Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ironman triathlon packing list

The unseasonably cold weather at IM Wisconsin prompted me to add a lot more items to my packing lists for Ironman Florida (which I'll test-drive at Chesapeakeman in 2 1/2 weeks). I've been working on my lists, thanks very much to everyone for their tips! Here's what I've got so far. It looks like a lot, but I've itemized lots of little things that will be packed away. Don't worry, I'm not going to actually take all the pharmaceuticals I have listed, I usually carry them for insurance in case I really need them (like Benadryl in case I get annoying sea nettle stings at Chesapeakeman).

Yes, I'm definitely a chronic over-packer. That said, on race day I will try to K.I.S.S. in my special needs bags, which does help me save time - I want to make sure I have everything packed along with me in my suitcase, and then I'll make some final decisions when I get a last-minute weather report and pack my transition bags. Also remember than anything extra in special needs bags that is unused goes in the garbage. And no glass in the bags!

Suggestions for me??

(People using Bloglines: Please forgive me when this post keeps popping up - I'm going to probably keep revising and adding to it as I remember things.)

Note: I have a previous list for shorter-distance triathlons that I use here; but an Ironman a plane flight away is a different animal!

Post-it notes
Floor pump
Pedal wrench
Extra cleat screws
Snack-sized, quart-sized, and gallon-sized ziplocks for food and organizers
Garbage bags to cover bike and maybe run in

1 Imodium
2 ibuprofen
String cheese or hardboiled eggs
Muffins or bagels
Coffee and whole milk
Pepcid AC
Allergy drugs
Bike, tuned up, new tires and tubes road-tested, pumped, fully packed bento box & seat pack
Aerobottle filled
Bike computer zeroed
Bike gears set low

Wetsuit (packed in 2 grocery bags for slipping it on)
Race swim cap
Timing chip/strap
Extra goggles
Gatorade bottle
Heart rate monitor
Lycra shorts
1 Imodium
1 Benadryl - Chesapeakeman

Baby oil gel
Aveeno Baby (chamois cream)
Extra contacts and small bottle of solution
Spray sunblock
Heart rate monitor
Jersey, in pockets: gel flask
1 bottle Gatorade
1 bottle water
Helmet (with number)
Bike gloves (also full-finger gloves?)
Bike shoes (double-check cleats!)
Bike shorts
Bike socks
Bike sunglasses (also clear and amber lenses)
Race belt with number attached
Arm warmers
Technical shirt base layer?
Benadryl gel? Baggie/washcloth with baking soda solution? for sea nettles at Chesapeakeman (distribution map)
1 Benadryl - Chesapeakeman
Rain jacket (with zip-off sleeves) or cycling vest?
Leg warmers? Tights?

ON BIKE (otherwise known as the Rolling Smorgasbord(TM))
Bottle of water (aerobottle)
Bottle of Gatorade
Apricots and cashew mix
1 Powerbar in baggie
2 Uncrustable PB&J
1 nut bar or Larabar
2 string cheese
2 8-hour Tylenol
1 Imodium
2 ibuprofen
2 Excedrin
2 Rolaids
1 Pepcid AC
Tube of salt capsules
Bento Box: spare contacts, eyedrops, Chapstick, food, salt capsules, etc.
Seat bag: 2 tubes, 4 CO2 canisters, tire levers, multi-tool, patch kit, tire boots, piece duct tape

Notes to myself
A second 5-oz. gel flask
Can of Mountain Dew or Coke
1 Powerbar in baggie
1 nut bar or Larabar
2 string cheese
2 Uncrustable PB&J
Goldfish or Chex mix or Pringles
V8 or pickle juice
2 extra CO2 canisters
1 extra tube
salt capsules
Small chamois cream
Small sunblock

Running shoes
Clean socks in a ziplock
Lycra running shorts
Running singlet
Technical running t-shirt
Reflective tape applied
Waist pack with eyedrops, spare contacts, Chapstick, salt capsules, 1 Pepcid AC, glucose tablets
Cycling shell with zipoff sleeves
Baby oil gel for lubing toes
Long-sleeved technical shirt
Cotton gloves
V8 or pickle juice
Insect repellent?
Garbage bag for heavy rain?
Post-race sweatshirt/warmups?

Notes to myself
Clean socks in ziplock
Extra baby oil gel
Extra salt capsules
Extra glucose tablets
Goldfish or Chex mix or Pringles
2 caffeine
2 Excedrin
2 Rolaids
Ensure or chocolate milk
V8 or pickle juice


21st Century Mom said...

Where is your BodyGlide? I've never used the Baby oil gel but I swear by BodyGlide. Pack a small one.

Yes on the raincoat. When I was pics of Wil running in a plastic bag I knew that couln't be good. The finishers all seemed to be wearing jackets - take a jacket. Of course it is unlikely to be 50 degrees and pouring but luck favors the prepared.

Nice list otherwise!

Flatman said...

You are going to need a u-haul!

soozey said...

Hee hee! The Rolling Smorgasboard!

Jill said...

Several of my friends put Body Glide on for their swims - depending on where the wet suit rubs (neck, under arms, etc.). I haven't needed it, but I have only done an Olympic.

I have heard others talk about using Pam cooking spray in their wet suit. Can't remember if that was to help in getting on or off. I haven't needed it (yet!).

Lastly, I LOVE my doo rag for wearing under my helmet. It has helped tremendously in keeping some of the sweat out of my eyes.

You are going to do great!! And it is always better to bring too much than too little.

Comm's said...

Just this very night I was thinking about making up my travel list and no kidding I thought, "I just email Nancy, she'll have one already done."

No. Kidding.

Phil said...

Pickle Juice!?!? ...and then sure enough I Googled it, and low and behold, athletes love the stuff. Who knew?

2 things that I'm glad you pointed out: Bike computer zeroed & Bike gears set low. I always forget to do this.

Geek Girl said...

Wow, what a list. I'm going to have to go over this more closely. You may be getting questions about various things so that I can get a handle on how you're deciding this, so that I can learn from it!

Lynne said...

Oooo I am getting nervous/anxious for you already and we're still over 2 months out...

*jeanne* said...

Jeez...I'd never be able to do this. I can barely keep track of my car keys, sunglasses and a bottled water all at the same time!

But I guess having so much to inventory may help diminish race nerves? Maybe?

Well, anyway...to me it looks like you'll be awesomely prepared!

momo said...

nancy - i had someone send me your triathlon packing list a few weeks before imfl. i just found it here and i wanted to say thank you! i used it when putting together my own list and it was so helpful to me. just wanted you to know how much i appreciated it.

nancytoby said...

You're quite welcome! Glad I posted it!!

Nancy Toby said...

I'd also say don't be afraid to pack along a lot of FOOD on the bike as long as you know you're accustomed to it and it won't make you sick! Keep in mind that you have to eat the equivalent of breakfast, lunch, and dinner all on the bike leg!!

EJ said...

Hi there,

I looked at your list: It's great how you're trying to get organized ! But, one comment: I see you put some so called NSAID's (painkillers) in your list like ibuprofen. There is more and more evidence in sport medical literature that the use of these so called NSAIDS (non-steroid anti inflammatoire drugs; used to lower fever and treat pain) are damgerous, specially in excercise comined with hyponatriemia. It's bad for the kidney's and is associated with acute heart failure in young athletes.
So i hope you take them with you, but don't use them during the IM....;-)

Best wishes preparing,

Joining IM Florida 2007 from the Netherlands

Nancy Toby said...

Yes, you're correct. Thanks for the public service announcement!

Ellie Hamilton said...

Great list, lots of things I didn't think of (like putting spare sox in ziplocs, great idea if the weather is wet, also to keep them together.) Also, remembering to zero the bike computer.

I posted my list last year at

It's pretty much the same except you thought of more :-)