All The Running Gears You Need For Triathlon


Training for a triathlon requires a lot of specific gear. Fortunately, there is no need to buy all of them right away. I listed below all the running gears you will need at specific points in your triathlon journey.

Some of the recommendations below are affiliate links. It simply means that if you buy one of those gears through the specific link, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Disclaimer: The Triathlon Tips of My Tri World are reader-supported. When you buy through links, I may earn an affiliate commission.

BASIC RUNNING GEARS

SHOES:

It might be a simple piece of gear, but it is worth taking your time before buying a pair. Ideally, make a foot analysis and buy a pair that is fitting you. A general recommendation is to change every 600 km.

Best time to buy: right away

Recommendation: go to a specialized shop for a foot analysis. Generally, the price of it will be deducted if you end up buying a pair there.

T-SHIRTS AND SHORTS:

No need to go fancy here. Just take a breathable outfit. Personally, I prefer running in normal sports shorts whereas my wife Anna prefers tights. 

Best time to buy: right away

Recommendation: no favorite here. Simply go to a sports shop and buy a couple of your size.

TRIATHLON WATCH

Specific triathlon watches are not a must-have for beginner triathletes. It is quite hard to justify the high price tag for what you will actually do with it. Their main advantages are open water swimming and triathlon mode. My wife, Anna, wrote a full article about them: The Right Time To Buy A Triathlon Watch And What To Look For

Best time to buy: right away for data geeks (like me) or after a couple of triathlons

Recommendation: The best one is for me the Garmin Forerunner 735XT (Amazon affiliate link) or its newer version (Forerunner 745, Amazon affiliate link) if you find a really good deal.

JACKET

A wind jacket and a rain jacket can be quite expensive ($100-$150 range) but they are really worth it. You might not buy those right away, but you will for sure think about it after being completely wet a couple of times 😉

Best time to buy: ideally right away, realistically after you got wet a couple of times

Recommendation: I really like the “Crazy” rain jacket I bought for both running and cycling. 

TRAIL RUNNING GEARS

TRAIL SHOES

Those shoes are designed for running off-road. I was surprised the first time I ran with some. The grip you are getting is really impressive. I could run much faster without sliding.

Best time to buy: as soon as you run on trails

Recommendation: I bought the Innov 8 Trail Talon 235 (website link, no affiliate), which I really like

TRAIL SHORT

I find running shorts quite uncomfortable when going off-road. The best I have tried are trail shorts with inner tights. 

Best time to buy: if your road short is not that comfortable off-road

Recommendation: I have tried several models, and my favorite is by far the Dynafit Alpine 2 in 1 (website link, no affiliate). As the name suggests, it has an inner tight, which I find light and comfortable. 

HYDRATION

I highly recommend investing in a lightweight backpack for longer running tours. You only need a couple of pockets at the back for your phone, keys, a first-aid kit and rainjacket, and a way to have water either through small bottles or with a small water bag.

Best time to buy: when you start running for more than 1 hour at a time

Recommendation: make sure the bag fits you. It is really easy to buy the wrong size (speaking from experience…). Have your trail outfit and go for do a quick run in the shop.

WINTER RUNNING GEARS

WINTER SHOES

In most cases, trail shoes will be fine in winter. If you run on snow and/or ice, you can invest in spikes that you add below the sole of your shoes or in specific winter shoes.

Best time to buy: if you plan to run on snow/ice

Recommendation: I am still looking for a good model. I will update this article once I find a good one.

WINTER TIGHTS

Look for breathable, windproof tights for winter. They are great for running when the temperature is fresh outside. I am usefully running with tights, a base layer, and a windproof jacket when the temperature is between -2°C to 5°C.

Best time to buy: before the winter season starts

Recommendation: I personally really like the Marul tight from Skinfit (website link, no affiliate)

MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE

Visibility is key! You need to see where you are running but also be visible to others. Wear reflective clothes and invest in a good headlight. Keep in mind that you have to be visible from the front and the back.

Best time to buy: before the winter season starts

Recommendation: I use a Black Diamond light (Amazon affiliate link) and a reflective Skinfit jacket and tights.

ADDITIONAL RACE SPECIFIC GEARS

TRI SUIT

A triathlon suit is the only clothing you will wear from the start of a triathlon until the finish line. It is designed for swim, bike, and run, and therefore its main advantage is that it will save time in transitions. I wrote a full article about it. Check it out here.

Best time to buy: a couple of weeks before your first race

Recommendation: hard to give one recommendation as it really depends on your preferences. Check first the article I mentioned above.

TRANSITION BAG

A transition bag is a backpack designed specifically for the needs of triathletes. It is large enough to fit all triathlon gears in one place and well organized so that triathletes don’t lose any time looking for specific gear. If you want to learn more, check out this article: “Are Transitions Bags Really So Useful.”

Best time to buy: after a couple of triathlons

Recommendation: I am really happy with the Tyr Apex bag (Amazon affiliate link) I bought.

RACE NUMBER BELT

Used to attach your race number during the bike and/or during the run portion, it will cost you between $10 to $15. 

Best time to buy: before your first race

Recommendation: I personally bought the Compressport model (Amazon affiliate link) with three attaches for holding the number plus a couple of gel holders. I used it for all triathlon and running events.

ELASTIC SHOELACES

An easy way to save 10 seconds during the transition.

Best time to buy: whenever you want 🙂

Recommendation: I personally bought the Xtenex shoelaces (Amazon affiliate link) at a triathlon expo. I have no problem recommending them.

I hope this list gives you a better idea of the gears in triathlon and at what point you should invest in them.

If you are looking for information about swimming or biking gears, check out those two articles:

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