Triathlon Race Day Checklist

Triathlon Race Day Checklist

There’s a lot to keep track of on race day, and having a list can make the logistics much less stressful. Coach Dave Schell of FBD Multisport helped us compile a comprehensive, printable checklist.

There’s a lot to keep track of on race day, and having a list can make the logistics much less stressful. We asked triathlon coach Dave Schell of FBD Multisport to help us put together a comprehensive race day checklist. Print it out, check things off, and arrive at the start line calm, confident, and ready to focus on just one thing – racing your best.

Go to the printable pdf, or read on.

Race Goals

You should have goals for every race you do, even training races. Write down the 2-3 things you would like to accomplish or learn today.

Things To Bring

  • Swim
    • Tri shorts, swimsuit, or tri suit
    • 2 sets of goggles (i.e., one tinted and one normal)
    • Bright-colored towel
    • Wetsuit
  • Bike
    • Bike
    • Helmet
    • Cycling shoes and socks (if wearing)
    • Sunglasses
    • Water bottle(s)
    • Nutrition 
    • Tool Kit: tube, CO2, levers, multi-tool
    • Floor pump (pump up your tires before you leave home but leave the pump in your car just in case)
  • Run
    • Running shoes (2 pairs if you have a late start time. One to leave in transition and one to warm up in)
    • Race belt
    • Hat/visor
  • Other
    • Training device (Garmin, Timex, etc.) & heart rate strap
    • Body Glide
    • Sunscreen
    • Vaseline, powder, band-aids
    • Blunt nose scissors for sticker origami
    • Post-race, warm change of clothes
    • Post-race recovery drink/snack with a 4:1 ratio of carbs vs. protein

Race Day To-Do’s

  • Wake up early and eat 3-4 hours before your start time. Eat only familiar, easily-digestible foods (example: banana and a bagel with jam).
  • Stop drinking fluids about 2 hours before your start time. Continue sipping as needed. Pee, pee, and then pee again (don’t worry, everybody pees in their wetsuit).
  • Get to the race early to secure a good spot in transition. Ideally, this is a spot on the end of the rack close to the bike in/out.
    • Make a mental note of landmarks to help you easily find your rack.
    • Use a bright-colored towel so your area stands out…and be courteous. NO BEACH TOWELS!
    • Leave the balloons at home – you will not make any friends if your balloon is tangled around someone else’s bike.
  • Organize your gear in the order you will use it – run through transitions in your mind.
  • Complete a good 10-15 minute running warm-up about 45 minutes before start time.
  • Put on your wetsuit and hop in the water for a good swim warm-up 15-20 minutes before your start time. Be on the line 5-10 minutes before the gun.
  • Remember that this is why you put in all those training hours. Believe in your training, do your best – and have fun!

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.” -William Barclay

Dave Schell

Dave Schell focuses on coaching mountain biking, gravel cycling, and running. A husband, father of two, and busy professional, Dave knows what it takes to maximize performance on limited time. As the former director of Education at TrainingPeaks, Dave has a thorough knowledge of the platform, and a proven track record of success with first-timers, world cup qualifiers, elite and age group podiums, and weekend warriors.