Packing Your Race Bag

It’s Training Wednesday and today we have some advice and tips from Nicholas Vipond of Summit Consulting. Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Science degree, with Honours in Human Kinetics from the University of Ottawa and a Master of Arts degree in Consulting and Intervention in Sport, Health and Exercise, also from the University of Ottawa. Nicholas has worked with athletes from beginner to elite in multiple sports, including cycling, running, basketball, soccer, triathlon, swimming, rock climbing and surfing.

With a particular specialization in mountain biking, Nicholas is a NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) certified mountain bike coach, working towards his level 3 certification. Nicholas has coached both development and elite riders. He has managed the Canadian Mountain Bike at the 2009-2011 World Championships and has been an assistant coach with the Ontario provincial team on several projects since 2004. Nicholas’ background includes several years of competing at the national and provincial levels in both nordic skiing and cycling. Nicholas’ education and experience as both an athlete and a coach make him an excellent resource for other athletes and coaches who are looking to pursue excellence in their own performance domain.

You have inevitably arrived at a race to find that you are missing something that you need, everyone has done it! Wether you have forgotten your base layer, gels, tools or something major like skin suit, shoes, helmet or race wheels, forgetting something can negatively impact your race, it doesn’t matter how important this item is it can still have an impact and leave you struggling to find things when you should be relaxing or warming up. Below are some tips for ensuring that you always arrive at the race venue with everything you need.

  1. Always use the same bag – by always using the same race bag you can keep items that you don’t need during the week in your bag so you’ll be sure to have them come race day.
  2. Use small bags to pack important items – you can pack things in their own bag inside your race bag to keep things organized. For example use camping stuff sacks to separate some small tools, race food, clothing for after the race, race clothing, warm up clothing, embrocation etc.
  3. Make a List – have a check list of all the items that you normally keep need for a race day, keep this list protected in your race bag so you can double check it before heading out to the race – see sample packing list below (one day race).
  4. Pack Early – pack your bag the night before the race. By backing your bag the night or day before the race you give yourself time to double check that you have everything that you may need and if you’re missing something you have time to go out and pick it up. This is especially important for the early season when you’re not in the routine of preparing for a race.
  5. Organize your Bag – if you are able to pack your bag so that you can easily find everything that you will need on race day, you will save yourself unnecessary stress and lost time of digging through your bag every time you need something different. Use the pockets on your bag and stuff sacks to keep things organized, always keep things in the same place week after week.

If you develop a routine to packing your bag and preparing for a race you will save yourself time and energy allowing you to focus more of your energy and time on the necessary preparations for the race.

Here’s a sample packing list that you can use (adjust for your personal race requirements):

Race Bag Check List
Item Quantity Packed Item Quantity Packed
Race Clothes Warm Up Clothes
Skin Suit Long Sleeve 1 Thermal Jersey 1
Skin Suit Short Sleeve 1 Rain Jacket 1
Under Shirt Sleeveless 1 Wind Vest 1
Under Shirt Short Sleeve 1 Tights 1
½ finger gloves 2 Rain Tights 1
Full Finger Gloves 2 Thermal Gloves 2
Arm Warmers 1 Riding Toques 1
Knee Warmers 1 Compression tights 1
Leg Warmers 1 Compression Socks 1
Socks 3 Podium Kit 1
Thermal Socks 2 Socks 2
Equipment Casual Clothes
Helmet 1 Pants 1
Shoes 2 T Shirt 1
Riding Glasses 2 Underwear 1
Extra Lenses for Conditions 4 Socks 2
Spare Parts (emergency) Sweater 1
Tube 2 Rain Jacket 1
Multi Tool 1 Soft-shell Jacket 1
CO2 and Head 2 Running Shoes 1
Lube 1 Rubber Boots 1
Pressure Gauge 1 Toque 1
Safety Pins 20 Gloves 1
Embrocation 2 Cell Phone Chargers 1
Spare Contact Lenses 2 IPod and head phones 1
Deodorant 1 Book 1
Map to venue 1 Race Licence 1
Photo ID 1 Hand Warmers 1
Foot Warmers
*** Note this is to be used as a guide for a packing list ***

To contact Nicholas email him. Be sure to visit Summit Consulting to learn more about Nicholas and his services.