Running, swimming and cycling are all fun activities. But put them together in varying lengths, and they become a much tougher prospect. Triathlons are a great way to test your ability in different activities. Of course, completing three activities back to back is a lot different than the demands of a marathon or other single-activity endurance races. The fact that you’re effectively competing in three different races all in one also leads to a number of logistical obstacles. Moving from swimming to cycling to running means there must be a few equipment changes along the way.
The demands of triathlons mean you’ll need a complete and correct set of equipment if you’re going to be comfortable, safe and quick as possible. And while we will assume you probably have a bike (you definitely need a bike!), here’s a list of some other essentials you’ll need if you’re going to take part in your very first triathlon.
From a swimsuit and goggles for the swimming leg of the competition to a pair of running shoes and sunglasses for the finale, each item may not seem to be important, but these pieces of gear will certainly help you along the way. And, if race day is still some time away, this gear will help you train to the fullest. Plus, we’ve included a training bible to ensure you’re doing the right things in the build up.
1. Shoe Laces – LOCK LACES
If your goal is the quickest time possible (rather than merely finishing), these LOCK LACES Shoelaces could shave a few seconds off your time with no effort at all. They take the place of your normal running shoe laces. Then, instead of taking the time to tie your shoes, you’ll simply need to slip them on and tighten them in seconds using the drawstring-like mechanism. When ordering Lock Laces, you can choose from a range of colors to match your existing laces or pick something outrageous for a more identifiable pair of shoes.
2. Number Belt – VeloChampion Triathlon Number Card Belt
Attaching your running number probably isn’t something most people consider before the race. After all, you don’t train with it. And while you can choose to stick with the old safety pin method, this VeloChampion Triathlon Number Card Belt takes all the hassle out of the situation and prevents your shirts from developing any unwanted holes. The belt sports a one-size-fits-all, easy-to-adjust buckle clip, which fits around your waist and can be flipped around from front to back when you change from the cycling to the running leg. The belt also includes two toggles for attaching your number.
3. Training Book – The Triathlete’s Training Bible 4th Ed.
Now in its fourth edition, The Triathlete’s Training Bible is exactly what it advertises. It provides all the information you need to get your body in the best shape possible in the weeks before, at the race and after your tri. It’s written by Joe Friel, one of the most experienced and trusted triathlon training coaches, so you can be sure what you’re reading will get you on the right track.
4. Sunscreen – COOLA Organic Suncare Body Sunscreen
It may seem like a strange necessity, but a good portion of your body is going to be exposed to the great outdoors throughout your race and your triathlon training. During this time, it’s important to ensure your skin is protected from the sun so you don’t miss any days of preparation. This COOLA Organic Suncare Body Sunscreen works well for athletes because it provides protection for up to two hours and is quick drying after application. It’s also full of natural ingredients that are good for your skin, like shea butter, argan oil and evening primrose oil.
5. Goggles – Aqua Sphere Kayenne Swim Goggles
When you’re swimming, you’re going to want goggles. And, on top of that, you’re going to want the right ones for open water swimming. These Aqua Sphere Kayenne Swim Goggles sport UV protective, scratch-resistant and anti-fog lenses, which help to keep you seeing straight during the water leg of your triathlon. The 180-degree curved lenses also improve your field of view compared to normal goggles, while the strap fits in using a quick fit buckle system for easy and quick adjustments. These goggles are also available in a range of colors, which means you can choose the right pair to coordinate with the rest of your triathlon outfit.
6. Sunglasses – Tifosi Jet Sunglasses
Great for both the running and cycling legs of the race, sunglasses provide your eyes with protection from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, wind and any other harsh conditions during training or on race day itself. These Tifosi Jet Sunglasses are a popular choice among athletes as they don’t just provide protection, they’re also made from nylon, which makes them incredibly lightweight. Plus, they come in a range of color options, which can really set off your triathlon outfit.
7. Running Shoes – ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 25 Running Shoes
Some people say picking your shoes is an incredibly personal process. And while that’s certainly true, especially if you put pressure in different parts of the foot, there are some shoes that just seem to suit everyone. The ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 25 Running Shoes fall into this category. The 25 is the latest in the ASICS line of impressive trainers built specifically for running. These shoes feature advanced, lightweight FLYTEFOAM technology to provide stability and a comfortable ride for your whole foot, even over long distances. There’s also a range of color combinations available, allowing you to choose the style that best fits your personality.
8. Swimsuit – Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit
Choosing the right wetsuit for your swimming leg can make a huge difference in terms of your time. That’s why the Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit is a great choice. Over 80% of users award it a 5-star review, and it’s specifically made for triathlons. The wetsuit includes smart additions, like a nametag, an anti-chafing interior and Powermax panels in the forearms for maximum propulsion. It’s also fully kitted out with high-quality zippers, and it’s 5/3 mm thick to keep you going even in cooler temperatures.