Given the most basic fact that you are getting involved with three sports with triathlons instead of just one if you are to pick just about any other sport, it is naturally more expensive than just running or cycling or swimming. However, the rewards and benefits are known to be tripled. Ask around and every active sports athlete probably wants to try triathlons at least once in their lives but certain factors prevent them from doing so including health status, schedule, and of course, cost of tri gear.
We will not actually play anything down with regards to the cost because it is true that triathlons are more costly. But what we are going to do is to teach you the things that you must have and are of utmost necessity to help turn your triathlon dreams into reality.
All these will still cost you something (since nothing is technically free nowadays) but you can save a whole lot of bucks if you are going to stick with the basics, know their specific needs, how to maximize their functions, and of course, know where to buy them the cheapest way possible, all without sacrificing great quality.
You know you are going in for a swim and so you have to be prepared. Swimming in itself is already not an easy task especially if you have been running like there is no tomorrow. Make sure your swimming goggles have been tested and you are absolutely comfortable wearing it with no leaks and discomfort.
Great tips in finding the perfect goggles are to make sure that it stays on your face no matter what even without the strap. Your eyelashes should not touch the lenses and the nose piece should fit perfectly without slicing into your skin. If your eyes are quite sensitive to bright sunlight, then go for the tinted ones.
Most triathlon organizers provide this but you still need a swim cap during training. It would also definitely not hurt to bring an extra one just in case the water is extremely cold.
This is a mandatory requirement in all triathlon races. A wetsuit will not just keep you warm but it also provides buoyancy which should benefit you. When shopping for a wetsuit, choose the one that is triathlon specific rather than a surf wetsuit.
If you do not plan to train for triathlons for the rest of your life and simply wants to experience it once, then maybe you would be better off with wetsuit rentals. Be sure to find one that is not too tight or restrictive. There are special women’s wetsuits available as well.
The best options that are budget friendly are the normal race bikes but for the serious triathlete a proper triathlon bike would be better. On such a bike you have a better aerodynamic position, which means you can go faster with a lot less energy.
A normal race bike will certainly be good enough for a tri beginner and those bikes are nowadays very light as well.
You have to get two pair of shoes for triahtlons: one pair for running and one pair for cycling. If you really are on a budget you might be able to combine those but it’s certainly not prefered. And the costs of an extra pair of shoes won’t be that much on your total budget.
If you are getting more serious, you can get a light pair of race running shoes and a pair for trainings. Training running shoes need to be very good in absorbing and the light race shoes are making the running section of the triathlon less difficult since these shoes are really light. Get your running shoes in a good running shop and be aware that women should have special women’s running shoes!
For cycling, you need to get a pair of sturdy race shoes and you can use them for cycle training and for the triathlons as well.
Helmet is a must but you do not have to break the bank for it. Just pick one that has passed the standard necessary safety tests and you are good to go.
Race Suit/Bike Shorts/Running Shorts
You definitely would not have any time to change and you would rather drink than change outfits. This is why most triathletes would rather wear a single-piece tri suit which they can wear from the start of the race to finish without any qualms or worries.
These tri suits, or tri combination short and shirt, don’t have any padding for the cycling section since the running with such a padding will be annoying and the swimming will make the padding soak up water. Since you don’t have any time to change, you need to make the best out of it and a triathlon suit/combination is certainly the best.
Sports Watch/GPS Triathlon Watch
Simple sport watches offer split timing which is a very helpful feature whether during. But if you are serious about being a full-pledged triathlete, it would not hurt to consider a GPS triathlon watch instead which could better assist you with pretty much everything. These are waterproof watches with heart rate sensors so you can monitor your speed and status.
Some might think that this is just an accessory but those who bike and run under the scorching heat of the sun know how valuable sunglasses are. There is no need to splurge. Just find one with a good tint and great fit so that your eyes can be protected from the wind, bugs, raindrops, and all sorts of environmental factors you will likely encounter as you run and bike.
Flat Kit Bag
We are talking about a small flat kit bag which can hold your goggles, sunglasses, a spare tire and a cartridge air pump and tire levers. Do not put any other unnecessary things as you do not want the weight of your kit pull you down. Just come prepared if in any case you come across a flat tire.
Choose the most unique color and design because this will also serve as your marker of where your bike is at. This should give you a proper heads up on which direction to go even before you get out of the water, therefore, instantly buying you more time.
Whether you want water or your favorite energy drink, fill your water bottle up as organizers usually allow participants to bring this along during the run and bike portions.
This is a simple elastic belt where you can strap your number on. The great thing about having this is that you can turn the number behind you while biking and then turn it forward once you are on the run phase. This paves way for better tracking and definitely looks good on pictures.
If you do not have sunglasses or the sun is just too much for you, a running hat will come handy and absolutely more comfortable. This is a must during training but you can take it with you during the actual triathlon event.
Training and joining triathlons does not need to be extremely pricey with these tips. You just have to stick to the basics and avoid the fancy unnecessary stuff and you will do well. Besides, all these are just accessories to make you feel comfortable and increase your chances of setting a good PR. Success still lies on your mind and body.
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