If you’re reading this, you are probably thinking about competing in your first triathlon. A triathlon is a sporting event that consists of three separate disciplines; cycling, swimming and running, one after the other. For more information on what a triathlon is you can read our blog post here. When preparing to compete in your first triathlon race it can be overwhelming, with three different sports, there are three separate disciples to train for, and three sets of equipment to purchase. This is why at Kitbrix we have compiled a triathlon equipment list for beginners so you can start your training fully prepared and with equipment that will push you to perform your best, and the most safely.
As with all sporting goods, triathlon equipment lists can vary greatly in cost. You could spend thousands of pounds preparing for your first triathlon, just a few hundred, or this might be equipment that is already lying around at home or that you can borrow. It is always a good idea to think about investing in your own equipment if you are aiming to reach peak performance, or you think you’ll catch the triathlon bug. However, triathlons are meant to be fun and can be used just as an exciting way to raise money for charity or just to stay in shape, regardless of how much your equipment costs. So, if its your first race and you’re just giving it a go, you will be able to find most of the goods on this triathlon equipment list in a pinch.
Triathlon Equipment List for Beginners:
- Bike Helmet: This one is a must have and a priority for anyone writing their triathlon equipment list. Any race that is USAT-certified requires you to wear one of these, which is most triathlon races. If you don’t have one of these on your head come race day, you won’t be able to compete! These can be found in most sporting good stores and are relatively inexpensive. Even if you weren’t competing in a triathlon, these are always a good idea to have when riding a bike and even during training.
- Bike: This is where your triathlon equipment list can get expensive with specialist bikes costing thousands of pounds. Whilst you do need a bike, there are no specifications on which bike. Ideally a lightweight road bike with multiple gears and smooth tires will help you pick up speed in this section of the race. However, whichever bike you already have or can borrow will do! If you have a mountain bike, simple modifications such as changing the tires will give you an added push in performance.
- Sunglasses: Whilst sunglasses may sound like just an accessory or to keep the sun out of your eyes, they are even more important than that. When you are cycling, especially on muddy terrain and amongst other riders, sunglasses will prevent debris and even bugs from flying into your eyes. Any pair you already have will do! Alternatively, a pair of cycling glasses typically cost £30 and under.
- Sports Bra or Swim Top: The number one rule when writing your triathlon equipment list is NO COTTON. Cotton is an extremely absorbent material and if worn during the swimming portion of the race, the cotton will become heavy and stretch. This will restrict movement and slow you down, the last thing you need in arguably the hardest discipline of triathlon races. Triathlon tops or singlets can cost a fair amount of money, but a swim top or sports bra will suffice, especially for the shorter swims.
- T-Shirt or Workout Shirt: Once you have completed the swim section of the race you will need a top to quickly throw on over your swim gear to complete the final leg. Any top will do here, but again, avoid coton if you can. Cotton will absorb the moisture from your swim gear and become heavy and stretched. Any moisture wicking top is best.
- Triathlon Shorts: Another piece item that should be pushed to the top of your triathlon equipment list is a pair of triathlon shorts. You will be able to wear these shorts for each leg of the race, which will cut down the time and energy needed to change during the transition. These shorts will be sweat wicking, dry quickly after the swim and even have a soft pad to improve the comfort of your bike seat.
- Microfibre towel: For fast drying after your swim, a microfibre towel is perfect as it holds 4x the amount of water and dries 4x quicker. Microfibre towels are also super lightweight and compact! Shop yours here.
- Running shoes: This is one item on your triathlon equipment list that is recommended to purchase first hand. On the more experienced triathletes you will see separate running shoes and separate SPD shoes that clip to the bike pedals. However, a pair of running shoes is all you need to compete in the cycling and running legs. Just make sure that if you are wearing running shoes for the cycling check that your bike has plain pedals or cages attached.
- Kitbrix bag: During your training and on race day you will have to have somewhere to keep, protect and organise all your equipment. The Kitbrix bag is equipped with a sturdy waterproof base, and waterproof compartments to separate your wet and dry kit.
Top tip: equipment can be used across multiple disciplines; this will even save you time changing during the transition.