Essential Beginner Triathlon Gear: The Must-Haves

by Editorial Team | April 23rd, 2014 | Special Interest Section

triathlonMany people harbour the opinion that triathlon is some bizarre form of self-torture practiced by endurance junkies who enjoy feeling pain. But a strange thing is happening; triathlon is becoming almost mainstream. Over the last few years, increasing numbers of average men and women have participated in their first triathlon, searching for a way to get fit and challenge themselves.

The thought of completing a triathlon can still be daunting for beginners. It presents a complex challenge, and most first time triathletes will find themselves on a steep learning curve to success. One of the questions most frequently raised by those new to the sport is what kind of equipment they need. This article will hopefully provide the answers.


For the swimming phase, you’re going to need a swimsuit or wetsuit, googles and, if you have longer hair, a swimming cap. A wetsuit will improve your buoyancy and save you time overall, although they can be hard to take off. Look at buying from a specialist retailer such as High Octane Action Sports for suits that incorporate the latest sporting technology. If you’re a minimalist or the temperature is above 29°C, the only necessity is a swimsuit.

Be sure to choose goggles that fit your face to stop them from leaking. A handy tip is to put a smear of baby shampoo on the lenses before each use to stop them from fogging.


Going out and buying a $2000 triathlon bike for your first sprint triathlon is a bad idea. They’re a brilliant piece of gear, but unless you know that you’re sticking with the sport they’re not worth the paper their price is written on. Make sure that you enjoy the sport before making such a substantial investment.

However, you will still need a bike. If you already have a road bike, use this. Off-road bikes such as freestyle or mountain bikes also serve, although they can’t reach the same speeds. If you have a mountain bike and want to improve its speed, try replacing the fat, knobbly tyres it came with, using smoother, thinner tyres meant for street riding instead. Your local bike shop mechanic can do this for you.

Whatever bike you choose to ride, send it for a full service before your race. Request that your mechanic cleans and lubricates the drivetrain, replaces worn parts and adjusts the fit, and ask whether he has any suggestions for simple upgrades. Inquire about basic maintenance tips, such as how to fix the chain, whilst you’re there.

You’re also going to need cycling clothes, a helmet, cycling glasses, a tyre pump, a spare tube and a hex wrench set for tightening and loosening bolts for this phase.


The running stage simply requires running clothes and running shoes. When you’re choosing your attire, look for clothes made of moisture managing fabrics to make you more comfortable as you run.

Shoes should be bought from a specialist stores whose sales personnel have a high degree of knowledge, because if you buy shoes that fit imperfectly or are inappropriate for your stride you risk a severe overuse injury.

Brought to you by our friends at High Octane Sport.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.