Training for an Ironman consists of many components – it’s not just day-to-day session but a whole bunch of things that executed well can be the difference between a good and a great race.
Some of these things include nutrition, taper, mental strength etc. One of those “things” is preparing your T1 and T2 bags. If you don’t know what we’re banging on about read on for a full run down.
“By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail,” Benjamin Franklin.
Most triathlon races require competitors to check their bike into transition the day before. But full IM athletes need a bit more preparation. Here’s a handy checklist for your T1 and T2 bags that you’ll need to prepare on Friday prior to checking your bike in on Saturday.
1. We can not stress how important it is to read your athlete information guide. Because of the two transition locations you will need to be organised and have a clear plan as to what you’re doing and when. There are logistics such as bike transportation etc that need to be booked if you are considering using these services. Reading the guide on Saturday night before the race will be too late. Read it now if you haven’t already done so. Familiarise yourself with the course, find out when you need to register and where you need to be at what time.
2. You will see in the pre-race information (starting on page 8) that Ironman competitors are given three bags (in their registration pack). Blue (for the bike or T1) and Red (for the run or T2).
3. In your blue bag you must put everything you will need when you exit the swim before jumping on your bike. You can not leave anything around your bike like you do for an Olympic distance triathlon. You can not put a towel down or put your bike shoes beside your bike. You can however attach nutrition (see point 5 below).
4. Your blue T1 bag should contain the following items:
Helmet, cycle shoes, bike gloves, chamois cream, suncream, sunglasses, socks (if required), chapstick, towel, cycle jersey (if required), cycle knicks (if required), bottle of water and anything else you might want to throw in your trisuit or cycle jersey pockets for example nutrition, salt tablets, tissues etc.
5. You will have access to your bike on Sunday morning to attach your shoes to your pedals (if that’s how you always mount your bike, don’t go trying this for the first time on race morning). Sunday morning is when you put your drink bottles and nutrition on your bike. You will NOT have access to the bag in T1.
6. Your red T2 bag should have everything you need when you come off your bike before you head out onto the run course. It should contain the following items:
Visor, running shoes, socks, run shorts (if required), run singlet (if required), bottle of water, suncream, chapstick, number/nutrition belt and nutrition such as gels.
7. The third bag is a black gear bag that you can put post race items such as a change of clothes etc.
Over the next few days we’ll run through some more info to make sure you’re prepared and relaxed plus we’ll answer some of your burning FAQs such as: what is special needs, is it okay to sit down and wee on your towel, getting naked in transition and does Red Bull really give you wings?