Pre Race:

  • Sandals or comfortable shoes before the swim
  • Warm up clothes for over your race suit or swimsuit
  • Bag or bucket for everything
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Race nutrition (fluid and calories)
  • USAT license and photo ID (can purchase one day license)
  • Money
  • Bike pump or CO2 cartridges
  • Bike repair kit, tools, and extra tube
  • Bright towel or transition mat

Optional Gear if Needed:

  • Plastic trash bag to cover gear if raining
  • Bug spray
  • Headlamp (for dark mornings)
  • Marker (for self body marking)
  • Watch
  • Gear bag

Race Gear:

  • Race suit (one piece or top and bottoms or swim suit and shorts)
  • Goggles (2 pairs-tinted and clear)
  • Swim cap
  • Lubricant (Trislide or similar—no Bodyglide)
  • Bike (tuned up)
  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses (for eye protection)
  • Race belt (for run number)
  • Running shoes and socks
  • Towel and change of clothes

Optional Gear if Needed:

  • Wetsuit (if water is cold enough, but not necessary)
  • Hat or visor
  • Bike shoes and socks (unless you have platform pedals)
  • Cold weather gear (toe covers, sleeves, etc.)
  • Rubber bands (if shoes are attached to bike)
  • Baby powder

I also have a few notes about comfort during those long course races:

  1. Make sure you know how to use all of your gear, you’re comfortable reaching for water bottles and eating on the bike, and your gear is in good working order.
  2. You’ve tested what you will eat and drink on the course, and it will not cause GI issues. For the half and full Ironman distances, you will need to practice eating actual food on the bike along with gels, blocks, and other sports fuel.
  3. Try on your tri kit and swim, bike, and run in it prior to the race. My absolute favorite tri kit for women is by Coeur Sports Click here for Coeur Sports tri kits . I am not paid by Coeur Sports, but their tri kits are the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. The chamois is all fleece, will not hold water from the swim, and best of all: no chaffing for me! The two piece kits stay in place, and I also plan on ordering one of their one-piece tri kits as well because I love them so much. Whatever kit you decide to purchase, check the return policy and try it on.
  4. Wetsuits. I can’t say this enough, but practice swimming in them early in the season when the water is still cold. You can cut your wetsuit, but NEVER cut a seam. I cut mine to open up the neck a bit because I get anxiety, and the wetsuit felt like it was choking me.
  5. Goggles. No matter what pair you buy, make sure they fit by sticking the goggles to your face without the strap. If they stick around your eye sockets, they fit! My favorite pair that never fogs or leaks is the Roka 1 tinted goggles. If your goggles do fog, then rub some baby shampoo on them. Click here for Roka