Race Day Checklist

What are your pre-race rituals?  1-2 weeks before a major race I take my bike to the shop for adjustments and make sure its working flawlessly.  Tires are re-inspected the day before and with enough time to allow a visit to shop in case I need a spare tube or inflation cartridge.  I lay out all gear so that I can check it against the list before packing it away.  I also mix up my water bottles with energy drink the night before.  I set the coffee maker and microwave my favorite breakfast–McCann’s Steel Cut Oats with a little maple syrup and almonds.  The checklist and other tips are below.  I’ve also posted the the checklist as a text file for easy printing.  Happy racing!

Remember, nothing new on race day.  Do not give into temptation.  Nothing means no new foods, no new gear, no new routines, no changes. 

I recommend getting your stuff together a few days before race day so that if you’re low on something you have time to pick it up at the store. 

Be sure to be drinking lots of fluids 2 – 3 days before the race.

Remember that it’s the meal 2 nights before, not the night before that makes the biggest difference, and the same goes for a good night’s sleep.

OK, onto the gear.

General Transition Area

* body lube
* towel
* safety pins (always nice to have extras in case folks forget theirs)
* race belt
* first aid supplies, band-aids, tylenol
* trash bags or bike cover
* electrical tape
* cleaning supplies, chain oil
* cash
* photo id, copy of health insurance card
* backpack
* USA Triathlon license
* big permanent magic marker


* swimsuit (or tri-shorts)
* swimcap (likely to be provided by race organizers, but good to have an extra.)
* goggles (clear and dark)
* wetsuit
* lube – (ultraglide or PAM)
* disposable footwear (in case you have to walk to the swim start)
* disposable t-shirt
* disposable bottle with electrolyte drink


Check your bike at least a week before the race.  On the night before the race, inspect the tires carefully for any foreign objects that you may have picked up on the road.  Make sure that the bike is in near perfect mechanical condition.  You don’t want all that training you’ve done to fail because of an avoidable mechanical problem.

* bike
* helmet
* sunglasses
* gloves
* cycling shoes
* socks
* cycling computer/heart rate monitor
* waterbottles, hydration system
* pump, or CO2 inflation system
* 2 spare inner tubes
* tire levers/mini tool
* energy gels


* sneakers
* mesh hat/visor
* race belt
* speed laces/lace locks
* orthotics
* disposable waterbottle

* water
* electrolyte drink
* energy gels
* solid food/fruits
* gelflasks/holsters
* water bottles

Post Event
* post race clothes
* sandals/flip flops
* mesh gear bag (for wet things)
* recovery drink/bars
* disposable camera
* pen and paper
* insect repellent
* towel
* saline solution (for contact lens wearers)
* post race treat/reward (chocolate covered pretzels are one of my favorites–salty, sweet and well earned.)

Adapted from a Team in Training http://www.teamintraining.org handout.

Download triRaceDayChecklist.txt

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