Minimalist Guide to Tri Gear

The Minimalist Guide to your first sprint triathlon

Congratulations!  You have decided to join the exciting world of triathlons and triathlon training.  This sport is both exciting and scary.  In addition to feeling overwhelmed, you might even be thinking if you can afford all of the tri gear that goes along with this crazy sport.  I’m here to tell you that in your first sprint triathlon you don’t need to break the bank.  Just remember, less is more!

Here is a basic list of you will need to get you through your first triathlon season. The hope is that you’ll discover how much you love this sport and lifestyle.  Only then should you slowly start to increase your gear purchases.

But for now, let’s get you through your inaugural tri season while leaving enough money to pay your mortgage or fill your car with gas.

A bag.
This can be a fancy triathlon bag is designed to carry every item in a specific pocket or pouch.  Or it can be a back pack that you find at Marshalls or Target.  But, I would highly recommend that you use a backpack.  It’s possible that you will need to ride your bike from your parking area to the transition area.  Carrying an L.L. Bean bag weighted with gear, water and food will most definitely insure you fall off of your bike before the event even begins.
Swim:
All you really need is a basic swim cap, regular racing swimsuit and goggles.

Bike:
You must have a helmet.  You should own bike gloves for when you’re doing your training rides.  However, you don’t need to take the time to put on your gloves for a 10-12 mile ride.  You can do the bike leg in running shorts and a t-shirt.  As far as the bike is concerned, you do not need a fancy road bike for your first sprint triathlon. You will work a bit harder on a hybrid or mountain bike.  But until you decide if this “triathlon thing” is for you, you should definitely wait before spending the money on a brand new road bike.  If did you buy a bike in your first season it probably won’t be the bike you would eventually want.  So…just wait.

Run:
All you really need is a good pair of running shoes for this one.  It’s always good to wear a cap and sunglasses to protect against heat and damaging sun rays.

Other:
You should have a water bottle or two on your bike.  This is where you’ll take in most of your fluids during the race.  If you get nervous taking a drink during the ride, don’t sacrifice the important hydration.  You can purchase or borrow a hydration system that you wear on your back.