Now I’m not sure whether this is a post I am qualified to write, seen as I have a bit of a reputation for forgetting (or almost forgetting) essential bits of kit to most races (like bike shoes). However, I don’t see a rule book for blogging anywhere so I’m just going to go ahead. This post is about what kit I think should be making an appearance in your kit bag for a triathlon race.
You won’t regret buying a trisuit, it saves valuable time in transition not having to put shorts and a t-shirt on.
Swimming is a clear and obvious part of the triathlon, and unless you plan on swimming with your head out of the water, goggles are a must.
In the UK it is compulsory to wear a wetsuit if the water temperature is less than 14 degrees, and many people would sensibly still wear one if the temperature was between 14 and 25 degrees.
4. Swim cap
These are usually given out at races so they have coloured caps by start time and wave number.
Regardless of whether you have a road, hybrid or mountain bike you’ll struggle towards the middle of the race if you don’t take your bike with you.
7. Bike Shoes
If you have clip-in pedals on your bike you’ll need to remember these shoes, otherwise you can just wear the same trainers you’ll run in for cycling.
Bare foot running is a thing, but why make the triathlon any harder than it needs to be? I strongly advise you remember your trainers.
9. Race Belt
Safety pins will do, and are often given out in the race pack along with your race number , however I’d recommend buying a race belt, they are really good value for money when you can keep using them every race and not ruin your beautiful trisuit by poking safety pin holes in it.
10. Race Number
Usually given on the day (or the day before) at registration for the event. If you get your race number by post (which some races do) DO NOT FORGET IT.
You may need to take a conformation email along with you to race registration.
12. BTF membership card, or £5
If you don’t have a BTF (British Triathlon Federation) license, you will be required to buy a day pass (only £5) on the day of your race to cover the insurance.
You’ll regret not taking any.
14. Recovery food
I will do a second blog on my opinions on pre/during/post race fuel, however now I will say make sure to stick a banana and a snack bar in your bag!
Top Tips, and my essential extras:
1. Flip Flops
I always take flip flops with me so I can leave my bike shoes with my bike and my trainers in transition, so that when I walk down to the swim I don’t go barefoot and flip flops are easy for my fans to hang onto while I race.
2. Maintenance Kit
A small hand held pump and a spare inner tube are really smart things to carry on your bike so that if you do disastrously get a puncture, you are at least equipped to deal with it (I had a puncture during a race once and still finished because I had the kit to repair it).
A race watch or bike computer are by no means essential, however I find mine really useful to track my speed and times, to see if I am on target for how fast I want to complete the triathlon.
4. A Slave
The person to carry your food, warm clothes, extra drinks, hold the ‘GO YOU!’ banners and be your personal photographer.
5. Sunglasses and Suncream, or Hat, Gloves and Coat
Living in the UK the weather will probably require you to pack the latter, but make sure you think carefully about the weather, because you are likely to either be stood round in the boiling sun (and racing in it) so you don’t want to get burned, or stood round in the freezing cold (and racing in it) so you don’t want to get frostbite / hypothermia.
6. Pack the night before
Packing the night before is a good idea so you can sleep on it and have any nightmares about forgetting certain bits of kit and then prevent forgetting them by adding them to your race bag in the morning on race day.
I hope this post is useful for all levels of triathletes, and that I haven’t forgotten to mention any other vital pieces of kit. That’s all for now!