Triathlon Checklist: What do I need for a Triathlon race event in the UK?

If you are entering a Triathlon for the first time it can be a little daunting.  So to help you get organised for your first race day, we've put together a triathlon checklist of things to remember to get you through the race.

During the race you will normally need to wear a race number so a number belt can be really useful as you will need to change the position of the race number during each stage. Usually on your back for the bike stage and on the front for the run stage.

It can also be useful to have a plastic box in the transition area to store cycling & running gear after each stage but this is not usually essential.

A Transition Bag or Dry Bag is pretty handy to carry all your kit in, to and from the event.

Swim Stage

Swim stage:

This stage can be in a swimming pool or in open water. In both cases you will need a pair of swimming goggles and a swim cap. Most events provide you with a swim cap but you should buy one for training beforehand. You should have a towel to dry yourself off a little ahead of the bike stage.

For pool swims you will usually need a pair of swim jammers for men or a swimming costume for women. Alternatively you can wear a tri suit or tri top & shorts to save time changing in transition. If you are more serious then a Swim Skin is highly recommended.

For open water swims, the use of a triathlon wetsuit is usually mandatory. Under the wetsuit you would wear the tri suit or tri top & shorts. You may also need a neoprene skull cap, a pair of swim gloves and pair of booties in really cold conditions.

Bike Stage

Bike stage:

Each event can specify a certain kind of bike but in most cases a road worthy mountain or road bike will be enough. You will need a bike helmet, it's part of the rules in most races, wearing no helmet in transition before you touch your bike usually results in disqualification. If you have clip on pedals then you will need clip on bike shoes. You can wear cycle gloves and sun glasses if you really wish. You should already be wearing a tri suit or tri top and shorts at this point.

Run Stage

Run stage:

You will need a pair of running shoes suitable for the run stage. Some events can be out on the road or off road trail runs. You may need a sun visor or hat on brighter days.


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