Pre-Race Preparations for Triathlon

Here are some tips we’ve put together from years of experience as both event organizers and participants in triathlon! Refer back to these from time-to-time! There’s a lot of great stuff here! 

Pre-race Dos and Don'ts


  • Go for a short 20min ride to make sure your bike is in good working order
  • Use a safety pin to check for bits of sand, gravel, or glass embedded in cuts in your tires
  • Make a checklist of everything you'll need and pack it into one bag if possible
  • Eat a healthy familiar meal 2-3 hours before you go to bed
  • Set an alarm that gives you plenty of time to get to the race site 20min before you plan to be there
  • Have another look at the pre-event newsletter to make sure you didn't miss anything
  • Pickup your race kit on Friday and verify everything you need is there
  • Do some light stretching, rolling, or go for a short swim to keep your muscles loose and fresh


  • Don't make unnecessary last minute adjustments to your gears or bike fit
  • Don't change your tires if there are no obvious signs of defect --avoid pinch flats!
  • Don't leave anything out to pack in the morning, especially shoes!
  • Don't eat more than you normally do or eat something you're not used to --pasta is overrated!
  • Don't stay up too late, avoid screens, and have all your packing and meals out of the way 2-3 hours before bed
  • Don't panic if you have questions, write them down and ask them during the race orientation
  • Don't wait until the last minute to pickup your race kit
  • Don't panic train! You can't improve your fitness in the last week before an event.

Race Gear Checklist

It’s so easy to forget tthings in the hustle and bustle of race morning, so we recommend packing everything you’ll need into a large back pack the night before using a checklist. When you get to the race site, you’ll know you have everything with you. Here’s a handy checklist to help you figure out what you need to bring! 

The Swim

  • Goggles
  • Swim Cap
  • Wetsuit
  • Body Glide
  • Flip flops or extra sandals/shoes
  • pre-race food (banana, gel, something small to eat just before the start)

The Bike

  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Cycling Shoes
  • Water Bottles
  • Sunglasses
  • Cycling top
  • Socks
  • Bike computer
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Nutrition
  • Race belt/bib holder
  • Repair kit/extra tubes

The Run

  • Running shoes
  • Water belt
  • Water bottles
  • Nutrition
  • Sunglasses
  • Run top
  • Socks
  • GPS watch
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen

Race Tips

Finally, here are a few general tips to think about for your race! Remember to keep it simple, be confident, and race your own race! You’ve worked hard for this. Get out there and enjoy the day!

Beach Start Tips

If you are a comfortable swimmer and expect to be near the front, feel free to run in, dolphin dive and have at it! But if you're new or this is your first event, hang back, give space, and swim your own swim. Losing a few seconds on the beach could save you lots of stress and anxiety during the swim! Kayakers and paddle boards will be out on course if you need help. If you're in trouble, take off your swim cap and wave it around. You're never too far from shore at any of our events, and you've trained for this! Be confident!

Transition Zone Tips

Remember that space is limited in the T-zone and you might have neighbours. Try to keep your space as small as possible and only place on the ground what you will need. Often times less is more. Piling your space high with lots of extra food and gear just creates a clutter and can make it harder to quickly grab what you need. Participants often underestimate how disoriented they'll be after the swim. Make it simple and easy for yourself. The less you need to think about it, the better!

Finish Line Tips

The finish line is the time to celebrate. But there a couple of tips to make your finish experience more memorable. First, remember to stop your watch well AFTER you have crossed the finish. You don't want that finish line photo to be of you looking at your watch! Second, give yourself a bit of space. Unless you're in a sprint against your nearest competitor, a second or two at the finish won't cost you much. But it will mean you won't be hidden behind someone in your finish line photo/video! And finally, make sure to throw your hands in the air and celebrate!


The Somersault Event Series is the pre-eminent event series in Eastern Canada consisting of triathlon, duathlon, and running events for all ages and abilities.



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