Top 10 Triathlon Race Day Essentials

The top 10 things you will need on race day for your First Triathlon!

Doing your first triathlon can be nerve-racking.  You may be wondering: what do I wear, what should I leave in transition or how many pairs of shoes should I bring?  Here we break down the 10 essentials you should have for a stress-free triathlon experience!

1. Swimsuit

This may seem obvious, but make sure to include a swimsuit on your triathlon day checklist!  Ideally, you will wear the same thing throughout the entire race.  Find a swimsuit that you can move freely in and are comfortable biking and running in.  If you are going to put on pants, a shirt, or a jacket following the swim, know that it will likely get wet.

2. Goggles

This is not a necessity but can help your swimming be much more enjoyable.  Being able to see in the pool helps you stay in a straighter line, therefore helping your swim speed!

Things to leave in your transition area:

3. Running Shoes

One of the most important things to bring to a triathlon!  If you have a pair of comfortable running shoes, you can use them for both your bike and run.  After the swim, you will be walking/ running barefoot from the pool into transition.  Once you find your bike, you can dry off, put on your helmet and shoes, and off you go!  If you need socks, make sure you also leave those in the transition area as well.  However, most seasoned triathletes do not use socks and put their shoes straight on.

4. Water bottle

Hydration is essential in preventing cramping and dehydration during your triathlon!  You can leave your water bottle in your transition area.  If your bike has a water bottle cage on it, you can even take your water bottle along during the bike.  If you think you will need some extra energy, fill your bottle up with an energy drink such as Gatorade or Powerade.

5. Towel

Keep a towel in your transition area for after your swim.  You may want to use it to dry off after the swim or between the bike and run.  Drying your feet can also help prevent blisters!

6. Bike & Helmet

No need to have a racing bike to complete your triathlon!  Any bike works to complete your triathlon as long as you are able to ride it comfortably for the distance of your race.  Make sure to have your bike on a low gear when you leave it in transition in case your bike start is on a hill.  Also, helmets are mandatory during this event.  Ensure you do not touch your bike before putting on your helmet during your race to avoid disqualification.

7. A shirt or sweater to cover your chest for the bike and run

The International Triathlon Union requires athlete’s chests are covered following the swim component of the race. Bring a comfortable t-shirt or sweater that handles wetness well if your chest will be exposed during your swim.  If the weather is rainy, windy, or cold, make sure to bring a windbreaker!  Also, don’t forget to attach your number to your shirt or jacket before the race. 

For after your race: 

8. Dry Clothing and shoes

Have dry, warm clothing for after your race.  You won’t want to be stuck in wet or sweaty clothing and want to be comfortable to stretch or cheer on other participants.

9. An extra towel

You will likely dirty your towel in transition and it helps to have an extra one to shower after our race and dry off.

10. Snacks

After all your hard work, you will definitely need a snack or meal!  Also, it may take a while to start the triathlon and you don’t want to be hungry before your race starts.

The UBC Recreation Triathlon Duathlon is happening March 10, 2018.  This event offers a variety of distances perfect for a new triathlete!  We also offer modified and team experiences such as our relay, Aquathon, Aquacycle, and Duathlon.
All information regarding the race and distances can be found on our Event Information page.  If you have any questions, please direct your inquiries to or UBC Events Hotline at 604-822-3996.