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Everything You Need For Triathlon Race Day- An Equipment Checklist

Updated on January 27, 2012
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Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. A keen cyclist, runner, and obstacle racer, he ran his first ultra-marathon in 2016.

Don't let all the hard work in training go to waste through missing equipment

You've put in lots of hard work preparing for your race go to waste by having the wrong equipment or forgetting to put the essentials in your tri kitbag.

This list of race day essentials for triathlon will help you assess what kit you have, what you need for racing and what you don't need for race day as there's only so much stuff you can transport. This list covers Sprint, Olympic Distance and Ironman Triathlon events.

Suncream and Triathlon- when to slap it on

Triathletes spend so much time outside that skin protection becomes a concern throughout the summer months. It is therefore imperative to wear some form of sun protection throughout the course of an event

Options are

  1. Use an all day suncream that is water resistant before your event.
  2. if your event is an Ironman a re-application of suncream is a must at least at the start of the run phase as you will likely spend an exceptionally long amount of time in the sun.

Be prepared with the right equipment for your triathlon bike leg

Be prepared for your triathlon and have the right equipment for your swim.
Be prepared for your triathlon and have the right equipment for your swim. | Source

Essential Triathlon Swim Equipment

  • Wetsuit

If required for your race due to water temperature. If in doubt take your wetsuit with you and always make sure you're familiar with swimming in your wetsuit prior to your race

  • Race Outfit (One piece Tri-suit or Tri Top and Shorts)

Consider a one piece outfit or Tri-Vest and Shorts- Choose a specific pair of triathlon shorts to ensure padding around the groin for comfort during the cycle leg. However if you are competing at Ironman distance you will likely wish to change into a pair of heavier padded cycling specific shorts and therefore you could swim in a vest and swim shorts and switch shorts for the bike leg.

  • Goggles
  • Nose Clip and Air Plugs if required
  • Swim cap (and Neoprene Cap if water temperature will be an issue)
  • Microfibre Towel
  • Transition mat
  • Anti Chafing Cream

This is to be applied to areas prone to chaffing. Particularly the neck, lower legs and lower arms. Apply to the wetsuit on the outside of the lower legs and arms as well to ensure the wetsuit can slide off the body.

Swimming Kit you don't need on Triathlon race day

  • Anti Fog Goggle Fluid.

Treat your goggles with this before your race to save space in your kitbag

  • Spare goggles

If your goggles are going to break they'll likely do so during to swim leg and therefore there's nothing you can do about it! Otherwise there are often stalls and shops at events that can help you out with kit in the case of emergency.

Remember your bike! Triathlon equipment for the bike leg

The right equipment for a triathlon bike leg
The right equipment for a triathlon bike leg | Source

Well ventilated helmet for a cooler race day- Giro Aeon

Triathlon equipment required for the bike leg

  • Bike

Make sure it's in good working order before the day of the event. Ensuring all the gears work and are not worn, your chain is lubricated, your tyres have no rips and tears and ensure your brake pads have plenty of rubber to stop you when required.

  • Helmet

You cannot race without this. If it's going to be a very hot race consider a better ventilated road style helmet. If it's a short race and you're looking for extra speed consider and aero style helmet

  • Water Bottles pre-prepared with your chosen energy drink.
  • Cycling Gloves
  • Track Pump
  • Sunglasses

Protect your eyes from the sun and objects that could be kicked up from the road.

  • Spare Inner Tubes

If you have deep section Aero Wheels make sure that you have the right valve lengths- or fit some valve extenders so you have no need to worry during the race.

  • Tyre Levers
  • Multi Tool
  • Chain Breaker and Spare chainlink
  • Saddle Bag

Holds your spare tubes, tyre levers and tools safe and secure so you have access to them if and when required.

  • Mini Pump

While CO2 cartridges can inflate a tyre quicker you are limited to one single use and if you're rushing to repair a flat tyre mistakes happen!

  • Energy gels/ Energy Bars/ Chosen food source

If you're racing an Ironman/ Long distance event

  • Cycling Shorts or Jersey and Bib-Shorts

Cycling specific shorts offer increased comfort when compared to triathlon shorts however will take extra time in transition to change. Over the course of a long bike leg they can make a huge difference to cycling comfort which in turn can influence your concentration while riding and subsequently lead to a great bike time.

The right equipment for your triathlon run will get you here

The right equipment throughout the run will get you here.
The right equipment throughout the run will get you here. | Source

Triathlon equipment required for the run leg

  • Running shoes fitted with elastic laces or toggle system

Make sure they're running shoes you've worn in and any orthotics you might use are fitted in place.

  • Sunglasses
  • Hat if you choose
  • Water or energy drink Bottle to carry if your race is longer than a sprint triathlon
  • Number belt

Running stuff you might need for an Ironman/ Long Distance Tri

  • Running shorts
  • Running shirt
  • Socks

Good luck in your next event

Please feel free to leave feedback below if you feel we've left anything off the list.


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