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Packing for a triathlon the night before a race can be challenging. But traveling to a race far from home, particularly if you have to fly there, can be an overwhelming affair. Here’s how to pack smartly without forgetting the essentials.
1. Make a list. It’s simple but effective: Write down everything you’ll need for your trip, from what you’ll sleep in and wear to the after-party to all of your race-day gear and nutrition. If it’s not on the list, don’t throw it in.
2. Lay it out. Once you’ve made your list, spread everything you plan to take on the floor. Choose items that can be worn more than once in different settings. Cull through the pile to remove anything that you’re not confident you’ll use or wear.
3. Sort by weight. Once you’ve decided on the gear to pack, decide what to pack it in. Michael and Amanda Lovato, both pro triathletes who travel frequently for races, recommend placing small, heavy items in your carry-on bag. Even though they don’t require a lot of space in your bag, sports bars and electronics can add up on the scale, so carry them on if you can.
4. Pack in cubes. Pro triathlete Linsey Corbin is on the road nearly two weeks a month during the triathlon season. She uses Eagle Creek packing cubes (Eaglecreek.com) to stay organized and avoid forgetting must-have items. These come in a range of shapes and sizes, which make them ideal for everything from toiletries to clothes. Corbin packs her cubes by item type, such as casual clothes or bike kits, and then stacks the cubes into a large duffel bag.
5. Fill empty space. Stuff Gu packets, socks or other small items inside your shoes, and place cycling shorts in your bike helmet.
6. Bring a lightweight, multipurpose backpack. The Lovatos love their Tyr Convoy Rucksack ($60, Tyr.com), which holds a lot of gear but is designed for travel. Use it as your carry-on and training bag, and to gather goods at the race expo. The Rucksack can be stuffed into its own internal pocket, making it easy to pack when not in use.
7. Use a bike transport company. Instead of checking a bike box in with an airline, TriBike Transport (Tribiketransport.com) allows triathletes to drop off a fully assembled bike at partner locations and pick it up on race day for prices starting at $150. They’ll also transport a gear bag for an additional fee, drastically reducing the number of items you have to lug through the airport.
RELATED: 10 Must-Have Carry-On Items
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