Triathlon is a multi-sport event that involves swimming, cycling, and running in succession. Participating in a triathlon can be a challenging and rewarding experience, but it also requires the right equipment in order to be done safely and effectively.
If we take the equipment list in order of the 3 events in the race, then we need to start with swimming. The obvious requirements are goggles, bathers and a swimming cap. If you are willing to spend the money, then there are a few additional items that will help you on race day.
A Tri Suit is a piece of athletic clothing designed to be worn through all legs of a multi-sport event. It is typically made of a lightweight and quick-drying fabric with short or long sleeves, pockets and a chamois. A chamois is a thin piece of padded cloth in the crutch to protect your sensitive areas while cycling without inhibiting you during the swim and run.
A wetsuit, on the other hand, is a thicker, insulating suit that is worn in colder water. A wetsuit will help to keep you warm and also aid in your floatation, making it easier to swim. Whether you choose a swimsuit or a wetsuit will depend on the water temperature and your personal preference.
Another, more essential, piece of equipment for triathlon is a bicycle. You can ride any bike you like in a race, and your bike choice really is only limited by your budget. You can ride a mountain bike, a commuter bike, a high nelly, a road bike or a triathlon-specific bike, also known as a tri bike. A tri bike is designed specifically for the demands of triathlon and is typically more aerodynamic than a standard road bike. However, any road bike or hybrid bike with drop handlebars can be specced up to help improve your aerodynamics with tri-bars and a good bike fit.
You will also be faced with the option of clip-in cycling or triathlon shoes. Triathlon Coach Steve Davis recommends that if you are doing a multi-sport event, you purchase the tri-specific bike shoes with only one or two straps to help make it easier to transition into and out of the cycle leg.
Whatever bike you use, it is important to make sure your bike is in good working order and is properly fitted to you before the race. You will also need a helmet and lights for training and commuting, as well as a good bike lock!
We have now made it to the running leg. Here, the only real requirements are a hat, sunglasses and running shoes. There are so many running shoes available in the market that it can be very daunting to choose which pair you need. It is a great idea to head into the Davey Black Tri Club shoe specialists at Active Feet and get some help from a podiatrist. They will help you choose a shoe that is best suited to your race goals, and your feet and running style.
So that is the main list, but there are also a lot of other small items that will help to enhance your training and racing experience. It is good to talk to a triathlon coach online, or at a club to help you decide on what items to get.
Some additional equipment includes GPS watch, race belt, nutrition belt, gels, protein powder, bike computer, wind trainer, additional training clothing like waterproofs, pull buoy, fins, tempo timer, paddles.
Overall, the equipment you need for triathlon will depend on the specific requirements of the race and your personal preferences. However, in general, you will need goggles, bathers, a bicycle, a helmet, cycling shoes, running shoes, and then all of the other optional items. By having the right equipment, you can prepare yourself properly for the demands of triathlon and maximise your enjoyment and performance on race day.