Race Prep: The Day is Near, So Where is Your Gear? Part 1 of 2

author : Ontherun
comments : 5

I just completed my first Olympic tri ever this past weekend which happened to also be my first tri of the season. As I started to get ready for the race, I realized how disorganized I had become. So as a reminder to me and anyone else interested, I put put together a checklist of things to bring to a race and some often overlooked things to take care of days before the race.

Tapering

First (the obvious) is training. You should be ready with all the hard work you have done. Be sure to allow for a taper. “Tapering” is backing off your workouts for the purpose of letting your body heal and refresh itself. The more important the race, the more important the taper.

Equipment check

Your equipment check should start about the week before the race. Do you remember where your wet suit is? If you have been pool swimming for a while you may have lost track of it. Another item to look for at the beginning of the season is your helmet. Most people do not train with a helmet on a trainer, and if it has been a while since you have been outside, it may be hiding on you.

Make sure you go through your bike and clean it thoroughly. A good cleaning after every ride is a good idea. If you are like me, you ride it hard and put it away dirty. A good cleaning of the bike a week before the race allows you to look at all the components very carefully. It is never fun to show up to a race and find out your rear gear set is missing a bunch of teeth. If you are not mechanically inclined, you might consider a tune up. Hopefully your bike got one of those during the off season. Do not be afraid of picking up a bike maintenance book and learning what to look for when you are cleaning the bike. It is the most expensive piece of tri gear you own, and you should be taking care of it! Be sure to check for bar ends—if you do not, the official will.

Traveling

If you are traveling to the race, do you have a bike rack, or will your bike fit in the car? Flying brings its own set of issues. Do you have a bike box and can you take apart your bike and, more importantly, put it back together?

As race day approaches and you’re doing your previously mentioned taper, it’s a good time to get packing. I like to have all my race gear in separate bags two nights before the race. With the gear in separate bags, if I decide to go out for a ride, run or swim, I am not struggling to find equipment that is all mixed up together. This packing can and should be done even if you are driving to your race. There is nothing like forgetting a strap for your heart rate monitor like I did at my last race.

What gear to take is a different matter. I have a list that I have compiled from many I have seen. I will put the most important on the top of the list with explanations for the slightly more interesting items as I go.


Swim

 

      swimsuit or tri suit

          (wetsuits may not be allowed)

  ear plugs

 

 

      wetsuit

  nose plugs

 

 

      anti-fog solution 

  swim cap

 

 

      goggles

  spare set of goggles

 

 

      Bodyglide

          (or other approved wet suit lube)

 

 

 

Bike

 

      bike

  race wheels

 

 

      spare tires

  sunglasses

 

 

      bike pump or CO2 cartridges 

  tire levers

 

 

      cycling gloves 

  water bottles

 

 

      cycling shirt or jersey  

  tool set

 

 

      cycling shoes

  bike trainer

 

 

      helmet

 

 

 

*The bike trainer was added for the far-away triathlons where you may be spending a few days away from home before the race. It is nice to go for a ride on your bike, but not in extremely bad weather. As you may have figured, this is a very low priority for me.

 

Run

 

      shoes

  orthotics

 

 

      running shirt

  running shorts

 

 

      socks 

  number belt

 

 

      fuel belt

  hat or visor

 

 

      water bottle

 

 

 

Misc. Clothes

 

      sports bra  

  towel

 

 

      warm up clothes

  post race clothes

 

 

Misc. Items (in no particular order)

 

      Advil

  Champion Chip

 

 

      cash

  race number

 

 

      flasks for gels   

  electrical tape

 

 

      directions to/from race

  energy bars

 

 

      energy drinks

  energy gels

 

 

      heart rate monitor

  race number

 

 

      positive ID

         (needed at check in)

  sun block

 

 

      towel for transition

  USAT card (if applicable)

 

 

      water

  wrist watch

 

 

      confirmation letter

          (for check in)

  Large Ziploc bags

      (if it is raining before the race starts ).

 

 

The electrical tape is for generic quick repairs, but I have found it very useful for attaching your race number to the bike. The wire ties issued at check-in just do not seem to do the trick. It is also useful for taping gel packs to your bike if you are not using a flask to hold them in.

In my next article, I will outline some ideas for race check-in and transition prep.

 

Good luck!

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date: July 31, 2005

Author


Ontherun

Father of two, devoted husband, Clydesdale, hope to become just an age grouper someday. Competing in the 40-44 bracket this year. Have done a 1/2 Ironman tri, a marathon and a bunch of sprint and oly distance races. Member of BT since 12-1-03

Author

avatarOntherun

Father of two, devoted husband, Clydesdale, hope to become just an age grouper someday. Competing in the 40-44 bracket this year. Have done a 1/2 Ironman tri, a marathon and a bunch of sprint and oly distance races. Member of BT since 12-1-03

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