‘Why didn’t I think of that?’
Those are the words that often pop into my mind more often than I’d like to admit, after seeing someone pull something genius out of their gym bag at Race-Day.
I’m always forgetting something, wishing I’d brought something extra, or noticing that there always seems to be that one person that seems to have a bag that has their entire house shoved in it.
So I decided it was about time to make a list of all the essential items every Dragon Boat Racer should have come Race-Day:
A Practical Bag.
Before you can pack a bag full of essentials, you need to have a bag. There’s a girl in my team who I swear is using the same Coles Reusable Plastic Bag that she had at the start of the season. And props to her for wanting to save the planet, but there are other options (Susan, I’m looking at you).
See below for some of the better rated gym bags currently online:
MarsBro Water Resistant Gym Bag
This bag comes in different sizes and has a separate compartment for your shoes!
Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/MarsBro
Under Armour Unisex Isolate Duffel Bag
This bad-boy has water-repellent technology that doesn’t compensate in the breathability department.
Find it here: https://www.underarmour.com
Speedo Tri-Clops Backpack
Just because it’s a backpack doesn’t mean it isn’t big! This bag has 50 litres of space and is specifically made for triathletes who compete in rain, wind and mud.
Find it here: https://www.amazon.com.au/Speedo-Tri-Clops
A Comfy Chair.
It’s amazing, technology these days. You can find a collapsible just-about-anything in this economic environment. There’s collapsible reading glasses, collapsible bicycles and scooters, and even *hold your breath* collapsible chairs. And I’m talking comfy chairs. They sure beat sitting on a towel on the ground between races, I can assure you.
Here a few of the best floating around on the net:
Helinox Chair Zero
This chair is incredibly lightweight (half a kilogram) and is perfect for folding and chucking into your gym bag.
Find it here: https://www.helinox.com.au/
Trekology Portable Backpacking Chair
A chair that’s quick to set-up, has plenty of back support and is very comfortable!
Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Trekology
Quest Lightweight Chair
This chair is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry along to any Race-Day.
Find it here: https://www.kathmandu.com.au/
A First-Aid Kit.
You don’t have to be a genius to work out that outdoor exercise sometimes equals injury. Having band-aids, disinfectant and other basic First-Aid supplies can come in real handy for the klutzes in our team, or for our bare-footed companions who accidentally step on a poor bee on the way back to the tent.
This one’s waterproof:
Waterproof First-Aid Kit
This compact First-Aid Kit is ideal for outdoor life, with adjustable relief locks to keep things dry!
Find it here: https://shop.stjohn.org.au/
Sometimes races can take up a whole day, and can be at awkward times which make it impossible to nick off to grab something to eat. If you want to fuel your body quickly, without the added mess of a half-squashed sandwich at the bottom of your bag, Protein Powder is a quick, easy and relatively mess free alternative.
Bulk Nutrients have a range of different types and flavours available, and have a free sample program:
Bulk Nutrients Low Carb Muscle Stack (seen above)
Choose your flavours and away you go!
There are a range of different stacks or individual powders you can buy – this stack in particular includes: 3x 1kg Whey Protein Isolate, 1x 1kg Future Whey, 1x 396gm Pre-Workout, 1x 250gm Creatine Monohydrate and includes a free shaker!
Find it here: https://www.bulknutrients.com.au
Slip, Slop, Slap and Slide Essentials.
1.Slip on sun protective clothing.
The tighter the fabric structure, the better the sun protection – so materials such as cotton and linen are best, but anything is better than nothing. When you aren’t racing, consider chucking on a long sleeved top if you’re going to be outside all day.
Nike have a comfortable fit for both male (left) and females (right):
Find it here: https://www.rebelsport.com.au
2.Slop on some sunscreen.
This one’s pretty straightforward.
Here’s one you can clip to pretty much anything:
Find it here: https://www.cancercouncilshop.org.au
3.Slap on a hat.
Hopefully you already have a team hat/ visor. If not, it’s important to have one, at the very least, to keep your hair out of your face.
I like this one:
Find it here: https://www.2xu.com/au
4.Slide on some sunglasses.
Sunglasses can be pretty pricey, so whatever you go with, make sure you have them strapped onto your head.
These straps should do the trick (they have heaps of different designs):
Find it here: https://www.strapstore.com.au/
A Quick-Drying Towel.
There is nothing worse than lugging a soggy old towel around all day. Or better yet, leaving it in your car for a day or two, until the smell from your backseat reminds you of your mistake.
Kathmandu Micro-Fibre Towel
I bought this towel about a year ago, and it lives in my bag. I use it all the time, and the best bit? One good flick, and the water comes straight off. It’s perfect for multiple usages in a day, and once your day is done, you don’t have to go home with a smelly towel at the bottom of your bag.
Find it here: https://www.kathmandu.com.au
A Portable Speaker.
Everyone knows the feeling of sitting in the team tent, waiting for their next race, and wondering what on earth to do… Nothing boosts the vibe like a bit of music – so why not have a small speaker handy?
This one is good quality for a reasonable price ($49):
JBL GO 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
This little speaker is the size of a wallet, and comes in a bunch of fun colours (you can match to your team colours!!). For the price, it’s a great speaker, and is waterproof!
Find it here: https://www.jbhifi.com.au/
A Massage Ball.
There’s nothing worse than muscle pain, especially on Race-Day. While you’re stretching out and waiting for your next race, why not use a massage ball as an inexpensive remedy?
Spikey Massage Ball
These handy little things can increase blood flow, deactivate trigger points and increase range of motion.
Find it here: https://www.ironedge.com.au
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