I know a lot of my readers are runners (yes, you are a runner if you run – it doesn’t matter how far or fast) and you know I love running! It’s an easy sport to get started in, pretty inexpensive to participate in, and you can take it with you when you travel. :)
But you also know that I don’t stop there. I also love multisport events – like triathlon and duathlon races! Have you ever thought about trying a triathlon?
Picture from my first triathlon in 2005!
You’ve probably heard that cross-training is a great way to help prevent injuries and can even strengthen your muscles in your primary sport. Biking is GREAT cross-training for running! Swimming is a great way to add variety without any impact – and in the summer it can be very refreshing. :)
And if you’ve been really focused on running through the winter, you might just be ready for something different – something to add variety to your workouts and keep you inspired.
Triathlon might be just the thing you’re looking for!
If you’ve already been running this year, you’ve already got one of the sports under control.
- Running Shoes – A good pair of running shoes that are fit correctly for your feet. Spend some time at a running specialty store to get this crucial piece of running equipment.
What equipment do you need to get started in swimming and biking?
- Swimsuit – you could swim in a bikini, but it’s not going to be quite as comfy. It might also turn a few heads when you swim laps. :) Pick up a plain one-piece suit at Target (or similar) or an online swimming store. I have had good luck with uglies at swimoutlet.com.
- Goggles – This is another thing you can pick up at Target or an online store. I use Aqua Sphere Kaiman, but goggles can be personal, so just give one a try.
- Bike – any bike will do. If you’re just thinking about your first triathlon, there’s no reason to go out and buy a fancy bike. Have one collecting dust in the garage? Pull it out and put it to use. Have a friend with a bike collecting dust? Borrow theirs. If absolutely no one owns a bike you can use, look for a used bike on Craig’s List or eBay or a local garage sale.
- Helmet – Please DO NOT ride your bike without a helmet. You can get one at Walmart, Target, or a bike store – it can save your life and it’s irresponsible to ride without one. Get a helmet!
- Shoes – If you’re on an old or borrowed bike, you probably can just use running shoes to ride your bike. If the bike has clips on them, you can swap them out or you’ll need a pair of cycling shoes (is you have a pair from spin class, those will work!). You will need to get cleats that screw into the bottom of your shoes that match your pedals. You can bring your bike to a bike store for help in finding the right ones.
- Padded Bike Shorts – You can technically go without this one, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It will make you more comfortable to get a pair of padded bike shorts – check out the sale racks for inexpensive options.
- Bike Pump – Unless you live near someone’s you can borrow, you should probably get a bike pump. I pump my tires every 2-3 rides, depending on the frequency and the distance.
On my mountain bike at my first triathlon (2005)
So that’s it! For my first two triathlons, I rode an older mountain bike (knobby tires and all) with regular pedals and my running shoes. After that first year, I decided I really liked the sport and we upgraded to a road bike. Bikes aren’t cheap, so save that investment until you know you’re going to have it (and use it) for a while!
So what do you think – are you up for the challenge? Let this be the year that you try a tri!!
Questions for you:
- Have you done a triathlon? What was your favorite (or least favorite) thing about your first race?
- Have you thought about doing a triathlon? What’s held you back?