March 18, 2017

Triathlon Training Gear List: Sprint triathlon training essentials to Swim, Bike, Run

Triathlon gear essentials: What do you need for sprint triathlon training?

 

Triathlon tips on Pinterest: Follow the Triathlon Training board!

 

While this triathlon gear list can be helpful for a range of triathletes, it can be particularly useful for beginner triathletes who are navigating the new world of triathlon training. This list aims to help you answer that question of, “What do I need to train for my first sprint triathlon?” Hopefully it will help you decide what you need, what you don’t need, and what you want to have even if it’s not essential triathlon gear. Because hey, we all need a little luxury in life! And if it helps you become a faster triathlete, then yes please,  right? 🙂

Above all, one of your top priorities should be to stay healthy and to train without getting one of the common triathlon injuries. Sometimes this might mean a little bit of extra investment up front, but it can be worth it if it means it’s helping you to not get injured. Injuries can be costly – to your physical health and your mental health (the agony of not being able to complete a goal you set out for yourself!), as well as your financial well-being, as it can take a hit to your wallet too with the doctor fees, physical therapy visits, and all the injury-recovery items you’d furiously buy in an attempt to get better as soon as possible! Better to be spending money on being healthy than to be spending money on being injured. 🙂

Again, if you are just getting started with your triathlon journey, you don’t need everything on this list. Even if you’ve been doing triathlons for a number of years, you may not need everything on this list! But the idea of this list is to get you thinking about what kinds of triathlon gear are available to you to help you decide if you want to make the buy.

COUCH TO 5K for important tips on how to stay injury-free during training!
TRIATHLON WETSUIT for tips to choose a triathlon wetsuit!
RUNNING BLOGS for how you can start a triathlon blog to make a little cash on the side!

And so…

What gear do you need for triathlon training?

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What swimming gear do you need for triathlon training?

Here is the quick list of swimming gear you will find covered in the swimming section:

  • Swimming Gear
    • Swimsuit or jammers
    • Swim goggles
    • Swim cap
    • Swimming ear plugs or ear drops
    • Lap counter
    • Triathlon wetsuit
    • Swim bag
    • Swim training aids
      • Pull buoy
      • Swim fins
      • Kickboard
      • Swimming paddles
  • Resources to become a faster swimmer

Swimsuit or jammers

You may not necessarily want to do your triathlon in a swimsuit because you’ll want to wear an outfit that’s suitable for all three disciplines of swimming, biking, and running. But for swim training leading up to the race, an athletic style swimsuit can be helpful.

You also don’t want to jeopardize quality for price because you don’t want your swimsuit to become thin quickly or start to sag after wearing it for a short period of time. It is natural for swimsuits to wear out over time, but the better quality the swimsuit, the longer it should last. You can also help to prolong the life of your swimsuit by rinsing it well with regular water after you’re done pool swimming in chlorinated water and then letting it hang dry.

Swim goggles

You definitely need swim goggles for training and for the race. Although one pair of goggles can suffice, it is generally a good idea to have two pairs of goggles. One reason that two pairs can be helpful is so that you will have a quick back-up in case something happens to the first pair. Another reason is that you might want to have a pair of goggles primarily for swimming in the pool and another pair primarily for the open water.

These are among the most popular goggles for swimmers.

It’s no problem to use either of the goggles for both the pool and the open water, but some goggles may be more ideal for certain swimming conditions. There are a few factors you may want to consider as you will be swimming in both the pool for training and the open water outside for racing. (Although hopefully some of your training will also be in the open water!)

You don’t want your goggles to fog up mid-way through your swim since being able to see is far more important in the open water. If your goggles fog up in the pool, you can still usually see good enough to be guided by the lanes. But in the open water, there are no lanes to guide you. The only way you can make sure you’re headed in the right direction is to look up and look far. If your goggles become foggy, that makes sighting a bit difficult! So consider making it a priority to buy goggles that are reliably anti-fog. You also want to consider the tint of the goggles for the possibility of swimming into the sunlight in the open water.

These goggles are stylish and also popular, but as mirrored goggles, it may be more difficult to see in areas that aren’t well lit when swimming indoors.

Swim cap

While swim caps won’t completely keep your hair from getting wet, they can keep your hair much drier. This means that wearing one can also help your hair get less exposure to the chlorinated water if you’re swimming in a pool. Swim caps will also help to reduce drag created by your hair, and this is especially true if you have long hair.

You don’t need to bring a swim cap to your triathlon on race day because the race will provide you with one. But you will likely want a swim cap or two for training purposes. Depending on the quality and material of your swim cap, it may not take long for you to accidentally rip your swim cap. And if you rip your swim cap as you’re trying to put it on right before you jump in the pool for your workout, well, it would be nice to have a back-up! Swim caps do tend to wear out over time, but just like swimsuits, you can help to make your swim cap last longer by rinsing it with regular water after swimming and letting it air dry.

Swimming ear plugs and ear drops

It’s possible that you won’t find ear plugs to be necessary. But if you find yourself continually getting water in your ears and find it to be annoying or uncomfortable, or if you have sensitive ears, ear plugs can be an option. Ear plugs come in a variety of styles, and if you’re using ear plugs for the first time, it may take a couple of tries to get them to fit.

Another tip for trying to keep water out of your ears is to pull your swim cap far down over your ears. Now, this doesn’t always work to keep water out as water can seep past the cracks since you’re unlikely to completely seal off openings, but it may be worth a try. Unfortunately, ear plugs may not always completely seal off water either, so even if you are wearing ear plugs, you may want to take this additional step.

If you are looking to prevent an ear infection, also commonly called swimmer’s ear, antibiotic ear drops are also available as an option to try. Ear drops can help to get rid of excess water from your ears after swimming.

Lap counter

Well, it’s inevitable. You will lose track of how many laps you’ve completed! You may develop your own method of counting the number of laps you’ve gotten through, but if that method continues to fail you, you do have the option of a lap counter. There are a few different types of lap counters, but the simplest one is probably the kind that you wear on your index finger. Then each time you finish a lap, you can tap the counter’s button with your thumb and can always be confident in how much swimming has been done!

Triathlon wetsuit

A triathlon wetsuit will improve the swimming of a majority of triathletes. There is a wide range of wetsuits available, but they all provide some level of buoyancy and features to produce less drag. This ultimately makes for better swim technique and a more efficient swim, which can then lead to a faster swim while also giving you more energy for you to spend on the bike and run portions of the triathlon.

Whether or not you need a triathlon wetsuit will largely depend on a few things. The water temperature on race day has to be cool enough for a wetsuit to even be allowed to be worn in a race. So if you sign up for a race that historically has had a swim with warm temperatures, you may not even need or want a wetsuit. If you prefer to not have to invest in a wetsuit in your first year of triathlons, then try to search for a race that usually has a water temperature that’s on the warm side.

Even if the water temperature of a race is cool enough to allow wetsuits, that doesn’t mean that you need to wear one. Although the colder the water temperature is, it does become more necessary so that you’ll have a safe race. But if the water temperature is on the high end of being a wetsuit-legal race, there are always plenty of people who choose not to wear a wetsuit.

If you’re looking into buying a wetsuit, here are tips to choose a triathlon wetsuit. Also be sure to practice your transition between the swim and the bike so you can have a fast transition time on race day!

Be prepared in case you unexpectedly discover a hole in your wetsuit on race day! >> Wetsuit repair + How to fix a wetsuit tear

Swim bag

A dedicated swim bag is definitely not necessary for your triathlon training. You can use any duffel bag, athletic bag, or backpack you already own to transport your swimming gear to and from the pool.

But there are a few reasons swim bags can be useful. They typically have side pockets made with mesh material that can be convenient to store some wet gear. This can be handy to allow your swimming gear to air out. These types of side pockets can also offer convenient access to smaller items so you don’t have to go digging through your bag to find what you’re looking for. A swim backpack will also be designed to be waterproof on the bottom so you don’t have to worry so much about placing your bag on top of a puddle of water.

Or if you have your own swim training aids that you take with you for each pool workout, a dedicated swim bag could become helpful, as swim backpacks tend to also have enough room to hold a bunch of swim equipment. Another option if you’re looking for something to conveniently transport your swim training aids out to the pool deck without having to lug them all out in your arms is to get a mesh bag. This would also make it convenient to carry once you’re done swimming, so you can carry the mesh bag with the wet swim equipment separately, instead of having to put your wet pool toys into your duffel bag or athletic bag.

Swim training aids

In swimming, technique really matters. Having poor technique in the way you swim is not helpful for many reasons.

Poor swimming technique…

  • Makes you waste more energy. You want to minimize the amount of energy you use swimming so you can have more energy for biking and running.
  • Creates an increased risk for common swimming injuries. In particular for the shoulders, if you continue to swim repetitively with poor form, you can strain your shoulders unnecessarily, leading to injury.
  • Makes swimming harder than it has to be!

Swim training aids like kickboards, pull buoys, paddles, and fins can help to improve your technique through swimming drills. When used appropriately, these kinds of swim tools can help you to develop better swimming technique and help you to swim more efficiently. It’s important to not be too reliant on training aids, but they can be a helpful part of your swim workout.

You might not have to invest in training aids in order to make use of them. First check with the pool you swim at to see if they offer any swim training equipment for use. Some pools have a pile of kickboards and pull buoys for their swimmers. If you swim at a pool that offers swim lessons, there’s an especially good chance they’ve got some training aids tucked in a closet if they are not visibly around.

Now here are some pool toys that you can consider making a part of your swim training and why they can be helpful when used appropriately.

Pull buoy

A pull buoy is a type of flotation device that you put between your legs so that your legs will stay afloat. If you suffer from sinking legs, swimming with a pull buoy can be helpful when you want to isolate the arms to focus on your swim stroke without having to worry about your legs. It can also help you to get a better feel for a better body position in the water.

Another time a pull buoy may be helpful is if you’ve come off an intense biking or running workout and you want to rest your legs but get that swim in. The pull buoy can reduce the use of your leg muscles while still being able to work on your swimming skills to minimize further delay of leg recovery. You could also use it to break up long swim sets when you want to relieve a bit of leg work.

You want to make sure you’re not relying on the pull buoy too much during your swim training session. Pull buoys have their place in your training plan, but you want to make sure that you work on developing proper body position without the pull buoy as well. You also want to make sure you are working on your kicking.

Swim fins

Drills with swim fins can help to improve your kick. There are shorter training fins and longer training fins that are available. For purposes of training for a triathlon, the shorter fins are generally a better choice. The shorter fins can help you to develop a better kick technique specific to freestyle swimming. The shorter fins also will allow you to swim at a pace that’s more similar in nature to your actual swim speed. The longer fins may have you swimming much faster that it doesn’t feel all that natural.

Kickboard

Using a kickboard as a part of your swim training can help to isolate the leg muscles to work on your swimming technique specific to the lower body. This can help to improve your kicking skills and improve the stamina of your legs for swimming. Kickboards can be good tools to improve your swimming, but try not to overdo it. Not only do you not want your biking and running workouts to suffer, but the extended position of the arms in grabbing the kickboard out in front of you can lead to added strain on your shoulders.

Swimming paddles

Swimming paddles can help you to improve your hand position of your swim stroke and your overall stroke technique. These paddles come in a range of sizes, as well as a range of resistance level. Drills involving swimming paddles many times include a pull buoy so the focus can be on improving arm technique.

The extra force required by your shoulders for the pulling of the additional water through the water can put more strain on your shoulders than usual. So if you decide to use swim paddles to supplement your swim training, be sure to ease into it by not doing too much paddle work at once.

How to use your training aids to improve your swimming

Having all the best swimming gear isn’t going to do you much good if you can’t use it to the best of your ability. Part of this is to understand how to use the swim training equipment so you can have proper swimming form and improve your swimming technique. Here are some resources to help you do just that.

Swim Smooth

Take a look at Swim Smooth videos. The website has a number of videos and tips for swimmers of varying levels – beginners, intermediate, and advanced swimmers. These videos help to visualize what a proper swim stroke should look like and they also have a “stroke visualization app.” There are a lot of free resources available at the Swim Smooth website that can be especially useful for the beginner swimmer and intermediate swimmer.

Effortless Swimming

There are a few explanatory videos by Effortless Swimming on YouTube that can help you to develop a proper swimming position. One of their most popular videos is about how to stop your legs from sinking, which tends to be a common issue among beginner swimmers.

Tri Swim Coach

For ideas on drills to work on, you can visit TriSwimCoach.com which can provide you with many resources. The free 3 day e-course includes tips, videos, drills, and workouts that will be sent straight to your inbox. Topics that are covered include:

  • How to prevent your hips from sinking
  • How to avoid dropping your elbows with better elbow recovery
  • How to improve your kicking technique

You can take actionable steps to be on your way to becoming a faster and more efficient swimmer!

Total Immersion

Total Immersion is a well-known system among triathletes as a way to learn swimming or to get better at swimming. Many beginner swimmers training for a triathlon have used Total Immersion as a resource, either through the book, DVD, or in-person workshop. The Total Immersion way of learning swimming can be ideal as a beginner’s guide to swimming for adults because of the way the book is set up. At first, you are taught one small component at a time and practice that small component before moving on to the next step.

From the book: “Total Immersion will show you that it’s mindful fluid movement, not athletic ability, that will turn you into an efficient swimmer.”

Swimming lessons

If you are new to swimming, perhaps one of the best investments you can make to improve your swimming is to take swimming lessons. For beginner swimmers, even a single lesson could have a great benefit. The same could be said for swimmers of all levels really. Often times you could be unaware of how you’re swimming, and a swim instructor could point out some small tweaks for you to apply to your swimming.

The more lessons you take, of course, there’s a greater opportunity for your instructor to point out little (or big) improvements that can be made. With more than one lesson, you can return to your instructor having made adjustments and practicing on your own, and then have your instructor further comment on the specific adjustment. Because sometimes, even if you think you’ve made an adjustment, you may still be a little off!

So if you think you’d like to take lessons to improve your swimming, adult swim lessons are available. Good places to find swim lesson offerings are at your local YMCA, high schools, or community colleges.

Masters swimming classes

You can basically consider these types of “classes” as group swim sessions. Different masters classes run differently. But generally there will be an instructor or coach leading the session, and you’ll have a workout planned with drills and sets. Despite the name, masters classes are for adult swimmers of all ages. Generally, masters classes can also be beneficial for beginner swimmers. It’s not like a private swim lesson, but you’re likely to get some pointers here and there from the instructor, and maybe even from your fellow swimmers.

Masters classes can range in types of swimmers. Some might be filled more with beginner and intermediate swimmers who are training for a triathlon. However, some might be aimed at more competitive swimming with mostly advanced swimmers and pure swimmers. Check around your local pools and gyms to see if a masters swimming program is offered, and if it is, see if you can talk to the instructor to find out if it is the right fit for you.


Swim | Bike | Run
Triathlon Training


What biking gear do you need for triathlon training?

Here is the quick list of biking gear you will find covered in the biking section:

  • Bike: What type of bike do you need for a triathlon?
  • Bike helmet
  • Cycling jersey
  • Bike shorts
  • Bike shoes and clipless pedals
  • Cycling gloves
  • Bike computer or phone mount
  • Flat tire repair kit
  • Bike pump
  • Bike chain lubricant
  • Bike rack
  • Bike lights

Bike: What type of bike do you need for a sprint triathlon?

Triathlon bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes. These are different types of bikes you will see at any given local sprint triathlon race. This means if you’re just getting into the sport and training for your first sprint triathlon, any bike you can get your hands on will do just fine for purposes of having the goal of finishing the race. (Even if you’ve been at it a few years, any type of bike will do!)

You don’t need to go out and buy a brand new road bike or triathlon bike to do your first triathlon. In fact, that would be discouraged.

If you are a beginner triathlete, as enthusiastic as you are right now for doing triathlons, you don’t yet know if you will actually like the training, racing, and lifestyle that comes with it.

A brand new triathlon bike or road bike is a big investment for most people, as even entry-level road bikes can start around $1,000. So if this is a big financial investment for you, it would first be a good idea to test out the triathlon training and lifestyle to find out if it suits you.

But whatever bike you choose, even if it’s the old mountain bike that’s collected dust in your garage, since you’re planning on training on it consistently, you want to make sure to avoid common bike injuries from having a poor fitting bike. A good starting point would be to take some steps to adjust your seat height in an effort to avoid knee pain.

Bike helmet

Hopefully you weren’t thinking of a bike helmet as an optional item. Not only is a helmet required to do a triathlon, it’s unsafe to be training without one. In the very unfortunate circumstance that you have a crash and your head hits the pavement, your helmet’s role is to absorb some of the impact so your head is more protected. There are a range of bike helmets on the market, but be sure to choose one that provides adequate ventilation to allow your head to breathe a little. Triathlon-specific helmets also do exist, and those tend to be less ventilated as a compromise to be more aerodynamic and produce less wind resistance.

Cycling jersey

In training for a triathlon, it’s not a problem to wear whatever kinds of workout clothes you already have. So having a cycling jersey is definitely not essential cycling gear or essential triathlon gear. But cycling jerseys do have their benefits during training.

If you’re out for a bike ride on a warm day, cycling jerseys can be helpful for a number of reasons. They are designed to help regulate your body temperature to an extent. They are partial zip-up so you can zip up and down depending on how hot or cool you feel. They are also made of material that is breathable and moisture-wicking to keep sweat from soaking up your clothes. All of this can contribute to a comfortable cycling experience.

Cycling jerseys are also designed with rear pockets to store small items. These pockets are deep enough and secure enough so that you can place your keys, phone, and even a snack in your back pocket without having to worry about the items falling out as you are biking.

You’ll likely not want to wear a cycling jersey for your triathlon, as the kind of jersey you want to get for cycling training won’t be an ideal racing outfit. (You’ll want to try to wear something on race day that will work well for all three disciplines of swimming, biking, and running.) So if you do get a cycling jersey, it would be for added comfort for training purposes.

A quality cycling jersey can cost $50 on the cheap end if you get it on sale. If you don’t want to invest in a cycling jersey, the next best thing would be to invest in a standard moisture-wicking shirt, which you could easily use as dual purpose for both biking training and running training. Moisture-wicking t-shirts are a better option than your normal cotton t-shirts. Moisture-wicking shirts work to move moisture from sweat away from your skin so you won’t be drenched in your own sweat as you would with a cotton shirt. This can make your biking and running experiences more comfortable.

Bike shorts

If you had to choose one piece of cycling clothing to buy, a cycling jersey or bike shorts, going with bike shorts could be a good choice. Once again, bike shorts are not essential training gear, but it can add to your comfort on the bike if you’ll be spending a lot of time riding. You will likely find the greatest benefit to be the amount of padding the bike shorts provide.

Bike shorts could also be an option to wear as part of your triathlon outfit on race day. If you’re not wearing a wetsuit for the swim, bike shorts won’t produce much extra drag as you’re swimming. If you are wearing a wetsuit for the swim, the wetsuit is easy to put on over the bike shorts. Then for the biking leg, bike shorts are for biking so of course they are good for the biking. And then bike shorts can also be ideal to run in as well. However, some people don’t like wearing bike shorts during a race because they find the padding in the shorts that soaks up the water during the swim is uncomfortable to run in. But if wet bike shorts aren’t a bother to you, you can wear them for the race instead of buying additional triathlon clothing like tri shorts specifically for the race.

Bike shoes and clipless pedals

You’ll find plenty of people at a sprint triathlon without cycling-specific shoes. But this is another piece of cycling gear that could be worth investing in.

Bike shoes allow you to pedal more efficiently. Since your bike shoes have stiffer soles and are clipped in securely to the pedals, the energy you put into pedaling takes you further. This allows you to go further with each pedal stroke while saving energy compared to pedaling without bike shoes clipped into your pedals.

If you get bike shoes, you’ll need to get pedals to go with the shoes, since standard pedals that come with bikes don’t accommodate bike shoes.

Cycling gloves

Cycling gloves aren’t just for cold weather. They are not full-fingered gloves which makes them suitable for warmer temperatures. (Although for cold weather, full-fingered cycling gloves are also available.) Cycling gloves tend to be padded well in the palm areas, and many cyclists like to wear them to minimize pressure from grabbing the bike and so that the gloves can absorb some of the vibrations from the road. These gloves are something that you can do without, but your hands may have a more comfortable experience if you do use cycling gloves.

Bike computer or phone mount

If it hasn’t already started, it is only a matter of time before you are going to become obsessed with your numbers. 🙂 Okay, so even if you don’t become obsessed, you are likely going to want to know things like how far you’ve biked, how long you’ve biked, and even how fast you are currently biking. Having a bike computer mounted to your bike’s handlebars can easily give you all of these numbers. There are wired bike computers and wireless bike computers available.

You could also rely on your phone to give you these numbers with a fitness app or cycling app like Strava or Runkeeper. A bike computer can typically be more convenient than your phone, because you can easily look down at your bike computer mounted to your bike to check your stats without having to pull your phone out of your pocket each time you want to see how far you’ve gone. Although, it is possible to mount your phone to your bike as well, as there exists such a thing as a phone holder to mount onto your bike handlebars! Just be sure to get a bike mount that is compatible with your phone. And don’t be a distracted cyclist constantly looking down at your phone!

Flat tire bike repair kit

It’s a very good idea to carry with you a bike repair kit once your rides start getting longer. If you have the unfortunate experience of getting a flat tire on your bike ride, you’ll want to be able to get yourself back on the road so you can be on your merry way!

In order for this to happen, a bike repair kit would come in very handy!

It is worth learning how to fix a flat tire. You can do this through online videos or books. If you live near an REI store, REI occasionally offers free bike maintenance classes, so be sure to look into that! REI also occasionally offers free beginner triathlete classes as well. These are one-day classes that are typically 1-2 hours long.

Once you’ve seen how it’s done, next up: PRACTICE!

>> For more specifics on a bike repair kit, see: The emergency bike tools you need for a flat tire

Bike floor pump

You will want to have a regular size bike pump so you can top off your bike tires with enough air. How often you need to pump air into your tires will depend on how often and how long you bike for. But it’s not a bad idea to check to make sure you have enough air in your tires about once a week. If you’re really dedicated, you can check before every bike ride! Keeping your bike tires properly inflated can help to prevent flat tires, as well as ride more efficiently.

Even if you have a mini-pump for your flat tire repair kit, you’ll want a floor pump as well. Having a standard size will make your air pumping process much more convenient and faster. Most bike pumps have a gauge on them so you can see how much air is in your tires. Be sure to get one that does have this gauge. You can know how much air your tire needs by looking for the recommended psi tire pressure number located on your bike tire.

Bike chain lubricant

Taking care of your bike will help to make your bike and bike parts last longer. One thing that can help with this is to regularly apply lubricant to your bike chain. If a bike chain doesn’t have enough lube, it can cause grinding and wear down bike parts. The more common ways to apply bike lube is of the drip variety and spray kind. Once again, how often you apply lubricant to your bike chain will depend on how often you bike, but once a week is not a bad idea.

Bike rack

If the only biking you’ll be doing is to and from your house, then you don’t need a bike rack for your car. But if you will be driving out to the local park to ride on some safer roads or to meet up with others for a group ride, a bike rack may be helpful. Depending on the type of car you have, you still may be able to do just fine without a bike rack. It may be convenient enough to disassemble the front wheel and transport your bike to your ride starting point.

If you go the way of a bike rack, there are a few different types of bike racks available and there are a number of things to consider in buying a bike rack. Not all bike racks are compatible with all vehicles, so be sure to double check the rack manufacturer’s fit guide if you’ll be buying a bike rack.

Bike lights

If you’ll be training in the early morning or evening, bike lights are definitely essential triathlon gear so you can be a safe cyclist. Bike lights can help you to be seen during the day too. For high tech bike lights that can detect approaching cars and change the trajectory of the light based on how fast you’re going, have a look at bike lights here.


Swim | Bike | Run
Triathlon Training


What running gear do you need for triathlon training?

Here is the quick list of running gear you will find covered in the running section:

  • Running shoes
  • Moisture-wicking shirt
  • Running belt
  • Reflective gear and running lights
  • Hydration system

Running shoes

Running is probably the easiest of the 3 triathlon sports of swimming, biking, and running to gear up for! At the extremely minimal end, all you really need for running is a good pair of running shoes, and you can be good to go! But the key here is a good quality pair of running shoes. Shoes are not an area you want to skimp on. Quality is important here! Your feet experience a lot of stress from all the pounding from running, so it’s important to take good care of them. One way to do that is through good running shoes.

If you are a beginner runner buying running-specific shoes for the first time, it is probably best to avoid buying running shoes online. Instead, you are better off going to a local running specialty store. Quality running shoes will be expensive, in the $100 range, but buying the right pair of running shoes for your feet type can help to avoid common running injuries. And the shoe experts at running stores can help you with that. Local running stores are usually staffed with knowledgeable runners who can help to get the right pair of shoes for your feet.

Now, it’s always helpful to support your local running store, but of course you want to save money too. Once you do find running shoes that work for you, you can just keep buying the same brand and type of shoes online at discount prices.

So for example, if you bought Mizuno Wave Rider 18 running shoes and spent a season running in them feeling great, you can go online and search for Mizuno Wave Rider running shoes. If the next season of the Wave Rider has come out, the Wave Rider 19, or it’s nearing the end of the running season, you may be able to find the Wave Rider 18 for a cheaper price. Or if during the middle of the running season you are loving the Wave Rider 18, go online and search for the Rider 17, or even see if the Rider 18 has gone on sale yet. The key with this is finding the running shoe in your size. Your size might already be sold out everywhere.

The word of caution on this is that each year, brands do come out with an upgraded model, so there is a chance that there’s been a drastic change to the design of the shoe that no longer is to your feet’s desire. But most of the time, if this year’s shoe worked for you, next year’s will too. So consider that risk in buying the upgraded, or downgraded, model.

So that’s the story with the running shoes. The only true running necessity that you’ll need to buy new for triathlon training. But here are a few more running accessories and running gear you may want for comfort, safety, and fun.

Moisture-wicking shirt

Wearing a regular moisture-wicking shirt was mentioned as a second option to a cycling jersey for biking clothes to wear. A regular moisture-wicking shirt would work well as a first option as part of your running outfit. No matter how little you run, you are probably going to sweat a little bit. Wearing a shirt which keeps you dry and won’t have your skin feeling sticky from sweat-soaked cotton can make for a more comfortable run and post-run experience. Investing in a few of these types of shirts wouldn’t be a bad idea!

Running belt

One of the dilemmas you may face when you go out running, especially in warmer temperatures, is not having a good way to carry some necessary items with you. This may include things like keys, emergency cash, or your phone. And this is when running belts can be useful. You put a running belt around your waist, and you can carry these items without having them bounce around as you run. It’s like a sleeker and more stylish version of a fanny pack for runners! Just be sure to get the right size so you won’t be disappointed in your running belt.

Reflective gear and running lights

Day or night, it’s important that you run safely. You basically want to become a kind of “defensive runner” when you’re on the road with cars. Never assume that a driver can see you. Do all that you can do to help the driver see you. Even if you’ve taken all the precautions, things can still go wrong, which is why it’s important to be extra careful when you’re running.

Part of what you can do to help drivers see you is to stand out like a sore thumb! Even during the day, it can be helpful to wear bright clothes or a bright neon colored reflective vest. When you’re shopping for that moisture-wicking shirt, even better if you opt for a bright-colored shirt! You can be comfortable and safe!

If you’ll be running at night, or at dusk when the sun is starting to set, being seen by drivers becomes even more critical. Bright colored clothes can still be helpful, but at this point, you also want to consider other ways to make yourself visible. This includes reflective gear and running lights. There are a number of different kinds of high visibility lights for runners to choose from that can cover different parts of your body depending on what style suits you.

Hydration system

Early on in your triathlon training if you’re training for a sprint triathlon, you may not need to think so much about staying hydrated during your run. But if you decide to include long runs in your training, or you move to longer races, be sure to have a proper running hydration system going for you by checking out how to stay hydrated on your long run.


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Best shoes for your active vacation

Hit search at the top for any of these items to get more variety on Amazon through these affiliate links!
- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see these travel sandals.
- Beach: These types of beach shoes. For beach walking, wading in the water, and rocky shorelines, they can prevent cuts from hidden rocks or when bumping into coral reef.

see more:
- What to wear hiking
- What to wear snorkeling
- What to wear on a cruise formal night

Best things to pack for active travel

- First-time snorkelers love full-face snorkeling masks.
- These UV protection shirts are a hit so you don't have to keep re-applying sunscreen and don't have to worry as much about getting sunburn!
- These types of small backpacks are perfect for a day out so you can carry essentials... and snacks!
- And these popular packing cubes can be a life-saver when you're traveling!

Don't get your valuables stolen when you travel

- On city excursions: This neck pouch that tons of people love. It makes it harder for money to be stolen, and RFID-blocking feature stops thieves from scanning your credit card info when they are close to you.
- At the beach: This type of pouch that you can easily take your wallet in the water with you, instead of leaving on the beach.