Race Day - Night Before the Triathlon

The night before a triathlon race can be a weird time.  You will probably be excited, a little nervous, and perhaps in a bit of a panic.  No matter what checklist you have used and how prepared you are, the feeling of the morning coming way to fast and the suspicion that you are forgetting something is a pretty universal emotion.  That is good — it means you have some nerves and adrenaline.  That will help you in the morning!

We wanted to pass along our years (and years) of experience doing triathlons — here are some of the things you should think about the evening and night before a race.

  • Pack your race packet, money for fees and a photo ID.  If your race is one where you pick up the race packets the morning of, don’t forget — just make sure you have your ID.
  • Pack your swim stuff: bathing suit, goggles, cap, wet suit.
  • Pack your bike stuff: bike (make sure tires have air), pump, water bottle, repair kit, bike gloves, shorts, shirt, helmet (cannot compete without this), bike shoes, socks and some sort of brightly colored item to tie onto the bike.
  • Pack your running stuff: Sneakers.  Socks.

  • Pack other things: sunscreen, transition (T1) slip-on shoes (optional), hat, sun glasses, towel, bucket and a garbage bag.

  • Print off our Race Day Checklist so you don’t forget anything!

  • Pack your pump-me-up music for the drive down. FYI – It is poor triathlon etiquette to listen to headphones during the run and it is absolutely prohibited during the bike leg for safety reasons.

  • A tri bag, like this versatile Blueseventy model, can make packing for the race much easier.

    Have a healthy dinner including carbs.

  • Set your alarm clock so that you have enough time to eat breakfast, go though your checklist one more time, get there and still have an hour before the race.

  • Take a peek at the weather.  Be sure you know what conditions to expect.  Decide if you should pack a raincoat for the pre-race, or extra sunscreen or a running hat.


  • Don’t forget about directions to the race!  Nowadays, most people have the race address on their GPS.  We prefer to look at a map (online) the night before, and make sure we know how to get there and how much time to allow — even if the GPS doesn’t work right.
  • Go to bed early! You need all of the rest you can get!  We realize that you might not sleep perfectly the night before a race, but it is OK.  Adrenaline will get you over the finish line, and you can have a nice, relaxing afternoon following your race!

Just be sure you are on a position so you can wake up focusing on your race.  Don’t worry about anything else if you can help it.  A race is an incredible experience, and the capstone to all of your training.  Do your best to dial-in on the race itself, and all the fun you are going to have!

Related Articles

Don’t miss some of our other, relevant pieces on race day prep, such as our complete triathlon race day checklist. Recommended Resources:


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