Kit List for Your Triathlon

Published On: 15 July 2015Categories: Health, Exercise & FitnessTags: , , , ,

Lists. If you do triathlon, learn to love them. You are far less likely to forget something crucial (although most have done so at one time – there are certainly people who have left their bikes at home, despite remembering their anti-fog goggle mist) if you have a kit list. This is even more so for a complicated event like triathlon, which may be the most ‘kit intensive’ sport going.

Once you have made your list, have at least two or three copies of it. One for home, one to put into your bag and a spare ‘just in case’. In addition to thinking of kit you will need for ‘swim, bike, run’, you need to think of things you will need such as a map to the venue, food and drink, during and after the race and also things like footwear that you could wear down to the swim start. As always, never try out new kit on race day. You don’t want to lose all feeling in your feet for the run because you didn’t realise those new compression socks are actually a size too small.

You can also read our article on Top Tips on the Day for Your First Triathlon

So here is a list that you can use, divided up with headings to make it easier to handle (although not easier to carry!).


  • Warm clothes to wear before and after the event. Think about a hat if you have long hair that may still be wet at the end of the race.
  • A large towel to dry yourself off and use to get changed into your warm clothes post race.
  • Cheap flip flops or very old trainers that you can wear to walk to the swim start to protect or warm your feet. If you cannot give these to a supporter, you can leave them at the swim start and it will not be the end of the world if you don’t find them again.


  • Goggles. If it’s a sunny day and the sun is low in the sky you may want to think about tinted or mirrored to reduce glare.
  • Spare goggles (these could be a non-tinted pair or just another spare). Goggles will always break, get lost or decide not to stick to your face at inopportune times. Why not have two spares!?
  • Anti-fog solution for goggles. Very handy when the water is very cold and they start to steam up.
  • Body glide and/or other wetsuit lubricant. Useful if it has an SPF in it as well. Apply to neck to stop chafing and add some lube to your wrists and ankles to help get your wetsuit off more easily.
  • Swimming cap. You will be given a cap to denote your wave but some people like to wear another cap underneath this for warmth.
  • Ear plugs. Very useful so you are not shaking your head like a dog running back into transition to get water out of your ears. There are also ear drops to help if you prefer.
  • Tri-suit. Used for all three disciplines. Remember nudity is illegal and so do not try and get changed from a swimming costume in transition!
  • For ladies – if your tri-suit does not have an adequate bra-liner wear a sports bra that you can swim in and dries as quickly as possible under your tri-suit.
  • Race belt. If you clip your number to your race belt you can wear it under your wetsuit and don’t have to put it on before the bike.
  • Wetsuit. Here are the rules (but always wear one if it is optional – you will swim faster). Water temperature less than 14°C, wetsuits are compulsory, between 14°C and 22°C wetsuits are optional and above 22°C, wetsuits are banned.


  • Bike. Make sure it is roadworthy and has handlebar end plugs as the marshalls will check these when you go into transition.
  • Water bottle (or two if you are cycling a long distance – one could be plain water the other could contain an energy drink).
  • Cycle shoes. Yes you will spend a little more time swapping bike shoes to trainers for the run but this will be negated by the extra speed cycle shoes give you on the bike.
  • Puncture repair kit. As long as you know how to use it.
  • One or two spare inner tubes. As long as you know how to change and inflate these. Practice makes perfect. If all else fails most races have a wagon that will pick you and your broken bike/willpower up if you breakdown and can’t fix it yourself. Don’t expect other competitors to stop and help……
  • CO2 cartridge and pump or normal mini bike pump.
  • Tyre levers. At least three.
  • Track pump. Useful to take in the car with you in case you need a top up when you arrive. You will also make friends easily with one of these as people will ask to borrow it.
  • Helmet that fastens and is roadsafe. One that you can do up with cold water numb fingers is useful.
  • Sunglasses


  • Trainers. Elastic laces are fantastic for speed of putting trainers on.
  • Sunglasses. Especially on a sunny day.
  • Cap or visor. Also hides terrible ‘helmet hair’ post bike.
  • Socks. For short distances you may not need them but consider for longer ones.
  • Some people like to throw on a t-shirt before the run if they don’t feel comfortable running in their tri-suit alone.


  • Energy drink powder to add to your water bottle for energy on the bike.
  • Energy gels. Tape these to the frame of your bike with micropore tape or wear a ‘gel belt’ if the run is long.
  • A small brightly coloured towel to stand on when you run in from the swim and to help find your bike.
  • Talcum powder to sprinkle into socks and the towel to stand on.
  • Protein or recovery shake for afterwards.
  • Watch – GPS or heart rate monitor if you use one.
  • Waterproof suncream – be careful putting this on your face – it may mean that your goggles do not stick properly.
  • Babywipes. Always useful.
  • Binliner or waterproof bag to put wet wetsuit into.
  • Large triathlon bag/rucksack/plastic box to carry everything in.
  • Instructions to the venue and details of your wave time and race number if you have it.

Good luck to all our clients taking part in triathlons this season. Don’t forget a post race massage will make your recovery feel much easier!

If you have any questions please contact the Didsbury Manchester Clinic on 01614455133 or email

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