Triathlon Kit List
What do I need to pack for a triathlon?
We strongly recommend you wear a wetsuit as it will keep you warm in the open water and aid buoyancy while swimming.
Buying online without trying on can sometimes be a very costly mistake. Always ask a professional for advice. You can buy, hire for a single event, or season hire. If you are purchasing, it is essential to try it on in the water before you purchase to make sure you have the correct fit and levels of buoyancy. Our partners Tri N Swim Well can arrange this for you at their pool in Rochford or at TriFarm lake in Chelmsford.
Season hire is great if you are new to open water swimming and unsure if you will get enough use out of it. If you are happy with it at the end of the season, you keep it. If you aren’t, you can return it and get back 50% of the price paid.
All wetsuit prices to buy and season hire are on the Tri N Swim Well website
Event hire for Southend Triathlon costs £25. This hire charge is all donated to Havens Hopsices. They will have a stand at the event where you can collect and return the wetsuit. Wetsuits must be reserved in advance by phone 07919 205 498 or by e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A triathlon suit is a key piece of triathlon gear. Specifically designed for the sport, the tri suit is made from thin, breathable material with a second-skin feel to prevent chafing and to stay comfortable throughout all three disciplines. By wearing a tri suit you won't need to get changed, meaning your transition times will be vastly improved and it will save a lot of hassle!
Tri suits are made with a built-in chamois pad to protect you on the ride, but this will be somewhat smaller than on cycling shorts so that it does not inhibit you on the run. You can wear your trisuit under the wetsuit for the swim. Sundried are offering 50% of tri suits for participants of Southend Triathlon.
Goggles will be a must for the swim, especially in open water. Higher spec goggles will not only protect your eyes from the water but will also prevent glare and UV damage from the sun.
Wearing a swim cap will stop your hair getting too wet during the swim which would then irritate you during the ride and run. It also keeps your hair out of your face while you are racing! The swim hat can be ditched as soon as the swim is over.
Depending on your level of experience and your intentions for future races, your bike can vary a lot. If you are new to triathlon and just plan to compete casually at a few sprint distance events, you will be able to race with a normal road bike. However, if you plan on doing a lot of longer triathlons - and even Ironman events - you will want to invest in a higher spec bikes. TT bikes come with different handles that you can lean on to improve speed and aerodynamics, and some will have special wheels as well. Choose your bike wisely and keep it in line with your goals.
You will not be allowed to race in any British Triathlon event without a bike helmet. Again, your level of investment depends on your level of commitment to the sport. Some helmets at the higher end of the range will be more aerodynamic and some proper racing helmets can set you back up to £500.
Triathlon-specific trainers have bike clips and quick fastening laces, but they’re not essential for a beginner.
Having a brightly coloured or easily noticeable towel will help you find your station in transition more quickly after the swim. Most triathletes stand on their towel whilst they quickly transition to the bike.
Water should be handed out by marshalls throughout the race course, but it’s always best to have your own in case you need extra. You can keep a bottle at the transition to top yourself up before the next leg of the race.