Clothing and Gear Necessary For Your First Triathlon Competition

Most of the beginner triathlon athletes usually stay quite confused about the selection of right triathlon clothing and gear. If you are also one of them, then this guide will help you a lot in finding the best clothing and equipment. 

Thus, to help the beginner triathlon athletes, we here bring you the list of all essential clothing and gear that you have to buy. 

What should you wear in a Triathlon?

There are two main categories of clothes that you can wear during your triathlon training and competition. 

The first option is a two-piece suit and the second one is a one-piece tri suit. 

One-Piece Triathlon Suit

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This is a single piece that has both top and bottom stitched together. This is very easy to wear a suit that works well in the water, on the run, and the bike as well. It also offers the facility of carrying anything or any nutrition throughout the race as it has pockets at the rear. 

Two-Piece Triathlon Suit

This type of suit is more practical than the above one as it has separate top and shorts. A two-piece suit is more suitable for training whereas for the actual competition, choose a one-piece suit. 

Two-piece triathlon suit is most preferred by most of the athletes because it is easy to pull down in the washroom. Moreover, it makes the transition very easy as you can quickly change the clothes.

Triathlon Shorts 

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The triathlon shorts are just like the bike shorts that come with built-in chamois. The main benefit of triathlon shorts over bike short is that they offer more flexibility as they are quite thin. You can comfortably wear triathlon shorts for the run, bike, and swim. You do not have to worry about the wetness of the shorts after a swim as shorts will quickly drain the water while providing the comfortable padding on the bike. 

Triathlon Top 

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Sugoi Men's RPM Tri Suit

Perhaps the gold standard of tri tops in our opinion, a quality product with excellent construction. Breathable, moisture-wicking fabric, mesh vents on either side, best for those longer races or warmer days.

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The triathlon tops are mostly skin-tight and help in lowering the level of drag in water due to their spandex material. Most of the triathlon tops come with pockets in the back. 

Sleeved and Sleeveless Tops

These days most of the athletes prefer to wear sleeved tops or suits. The full sleeved tops offer more aerodynamics than others. Sleeved tops are also very beneficial to protect your arms from the harmful rays of the Sun or when you do not want to apply sunscreen during the race. 


For swim leg of the race, you need a swim skin or wetsuit, swim goggles, and swim cap. 


Buying the right kind of wetsuit is very important for better performance. You have to choose the wetsuit that is made explicitly for triathlete competition and not wakeboarding. 

Must Read: 5 Top-Quality Entry Level Triathlon Wetsuits of 2019

Sleeved Wetsuit

O'Neill Women's Reactor-2 2mm Back Zip Short Sleeve Spring Wetsuit, Black/Light Aqua, 8
  • Ideal Entry Level Value Driven Wetsuit; Perfect For Surfing, Diving, Paddle Sports, Lake Activities, And Beach Days
  • Backzip System Provides Easy Entry And Exit With A Water Resistant Closure
  • Ultra Stretch Neoprene: Incredibly Soft Premium Material Has Superior Feel, Flexibility, And Elevates Performance
  • Seamless Paddle Zones's Flexible Design Utilizes Minimal Seam Placement For Comfort And Maximum Mobility
  • Wind-Resistant Smoothskin Provides Extra Insulation And Protection Against The Cold

Last update on 2021-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sleeved suits offer better speed, and their extra width is more suitable to grab the water. Sleeved suits work correctly if they properly fit your body. This is the best choice for cold water race and for those athletes who do not overheat quickly. 

Sleeveless Wetsuit

Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit 5/3mm - Women's Endorphin Sleeveless Long John Smoothskin Neoprene for Open Water Swimming Ironman & USAT Approved (P1, Black)
  • SUITABLE FOR ALL LEVELS – Ironman & USAT approved. Athlete endorsed. Comes in wide range of sizes to ensure a perfect fit.
  • PROVEN TECHNOLOGY EQUALS SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE – Hydrodynamic neoprene made from Yamamoto #39 with SCS silicone coated SyPrene. 5mm thick core buoyancy panel / 3mm lower legs and back.
  • EXCEPTIONAL FUNCTIONALITY – Full range of motion. Unsurpassed 680 percent flexibility. Highest grade anti corrode internal wetsuit zipper from YKK which greatly reduces drag as you move through the...
  • MAXIMUM BUOYANCY - 5mm wetsuit, which is the maximum buoyancy allowed in triathlon wetsuits. Creates nearly double the buoyancy than 3mm suits, which are not recommended for cold waters. Float higher....
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION - 30-Day Guarantee: If you are not 100% satisfied within 30-days, send your new/unused wetsuit back for a full refund / 2 Year Warranty

Last update on 2021-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sleeveless wetsuits make your shoulder and arms feel more relaxed and full of freedom. This type of suit is beneficial during shoulder injury or arm injury. 


ROKA Men's Viper Elite Swimskin for Swimming and Triathlon
  • Made of a premium Italian knit textile
  • Hydrophobic Teflon coating that repels water and reduces drag and water absorption
  • “No Sew” thermo bonded and taped construction to reduce drag, weight, and chafing compared to traditional sewing methods; folded and bonded neck, arm, and leg openings help reduce chafing,...
  • YKK #3 Zipper with ultralight lanyard for easy removal exiting the swim
  • Approved for USAT and WTC (IRONMAN) sanctioned events

Last update on 2021-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Swimskin is suitable to wear for the race, which is not wetsuit legal. It is quite similar to a wetsuit but made of different materials and offers high-level of hydrodynamics. 

This will help you to achieve more speed and hydrodynamics during the swim. However, it is quite expensive than other wetsuits. 

Swim Cap 

Speedo Unisex-Adult Swim Cap Silicone Long Hair Speedo Black
  • Lightweight, latex-free silicone provides durable performance and optimum fit
  • Easy on-and-off design won't snag hair
  • Extra space allows long hair to be tucked inside without compromising a smooth fit
  • Designed to securely hug the head to reduce drag
  • Specifically designed for swimmers with long hair

Last update on 2021-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

After the completion of every race of the triathlon competition, you will get a swim cap. 

Swim Goggles

Aegend Swim Goggles, Swimming Goggles No Leaking Anti Fog Adult Men Women Youth
  • Comfortable? Of Course! Flexible silicone frame and improved higher nosepiece provide extreme comfort that never hurt your nose or leave a mark on your face.
  • Fog-up? No! The inner surfaces of the lenses are anti-fog coated by the latest Environmental Treatment Technology which enhances the anti-fog ability of the goggles and does no harm to your face.
  • Leaking? No! Premium silicone material and Ergonomic design used on the goggles ensure a snug fit on different facial forms and never allows water leak in.
  • Stylish look? Absolutely! The colorful outer surface of the lenses with UV-Protection coating which enables the lenses to reflect harmful UV rays and protect your eyes from heat and damage of the...
  • High-Performence! Polycarbonate lenses stay strong even in the toughest conditions. Well-designed clasp make it easy to put goggles on and take off without pulling hair. Caution: customers who are...

Last update on 2021-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For swimming in the open water during triathlon competition, you need to wear good swim goggles. High-quality swim goggles always offer a good range of vision, and they are very comfortable to wear as they made of an excellent silicone seal. Just choose the glasses that you find quite easy and comfortable to wear. 

Transition 1 

After the transition 1, you have to give your body a relaxing and comforting experience to shed off all the stress.  For this, you will need a few essential things, such as a towel and a transition mat. Also, it is also essential to keep your feet clean from the dirt you have picked during run and swim. It is better to have an extra water bottle in your bag so that you can clean your feet anytime. 

Triathlon Race Belt 

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In triathlon competition, you have you wear your race number, and for that, you need to use a race belt. In most of the other running sports, athletes usually pin on their body, but it is not allowed in the triathlon. 

Triathlon Watch 

Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935 Running GPS Unit (Black)
  • Premium GPS running/triathlon watch with wrist based heart rate; Strap material: Silicone; Smartphone compatibility: iPhone, Android, Windows; Designed for sale and support in North America only
  • Offers advanced running and multisport Features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
  • Provides elevation changes with a built in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
  • Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring Features
  • Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more. Bezel Material: Fiber reinforced polymer

Last update on 2021-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A triathlon watch is also a vital part of your training and competition. Most of the triathlon watches are water-proof so that you can comfortably wear a watch during the swim leg of the race. However, if you get a watch which is not water-proof, then mount the one on your bike. 

Must Read: Best Triathlon Watch (2019) Buyer’s Guide

Bike Helmet 

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A bike helmet is essential for protecting your head from any injury. While buying a helmet, make sure it is easy to handle, and you can quickly set it up. During the transition, you can quickly wear it on your head by keeping the clasp pre-open. It is not necessary to buy a racing helmet; you can use any helmet approved by a triathlon company. It is recommended to buy a helmet that offers more aerodynamic features. 

Must Read: An Ultimate Buyer’s Guide To Buy Best Triathlon Helmet


Every triathlon athlete should always wear sunglasses irrespective of any weather condition. A bright pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from dust, mud, and rain. Make sure that your sunglasses will easily fit inside your helmet. 

Cycling Shoes

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If you are just a beginner in triathlon sport, then you can wear your regular running shoes. But for competition, it is vital to get cycling shoes with cleats so that you can clip them into the pedal. There are many different types of cleats available for cycling shoes. Plus, cycling shoes divided into two categories, which include road cycling shoes and triathlon cycling shoes. Triathlon specific shoes are better than cycling shoes because that come with a Velcro closure that closes toward the inside. 


Swiftwick- ASPIRE ZERO Running Socks, Cycling Socks, Mens & Womens, Lightweight No-Show (Black, Large)
  • MAXIMUM MOISTURE AND SWEAT MANAGEMENT: Our signature Olefin fiber is a light-weight, high-performance fiber that wicks moisture and dries quickly, so your feet stay dry and blister-free wherever your...
  • THIN, BREATHABLE DESIGN: Upper channels and a mesh footbed are thinly knitted for ultimate breathability and ventilation to prevent hotspots and keep your feet cool.
  • FIRM SUPPORT: Our highest compression sock with arch band support that hugs your feet firmly to support your muscles and reduce fatigue so you can perform better, longer.
  • Y-SHAPED HEEL: Heel is stitched using a Y shape for a snug fit that moves with your foot without any bunching or slipping.
  • MADE IN THE USA: Swiftwick Socks are designed and crafted in the USA

Last update on 2021-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You can wear your bike shoes without socks, but it is recommended to wear socks during the race. Make sure to choose soft and comfortable socks for your triathlon race. 


For competing in a fierce triathlon competition, you can get the fastest and latest bike of the year. But for a sprint triathlon bike, you can get a bike with aero bars, shifters, and bullhorns. That will do the right work for your race. 

Road Bike

Cervelo P2 Road Ultegra Black (2013) (Frame Size: 56 cm) Triathlon Road Bike
  • Frame-System: Triathlon
  • Frame-Material: Carbon
  • Fork-Brand: Cervélo
  • Fork-Type: Aero Tri/TT
  • Fork-Material: Carbon-Carbon

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are a beginner and just going for your first triathlon, then it is better to get a road bike. This is because you can quickly get aero bars for your road bike. 

Must Read: Buyer’s Guide To Buy The Best Triathlon And Road Bikes


Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Multisport GPS Running Watch With Heart Rate, Midnight/Frost Blue
  • GPS running watch with Multisport features
  • Estimates heart rate at the wrist so you can run free on race day
  • Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming7, including ground contact time balance, stride length, vertical ratio and more (when paired with a Running Dynamics Pod, HRM-Run or...
  • Offers VO2 max estimate, lactate threshold (when used with a chest strap heart rate monitor), race predictor and recovery advisor
  • Connected features4: smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect, live tracking and more

Last update on 2021-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bike GPS is , and you can easily mount it on your bike. 

Water Bottles

Hydration is essential for completing your race and allowing your body to work correctly during the whole race. There are many different types of hydration system available in the market that you can use to mount one or two bottles on your bike. 

Flat kit 

Keeping your flat kit during triathlon race is very important. This will help you to change the bike tire during the race quickly. Make sure to carry all the necessary equipment for changing the tire. Most essential items include CO2 cartridge, bike tools, CO2 inflator, tire levers, and an extra tube.

Tire Pump

It is better to bring a tire pump in a triathlon race. When your bike runs at high-speed, there are chances that you will need to put more pressure on it. Most of the road bike tires need optimal pressure of 110 to 120 psi. 

Cycling Gloves

Louis Garneau Biogel RX-V Cycling Glove Bright Yellow, L - Men's
  • Material: [back] Power Mesh, spandex, [palm] Amara
  • Padding: Biogel
  • Closure: hook-and-loop
  • Recommended Use: cycling
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year

Last update on 2021-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The choice of cycling gloves is entirely dependent upon the personal preferences of athletes. But most of the triathletes wear gloves during a long race. However, it is good always to carry a pair of suitable cycling gloves. 

Transition 2 

After reaching at your transition 2, you need to use your race belt quickly. After removing your helmet and shoes, promptly wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the Sun and dust. It is essential to make your eyes comfortable, especially when the race is quite long. 


Wearing a hat is also very important for protecting your eyes along with the sunglasses. This will also prevent the sweat from running down into your face and create a distraction. Also, to keep your head cool, you can put sponges or ice in there. 

Running Shoes

Running shoes are also highly necessary during the transition. Make sure that the shoes you choose offer the right level of ventilation. The main benefit of running shoes is that you can comfortably wear them without socks as well. 


Last but not least, you also have to consider diet during triathlon competition. The water bottle is a must, but if you are running for a long race, then you need to keep some proper nutrition to maintain your energy level. There are always stations to fuel your needs, but it is better to keep some diet with you all the time. You can also take gels during your transitions. 


These all are the essential things that you need for your triathlon competition. During the swim, you have to wear a wetsuit, but if the water is warm, then it is better to choose swim skin. 

For bike race, you need to wear a helmet and sunglasses depending upon your needs and weather as well. Just make sure to choose all your clothing and gear for triathlon competition from any excellent and well-recognized brand that offers highly durable items. 

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