Triathlon Checklist for Beginners

Chicago Triathlon 2014 night before gear prep
Not for Batavia – last year’s Chi Tri suit up #blueonblueonblue
Whether you’re a newbie or an old pro, a triathlon checklist is a must have! This is a basic triathlon checklist for beginners, so feel free to recommend additional suggestions! As I begin slowly gathering all my good’s for this weekend’s Batavia Triathlon, I’ve had this on my mind and I’m super OCD so I like to pack early & in separate bags so I know I’ve got all I need.

Bag #1 – SWIM: 

  • Wetsuit
  • Race-issued swim cap for your designated wave
  • Extra caps (if it’s COLD!)
  • Goggles ( at least 2 pairs)
  • Crappy sandals I can throw away… if possible
  • Quick Dry towel
  • Body glide for my wetsuit
  • Tri shorts
  • Tri tank
  • Swimming ankle bracelet

Bag #2 – BIKE: 

  • Bike – that has been pumped, prepped and checked!
  • Flat Tire Kit
  • Spare Tire
  • A second towel (rainy days = disgusting shoes, shirts, apparel)
  • A THIRD towel & extra water bottle to wipe & dry those feet before your ride
  • Several water bottles ( 1 filled with nuun, 1 with water – at least)
  • Helmet – with sticker for race day attached
  • Sunglasses
  • (Ballou Skies) cycling jersey packed with gu and some honey stinger wafer bars
  • bike shoes
  • Socks
  • Gu
  • Salt tabs (lifesaver during the half-ironman)
  • Sunscreen

Bag #3- RUN: 

  • Extra pair of socks ( if it’s raining, I need a refresh!)
  • Running shoes
  • Nuun / Headsweats visor
  • Extra hair ties
  • Gu
  • Salt tabs (in case my stomach hurts)
  • Race belt & number


  • Several packets of Gu (I like Vanilla) for both the run and bike, depending on how long your race is
  • Salt tablets – literally so key when cramps hit or you don’t feel great
  • Water bottles (at least 2 – 3) I bring an extra to wash my toes after the swim
  • Nuun tablets – Wild Cherry & Mango Orange are my new jam to give me some caffeine while drinking throughout the race
  • Honeystinger waffles – pre-swim ritual (45 min beforehand)

Lastly, weird but good pre-race breakfast that sits well with me? 1 cup of Rice Krispies, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 packet of mott’s applesauce.

What else is everyone racing this year? I’m excited to ease into it with the short sprint triathlon distance myself, working all the way up to an Ironman later this year (more on that subject LATER).

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