There's a lot of kit involved in triathlon. A lot of kit needed for training, and a lot of kit you need to remember to take with you on race day. We've put together a useful list of things you'll need, in the order that you'll need them.
Whether you are taking on a sprint distance or full Ironman for the first time, like the Wiggle Hoka Flyers team, you are going to need a lot of kit. It's very rare that the triathlon you'll be doing is just up the road from where you live, so that means packing your kit to take with you first, then re-packing it into transition areas.
Take the stress out of race day and transition setup by saving or screenshotting this list and taking it with you. Trust us, it's easy to forget something.
Triathlon Swim Packing List
- Pre-race nutrition
- Sports bra
- Tri suit
- Swim hat
- GPS/sport watch (optional)
- Chafe cream (optional)
Triathlon Bike Transition Packing List
- Transition towel (optional)
- Bike nutrition
- Race number
- Race belt
- Socks (optional)
- Cycling shoes
- Gloves (optional)
- Sunglasses (optional)
- Bike computer (optional)
- Repair kit - spare inner tubes, repair patch, tyre levers, pump or gas canisters, multi-tool (optional)
Triathlon Run Transition Packing List
- Run nutrition
- Socks (optional)
- Running shoes
- Cap or visor (optional)
- Race number
- Race belt
Other Things To Consider Packing / Getting Ready Pre-Race
- Bike check - clean, lubed and checked over bike - take it for a spin around the block before you leave it in transition
- Track pump - don't rely on others, get your tyres pumped to the optimum PSI on race day morning
- Chargers - be sure to charge your watch, bike computer, gear shift battery the night before.
- Route download - will the route be closed roads and well signposted, or are you better to download the route? Find out and get it sorted so you don't panic and get lost
- Bike computer mount - if you need a computer to follow a route or just want to keep track of your stats be sure to get your mount on your bike and in the right position
- ID - some races require this to check in before you get given race numbers or entry to transition
- Plastic bags - handy to put your kit in if they are not provided - this will help keep your stuff dry in the event of rain
- Speed/stretchy laces - on your run shoes, have you considered using stretchy laces to save time? They're especially helpful if it's cold and wet outside. Have you ever tried to tie your laces when your fingers have gone numb?
- Sun cream - even if it's due to be overcast, you'll be spending a long day outside
Tips For Transition From The Wiggle Hoka Flyers Team
Pauline's Top Tip: "There a so many bikes and so many rows of bikes when you head to transition out of the water, be sure to really make a mental note of where your bike is. Look at the who view of where your bike is racked. Look at buildings, trees, sign posts, landmarks - any little detail that you can pinpoint and head towards. Taking a photo when you rack your bike will also help with this."
Lisa's Top Tip: "I make sure my helmet the first thing I put on when I get to my bike. They don't let you out of transition without a helmet on but I have seen so many people running back having forgotten to put it on! The second thing I would suggest is putting lots of talcum powder in the socks that you are leaving in transition. There's nothing worse than trying to squeeze wet feet into dry socks and shoes and the getting blisters on the way round."
Geraint's Top Tip: "Really narrow down your essentials in advance. Taking extras or spares can give you choice but can cause confusion and prevent a quick change and turnaround. Know what you need and stick to it. It's also worth mentioning nutrition, if there's anything you want that won't be attached to your bike in advance, how is that best carried? I chop up energy bars in advance so they can go into a grab bag. With energy gels, I find it easier to put them into a small bottle which I can quickly shove into the back pocket of my jersey."
Gabs' Top Tip: "As soon as you start coming out of the water and into T1, peel off the top half of your wetsuit. Have a gel in tri suit ready to whip out and sip on the way to your bike and kit. By the time you get there, you've only got to get your legs out of your wetsuit which will save you time. Plus you'll have already boosted your energy and got rid of any salt water taste in your mouth."
Training vs Race Day
One key piece of advice for any type of event, is don't leave anything down to chance and don't try anything new on race day. If you've got yourself some new kit such as a new tri-suit for race day, test it out in training. You want to know that your kit fits you properly, functions as it should and doesn't cause any discomfort.
The same goes for your running shoes. It's common to have a few different pairs of running shoes for different run sessions, you might have a more cushioned pair for recovery runs, such as the Hoka Clifton, a stability pair for long slow runs, such as the Hoka Arahi, and switch to a carbon shoe for your tempo or interval runs, like the Hoka Carbon X3. Whatever preference you have, we have a huge selection of Hoka running shoe options right here at Wiggle.
It can be tempting to save a pair especially for race day, but it is important to wear these in during training. We recommend starting to wear your race day trainers 3 weeks before the big day having completed multiple short runs and at least one longer run in them. This will help your avoid niggles and know that they won't give you any grief on the big day.
We've mentioned above about packing your nutrition to take with you. Your gels and energy bars as well as any extra snacks should be tried and tested during your training too so that you don't get any suprise G.I issues on race day. Some athletes like to also try out the 'on-course' nutrition sponsor in advance, so that again if you need to top up your fuel whilst on the course, you know that the goods on offer also won't send you running to the toilet.
We'd also recommend practicing what you're going to eat for breakfast and thinking about whether you need to specifically take this breakfast with you, rather than trying to purchase it at your event destination, incase for whatever reason you can't get your hands on it. And just so you are fully prepared, be sure to eat a dinner the night before that you're also used to eating.
If this all sounds like news, check out our video below with Run Coach, High5 Ambassador and former Team GB Coach Nick Anderson - who talks through which foods will help you nail your training sessions and get to race day.