Obviously you need equipment to swim, bike, and run, otherwise you woudn’t be able to complete a triathlon. I would like to know what kind of equipment you have so I am able to coach you better. And, if you have questions or need help picking out new equipment, I am here to help.
In triathlon, there is more to swimming than goggles and a swimsuit! The first thing you need to find is… A POOL! So, get a membership to a rec center so you can swim. Once that is taken care of, you can focus on the swim workouts. We will occasionally do kick drills, so swim fins of some kind may be helpful. THESE fins are totally fine. We will also use paddles sometimes. If you don’t already own paddles, we suggest TYR Catalist 2 Training Paddles. Size MEDIUM will probably be best for most of you. Many races will likely be a wetsuit-legal swim, so if you don’t have a wetsuit already, you will want to consider purchasing one. If you are in the market, Aquaman Wetsuits are one of our partners and you get a generous discount off of retail pricing.
Here’s where your biggest equipment stress will occur. There will ALWAYS be something you can buy for your bike that you think will make you faster. Our philosophy on the type of bike you ride is this: the bike needs to be comfortable. If your bike isn’t comfortable, you won’t want to ride it. And if you don’t ride your bike, you won’t become a better biker. So, the priority is to have a bike that is comfortable. From there, the sky is the limit. Components, wheels, helmet, shoes, pedals, and components can vary greatly in performance and price. Our advice is to get the best bike you can afford (as long as it is comfortable). Then don’t worry about upgrading or changing anything. This will save A LOT of stress as you progress through the season.
Helmets are necessary. Be sure to replace your helmet every year or two. So, if you have an old helmet, invest in a new one. Hopefully you will never have to test the helmet out in a fall, but if you do, your head will thank you!
Running is relatively simple. Shoes and running clothes. If you have a pair of shoes that work, stick with them. If you are struggling to find a pair of shoes that feel “right,” then go to a reputable shoe store and have one of the shoe specialists help you find the proper shoe for your running style.
We suggest that you rotate two pairs of shoes on runs. One is more of a heavier trainer, while the other is a bit lighter. The mix-up helps keep the shoes fresh but switching shoes also helps keep the legs guessing (which can be a good thing).
As for run clothing – you want to wear clothes appropriate for the type of training you do. Invest in good gloves and tights and running jacket. These things can be layered to allow you to dress for almost any weather.
Technological tools can be valuable asset to enhancing your trianing. Even something as simple as a stopwatch can allow you to quantify a training effort, and knowiong your previous time on a given course be useful in monitoring in pacing yourself and/or pushing yourself in subsequent workouts.
Now, there are SO many technological tools available that it can be overwhelming when it comes to deciding which tools are useful and which are overkill.
Take a few minutes to read this article I wrote about technology, data, and measuremets:
TrainingPeaks is very useful in that it allows you to upload all kinds of data! This data is valuable for us because it allows me to see quantifiable, unbiased data for each of your workouts. TrainingPeaks also has some great software that allows us to track your cumulative training stress and improvements. BUT, it only works if you upload your data! So, we strongly encourage you to upload data for EVERY workout!
The most technological tools I like my athletes to have are ranked below in order of most important to ‘luxury item.’