Q for those that compete in triathlons? — The Bump
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Q for those that compete in triathlons?

I am doing my first one this summer, and have no clue what to wear.. I went to a sporting goods store today to look around and realized that I should probably do some research before buying anything. Anyone have experience/recs they can pass on to me?
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Re: Q for those that compete in triathlons?

  • They actually have tri suits made specifically for triathlon.  They come in either 2 or 1 piece.  These are pieces that you can wear through the entire event...swim, bike and run...without having to change (and in reality, most non-ironman length triathlons don't have anywhere for you to change, and there are rules against nudity.)  The bottoms have a thin chamois that will dry quickly.

    I would recommend a good wicking sports bra and a two piece tri top. Danskin has several varieties that you might find appealing, and I've also seen stuff on Altheta.  There are a ton of other resources as well. I advise against regular bike shorts as the chamois won't dry quickly and I'll mention just one word to that...chafing. Ugh.

    Other than that, all you need is a bike, helmet, and running shoes.  There are bunch of other goodies that you could add on (wetsuit, bike shoes/clipless pedals, etc) but if you want to keep the cost down while you're trying things out, it's best to keep it simple.

    Good luck!  Triathlons are addicting!

  • I didn't really like the look of the 1 piece triathlon suits(and was probably too cheap to pay the money and I am small bust and big butt, vanity also played a part!).  I went to DeSoto sports website where I bought some tri-bike shorts; they have a little chamois pad that I could also run and swim in and just bought a long bra top at Target.  Worked fine for me and I also wore them under my wetsuit when the conditions allowed for it(the wetsuit that is).  These are like the shorts I have(but they were way cheaper when I bought them!).  HTH!


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  • Make sure the event is wetsuit legal.  I would also recommend renting one since it is your first, and then if you want to really get into it, invest it one.  
  • PS...I'm also on a great site called BeginnerTriathlete.com.  I highly recommend it!  There are some great people there, and they are very helpful (seriously, I've met some of my best friends there.)
  • I love Desoto and 2XU for tri shorts, they make a lower rise short that is super comfortable.  I've tried a lot of tri and bike shorts and many tend come all the way up to your boobs- not really my style.  :)  In terms of tops, just make sure it's a material that will dry quick, that's what good about tri-specific apparel- some of my Nike sports bras stay soggy after swimming in them.

    If you don't have a good tri or bike shop near you, it might be hard to find tri specific apparel in a regular sporting goods store.  There are lots of good websites you can order from.

    Make sure to check out BeginnerTriathlete.com like the above post mentions, it's a great resource for info and I've also met lots of people to train with. Good Luck!  Tris are awesome!
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  • This is a XP from 6-9 months: 

    I do!  I used to race elite/semi-pro, so I've done quite a few from the sprint to Iron distances (AW...7 Ironmans and thinking about doing my first double Iron this fall).

    First...a sporting goods store is not going to have what you need.  You need to get a good pair of tri shorts (like bike shorts but with a thinner chamois (pad) that you can run in).  I currently use DeSoto or Zoot.  Next you need a tri top.  I race for a team so I use their top, which is a Zoot long tank and I wear a tri bra underneath.

    The beauty of having tri shorts and a tri top is that you can do all three events without changing clothes.  Also, if the water is going to be chilly, you may want to look into a wetsuit.  You get the warmth plus the benefit of added buoyancy and lower drag.  Tri wetsuits can get pretty spendy ($200-500+) but a lot of triathlon shops will have ones you can rent.  My major advice here is that you try it a few times before the race!!  Tri wetsuits fit a lot tighter than your normal water skiing or scuba wetsuits and the tightness can cause a bit of panic.

    Once you have the tri top and bottoms, what you really need are good running shoes and a helmet. 

    What distance are you doing? What kind of bike are you using?  I can answer a lot of your questions if you want to PM me.  I used to be from the Cincy area but competed a lot throughout the midwest, so I'm interested as to what race you are doing.


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  • awesome, i just wanted to say have fun!!

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  • ras26ras26 member
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    Triathlon is awesome.  Good luck!  I've been happy with Zoot tops and tri-shorts, with Moving Comfort Fiona bra underneath.  sprint distance to half ironman, it was great.  For IM I changed clothes, so it's a little different. 

    Here's another vote for beginnertriathlete.com.  It's great for learning all things triathlon.  My first season I was in a mentor group and it helped sooo much!

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  • I competed in my first two sprint triathlons this past summer. I was not in it to win it, but just to do the best that I could do. I just wore my regular bathing suit and threw my typical workout capris and shirt on over the suit for the bike and run. Both of the swims I did were in a pool. This worked fine for me, but I do see the benefits of getting something more "professional" if I continue to compete (which I want to! it's addicting!!) or if you are swimming in open water.
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  • I wear triathlon bike shorts (like cycling shorts but with a little less padding) and a top (not sure if it is triathlon-specific) but it is made of material that doesn't hold in water and has a bra-top build in.  I bought both from a local cycling store that had a pretty good selection.

    My very first one I just wore my one-piece bathing suit with capri spandex bottoms that I put on after the swim.  Most important is just to be comfortable and have materials that will wick away the moisture.

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