10 Beginner Triathlete Equipment Essentials


Hey what’s up triathletes, Taren here. If you are a complete beginner in triathlon
and you’re wondering what type of gear you should buy, stick around because I am going
to give you the 10 essential pieces of triathlon gear to get you started. I’m going to preface this entire list of gear
by starting off and saying what we’re looking to do is just get you started in triathlons,
not to get you to the tippy-top of the best gear that you can possibly get. It’s just to get you going, get you comfortable
in the sport, and keeping injury free. I think there are 3 pieces of essential swim
gear that you need to get, and the goal of this swim gear is to get you in the pool and
just get you comfortable with swimming. For starters, you need a pair of goggles. Some of the most basic sets of goggles out
there are actually some of the best. This means that you can get a pair of goggles
for under 10 bucks called Socket Rockets that are really cheap but really effective. Essentially a Socket Rocket is what’s called
a Swedish goggle, but it’s got a little bit of rubber on the inside of the socket so it
isn’t digging into your eye quite so much. These cost anywhere between about 5 and 10
dollars. After 7 years of doing triathlons and being
given and reviewing many sets of goggles, these cheap Socket Rockets are still the goggles
that I use day to day. The second essential piece of swim gear that
you need is a pair of trunks. Not everyone is born comfortable in a speedo. You’ll get there. I got there. Most people typically start of using what’s
called jammers, basically long, tight shorts that keep you from dragging a lot in the pool. Rinse these out immediately after you get
out of the water every single day in the showers, and they’ll last for a few years. The third essential piece of swim gear that
I think everyone needs is a pull boy. A pull boy won’t necessarily make you faster
or better swimmer, but what a pull boy will do is it will make your legs float up to the
water and it will make swimming easier. This is going to give you incentive to swim
a little bit longer, swim a little more regularly. I kid you not, the first few months coming
back into swimming, they aren’t going to be fun. My first day back in swimming it took me an
hour to swim 14 laps and I coughed chlorine for 2 days. Now getting onto the bike. I’m going to start this off by saying that
I recommend you use whatever bike you have available to you. Maybe it’s just something that’s a mountain
bike in your garage, maybe it’s your buddy’s road bike, or maybe you can buy something
for 2 or 3 hundred dollars. Certainly don’t go out and buy anything new
because at this point you’re just getting comfortable in the sport. Once you get to the point that you know you’re
committed to doing triathlon, then we can talk about getting into a proper bike, but
until that point, stay stingy my friends. The fourth essential piece of triathlon gear
and the first piece of bike gear that you need is a helmet. I don’t really need to explain this, do I? Just get a basic helmet, don’t worry about
aerodynamics or venting or all the super sonic things that helmets are coming out with these
days. Just get a helmet that fits right with 2 fingers
of room over top of your eyes, and snug enough so that even if the strap isn’t clipped in,
the helmet doesn’t flop around on you. The next thing you’ll need for getting going
in the cycling aspect of triathlon is a pair of triathlon shorts and a cycling jersey. Triathlon shorts are just like regular bike
shorts that you would get in a cycling store, but the pad on the inside next to your nether
regions is a little bit smaller than on cycling shorts, so you can still use these shorts
when you hop off the bike and you’re got to run. They also typically have pockets in the back
cozied up next to your bum so that you can store all the nutrition back there that you’ll
need during the triathlon. I recommend getting a cycling jersey because
a cycling jersey with sleeves and pockets in the back can double as a triathlon jersey. A triathlon jersey that’s really, really tight
and sleeveless can’t really double as a cycling jersey. You’ll look a little bit silly out there. The next think you’ll need to get going in
the cycling aspect is a pair of clip on aero-bars. Remember that bike that bike that I first
talked about? 80% of your drag that you’re going to be battling
as you’re going on the bike isn’t coming from the bike actually. It’s coming from your body. A pair of clip on arrow bars will get you
as low and out of the wind as much as possible, making you a lot faster and it’ll be easier
to ride. The last thing that you need to get going
in cycling isn’t actually a piece of gear at all. Go into the local bike shop that specializes
in bike fitting and get yourself a proper bike fit. Get everything sized up on the bike to be
as aerodynamic as possible within your body’s limitations. If your bike set up is not quite right, you’re
probably going to be causing yourself injury and it’s not going to be nearly as comfortable,
potentially making you injured and certainly making it less enjoyable. Now to get you going in the running aspect
of triathlon, the main goal here is to get you started comfortably without injury. That injury is a really big part, especially
in running. The first thing that you need is obviously
running shoes. Personally I would recommend the Hoka Clifton
3s which I’ve reviewed. These aren’t excellent race shoes, these aren’t
excellent trail shoes, these are excellent road shoes, but they’re really, really good
all-around shoes. They’re light, they’re springy, they don’t
have a huge heel but they’re also really, really cushioned so they work for people who
have heel striking tendencies or people who have really good mid-foot striking tendencies. You’ll know what those mean eventually, I
promise. They’re average priced but they last a really
long time, and because they’re very cushioned they’re going to keep your body a little bit
fresher and less beat down as you start running. The next thing you need is a running watch. Personally I use the Garmin 920XT, this is
the gold standard of triathlon watches. That said, it’s hundreds of dollars. You don’t really need to spend all that money. The purpose of a a triathlon Hey what’s up triathletes, Taren here. If
you are a complete beginner in triathlon and you’re wondering what type of gear you should
buy, stick around because I am going to give you the 10 essential pieces of triathlon gear
to get you started. I’m going to preface this entire list of gear
by starting off and saying what we’re looking to do is just get you started in triathlons,
not to get you to the tippy-top of the best gear that you can possibly get. It’s just
to get you going, get you comfortable in the sport, and keeping injury free. I think there are 3 pieces of essential swim
gear that you need to get, and the goal of this swim gear is to get you in the pool and
just get you comfortable with swimming. For starters, you need a pair of goggles. Some
of the most basic sets of goggles out there are actually some of the best. This means
that you can get a pair of goggles for under 10 bucks called Socket Rockets that are really
cheap but really effective. Essentially a Socket Rocket is what’s called a Swedish goggle,
but it’s got a little bit of rubber on the inside of the socket so it isn’t digging into
your eye quite so much. These cost anywhere between about 5 and 10 dollars. After 7 years
of doing triathlons and being given and reviewing many sets of goggles, these cheap Socket Rockets
are still the goggles that I use day to day. The second essential piece of swim gear that
you need is a pair of trunks. Not everyone is born comfortable in a speedo. You’ll get
there. I got there. Most people typically start of using what’s called jammers, basically
long, tight shorts that keep you from dragging a lot in the pool. Rinse these out immediately
after you get out of the water every single day in the showers, and they’ll last for a
few years. The third essential piece of swim gear that
I think everyone needs is a pull boy. A pull boy won’t necessarily make you faster or better
swimmer, but what a pull boy will do is it will make your legs float up to the water
and it will make swimming easier. This is going to give you incentive to swim a little
bit longer, swim a little more regularly. I kid you not, the first few months coming
back into swimming, they aren’t going to be fun. My first day back in swimming it took
me an hour to swim 14 laps and I coughed chlorine for 2 days. Now getting onto the bike. I’m going to start
this off by saying that I recommend you use whatever bike you have available to you. Maybe
it’s just something that’s a mountain bike in your garage, maybe it’s your buddy’s road
bike, or maybe you can buy something for 2 or 3 hundred dollars. Certainly don’t go out
and buy anything new because at this point you’re just getting comfortable in the sport.
Once you get to the point that you know you’re committed to doing triathlon, then we can
talk about getting into a proper bike, but until that point, stay stingy my friends. The fourth essential piece of triathlon gear
and the first piece of bike gear that you need is a helmet. I don’t really need to explain
this, do I? Just get a basic helmet, don’t worry about aerodynamics or venting or all
the super sonic things that helmets are coming out with these days. Just get a helmet that
fits right with 2 fingers of room over top of your eyes, and snug enough so that even
if the strap isn’t clipped in, the helmet doesn’t flop around on you. The next thing you’ll need for getting going
in the cycling aspect of triathlon is a pair of triathlon shorts and a cycling jersey.
Triathlon shorts are just like regular bike shorts that you would get in a cycling store,
but the pad on the inside next to your nether regions is a little bit smaller than on cycling
shorts, so you can still use these shorts when you hop off the bike and you’re got to
run. They also typically have pockets in the back cozied up next to your bum so that you
can store all the nutrition back there that you’ll need during the triathlon. I recommend
getting a cycling jersey because a cycling jersey with sleeves and pockets in the back
can double as a triathlon jersey. A triathlon jersey that’s really, really tight and sleeveless
can’t really double as a cycling jersey. You’ll look a little bit silly out there. The next think you’ll need to get going in
the cycling aspect is a pair of clip on aero-bars. Remember that bike that bike that I first
talked about? 80% of your drag that you’re going to be battling as you’re going on the
bike isn’t coming from the bike actually. It’s coming from your body. A pair of clip
on arrow bars will get you as low and out of the wind as much as possible, making you
a lot faster and it’ll be easier to ride. The last thing that you need to get going
in cycling isn’t actually a piece of gear at all. Go into the local bike shop that specializes
in bike fitting and get yourself a proper bike fit. Get everything sized up on the bike
to be as aerodynamic as possible within your body’s limitations. If your bike set up is
not quite right, you’re probably going to be causing yourself injury and it’s not going
to be nearly as comfortable, potentially making you injured and certainly making it less enjoyable. Now to get you going in the running aspect
of triathlon, the main goal here is to get you started comfortably without injury. That
injury is a really big part, especially in running. The first thing that you need is
obviously running shoes. Personally I would recommend the Hoka Clifton 3s which I’ve reviewed.
These aren’t excellent race shoes, these aren’t excellent trail shoes, these are excellent
road shoes, but they’re really, really good all-around shoes. They’re light, they’re springy,
they don’t have a huge heel but they’re also really, really cushioned so they work for
people who have heel striking tendencies or people who have really good mid-foot striking
tendencies. You’ll know what those mean eventually, I promise. They’re average priced but they
last a really long time, and because they’re very cushioned they’re going to keep your
body a little bit fresher and less beat down as you start running. The next thing you need is a running watch.
Personally I use the Garmin 920XT, this is the gold standard of triathlon watches. That
said, it’s hundreds of dollars. You don’t really need to spend all that money. The purpose
of a a triathlon watch is really just to hold yourself back from going too far. Week to
week you should really only be increasing your training volume by about 10%, so going
either 10% faster or 10% longer. Having that watch will hold you back from doing more damage
than you should be doing, and being able to recover from. The tenth and final thing that you need to
get started in triathlon is an injury prevention kit. As you start working out you are going
to have a lot of aches and pains. This is normal. It’s going to go away, I promise,
but as you start developing those aches and pains they aren’t going to go away on their
own. You typically have to work them out. You can’t always be going to a massage every
couple of days so having things like foam rollers, rolling pins … not rolling pins,
I don’t know what these are called … rolling sticks? We’ll go with rolling sticks, and
the little balls of death to help you work out all of those muscle aches and pains, niggles
they’re called. If you can address those before they turn into injuries, you’re going to be
able to keep going and get to that first race of yours. There you have it, those are 10 purchases
that I think that every beginner triathlete needs to make when they start training for
their first triathlon. I’ll put a link in the description below to a lot of these products
that you can find on Amazon, and I’ve gone through amazon to find a nice balance of what
is a good bang for your buck and what’s good quality. As always, if you have any questions
about triathlon training, by all means hit me up in the comments before and I might feature
you, answering your question on an edition of Triathlon Taren Q&A. As always triathletes,
happy and hard training out there and good luck in your next triathlon.

Comments 25

  • Thanks Taren. I would be interested in hearing what you have in your injury prevention kit and how you use everything.

  • Sooo, you think those clip-on aero bars will look good on that old mountain bike I got in my garage? 😉
    Honestly, do you really count aero bars as essential in the first few seasons? I've seen tons of ppl doing even IM without.
    How about sthg much simpler like a visor? They are not that popular/well know among ppl coming from running but for tri I find them much nicer than running caps. After being stuck under the helmet in the bike portion a visor feels just so much better than a cap for the run.

  • Poboys taste great.

  • Hi Taren, please could we have a video about race suits? About them and a little review? Im new to getting into triathlon, and wondering which one to buy. Great videos!

  • do you know any female triathletes who you could get on to do a special section on advice about women's kit? That would be ace.

  • Sweet dance bro, I love the confidence.

  • What do you think of the Garmin forrunner 910xt

  • Speedo = full bathing suit for women 😛

  • As usual, another great and informative video my friend. As a relative noob to the sport (I am about to do my 5th tri) I say the best advice is the proper bike fit. I took mine in and got another proper fit and it made a huge difference. Cut 4 minutes off my bike time. Also, what do you think of the Garmin Vivoactive? I have it with the heart rate monitor and actually like it alot

  • Thanks for that video! I am about to start training for triathlon next year.

  • Just starting out, thanks for taking the time to do this video. Is the garmin forerunner 230 an okay watch to use? There seems to be a huge choice out there, but this ticks a lot of my boxes. The only missing part is the swimming option.

  • I'd add a big box to carry all your kit about in!

  • I'm I hindering my training by being cheap and not buying jammers?

  • What do you recommend to swim at the lake when is to cold besides swim suit. My toes gets to cold lately when I swim. I heard swimming boots? Im racing my first halt tri in december so it will be a little cold thanks man, love your channel!

  • Your great thank you! I have a very high end carbon fiber mountain bike would you recommend putting arrow bars of those to begin my bike trainer?

  • Traen Thank you for your quick reply I would love to train with you I have a half I iron an in Lisbon may 7 and a full lake Placid July 23

  • Great info, thanks for the goggle tip!

  • barefoot runner here… no need for shoes =P

  • hey taren.. what are your thoughts about finger paddles? worth getting? will it improve my stroke technique?

  • Hey Taren, love the energy in your videos- really makes triathlon training feel doable for me!

    I live in the New England area, and knowing you live in winter-peg, can you do a video touching on how you keep your spirits up in the nasty cold weather? also I would love to hear your tips on when/if you get sick how you tone down training or tricks you have to get better soon. how do you bounce back from taking time off from training when you're sick?

    thanks so much and happy training!!

  • In a sprint tri, do people usually wear tri shorts for the swim?

  • Great info for a beginner. As a physician that treats foot injuries, the Hoka is a shoe brand that gets high marks from my patients. The bit about the helmet fit is spot on. If the helmet doesn't fit properly you will may not get its full protection if you fall and hit your head. Every weekend I see veteran riders with helmets and straps the do not fit correctly.

  • Hi there, Thanks for all your feeds. I am all signed up to my first triathlon.. sprint distance…in preparation for the Massive challenge of the Olympic distance (UK) in July this year. I started at 233lbs (16.7 ish stone UK) and have worked my way down to 205lbs… I have yet to start to link the sessions together… can you suggest the a good time to do this in the training is please? Have gone from fat bloke to …not so fat and am now in need of some advice please! Thanks in advance. James

  • Great and useful video 🙂

  • I feel handicapped as hell with a buoy. Snorkel ? Yes. Sometimes I just wanna do some sets focusing on technique and horizontal position. I also have a personal trainer in the gym ( I am doing 3 times per week weight training, focusing especially on core, stabilization and coordination exercises ). I go to a therapist once every 1-2 weeks to get a proper massage and some trigger point therapy. As a beginner myself I saw that daily swimming training was a very very good idea. Swimming improves your conditioning overall and provides the least amount of socks to your joints ( it's almost none, in fact ). Also getting at least one long set on the bike ( 3 hours + ) each week is a must along with at least 1 short set ( 1 hour ). When biking, if you do it indoors, get a mirror to see your entire body. It will help a lot with correcting position and the rocking of your hips. For running I would do 2 sessions during a week. One is a session that would be sprints + hill running. The other is a steady run ( heart measurement ). Get in bed early, don't fuck around staying up very late until after midnight. Eat lots of food, but not garbage ( sweets, alcohol, refined sugar, that kind of crap ). I would basically eat like 7 times a day ( 3 main meals, 4 snacks ) , about 3500-4000 calories.

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