I recently wrote about my experience training for and completing my first triathlon after 50. You can read about it here.
One of the trickiest parts of preparing for a triathlon is figuring out all the gear you need. You can get many items at local swim, bike, and running stores. I bought most of my items online. Here is a list of products I recommend to train for and use during your triathlon.
Sunscreen – It’s really hard to find good sunscreen products for a triathlon. When you’re training outside, and during a triathlon, you need to protect yourself from the sun. This one lasts and stays on better through swimming and sweating than others I’ve tried. See my review here.
Lip Balm – This is my biggest skincare challenge. My lips had always gotten sunburned and dry. I tried so many products and finally found one with SPF that works well:
Wetsuit – A wetsuit helps keep you warm and more buoyant. It also lets you feel less of the seaweed or sea creatures that might creep you out. Florida sometimes has warmer water where wetsuits are prohibited, but many times you’ll be able to wear them. I ended up returning this when I decided the water was warm enough, but it was a nice wetsuit:
Goggles – If your goggles don’t work or don’t fit right, you’ll start off the race with irritated eyes:
Headband – I live in South Florida, where it’s really humid. And I sweat A LOT. I’ve used headbands for biking and running that didn’t keep the sweat from getting in my eyes. A friend I met in a bicycling club told me about these sweatbands, and they REALLY work to keep sweat from getting in my eyes:
Bike Shorts – I wore these on my practice rides:
Road Bike – My husband and I already had these. We bought both Cannondales at a local bike shop. They are a good choice for a relatively inexpensive good road bike. You can learn more about them here.
Helmet – We also bought this at a local bike shop. Here is a similar one:
Road Shoes – These aren’t required, and I didn’t use them during my triathlon. I have used them since, and, in hindsight, wish I had used them sooner. They make the pedaling process easier and more streamlined. You’ll also need clips to replace your pedals if you buy these shoes. We had the clips put on at our local bike shop. Here are the shoes:
Cooling Towel – When it’s warm outside for running (more than 70 degrees) or biking (more than 80 degrees), I’ll loosely tie a cooling towel around my neck. I don’t do well when I’m warm and this helps:
Tri suit – This is one of the essential products for a triathlon, and can come in a one-piece or two-piece. It’s created to be tight against the body, to maximize your efficiency. I decided against wearing a one-piece tri suit for two reasons: first, it’s harder to take off when you want to use the bathroom before the race and second because I don’t have a perfect body and the one-piece leaves nothing to the imagination.
It was difficult finding a great two-piece tri-suit. I ended up buying it at my local running shop. You can buy a similar one here:
Sneakers – Great sneakers are incredibly important. You know what works for you. I have small, wide feet, and like New Balance the best.
Socks – These are also very important. I think we lose padding on our feet as we get older and I start feeling some pressure after running 3.5 miles or so. I tried many kinds and these are by far my favorite: