Spring is nearly upon us and the time has come to dust the cobwebs off bike boxes, pull out suitcases and gear up for race season.
Packing for a triathlon can be daunting no matter if you are racing in your backyard or halfway across the world. When traveling for a race, it’s necessary to pack the maximum amount of equipment in the smallest amount of space. Take a look at what’s inside my bag when I travel and on race day.
What’s in the Bag?
For the past few years, I have traveled on average 70,000 miles a year for training and racing. Packing and unpacking have become somewhat second nature to me, but even with the frequent travel, I do not follow a list when I pack. I am a terrible procrastinator when it comes to packing, so I opt for speed over being systematic.
Here are three tips and tricks I swear by to make packing quick and ensure I have everything I need.
I always leave a toiletry bag stocked and in the cupboard. It is a great time saver to toss in an already packed toiletry bag, but after being in another country without shampoo and conditioner because I forgot to refill them, I learned the key to success with this trick was refilling used items upon return!
Another trick I learned after leaving my international converter at home multiple times was to group commonly forgotten items together. I decided to dedicate a drawer in my closet to traveling essentials: a neck pillow, noise canceling headphones, my international converter, and a popup bowl and spoon. A quick grab ensures I have all of the items I commonly forget. On the flip side, some things that I will NEVER forget are my favorite pillow, homemade apple and cinnamon quick oats, and a good book!
Finally, when traveling by air there is always a chance you will lose your checked baggage. With this in mind, my last travel trick is one I live by. My carry-on bag contains items to pass the travel time and items I need to race and cannot replace easily or quickly. These items are broken in, custom made or difficult to come by. If they were to be lost in transit, it could significantly impact my ability to start the race or compete at my best.
Here are all the items I pack into my carry-on:
Water bottle – it is hard to stay hydrated without one