If you've ever attempted or finished a triathlon you know how complex its logistics can be. Being a sport made of three different sports (swim, bike and run), the sheer amount of gear that you need to remember on race day can feel overwhelming. Forgetting even one small item can make the difference between success and failure.
That's why I've made a checklist to help you remember every single one of those things. It's tailored towards any Triathlon distance: super sprint, sprint, Olympic, 70.3, ironman, long, half, full, etc. Depending on the distance, some items may be of less value (I'll let you be the judge of that).
I tried to include as many items as reasonably possible so don't worry if some of these are unfamiliar to you. If you don't know what they are, you likely won't need them. In any case, I'm keeping a short explanation so you can judge by yourself.
At the end of this article, you will also find a downloadable list in pdf that you can keep handy on your phone or print out and keep in your wallet.
- Wet Suit: You may not need this if the water temperature is too high. It's always best to err on the side of caution
- Swim Cap: That's often, though not always, provided by the race officials. Bring an extra one for added warmth.
- Goggles: Because swimming without them is a bit uncomfortable.
- Spare Goggles: You never know when they brake.
- Earplugs: If you feel dizzy after an open water swim, these might help!
- Tri suit: Alternatively, a swimsuit is fine.
- Wetsuit lube: It will minimise chafing and help take off your wetsuit after
- Bike: Forgetting this one at home would be odd, wouldn't it?
- Race wheels: Just in case you've got extra racing wheels and forgot to swap them.
- Energy Drinks: And/or energy gels
- Water bottles: Or whatever you're going to use for your hydration strategy
- Cycling gloves: They'll protect your hands
- Shorts and jersey: If you're not the tri-suit type.
- Nutrition: Mostly needed for the longer distances and depending on personal preference.
- Helmet: You won't be allowed to race without
- Sunglasses: Definitely bring them if it's sunny or if you want to avoid insects from splashing into your eyes!
- Cycling Shoes: If you have clipless pedals - otherwise you'll be using your running shoes.
- Floor pump: To check tyre pressure on race day - you could probably borrow this.
- Spare tubes: At least two is recommended.
- Spare tyre: If you use tubular or just like carrying literally everything on your bike.
- Tyre levers: To make sure you can change that flat tyre.
- Mini-pump: To inflate the tyres if you pinch one.
- CO2 cartridges: If you want to inflate tyres faster
- Multi-tool: Just in case you need to adjust something on your bike.
- Running Shoes: Most races forbid barefoot running, so you know.
- Hat: or visor or nothing.
- Race belt: It makes holding the race number easy.
- Socks: Unless you run without.
- Shorts and singlet: If you like to change during transitions
Other gear 🎒
- Race Number: How many race numbers you'll have will depend on the actual race
- Timing chip: Unless you're actually just doing the triathlon "for fun"
- Triathlon watch: Because if it's not on Strava it didn't happen
- Sunscreen: Especially if you're from Britain, Ireland or one of those places that don't get a lot of sun during the year
- Transition bags: These you'll typically need on Ironman or half distance triathlons
- Flashlight: Unless if you know that sunrise is before transition opens
- Triathlon license: Some races will let you buy one on the day
- Toilet Paper: It's surprisingly scarce at Triathlon events
- Towel: To dry your feet in transition
- Baby powder: It'll help put on those shoes
- Safety pins: If you don't do race belts
- Parking permit: If you've been provided one
- Money: In case there's anything you need to buy on race day
- A positive mind: But don't try anything new on race day
- Post race clothing: Because the tri life continues after a triathlon
Advanced gear 💪
- Cycling Computer: When a Triathlon watch is not enough
- Duct tape: If you like to tape energy gels to your bike frame
- Cable ties: People use them to fix an extra bottle cage between the aero bars or behind the seat post
- Valve extender: If you have deep carbon wheels, you definitely need these
- Salt tablets: It's scientifically proven that you don't need these on short races
- Heart rate monitor: Don't start too fast
- Elastic bands: If you're the flying mount type
Downloadable Triathlon Checklist ⬇️
Who knows whether you'll have an internet connection on race day! Maybe you'll forget your phone. That's why I've made a printable and downloadable triathlon checklist. It will look nice on your phone and you can print it, too.
You can see a preview below (click here to open the triathlon checklist as pdf).
That was quite a list! If you're seeing this on race day, best of luck from me! I hope I somehow helped you save your list. If you think I should add something to the list, please let me know!