We all sometimes wonder what to wear during the different stages of a triathlon. To help those of you that are looking for an answer to this question, wrote the following article that covers, “What to Wear During the Triathlon Swim Portion of the Race”, “What to Wear During the Triathlon Bike Portion of the Race” and “What to Wear During the Triathlon Run Portion of the Race.”
What to Wear During the Triathlon Swim Portion of the Race
Wet Suits and swim Suits: There are triathlon swim suits and triathlon wet suits you can buy. You should choose something that is comfortable, fits well and is within your price range. Remember, you get what you pay for, though!
When you race, you should wear a somewhat tight swim suit or wet suit to avoid dragging too much water with you. Be sure it doesn’t impair the movement of your limbs or cut off the circulation to any of your limbs.
When choosing a triathlon wet suit, you should consider the temperature of the water you will be swimming in. This will help you determine whether you should buy a full length wet suit, a short wet suit or something in between. There are so many different types to choose from, but trying them on and making sure that you buy one that fits snug, but is not constricting, will be your best bet!
Our pool swimmers say that any ocean swim requires a wet suit, but in fact, that’s not so. You have to check with the rules for the event. Some allow wet suits and others don’t. Our suggestion is to bring it with the intention of wearing it and then ditch it before the race if the event is a “no wet suit” event.
For Women: Women can choose from many styles when it comes to swim suits. There are a variety of one-piece swim suits with different patterns and lots of options when it comes to two piece triathlon suits. For the well-endowed ladies in the house, you may want to wear a bra under a one piece swim suit.
For Men: Men have options now too! Back in the day, men had two choices: A Speedo (small swim suit that left little to the imagination) and big loose heavy trunks ( that dragged the entire ocean with them). Both made the sport of swimming less attractive to the majority of males at some point because each had their drawbacks.
At last, top brand makers have a line of mens swim suits that are less revealing and make you more streamlined in the water. They come in different patterns and lengths too. Some lengths end just above the knee and others end somewhere on the thigh. They are comfortable and you can also use them as bike shorts if you don’t mind not having the padding in the butt area.
Sunscreen: Sunscreen is a must! Put this on before the swim to avoid wasting time during the race.
Goggles: Woman and men should wear both swim caps and goggles for best results. There are many different brands out there and the best thing you can do is try on the equipment before you buy it. Goggles come in all shapes and sizes just as our faces do. Go to your local sports store and spend some time trying on the goggles so that you have something that is comfortable and fits well. If you find that the pair you bought leaks when you get in the water, take them off, dry them off, put them back inside the package and return them. If the store does not let you return them, keep them and find another sports store and continue your search for the perfect pair. Fortunately, goggles are rather inexpensive and you can afford to make a couple of mistakes. Having the right goggles makes a HUGE difference in a successful swim.
How to Transition from the Swim to Bike
- Take off the wetsuit (if you’re wearing one)
- DO NOT TAKE OFF YOUR SWIM SUIT; DO NOT PUT ON UNDERWEAR; DO NOT PASS GO; DO NOT COLLECT $200
- Visit our Triathlon Swim Section to read more great tips!
What to Wear During the Triathlon Bike Portion of the Race
Protect your Noggin: In order to participate in mini-triathlons, you must have an approved helmet that fits properly. Affix the bib number to the side of the helmet on race day before the race starts.
Dress for the Weather: Wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather. There are tank tops, short sleeved and long sleeved shirts as well as bike shorts and leggings. Wear clothing that wicks the moisture away from your skin. Cotton gets wet, heavy, cold/hot and really uncomfortable in long races. Clothing that wicks away the moisture will keep you more comfortable through your race. The tag will tell you whether it does or not. Wear a snug tank top, t-shirt or racing shirt to keep the air resistance down and pin your bib number to your chest before the race starts. Wear the same shirt during your run to keep your transition time down.
Protect your Backside: Choose bike shorts for padding on the backside. Not only will they keep the inside of your thighs from chaffing and your butt from aching, they also keep your backside moisture free.
For your Feet: There are all different types of shoes to wear on a triathlon bike. Some bikes require shoes that clip on. These shoes should not be worn for the run. Some peddles look like regular peddles, only they have straps over the tops or baskets that hold your feet in place. With these basket peddles, you can wear your running shoes and not have to worry about changing shoes for the run.
What to Wear During the Triathlon Run Portion of the Race
Be kind to your feet: Be sure that you have moisture-wicking socks for your feet. Cotton socks are the leading cause of blisters.
Some people walk on the outside of their feet, some walk on the inside of their feet and others distribute their weight directly down the middle. If you are walking on the outside or inside of your foot, you want to find a sneaker that has extra support to force your foot to distribute your weight evenly. Otherwise you risk ankle, knee and/or hip pain.
If you’re not sure how your foot distributes weight and you’ve been experiencing pain, you can ask Road Runner Sports to evaluate you. A proper diagnosis will lead you to the proper sneaker and a pain-free run!
Remember, running sneakers last for 6 months. You can risk extending the life of your sneaker, but you will also risk injury.
Dress for the weather: Wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather. There are so many kinds of clothing: long sleeved, tank tops, short sleeved, shorts, long leggings. For races, you should wear snug fitting clothing, but for training, you can wear looser fitting garments.
Keep yourself dry: Wear clothing that wicks the moisture away from your skin. Cotton gets wet, heavy, cold/hot and really uncomfortable in long races and training. Clothing that wicks away the moisture will keep you more comfortable through your race. The tag will tell you whether it does or not.
That’s it! We hope you found this post helpful!
The TriFREAKS Inc. Team