triathlon questions beginner faqs

Do you have an upcoming triathlon event but have some burning questions? This is the place to ask!

Should I wear a trisuit?

It is highly recommended that you wear a trisuit for a triathlon as it will be more comfortable and easier to transition between the three disciplines. A trisuit is a one-piece outfit that you wear throughout the entire race. For the swim, you wear your wetsuit over the top of the trisuit. It has subtle padding to keep you comfortable on the bike but is still comfortable to run in.

It will have a longline zipper to either the front or back for easy removal and will either have short sleeves or be sleeveless. 

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Do I need to wear a wetsuit?

For triathlons in the UK, all races are governed by the British Triathlon Federation and have to adhere to their rules. The BTF state that if the water is under 14 degrees Celsius, all competitors must wear a wetsuit. If the temperature is above 22 degrees, wetsuits are prohibited. In the UK, it's very unlikely that wetsuits will be prohibited for an open water swim but it's very possible that you will be required to wear one. If you're still unsure, check with the race director of the race you are doing.

How do I fasten my race number?

For triathlon races, your race number must be visible from the back of the bike but the front on the run. This means that pinning your number to your clothing isn't a great option. Instead, triathletes wear a race number belt which can be swivelled from front to back. A triathlon race number belt is easy to wear and is the best way to fasten your race number. You don't need to wear your race number for the swim.

 Do I have to swim front crawl/freestyle?

No, you don't. However, this is the most energy and time efficient swim stroke and is your best chance at finishing the swim in a good time and without being too exhausted. If you struggle with this stroke, it's recommended to do a few strokes of breaststroke to help you recover for a while. Backstroke is generally not allowed due to sighting issues. 

Got more questions? Ask your questions below and a triathlon expert will answer them!