rinse your feet off before putting on bike shoes if you get out of the swim and have to run through sand or other dirt/grit.

Race: Run

  1. run shoes
  2. changing top/bottoms? Make sure you have proper gear.
  3. baby powder (optional, used to help running shoes go on easier)
  4. hat or visor
  5. run nutrition
  6. water bottle (for transition area or to take on the run)
  7. fuel belt (if applicable)
  8. include a race number belt for a speedy T2.
Race: Misc.
  1. multi-tool for bike
  2. extra pair of shoes for walking around after transition closes
  3. black electric tape (optional, but good for sticking race numbers to bike frames)
  4. swimsuit for day-before swim
  5. warm clothes for race morning
  6. clean clothes for post-race
  7. sunscreen
  8. watch/bike computer
  9. heart rate monitor and strap (if applicable)
  10. race wheels (optional)
  11. head lamp (for dark mornings)
  12. USAT membership card or print-out
  13. garbage bag (good for covering transition items if it is raining)
  14. directions to race location
  15. transition bag
  16. wet wipes to freshen up after the finish
  17. flip flops (the more comfortable the better)
  18. extra gels, chewies, etc. in case there is a race delay and I need to top off my glycogen stores.
  19. scissors are great for trimming timing chip straps. (I usually make a few friends in pre-race transition with those scissors.)
Race day brings a fair amount of butterflies and nerves. Making sure you have all the items you will need is one way to tame at least some of those pre-race jitters.

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