Congratulations on entering your first triathlon. You've probably just realised you are actually doing this, so you're going to need some kit!
Never fear, Sundried have got you covered with our guide to kit, including all the bits you can’t live without on race day!
The kit any triathlete cannot live without:
If you're entering an official event, they’ll have rules around you wearing a wetsuit - and being in the UK, it’s rare the water temperature reaches above the temperature where wetsuits are forbidden, so you’ll want this race essential.
Wetsuits keep you warm and also aid you buoyancy - so for new triathletes they’re great. The wetsuit helps you to stay afloat during your open water swim. It won’t do the work for you, but it certainly helps.
For your first tri, it can be expensive to fork out for all the new kit, so why not hire or even borrow a wetsuit? We recommend https://www.wetsuitoutlet.co.uk/.
If you end up becoming a regular triathlete, your wetsuit will become a necessity in your open water training regime. Having your own suit also means you have plenty of time to practice getting into and out of it...tricky!
Now if you’re entering a pool based tri - you can get away with your swimsuit, but hit the open water and this is the best option.
Now technically you can live without this, but then you're looking at packing separate kit for your swim, ride and run. Wearing a tri suit just makes life that much easier. Rather than having to change from wetsuit to cycle shorts to your running gear, a tri suit is designed to stay with you from start to finish. Why the tri suit? Tri suits usually come in a half suit or a full suit . Whether you opt for the all in one or two-piece is entirely up to you, both do the same job and that job is to provide simplicity for what is, due to the very event's nature, a complicated race.
How does a tri suit help you? Tri suits are designed to be worn throughout the entire race and to guide you through each discipline. Made from thin, breathable material that will slip under your wetsuit, the top is usually sleeveless. The bottoms has a small pad in the crotch for your ride, which typically is slightly less padded than you may find in bike shorts - so not to chafe you when you begin to run with them.
Most swimmers will have a decent pair of goggles to protect their eyes from the dreaded sting of chlorine, but when it comes to sea swimming your goggles are often needed for more than just keeping water out of your eyes. The glare from the sun on a bright day can prevent your ability to see the buoys as you swim - which are what keeps you safe and heading in the right direction! Tinted goggles will aid your vision and help you stay on track.
Often, race organisers will provide these, as your swim cap may have your number on it. If not it’s recommended you wear one, not only will it keep your hair out of your face, preventing it from obscuring your vision, it also keeps your head dry, meaning you're not cycling and running with cold, wet hair, which will make you feel colder.
For a sprint distance tri, you don’t really need to worry about investing in an expensive tri bike, as your only cycling for 20 km, however if you want to pick up some speed opt for a road bike or a hybrid over your mountain bike. It’s best to pick the same bike you train with rather than battle with getting familiar with a new bike on race day. Trust me, you’ve got enough to worry about.
Safety first. A helmet could save your life. In any race you will not be allowed to ride without a helmet. Be sure to check your helmet fits properly - prior to your race. And ladies - try your helmet with your hair the way it will be when it comes out of a swim cap ie.FLAT.
Triathlon specific trainers have nifty little extra such as bike clips and quick fastening laces, but they’re not essential for a beginner.
You hardly have time spare to be toweling yourself down, but your towel also serves as a great marker for your disorientated post swim self to look out for. Most triathletes just stand on their towel whilst they quickly transition to the bike.
A running top to slip on over your tri suit is essential. Opt for a technical t shirt, as these are designed to wick sweat - meaning it will dry quickly if you’re already wet! The Sundried technical T shirt offers comfort and support and is perfect for this leg of the race. Avoid cotton which will weigh you down when wet.
Water should and most probably will, be handed out by marshalls throughout the race course, but it’s always best to have your own in case you need extra - or miss a marshal! This is a tough sport and you will be dehydrated. Don’t do a Jonathan Brownlee !
A Race Entry!
Finally, of course, you're going to need a race entry! Live in Southend? Sundried are sponsoring the Southend Triathlon 2017. Need help picking a race? You can read our triathlon reviews here to help you make your choice.