When it comes to competing in triathlon, the last thing you need to worry about is what to wear, right? Wrong! Choosing your triathlon kit and packing your triathlon transition bag can be a challenging part of the sport- and one that very few train for! There’s nothing worse than training towards a big race, only to find that your kit doesn’t perform on the day or that you’ve forgotten to pack your cycling shoes.
To help you figure out what you need and why you need it, Tri-Eva is offering up our list of race day needs, hints and recommendations. Plus check out our handy printable checklist for all of the bits and pieces that you better not forget when you head out early on the big day!
Your kit from head-to-toe…
Let’s start from the top. Your head. With each discipline, there is a very important item that you’ll need for training and competing.
For the swim, you’ll need a swim cap. Most races provide these in colours that coordinate, no- not with your trisuit, but rather with your start wave. It’s always a good idea to pack an extra, just in case. You may even want to wear it under the cap provided for warmth in the case of very cold water.
For cycling, a helmet is not only a potential life-saver, it’s required by triathlon rules in every race. Choosing a comfortable helmet is key- cycling is the longest stage of triathlon and since you’ll be using it to race and train, you’ll spend a lot of time sporting it. Try on different helmets and see what fits and feels comfortable for you. The main difference in expensive helmets and less expensive models is weight, not safety features, so if you find a very comfy helmet at a low price point, it’s not necessary to spend a lot.
For the run leg, head gear is optional, but a billed cap is a good idea. For something so unassuming, a running cap does a lot to protect you from the elements, whether the day brings bright sun or heavy rain. Choose one that is breathable and comfortable.
OK, now for your actual clothing. First, stay away from cotton. Cotton holds moisture and moisture causes everything from a saggy outfit to blisters and chafing. Of course, all of Tri-Eva’s kit is made from high-quality, wicking fabrics that will dry quickly and resist bacteria.
So should you choose a one-piece or a two-piece tri suit?
A one-piece tri suit is a streamlined, sleek option. It will easily go from swim to bike to run with no worry that the top might ride up and is often chosen by the pros for aerodynamic benefits. Might we suggest the beautiful Olympus Tri-Eva trisuit?
A two-piece suit can be more versatile. Easy to mix your favorite top with your favorite shorts, a great choice if you are a different size on top and bottom, perfect for racing and training; not to mention, easier when a long race or race day nerves lead to frequent potty breaks! And while we’re on the subject (sort of)- tri shorts are made with a comfortable built-in pads, so no undies, girls. Check out Tri-Eva’s two-piece sets for tops and shorts that are made for each other!
Another important consideration is keeping your feet dry and comfortable. Not every triathlete wears socks (especially sprint-distance speedsters, trying to save precious seconds on their transition times). However, if you are prone to blisters or you’re going long, breathable, wicking socks are a must. Once again, absolutely NO cotton. Try out different socks in training- there is a huge range of thicknesses and fiber contents- to determine what’s best before a race.
What about shoes?
Shoes are another subject entirely. Stay tuned for our next article on choosing the right cycling and running shoes for more tips!
One last suggestion- nothing new on race day! Plan your race day wardrobe in the same way that you’d plan what you’re wearing for other big days in your life. Then test it out in training so that you know you’re wearing what is most comfortable for you.