Triathlon gear for the beginner

Triathlon gear for the beginner

Are you considering doing your first triathlon and wondering, “What gear do I really need to be able to do this thing?” 

Well, fortunately, the list is pretty simple and short! Really, all you need is a pair of goggles, a bike and helmet, and running shoes. 

Before any race I ask if I have those items, knowing that even if I’m missing something else, I’ll for sure be able to get through the race!

Beyond that though, there are a few things we like to have to enable us to race our best. Here’s a short list of “what to buy next.”

A Triathlon Suit

One of the top questions we always get asked is what to wear during the race. There are a lot of options out there, but we recommend a triathlon suit. These can be one or two piece, which you go with comes down to what you prefer.

A tri suit is made to be swam in, while it may be wet it won’t weigh you down like a t-shirt or other materials. They are also moisture wicking, helping your body stay cool in warmer temperature. 

Tri suits will also have just a little bit of padding for the bike, which also dries quickly, but not so much padding it feels like you are wearing a diaper during the race. 

Lastly, most will have a few small pockets (protected to not just take on water) that you can use to carry nutrition. 

A tri suit is your one-stop shop, so you aren’t worrying about changing clothes during the race.

A Race Belt

Race belts are a great addition to your triathlon gear. It’s a simple piece, but huge time saver. These are small elastic belts to which you affix your bib. By using the race belt you aren’t having to put on another shirt you’ve pre-pinned your bib to. 

Some race belts also have pockets, so if you need more nutrition beyond what your tri suit can carry, or you want run specific nutrition, this is a great place to store it. 

Race belts are also handy because they enable you to get out of transition just a little bit quicker, since it’s so easy to put the belt on while moving.

Elastic Shoe Laces

Tying your shoes is hard. Ok, you’ve been doing it for years, I understand. But when you are exhausted coming out of the swim or having just ridden, your brain isn’t working 100%, blood is behind pushed everywhere but to your fingers. Dexterity is at an all time low and balance while bending over can be nearly impossible!

Enter: elastic laces. Before the race you replace your stock shoe laces with these little guys and trust me, you’ll never go back! 

Elastic laces will enable you to pre-tighten your shoes to a desired level, then just slip your shoe right on without hardly any effort. 

Minimal bending over. No time spent tying. Another way to get through transition quicker. It’s a win-win-win! And I could keep coming up with more wins if needed!


While none of these pieces of gear are needed for a triathlon they are definitely worth the investment if you intend to do a few tri’s. A tri suit, a race belt and elastic shoes laces will help you have the best day out there with a little less thinking and hopefully a lot less time on course. 

What’s one piece of simple gear you recommend every triathlete have?

Leave a comment