Training for a triathlon is easier than you may think. Even if you have no prior experience, you can train and compete in a minimum of 12 weeks without changing your entire schedule or spending a lot of money.
When looking into the sport of triathlon you may come across many “gear head” triathletes. If you are one of them, then you know who you are. They are the ones whose bikes look similar to a sleek sports car and have the latest and greatest gear on their wrist. If you are interested in competing in the sport of triathlon, you should follow a simple training plan and acquire the basic equipment. If the sport is right for you, then it is easy to add equipment based on your personal training needs.
Swimming Suit – Women should use a one-piece or t-back suit; men should use a form-fitting swim trunk. These allow for less surface drag during the swim portion and reduce the chances of losing your suit when you exit the water.
Goggles – Any type of goggles will work -just be sure that they fit your eyes comfortably to keep water out.
Swim Cap – Most race programs usually provide swim caps. A swim cap keeps your hair confined and out of the way, allows your goggles to fit smoothly around your head, and provides an easy way for the race crew to track you in the water.
Bicycle – It is important to use a bicycle that fits you physique. A road, mountain, or hybrid bike will work for any race. A triathlon bike or “time trial” bike is not necessary; it is also not necessary to have clipless pedals and cycling shoes for your first triathlon. They do help in the longer races, but are not a must for beginners.
Helmet – All races require participants to wear a helmet. Use of a helmet provides valuable protection in the event of a bike crash. Never use a helmet that is old and banged up, or one involved in a previous bike crash.
Water Bottle – No matter the length of the race, you will need to replenish vital fluids some with water or sports drinks like Accerlerade or Cytomax.
Bicycle Shorts – Most people, either for comfort, coverage, or both, opt to wear shorts over their swimsuit. While it is not necessary to have padded bike shorts, they provide added comfort during the race.
Running shoes – While you do not need to break the bank on shoes, it is necessary to find a pair that fits well and is comfortable. Visit your local running store to find the right pair of shoes for your feet. Some great stores in our area are Metro Run and Walk, Road Runner Sports, Pacers Running Store, Fleet Feet Sports, and Potomac River Running Company to name a few.