Raceday Checklist

The following is a pretty complete list of what you need to have ready to go on race day morning.

Start out with:

  • Pre-race clothes, layers, something you can warm up in and peel off to go racing
  • Race shorts, top (jersey or singlet) or one piece suit
  • Sunscreen, especially applied to the neck, shoulders and back that are exposed all day
  • Breakfast, something tried and true, that your tummy likes and is used to

For the Swim:

  • Goggles, two pair
  •       One clear pair for those foggy mornings
  •       One smoked or tinted for the sunny days
  •       If one of these breaks, you can always use the other
  • Wetsuit
  • Body Glide
  • Swim caps
  •       The official race cap
  •       A neoprene cap for really cold water, or a silicone one for not so cold days
  • Watch or Heart Rate Monitor and strap
  •       Note1: Your HR is not accurately measured while you swim; the water and wetsuit creating a barrier for the signal to reach your wrist.
  •       Note2: Some watches need to be restarted in T2 if they lose the heart rate signal, which is kind of annoying
  • Timing chip and strap

For the Bike:

  • Bicycle
  • Race Wheels
  •       Pumped up to 110-120 pounds for heavier riders, 100-110 for lighter riders
  •       We used to pump them to 130-140 pounds, thinking harder is faster, but 120 is hard enough, while still offering some degree of comfort on the ride, not bouncing up and down on rough roads
  • Cycling Shoes, preferably a tri-specific shoe, to offer ease of entry and exit
  • Helmet
  •       The aero helmet debate will rage on, so I suggest you only buy one of these if:
  •             You are a podium placing athlete or heading there
  •             You have designs on an Ironman Hawaii slot, with a realistic chance
  •             You’ve got several hundred dollars just burning a hole in your pocket
  •             Otherwise spend the money on a swim video analysis, Masters coached workouts, bike fit, running gait analysis, etc., which will pay bigger dividends in the long run
  • Water bottles
  • Aero water bottle delivery system for the front of the bike (for longer distance races)
  • CO2 cartridges (2) and filler or pump
  • Spare tube (2 for long distance races) or spare tire (for tubular users)
  • Patch kit (and the knowledge of how to patch a punctured tube)
  • Tire irons
  • Sunglasses
  • Race number affixed to jersey or attached to a race belt, if the races requires you to have it on the bike, else leave it for the run
  •       I personally hate the flapping noise behind me, and/or the chance of it falling off

For the Run:

  • Running shoes, with stretchy laces or lace locks
  • Socks (if you need them)
  •       Why not include these under the cycling shoes? So you can run out of T1 or into T2 barefoot, and it’s easier to put on after the bike, with dry feet
  • Hat/Visor
  • Race number belt

Other Equipment:

  • Transition towel
  •       Delineates your spot on the rack, and gives you a place to sit to change (if need be)
  • Chalk or something to mark your spot in transition
  •       I mark the ends of the rack and right in front of my towel (you’d be surprised how much easier that makes it to find)
  • Tape, to affix the race number to your bike so it doesn’t flap
  • Post-race clothing (which could be your pre-race clothing…)
  • Toilet paper (if you start in a late wave, the TP will be gone!)
  • Food and nutrition
  •       Electrolyte/Carbohydrate mix, for the bike
  •       Energy Bars/Gels, for the bike
  •       Gels, for the run
  •  Gel flask, optionally attached to the bike, or carried in your pocket on the run

Miscellaneous Items:

  • Post-race recovery drink or food
  • Post-race anti-inflammatory medicine, as needed
  • If you’re picking up your reg packet on race-day:
  •       Picture Id
  •       USAT membership card (if not purchasing a USAT one-day pass)
  •       Race confirmation email/document
  • Event directions, instructions, and course maps
  •       Note, all athletes are required to know the course beforehand, so that any issues with course markings or miss-direction given by best intending volunteers, does not get you disqualified for not completing the course as required
  • Money, for post-race food and beverages
  • Cellphone, with the caveat that the transition area is not the most secured area, so be careful with this, don’t flaunt your new $500 phone, or just don’t even bring it
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