Training Bag Essentials – What NOT to Forget!

training bag

Forgetting something essential at home is the worse. We’ve all done it, even when trying to prepare.

The best we can do is prepare even further by having our bags set for training the night before. When we are rushing, that’s when we forget things.


Water Bottle

An insulated bottle is a must-have! Double insulated keeps your water cold for over 24 hours. When I trained in Arizona in the 100-degree weather, my water bottle was a savior. I had a 64oz bottle that would last me through the entire practice.

At least carry a water bottle to fill up at training. I don’t have to harp on how important water is in your practice, and not just when you’re thirsty. Everything feeds off of it.


For those times you sweat extensively, you’re losing a lot of electrolytes. This leads to muscle cramping, dehydration and it can creep up on you quicker than you think.


Protein bars, fruit, carrots, raisins, anything light that you can munch on when you get hungry during training will benefit you.

I had long training days and I never really ate a lunch. I just had snacks and shakes during the morning to get me to a proper meal later in the day.

Foam Roller

The torture device was carried in my bag everywhere I went. This simple roller could be used anywhere at anytime. They make travel size rollers now that are so easy to carry around and travel with.

This includes any trigger point balls and feet rollers. It’s essential to roll out anything that feels like it has a knot in it and get into the consistent rhythm of doing it every day.

Stretching Strap

I had a go-to stretching strap from college that I never went anywhere without. Elastic bands, jump ropes, stretching bands, anything to help reach the max flexibility when warming up is beneficial.


This is something I would forget all the time because technically it doesn’t fit in a gym bag. You have to carry a rolled up mat everywhere, and I hated when I forgot it.

In track, most tracks are red, so any light colored clothes and sweat did not farewell for the shirts. I had so many red stains from laying on a track after I was so tired from a workout that the shirts were ruined. Stretching on a mat also to give some cushion is another plus.

Training Shoes/Slides

Some athletes and some events have multiple shoes they need to have. Running shoes, spikes, cleats, weightlifting shoes for practice, hop in some slides to give the feet some breathing room.

Slides also great for when you do an ice bath at practice and need something easy to slip into.

Change of Clothes

It’s not a bad idea to have another shirt to put on if your main one is trenched from sweat. I would hate walking around in the wet shirt all morning.

Speaking of ice baths in the last essential, a change of clothes after an ice bath is excellent too, so you’re not walking around in wet shorts or tights all day.


I always had my post-workout shake after my running sessions and would sip on it during weight lifting. This was my lunch. I couldn’t eat anything substantial or I would be at the garbage can immediately after a run. So I would just drink to replace a meal.

A post workout shake should be high in protein and carbohydrates to help replenish what was lost from a training session. I would cycle creatine and beta alanine to help speed up the recovery process as well.


The majority of the time the stopwatches are for the coaches, but on the tail end of my career, I would time my rests. My coach had so many other athletes to look after; it only made sense.

These days are watches will tell us all that information we need – stopwatch, time, alarm, calories burned, miles ran, etc.


Technology these days have brought on the wireless headphones. We don’t even use MP3 players anymore. All the music we need is on our phones.

I’ve spent hours and hours getting my pre-warmup playlists ready for competition and practice. It’s one of the sure ways to get amped and prepared for battle. I made sure never to forget my headphones because then the mood of the day is entirely different.


Having a journal is so important to your athletic career. I had my training journals from high school when I broke the National JR record in the 100m.

I would look back and see the times I ran in practice as I tapered into a meet. It was a great indication of where I was at in my training.

Honorable Mentions


I was never a real sunglasses kind of guy when I ran track. But some athletes are and feel lost when they don’t have their dark shades.

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