Essential kit for your first triathlon


Triathlon is a complex sport with its three disciplines. As such, it requires more kit than running. Here is a list of essential kit that will allow you to race comfortably, competitively, and successfully.

In this guest blog, we explore the four most important bits of kit you should invest in. There’s also some top tips on what to look for when buying triathlon-specific kit.


A trisuit is a one-piece suit worn for the duration of a triathlon. A quality trisuit will be fast-drying to prevent chafing when you’re on the bike; chlorine-resistant so it can be worn in a swimming pool; and will fit like a second-skin so it’s comfortable and aerodynamic.

A good trisuit will have a subtle seat pad to keep you comfortable while cycling, but won’t get in the way when you’re running. Some trisuits are sleeveless, while others feature short sleeves. Pros tend to prefer trisuits with sleeves for aerodynamic advantages. However, as a beginner the style really is down to your own personal preference for comfort.

Swim goggles

Your swim goggles can make or break the first leg of your triathlon. It’s worth investing in a quality pair, especially from a triathlon-specific brand. Look out for swim goggles that are impact-resistant. It’s common to be knocked around during a mass swim start and you wouldn’t want your goggles to break.

You’ll also want to opt for goggles that feature anti-fog technology, so you have a clear view for the duration of your swim, and which feature polarized technology as well as anti-leak. These are all important features to ensure swim success.

Race belt

When you participate in a running race, it’s easy enough to just pin your race number to your t-shirt or vest and then forget about it. However, there are more rules in triathlon racing and one such states that your race number must be visible from the back on the bike section, but from the front on the run section.

This means you need to be able to quickly and easily move your race number, something you can’t do if it is pinned in place. This is where a race number belt comes into play. A race belt features toggles onto which you affix your race number and the belt itself simply clips around your waist. You can swivel it to your back for the bike and then quickly swivel it to your front for the run. As such, it’s an essential piece of kit that is important to remember.

Cycle shoes

If you want to be able to race competitively, a pair of cycle shoes will help you achieve more speed and efficiency during the bike leg of the race. Cycle shoes clip onto the pedals of your bike and allow you to cycle with more power and therefore faster. Although speed comes with practice and training, not just a good pair of shoes!

Look out for cycle shoes that feature advanced fastenings so you can put them on quickly in transition and adjust the fit as you go. You’ll also want cycle shoes with a stiff sole for better power transfer when pedalling, while being flexible enough to run in for the short time you need to during transition.

Meet the writer

Alex Parren

Alex Parren is a personal trainer, ultra runner and content writer for Sundried (

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