Everything You Need To Know About The Special Needs Bag

If there is one thing I am still trying to figure out, it is what I will be putting in my special needs bag. But thanks to my awesome SOAS teammate and riding partner, I have an idea of what I will have in it. 

But for those of you new to triathlons or Ironmans like myself, we will be provided with five bags come race day and they should be an extended version of what you would typically leave by your bike in transition during a smaller race. They contain tools, nutrition, clothes, gear, shoes and much more. I put together my list of what I will be putting in mine to use or wear. Fyi, just because I am “putting” it in my bag, that doesn’t mean I will actually use it. When you are in the moment, your needs differ and I am sure mine will. 

1. Morning clothes- This is what you will be wearing or need in the morning before the swim and obtain after the race is over.

  • Jacket
  • Sweatpants
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Compression socks (to wear after the race)
  • Flip flops
  • Clif bar
  • Body glide
  • Wetsuit
  • Goggles
  • Swim cap
  • Time chip
  • Garmin 

2. T1 Bike gear bag- Once you are done with the swim, you will hit the changing tent and do what you need to do before you hit the bike.

  • Helmet
  • Sunglasses
  • Towel
  • Water bottle
  • Arm sleeves
  • Maybe a pullover that can be thrown away or thrown in special needs bag 
  • Bike Gloves
  • Body glide
  • bike shoes (if I don’t leave on the bike)
  • Bike socks (if it‘s cold out)
  • 1 Clif bar, 2 honey stinger wafers, 3 gu chews 

3. Bike Special needs- This is on the bike course itself and should contain tools and nutrition in case you need it.

  • Body Glide
  • 1 tube
  • 2 Co2
  • Towel
  • 2 Chews and wafers
  • Pepcid/tums
  • Pre-frozen bottle of Gatorade

4. T2 Run Gear bag- This you will grab after the bike and before the run. Head into the changing tent and do what you gotta do.

  • Hat or visor
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Sports bra
  • Dependant on the weather, a long sleeve shirt 
  • Running belt with bib attached
  • Handheld water bottle with Gatorade and gels/chews in it
  • Body glide
  • Towel
  • Pepcid/tums

5. Run Special Needs- This is also in case you want to grab some necessary nutrition. 

  • Gels or Chews
  • Some Gatorade
  • Towel
  • Gold bond


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