Thinking about getting into triathlons - congrats - there’s nothing else quite like it. You’ll swim, you’ll ride, you’ll run - but you’ll need some gear to get started.
As time goes on and you become a tri-tragic (it happens and we’re proof) you can gradually build your stash of tri related gear over time. Here’s our tips on what you need to get started and what you can live without (for a small time anyway) by discipline:
- A pair of goggles
- Swimwear (togs, bathers, swimmers, cossie, swimsuit, budgie smugglers or DTs depending where you live in Australia)
- A swim cap – it’s a good idea to get used to wearing one as they’re compulsory in events and it’s also good hygiene when using public pools
- A drink bottle
- A towel
- a second pair of goggles is always worth having in your kit bag – there is nothing worse than your goggles snapping just before you start a training session (yes we’re talking from experience here)
- anti-fog goggle cleaner
- fins/pull buoy/paddles/kickboard – most public pools will have some equipment you can use until you buy your own. These swimming aids are commonly used during training to practice swim drills.
- Bike – this should be in good condition and the right size for you to prevent injury
- Running shoes – if using flat pedals
- Helmet - be sure to get it from your local bike shop, which generally carries brands that have passed standardised testing for safety
- Cycling apparel
- Socks (personal preference for triathletes when cycling- some do, some don't)
- Sunnies – essential to keep the glare out of your eyes, not to mention any flying bugs or debris from the road
- Hydration and drink bottle
- Anti-chafe balm such as Body Glide (not essential but you will thank us later- we promise)
- Bike shoes for clipless pedals
- Nutrition – depending on length of ride
- Bike computer
- A road bike - if you’re used to using a mountain bike this will feel like you’re riding on air!
- A time trial bike – for the super speedsters
- Runners – good quality and well fitting. It’s worth having a professional shoe fitting at a sport shoe retailer prior to purchasing to determine what kind of feet and stride you have
- Socks - the right socks are essential for comfort and reducing the chances of getting painful blisters
- Headwear - there’s lots of different types of headwear available for triathletes, include visors and caps
- Sunnies – for keeping the eyes free of debris and looking cool in your race photos
- Sports bra – essential for the ladies
- Singlet or t-shirt
- Speed laces – these assist to ensure you have super-fast transitions and also they won’t become unfastened mid-run (win win)
- Race belt – you’ll need a good quality race belt to keep your number secure during the run leg of a race
It’s no surprise a triathlete requires quite a lot of equipment to get started -we are taking part in three different sports! In addition to the items mentioned earlier there are a few extra bits which you could add to your expanding range of tri related paraphernalia;
- a tri-bag – look for a bag with plenty of pockets and compartments to keep all of your gear separate
- the idea of a triathlon is to get from start to finish in the least amount of time, and changing from swimwear to bike apparel to run apparel during transition eats up that time, so using a tri-suit allows you to wear the same outfit from start to finish. Races can be won or lost in transition - fact! Tri suits are either a one piece suit or are two separates (top and shorts).
- a multisport watch specific to triathlon is a useful piece of kit if you’re into statistics and monitoring your progress throughout training and events.
- a heart rate monitor – some of the newer multisport watches have a heart rate monitor built into the watch so you don’t need a separate device (that fits around your chest). A heart rate monitor is particularly useful for endurance triathletes.
- Timing chip strap – we are proof that ankles can be chafed and cut using the standard timing chip strap provided by the race organisers, just remember to remove the chip at the end of the race!
Some of the most important items which you can’t buy come from you – guts, determination, confidence, strength and belief. Now practice that finish line pose – celebrate your achievement and start planning your next race!
Team Inspire xx