If you’ve been thinking of extending your athletic prowess and taking on your first triathlon, before you start training, there is some important gear you need to take you from the water to the bike ride to the run.
You don’t have to rush out and by a whizz bang, state-of-the-art, carbon fibre frame cycle with all the bells and whistles. Dust off the old 10-speed or mountain bike from the cobwebby corner of the garage and see if triathlons are something you enjoy before spending mega bucks.
Proper bike shorts
You only have to experience chafing once to know bike shorts are worth their weight in gold. The extra padding, where you need it most, will also enhance your comfort levels.
There is nothing like having a flat tyre mid-race. Unless you want to carry your bike across the finish line, a mini tyre repair kit that can attach to your bicycle seat will be a lifesaver when (not if), you get a puncture.
Everyone should have at least one really good pair of sunglasses, whether you are competing in a triathlon or not. They protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, protect from glare (thus avoiding squinting and wrinkles) and things that may flick into your eyes while cycling or running.
Protecting your head is important particularly if you and your bike part ways at speed. Don’t splash out on an aerodynamically advanced Tour De France special, unless you are planning on become a professional triathlete, your average run of the mill helmet which meets Australian safety standards is good enough.
Make sure any goggles you purchase a good fit. It pays to have a tinted pair for those days where the sun reflects off the water and is quite blinding. Take them for a test run prior to race day.
It pays to buy, not borrow, wetsuits for the perfect fit. Aside from providing extra buoyancy in the water, they will keep your warmer and give you more protection from things in the water that sting. Don’t forget to grab some wetsuit lubricant, unless of course you prefer the feel of the suit ripping out your body hair as you wrestle with it, just to get it on. Stay away from using Vaseline as it can cause the wetsuit rubber to deteriorate.
Go for bright and bizarre when it comes to choosing a towel. Not only will it help you spot your bike better, you can dry off quickly after your swim and wipe the sand from your feet. Nothing worse than attempting to cycle with sand between your toes.
Hydration is exceptionally important and with the different varieties of water bottle available, it usually comes down to personal preference. Do you want a bottle that clips on to your bike frame or sits in a cage between the handle bars with a straw? The choice is yours.
Don’t compromise on comfortable shoes. Ask your local rebel footwear consultant to help you find the perfect pair to suit your natural gait.