11 Essential Items for the Beginner Triathlete

Don't cross the start line without this must-have race day gear

Training for your first triathlon is almost a fulltime job in itself. You hardly have time to brush your hair, let alone figure out exactly what gear you’re going to need on race day. Plus, with all the latest and greatest gizmos and gadgets out there, it’s not an easy arena to sift through.

Does three sports in one race mean you need three times the gear? Not necessarily. You’ll need more equipment than what a typical running race might require (that’s a given), but much of the gear designed for triathletes is made specifically for transitioning from one sport to the next, eliminating the need for excess items.

Aside from the obvious gear like a bike, running shoes and a bathing suit, there are a few other things you’ll need in order to successfully cross your first tri finish line. The good news: you don't need to go out and break the bank with all the latest and greatest equipment. Triathlon races may not be cheap—inevitably you’ll need to splurge on a few big-ticket items—but by investing in the right gear you can save money and shave seconds or even minutes off of your finish time. 

To help direct your focus towards what you really need, we’ve created a list of 11 essential items for the beginner triathlete. You can also check out our race checklist to ensure you don't forget anything on race day!  

Alison Kreideweis is Co-Founder & Head Coach at the Empire Triathlon Club.

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