Home Gear Reviews Beginner triathlete: Here is what you need!

Beginner triathlete: Here is what you need!

10 min read

So, you are considering doing a triathlon huh? Haha, welcome to the population of people that are crazy! As awesome as this sport is, it is expensive. So this might be your first triathlon and perhaps you aren’t fully committed to spending thousands of dollars yet? Well, here are the basics with the world of triathlon gear to get you started! (Also enjoy all these throwback photos from my start of triathlon to now!)

If it wasn’t for the adults in my life who got me into this crazy sport helping me with gear along the way, I wouldn’t have so easily gotten into this sport. Triathlon can be very expensive but there are ways to get a taste of triathlon before you commit.

Start with an indoor triathlon

With this strategy you avoid the trouble of finding a bike to race on. An indoor triathlon will typically be dictated by time vs distance, meaning that there will be a set time for each discipline and you are to get as much distance in that amount of time. Typically you won’t be too rushed in transition (T1 & T2) so you can comfortably change outfits at each for the following discipline and not need a fancy tri suit.

Gear needed for an indoor triathlon would then only require:


  • Cap
  • Goggles
  • Swim Suit


  • Tennis shoes (spin cycling shoes- optional but encouraged)
  • Bike shorts (if you want to be more comfortable on the spin bike- if not athletic shorts)


  • Tennis shoes
  • Running shorts
  • T-Shirt

Getting a little more serious

To limit costs I would recommend a sprint triathlon that is in the pool with an outdoor bike and run. With this you avoid the costs of a wetsuit with a swim in an outdoor body of water- unless it is warm enough to swim without a wet suit. But if the triathlon you have in mind is all outdoor then I have listed the following of what you would need.

Wet suit legal (sleeveless) ocean swim vs just tri suit lake swim.


  • A tri suit (this can be top and bottom or 1 piece at your preference)
    • Another alternative is the swim suit you train in and buying tri shorts to put on as bottoms
  • Goggles
  • Cap- but usually provided by the race in your packet


  • A bike…you can do what I did my first two years and borrow a bike from a friendly experience triathlete. It doesn’t need to be a tri bike. A road bike will suffice. Remember, you don’t need the fanciest bike to get you to the finish line, you are the engine of that bike. Make sure the bike is adjusted to your waist height to avoid injuries and ride on the bike outside before just racing on it. With that being said you can head to the gym and train hard on the spin bikes and then get some good bike handling skills outdoors so you don’t necessarily need a bike trainer.
    • Recommended: look for a road/tri bike on craigslist, facebook triathlon groups, etc especially around Christmas time when all the veteran triathletes are upgrading their rides and selling their old ones. You can usually find a great deal for one!
  • Helmet- no race is going to let you race without a helmet. Do not get a mountain bike helmet. Doesn’t need to be an aero helmet just a good ol’ road bike helmet.
  • Cycling shoes- if your bike is clip in then you should get the appropriate shoes but if you want to save money on that, changing out the pedals to just use your running shoes will suffice, but later on as you get more serious there are mechanical advantages to being clipped in.
  • Sunglasses- these are so helpful on the bike with the sun, wind, and bugs! A huge plus.
    • Extras are bike pump, tubes, CO2 for bike maintenance


  • You need to invest in a good pair of shoes. If you have been training for this triathlon it is so crucial that you go get fitted for an appropriate type of you for your foot type. Do not just pick out the cheapest or prettiest shoe. Take care of your feet because if training in non proper running shoe you are at higher risk for injury and we all know we don’t what that or the medical bills that come along with it.
  • Safety pins on a t-shirt. With this, it saves you purchasing a race belt and you just throw on your t-shirt with your bib on it to finish out the last leg of the race.

When committing to a sprint triathlon it will involve a method of how you get the training in. Which means access to a pool, bike, and road to run/bike on. This may mean a gym membership of some type to get your pool training in, spin classes, and some treadmill runs.

Lastly, get you a group of people that you can train with and learn from. Not only do I owe these people so many thank you’s for giving me an in to the sport of triathlon it was their impact in my life that I am so grateful for. Get you a good group of people to help you fall in love with triathlon and the rest is history…


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One Comment

  1. Mayte Hernández

    January 22, 2019 at 4:24 am

    Excellent! Congratulations


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