Gear Recommendations For New Triathletes & Those Who Wants To Excel
Getting into the sport of triathlon can seem overwhelming with all the equipment and deciphering which items are needed and which are nice to have. If you are looking to get started in triathlon at your local sprint race, here is a just-the-necessities list that will help you get through training and then from the start line to the finish. And as an added bonus, I’ve also included gear recommendations for taking next step whether that is moving up in distance or getting faster.
Note that you do not need to purchase all of these things at once to participate in your first triathlon. Often times new triathletes can be overwhelmed by the amount of gear that more seasoned triathletes have. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying this sport! When I started triathlon I was a relatively poor graduate student who trained primarily on a mountain bike and did my first two seasons on second-hand road bikes. I saved money, asked for gift cards for birthday and holiday gifts, rented gear, and volunteered at local races to get discounts on entry fees. A conversation with a Playtri coach or sales associate can help you determine the best route forward in purchasing triathlon items.
To get you started you need: a road bike with a professional bike fit that will allow you to ride safely and comfortably, a helmet, water bottles and cages, cycling shorts & jersey, flat repair kit, bike pump, and chamois cream.
To make improvements you will need: a triathlon bike with a professional bike fit, clipless pedals, bike computer, aero helmet, power meter, hydration & nutrition storage, winter riding gear, bike trainer, and carbon wheels.
Out of the three disciplines of triathlon, running is the least gear intensive. You need to the following: running shoes, socks, running shorts and shirt, and a way to carry nutrition and hydration like this.
Race Day Gear:
To make improvements as an athlete you’ll want: a Watch & Heart Rate strap to accurately track and record your training metrics (distance, HR, pace/speed, cadence, time, etc.); a power meter to measure your power output on the bike; and performance testing to really dial in your training and racing intensities.
As I wrote earlier, to get started in triathlon you don’t need to buy all of these things at once. However, over time you will want to add to your collection of gear so that you can maximize your training and race day performance. Any Playtri coach or sales associate is more than happy to help you determine the best route forward in purchasing triathlon items.
Jim Rowe is a Playtri Level 4 Coach and Coach Education Lead, a USAT LI Certified Coach, and NASM Certified Personal Trainer who works with adult athletes of all abilities from beginners to IRONMAN World Championship qualifiers. Learn more about Jim at www.playtri.com/jim-rowe.