Triathlon Checklist

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

Below are the key items needed to ensure a strong start to a triathlon of any distance. It is strongly recommended that you NEVER use or eat anything for the first time on race day. This includes everything from gear (wetsuit, sneakers, etc.) to nutrition and everything in between.

Each race is managed differently, so carefully review the Athlete Guide provided by the organizer for important rules, bulletins, start times and procedures.

Pre-Race Check

  • Review Athlete Guide (for transition open and close times; race heats, etc.)
  • Bike (tuned and operational)
  • Tire Pressure (properly inflated)
  • Numbered (with stickers from race packet)
  • Transition Area (know the location of swim in, bike in/out and run out; familiarize where your assigned area is within transition)

Race Packet

  • Race Number
  • Pins (if not using race belt)
  • Stickers or Decals (helmet number, bike number, wristband, and body numbers)
  • Timing Chip
  • Swim Cap
  • Athlete Guide
  • Course Map

Transition Setup

  • Gear Bag
  • Large Towel (for ground)
  • Water Bottle (to rinse off)
  • Small Towel (for drying)
  • Tire Pump


  • Swimsuit or Tri-Suit
  • Goggles
  • Defogger (or lens wipes)
  • Wetsuit
  • Body Glide
  • Plastic Bags (for feet to get into wetsuit)
  • Flip Flops or Socks (throwaways)


  • Bike
  • Bike Helmet
  • Gloves (if preferred)
  • Bike Shorts (if not wearing tri-suit)
  • Bike Shoes (if bike has clip-on pedals)
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Water Bottle(s)
  • Spare Tubes
  • Bike Pump or Inflator Cartridges
  • Tire Levers / Toolset


  • Run Shorts (if not wearing tri-suit)
  • Running Shoes
  • Socks
  • Hat (optional)
  • Sweatband (optional)
  • Water Bottle
  • Race belt (with number attached)


  • Pre-Race Snacks (fruit, bagel, rice cakes, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Water (calculate what is needed for the length of race)
  • Sports Drink(s)
  • Energy Bars / Gels (calculate what is needed for the length of race)
  • Salt Tablets


  • Watch
  • Heart Rate Monitor (optional)
  • Sunscreen
  • Plastic Bag (for the clothes/towels post-race)
  • Identification
  • Money (for post-race activities)

Aside from the checklist above, the most important element of any race is attitude and mindset. Visualize each facet of the race and envision yourself CRUSHING IT. Because you will. Race your race and enjoy every moment. The feeling you will get at the finish is uniquely special.

Have fun!