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Triathlon Checklist

PRINTABLE TRIATHLON CHECKLISTS BY DISTANCE Click on the distance link below for a printable version of each checklist. You can also scroll below for more information on preparing for your race.

More things to consider for your triathlon race…

This article is written for the Sprint, Olympic, and Iron distance age groupers.


  • The swim portion of a triathlon generally takes place in a lake or ocean; occasionally shorter races will take place in a pool.
  • For cooler temperatures you’ll want a wetsuit.
  • Wetsuits can be rented at many locations so you don’t have to break the bank if you want to try it out.
  • Some races prohibit wetsuits based on water temperature so check with the race before renting or purchasing.
  • Triathlon specific wetsuits are designed for enhanced buoyancy and flexibility for swim strokes.
  • Goggles designed for comfort, visibility and durability.
  • An anti fog solution is recommended because clear visibility allows for straighter swimming and less apprehension.
  • If you’re going to be racing in the ocean make sure you practice at least a couple times in the ocean because salt water and waves are difficult to reproduce in a pool.


  • Having a mat or towel to stand on is helpful to shed dirt and pebbles that may be on your feet coming out of the water. A transition mat makes it more comfortable to make it through your transition; it serves as shield between hot asphalt and your feet.
  • Triathlon transition bags are specifically designed with wet/dry pockets, a helmet catch, and other special features to make sure that you don’t lose any items through a transition and that you can carry everything in one bag. Triathlon bags have come a long way and now have specific spots for all your tri gear including 2 shoe compartments, wetsuit compartments, water bottle compartments and much more. Many people prefer a bag that can be carried as a backpack for the simple reason that triathletes often ride their bikes around at a race and having the bag on the back as opposed to the side is much easier.
  • Appropriate bike for the race, any bike will do but make sure you are comfortable riding your bike. Also, make sure you have the right type of bike for your race, that is to say you may want a mountain bike if registering for an Xterra off-road race.
  • Clothing needs to be designed for bike and run so padding must be flexible and comfortable.


  • Don’t forget to carry some sort of nutrition if you don’t plan on using what’s provided on the course. Some races don’t have much if anything on the course so check ahead.
  • Be sure to train in the clothing you race in. You want to make sure that it will be comfortable over long distances.
  • Using laces that allow you to get in and out of your shoes quickly may be a good option if you are looking for speed. Many people use elastic laces only for the shorter Sprint and Olympic distance triathlon races.
  • Participating in run specific races like 5k and 10k races are a good option for training and fun.
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