Without a doubt one of the most complex activities related to triathlon is the preparation of the kit bag pre-race. Over the years I have worked up a method to avoid forgetting any of the tools of the trade.
The trick is to mentally envisage each of the steps, from the moment in which you arrive at the location right up until the start, putting the various objects onto the bed and then assembling the bag according to the classic criteria of warehouse management (last in first out).
Three pieces of advice before proceding:
- try to make sure no-one will interrupt you whilst you’re going through the meditation process
- make sure that the bed is clear if you don’t want to find unidentified objects in the pocket of your windstop jacket (I speak from experience)
- however much it might seem normal to you, avoid putting your bike on the bed if you plan on avoiding a crisis in your personal relationship.
In the (very comprehensible) case in which you don’t have the time or desire to follow the above process, I’ve put together a list of 30 essential (in my opinion) items.
Consider it a point of departure which can later be enriched with various newfangled contraptions, from technical clothing through to a portable pressure washer (actually witnessed)
- flip flops
- spare goggles
- camphor oil
- heart rate monitor
- waterproof sheet
- cycling shoes
- bike gels & supplements
- water bottle
- pliers if not included in the multi-tool
- bike computer
- sunglasses with changeable lenses (sun/shade)
- puncture repair kit
- race belt
- windstop jacket
- running shoes
- talcum powder
- running gels & supplements
If you intend to try out the bike route before the race, you’ll need to double up on the bikewear and above all, on the contents in the puncture repair kit, just so as not to tempt fate.
Normally I also pack a mini first-aid kit, useful for example to treat any sores on your feet post run (especially if you have to drive home after the race).
Lastly, don’t forget everything you need for a standard training session (towel, shower gel, toothbrush, underwear), I’m, um, talking from experience here too….