A triathlon is one of the ultimate fitness challenges. Preparing for your first one can be daunting. Let us help you find the right equipment for it.
The Right Equipment for Your First Triathlon
A triathlon is one of the ultimate fitness challenges. Swimming, cycling then running your way around a circuit against competitors brings in the cardiovascular strains of three different sports, and combines them in a trio of willpower wrenching trials. Let’s cover the equipment you’ll need to get through it.
Before we get into what your wearing from the neck down, let’s talk Goggles. If your Goggles aren’t fitting like a glove, and by that we mean watertight and comfortable (not keeping your hands warm), you could be heading into trouble. Getting an eyeful of water isn’t nice in training, make sure it doesn’t happen in the race.
Wetsuits aren’t always compulsory items, but they’re going to give you extra warmth and buoyancy during the swim. Particularly in the temperamental weather of the United Kingdom, this is a piece of triathlon equipment that can come in very handy. Yes, you could cut some speed by ditching it, but particularly for beginners we recommend one.
This sport-specific item is a one-piece suit usually vested and short on the legs to allow full range of movement. The suit is tight, streamlining and providing your body with compression, which has been proven to boost sports performance. They are lightweight, breathable and fast drying. A Tri-suit is a must.
As you may have guessed, for the cycle section of the race you’re going to need a bike. This is where you need to be sensible. Certain race bikes can literally cost as much as a sports car. You could buy a house with some of the top end bikes. It’s safe to say that particularly in the early stages, any road or race bike is going to serve you just fine. If you become a hardcore triathlete maybe look at upgrading, but don’t go spending half a million unless you win the lottery.
Compulsory in all the competitions we are aware of, a helmet isn’t a choice. What you can decide upon is varying levels of comfort, weight and streamlining to help you shave a few seconds off your time. Again, at the start these fractional differences aren’t something you should be worrying about, but as far as we know you aren’t going to need a record deal to get a half decent helmet.
While you might not think you need sunglasses our wet, windy shores of the UK, you probably should. You’re going to need a sport-specific pair too, not Ray-Ban Aviators. Brands like B’Twin and Kalenji have got you covered. An accidental glance at the sun as it appears from behind a cloud can not only put you in danger, but other cyclists. If you’re training or competing in the summer months, sun cream will be a good shout too.
# Running Shoes
Getting yourself a good pair of running shoes isn’t only for triathlons, this should be you first port of call before engaging in any sports involving running. Proper running shoes protect you from the concrete environments most of us live in nowadays, even in parks, walkways and trails are often concrete or covered in gravel. Running shoes give you shock protection, ankle support and comfort during training and races. While speed increase is going to be a bonus, the biggest gain by wearing correct footwear is injury reduction.
Last, but not least, are socks. While you might have overlooked this one, the right socks are going to give you breathability and comfort, particularly in the running section. Both socks that are too thin or too thick could equally cause discomfort or blisters. Choose breathable socks with extra cushioning and even compression to stave off discomfort and injury.
These are the essentials you’re going to need to get through your triathlon with (relative) comfort. The only thing we might have missed is a sports bag within which you can fit everything. No, not the bike. Just make sure you get some solid training in before entering a race, you can have the best equipment in the world, but that race time is going to come down to one thing, your preparation dedication. Do us proud.