Triathlon isn’t easy at the best of times, whether you’re entering a sprint triathlon or an Ironman 70.3. The whole purpose is to push yourself to be the quickest you can be. My 2 brothers in law race by 1 rule; if you’re not sick when you finish, you didn’t push yourself hard enough.
But, having the right triathlon gear can go a long way to making your race a touch easier and more comfortable. Obviously there are essential items that you can’t race without but there are also some pieces of gear that fall into the ‘luxury’ list.
This list is just the beginning. Once you know what you need and decide on the extras you’re going to take, you have to hunt through the vast jungle of options and actually choose what gear you’re going to buy.
Which running shoes?
Which Tri suit?
And the list goes on…
I haven’t covered everything, but to help you out, I’ve given some of my personal recommendations.
Triathlon wetsuits are big business. Swimming in cold water for a long time is not a pleasant thing to do, so a good wetsuit is crucial. I’ve tried a few wetsuits in my time but none have beaten, or even come close, to my most recent one. The 2XU V:3. OMG! This is a divine wetsuit. Not only is the fit perfect, your arms feel free to move as if you weren’t wearing a suit. The buoyancy is second to none, making you feel like you are literally gliding on the surface and the legs are a good length making it quick and easy to take off. Perfect for the busy transition! Some of the main features are:
- Intermediate zone stretch (izs) panels
- Seamless shoulder + arm panel
- Nano scs coating
- SCS coating
- 39 Cell front buoyancy panel
- Concave water entrapment zone xtreme
- Velocity strakes
- Lower leg propulsion panel
- Transition panel
- Floating zip panel
- 520% Stretch lining
I genuinely don’t think that I will find a better wetsuit and could not be happier with it. 5 / 5 from The Dad Network! Thanks to 2XU for designing a triathletes dream wetsuit!
My chosen running shoe is the Zoot TT 7.0. Once I’d gotten over the shock of having bright blue trainers, I usually go for black, I put them on and it felt like I was wearing slippers. Slippers that you can run in for hours. The quick lace feature allows you to slip the shoe on in lightening time, but it still feels like the shoe is tightly done up to support your foot. At only 240g they are very light to wear. I’ve done a couple of long training runs in these and they have been great. I’d struggle to fault them.
I ride an Argon 18 Krypton and I love it. Literally love it. It’s like a second wife. I call it the Carbon Horse and it’s wonderful. Responsive, lightweight and good to look at. I have SRAM running gear on it and it’s smooth changing makes riding a dream. I would recommend Argon 18 for sure, but we are all different and with such a range of bikes out there, you really need to do your research before committing. The bike purchase will be your biggest investment, but do see it as exactly that: an investment. Take a look here at some cool bike options but remember to look at the reviews.
I’ve been training with the Aqua Sphere Kayenne swim goggle. With amazing 180 degree vision and polarised lenses, these had to be my chosen goggle. They are super comfy and have a fantastic, easy to use, tightening mechanism. Long gone are the days of steaming up and fiddling around to change the tightness! A great pair of goggles.
The pros don’t wear socks… but I’m not a pro… and I like having feet without blisters. Which means that getting a good pair of socks is worth while. The Bridgedale Speed Demon socks are the ones I’ll be using this time. They are really comfortable and have cushioned areas for that extra bit of comfort. These socks are super lightweight and highly breathable and are mapped with T2 technology, a knitted loop within a loop which offers an additional level of impact protection and cushioning on pressure points such as the ball of the foot, lace up area and Achilles to ensure comfort and cool feet all day long. A good pair of socks, I think, are an essential bit of triathlon gear.
For my training Protein Dynamix have been amazing! They have a great range of protein based nutritional products, designed to assist your training & recovery. I would highly recommend checking out. For racing however, as well as Protein Dynamic energy bars, I also love to use the Torq energy range. They have some delicious tasting gels (which are hard to come by) and a fantastic powdered energy drink that you simply mix with water. It’s fantastic and got me through the 3 peak challenge in record time a few years ago.
Ok, confession time. I don’t actually use a traditional triathlon sports watch that tracks your heart rate, cadence, GPS, mileage or pace. I use a bog standard analogue watch made by Luminox. Nothing can beat a good timepiece and to be honest, I welcome the challenge of working out how long I’ve been running, how far, average speed in my head whilst racing. It takes my mind off the fact that I’m practically dying!
That being said, there are some great sports watches on the market and one that I’ve used in the past is the Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS. This watch accurately tracks how far you run, how fast and calories used. It’s lightweight and has an inbuilt Virtual Pacer which can really help your training. This watch doesn’t have all the fancy features, but for £79.99 you can’t expect it to.
Yep, you guessed it. Again, I went for a 2XU trisuit. Once you find a brand you like, why go anywhere else? My suit has inbuilt compression to support my body around the race and it fits really well. A good trisuit is a crucial item on your triathlon gear list.
My event is drawing very close, so I am well into my final phase of training. I’ve been following a 3 month plan, written by Ollie Matthews. It’s been great for me because being a busy dad and working full time, I’ve had to alter it to suit my needs. This plan gives you the flexibility to do so. You can see it, use it or adapt it from below.
Am I fully prepared? I’m not sure I ever would be, but bring on the pain! Keep an eye out for my write up of how I got on.
*This was a sponsored post but all the opinions expressed are my own.