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.
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
For the Swim
- Tri shorts, swimsuit, or tri suit
- 2 sets of goggles (i.e., one tinted and one normal)
- Brightly-colored towel
For the Bike
- Cycling shoes and socks
- Water bottle(s)
- 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)
For the 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
- Training device (Garmin, Timex, etc.) and heart rate strap
- Body Glide
- Vaseline, powder, bandages
- Bluntnose scissors for sticker origami
- Warm change of clothes for after the race
- Post-race recovery drink/snack with a 4:1 ratio of carbs vs. protein
Race Day To-Dos
- Wake up early and eat 3-4 hours before your start time. Eat only familiar, easily-digestible foods.
- 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 brightly-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 start 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