Triathlon Gear List For Runners, Beginners and Beyond

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners. At the Wild Dog Triathlon

Coming out of the water at the Wild Dog Triathlon. (Phil Hospod)

As I stare down my sixth triathlon— Triathlon Valleyfield in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec on Sunday, August 24—I realize that I have fully fallen down the multi-sport rabbit hole. In that hole is an assortment of athletic equipment that I’ve accumulated to help me swim, bike and run my heart out. Before every race, I write out a triathlon gear list to be sure to pack for race day.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners

Biking my second triathlon. (Capstone Photography)

Unlike running, triathlon is incredibly gear intensive. All that “stuff” is the main barrier to entry for runners who are interested in dabbling their toes in the open waters of the sport. Buying everything at once can be intimidating and expensive. I’ve staggered my purchases over the course of three years, reached out to sponsors, and still don’t have all the gear a truly competitive triathlete calls their own, like a tri-specific bike, areobars and the like. But that hasn’t stopped me from getting into the sport and it shouldn’t stop you either.

So here is my triathlon gear list. Some of these items are essential, some merely nice to have. But once you know that the sport of triathlon will be part of your regular racing routine, you’ll want each of these items in your gear bag.

I’ve listed the full price for each item, but in many cases I found them on sale or got them for free, and have indicated where that was the case. Where gender specificity is a factor, I’ve listed the women’s gear. But most items are available in men’s options too.

Triathlon Gear For The Entire Race

Tri Kit

Your tri kit is the outfit that takes you through all three events. Ideally, you can swim, bike and run in it. You don’t have to buy a fancy tri kit. I certainly didn’t. Here’s what I use to race and train. Both of my kits have two things in common: 1) They’re designed and tested by female triathletes for female triathletes, and 2) They’re from American companies that manufacture the majority of their products in the U.S.

Triathlon Training Gear Essentials

De Soto Carrera Tri Short and Nike Sports Bra. (RunKarlaRun.com)

De Soto Women’s Carrera Tri Short, $68: De Soto is a San Diego-based company that makes 95 percent of its products in the U.S. These De Soto tri shorts were my first triathlon purchase in 2011. A running teammate of mine, who happens to be world-class triathlete, recommended them. I paired them with a running sports bra from Nike that I bought many moons ago.

I’ve done five triathlons in my De Soto’s, including one this summer, and I still love them. They’re great because they fit easily under a wetsuit, dry quickly, have a thin layer of padding to make the bike more bearable, and are incredibly comfortable.

Running the GORE-TEX Philadelphia Marathon

Running some strides in my Moo Motion gear. (RunKarlaRun.com)

Moo Motion Rosa Tri Short, $89 and Rosa Tri Jersey, $87: Moo Motion is based in New York City, where this fashion-forward line of women’s triathlon wear is made. This summer, I’ve been training in a kit that Moo Motion Sports gave me. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen me biking and running in this flashy kit. Forget boring black. The navy blue and magenta colors pop.

The shorts have a bit more padding than my De Soto shorts, side pockets, and UPF 50+ sun protection. They’re comfortable and wick moisture well.

The Rosa Tri Jersey has a built-in mesh bra, back pockets, UPF 50+ sun protection, and my favorite—a secret cleavage pocket where I stash chapstick. I wish more running shirts had cleavage pockets!

Watch

A watch is non-essential, but nice to have. I did my first tri with no watch and my second, third and fourth with a simple Timex Ironman watch. This summer, I’ve been wear-testing the new Bia Multi-Sport GPS Watch, provided to be by Bia.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners and Beyond

Bia Multi-Sport Watch and Go Stick in action (RunKarlaRun.com)

Bia Multi-Sport GPS Watch, $279: Bia is a new two-piece device consists of an ultra-light, slim wrist piece paired with a GPS “Go Stick” that clips onto your goggles, top, waist-band, visor or anywhere else you want to wear it. The Go Stick is the brains of the operation with an SOS safety alert, fast-connecting GPS, automatic uploads to your training log, and, of course, multi-sport functionality.

Swim, bike, run or do all three in one workout. Bia will track each leg of your triathlon with swim, bike and run-specific pacing, not to mention clocking your transitions too. I raced with it at my last triathlon with great results and have been using it in training as well. Best of all, it comes in six fun colors. I have it in purple. Stay tuned for my full review.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners. At the Wild Dog Triathlon

Wearing my Timex Ironman Sleek watch. (Phil Hospod)

Timex Ironman Sleek 50-Lap, $70: If you’re not ready to spring for a GPS watch, I love the Timex Ironman Sleek 50-Lap watch that Timex sent me last year. I wear it frequently, even when I’m not swimming, biking, and running.

This water-resistant wrist piece doesn’t have GPS, but the chronograph function lets me tap off each leg of the race simply. Plus, it comes in an array of fun colors. One of my major complaints about the running watch industry is the dearth of bright colors in favor of boring black or the “shrink it and pink it” mentality for women. My watch is bright purple. For a full review, read Timex Ironman Watch: Run Trainer 2.0 GPS + Sleek.

Triathlon Gear For The Swim

The biggest asset you need is access to a pool or open water for training. But aside from that, the swim can be a gear-light experience if you want to tackle it in a swimsuit and goggles. Having a wetsuit handy is not essential, but nice for cold-water swims.

Goggles

Goggles are a must for any swimmer. My husband surprised me with an amazing Christmas gift in 2010: a pool membership and my current pair of goggles. I was a competitive swimmer as a child and teenager. For three years, he listened to me yap about how I’d love to get back in the pool, and watched as I did absolutely nothing about it. So he took it upon himself to do it for me. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners and Beyond

Rocking my Zoggs goggles. (RunKarlaRun.com)

Zoggs Aquatech S/M Goggles, $18: In my swim team days, I wore Swedish goggles, without a foam or silicone seal around the eyes, or adjustable frame goggles. The Zoggs Aquatech are my first soft-frame goggles. My husband picked them out for me, and made a great choice. They come in different sizes, mold to my face and don’t leave me with goggle marks around my eyes. Best of all, they never leak, not even after three years of use.

Wetsuit, Shampoo and Anti-Chafe Stick

A wetsuit is non-essential for beginners, unless you’re swimming in some seriously cold water. I didn’t wear a wetsuit in my first tri, nor at a recent open-water swimming race. But for most races, the added warmth and buoyancy of a wetsuit will help you get through what is the toughest leg for many triathletes.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners and Beyond

In my TYR Hurricane Category 1 wetsuit (RunKarlaRun.com)

TYR Hurricane Category 1 Wetsuit, $290: The Hurricane Category 1 is TYR’s entry level wetsuit. TYR is an American brand that I was familiar with as a swimmer growing up; I’ve worn dozens of TYR swimsuits over the years. I’m happy to say this wetsuit has served me well over the course of four triathlons. As promised, the suit isn’t constricting and allows me full range of motion in my shoulder, the cuffs keep water out while the suit gives me extra buoyancy, and the whole thing peels off easily in transition.

Before committing to it, I rented the suit for $45 in 2012 (the fee is now $65) from WetsuitRental.com, which gives you the option of renting or renting to buy. After I tried and liked the suit, I kept it for another $100. All told, I paid $157 including shipping. The process was surprisingly easy. Many local triathlon stores have similar programs. In New York City, friends of mine have used and recommend JackRabbit Sports wetsuit rental program.

Triathlon Geart List For Beginners and Beyond

McNett Wet Suit Shampoo

McNett Wet Suit Shampoo, $6: If you do buy a wetsuit, don’t forget neoprene shampoo to wash your suit between races. Is this essential? I’m not sure. But I had a neoprene swim shirt that I didn’t launder properly. Yup, it’s ruined. Lesson learned. So I treat my wetsuit with care. It takes a bath in McNettt Wet Suit Shampoo after every race. You can find neoprene shampoo at many sporting goods stores, like I did at my local Paragon Sports, or order it online.

Triathlon Geart List For Beginners and Beyond

Gold Bond

Gold Bond Friction Defense, $5: I don’t make a move without an anti-chafe stick. It prevents chafing, common around the neck and arms in a wetsuit, and it helps that wetsuit slide right off your body in the transition. The two I turn to over and over again are BodyGlide and Gold Bond Friction Defense. Both are water resistant, but what I like about Gold Bond is that in addition to preventing chafing, it soothes chafed skin. So when I invariably forget to cover an area of my body, which I somehow always do, the aloe vera and ginger in Gold Bond help make it feel better. Gold Bond sent me a sample last year and I’ve been a devotee ever since.

Swimsuit and Cap
Race Report: William J. McCarthy Memorial Swim

In my Speedo and race-provided cap. (RunKarlaRun.com)

Swimsuit: Some triathletes compete in swimsuits, some use them merely for training. I fall into the latter category. I’m not too picky when it comes to swimsuits to log laps in. I raided the last super sale at my local sports store, Paragon Sports in New York City, and bought three bathing suits on sale for $10 each: TYR Diamondfit, Speedo Mighty Python Flyback and Nike Classic Lingerie swimsuits. Yes, I own them all in purple. The retail prices for each ranges from $65-$84 full price.

Swim Cap: A swim cap is part of your triathlon registration kit. Swimmers must wear the cap provided by officials on race day. The color of your cap denotes which wave you’re starting in, and helps officials keep track of all the swimmers in the water. You might need to buy one to start your training if your pool requires it. Otherwise, you’ll amass a collection of caps to go along with your collection of race shirts. I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a swim cap. A basic latex cap costs around $3. A silicone cap costs about $10.

Triathlon Gear For The Bike

The cycling leg is the most gear intensive portion of a triathlon. It was also the most intimidating and cost prohibitive for me. So I took my time acquiring each of these items. Everything but a bike and helmet is non-essential for race day, but certainly nice to have.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners and Beyond. At the Montauk Point Lighthouse Sprint Triathlon

With my Trek Lexa S (RunKarlaRun.com)

Bike

If you’re going to do a triathlon, you obviously need a bike to ride. But you don’t even have to own one. I rented road bikes for my first two triathlons and merely trained on an indoor bike. No, it’s not ideal, but if you’re not sure you want to commit to the multi-sport lifestyle, it’s totally acceptable. Once I decided I wanted to do more triathlons, I bought my own ride. Perhaps, down the road I’ll upgrade to a triathlon specific bike. But I need to become a better rider first.

Trek Lexa S, $990: I ride a 2011 Trek Lexa S. It’s an entry level road bike, but suits my purposes as a beginner cyclist just fine. Not wanting to spend a lot of money, I scoured the city and online to find a great deal. I bought this 2011 bike in 2013 at Bicycle Habitat in New York City at a steep discount: $530 versus $990 for the current year’s model. They had one size left: my size.

Other than the price, the major selling point for me was the aluminum frame with a carbon fork (steel is less money and heavier, carbon is more money and lighter). Most bikes at the lower price point don’t have carbon forks. I also like that the Lexa line is a women-specific bike, meaning it’s built for a woman’s geometry. I tried bikes at a few stores, but it was love at first sit when I hopped on this one.

Cycling Shoes and Clipless Pedals

I raced five triathlons without bike shoes and clipless pedals, wearing my running shoes in toe cages on a traditional bike pedal. Why? I was uncomfortable on the bike and the thought of clipping in terrified me. You could certainly do the same. But now that I finally have cycling shoes and clipless pedals, I wish I’d done it sooner. You’re more “one” with your bike and get more power from the pedal. I noticed the difference right away.

My recommendation—as a new cyclist speaking to new cyclists: when you buy a road or triathlon bike, make the leap to cycling shoes and clipless pedals right away. They’re really not more difficult to use than toe cages and you’ll get so much more out of your ride. Here’s the dynamic duo I chose.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners and Beyond

My Specialized Women’s Trivent Expert cycling shoes (RunKarlaRun.com)

Specialized Women’s Trivent Expert, $175: Once I decided to take the clipless plunge, I tried on a few pairs of cycling shoes in store. I zoned in on the Specialized Women’s Trivent Expert right away. They were the most comfortable on my feet and I loved the tri-specific features: large heel tab for pulling them on quickly in transition, mesh upper and no tongue for ventilation, perforations in the sole for drainage, two easy velcro closure tabs and more advanced features (like a launch clip for flying mounts) that I can grow into.

So I reached out to Specialized to see if they’d be willing to send me a pair. Thankfully, they were. My first time out in the shoes, I logged my longest ride yet: 28.7 miles. At the end of it, my feet felt great. No blisters, no hot spots, no problems. So far, I love them.

For a less expensive option, Specialized also makes the Trivent Sport at $100. The main difference is a softer nylon composite sole, versus a harder carbon and glass-fiber outsole in the Trivent Expert. The stiffer the sole, the more power you transfer to the pedal.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners

Shimano Light Action Pedals

Shimano R540 Light Action SPD-SL Pedals, $70: For my first set of clipless pedals, I didn’t care about weight, adjustability or any of the other factors more seasoned riders think about. I wanted easy-in and easy-out action. I found them in the Shimano R540 Light Action SPD-SL Pedals. All the reviews I read sang their praises as a beginner pedal. And the sales clerks at two cycling shops recommended them, so I went ahead and bought a pair. After riding in them, I agree. They’ve cured me of my fear of clipless pedals.

East Bay Rhode Island Bike Path

Bontrager Women’s Solstice Helmet (RunKarlaRun.com)

Helmet

Bontrager Women’s Solstice, $40: I bought the Bontrager Women’s Solstice helmet when I bought my bike because it matches. I know I should probably be more concerned with the weight, venting and design than the color, but at this point in my triathlon career I still want to have fun.

Maybe when I upgrade my bike, I’ll upgrade my helmet too. But for now, this entry-level sport helmet does the job.

And it’s so comfortable that I forgot I had it on as I headed out to the run portion of my last triathlon. A volunteer reminded me that I still had my helmet on my head. Face palm.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are essential. You’ll want shades to block UV rays, sun and wind. Plus, squinting causes tension that can trickle down to the rest of your body. If that’s not inducement enough, let me appeal to your sense of vanity: my dermatologist says sunglasses, paired with sunscreen, are the best way to prevent eye wrinkles. If I’m running or biking, I’m wearing shades 99 percent of the time.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners. At the Wild Dog Triathlon

In my Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 Sunglasses (Phil Hospod)

Oakley Custom Half Jacket 2.0, $205: I swear by my Oakley shades, which I received courtesy of Oakley. My old sunglasses weren’t polarized. Wow, is there a difference. Even on cloudy days, it’s amazing what cutting out glare can do.

At this point, I’ve tried on every pair of shades that Oakley offers. I have a very small face and swear by the Half Jacket 2.0, an “Asian fit” frame, and Commit Squared, a “Women’s fit” frame.

With Oakley, you can buy sunglasses in ready made colorways or design your own custom pair. My custom Half Jacket 2.0 sunglasses have a black and grey history text frame with Iridium polarized lenses. They block 100 percent of UV rays, are incredibly light, stay in place even when I sweat and actually fit my face. These are my go-to sunglasses for race day.

Triathlon Gear List for Beginners

Racing in my Oakley Commit Squared sunglasses (RunKarlaRun.com)

Oakley Commit Squared Breast Cancer Awareness Edition, $170: The Commit Squared frame is made for women and fits my face perfectly, even better than the Half Jacket 2.0. The frame is light and the lenses are truly smudge-resistant and block 100 percent of UV rays. The standard lenses aren’t polarized. However, the frame is made to change lenses easily if you want to swap in a pair of polarized. Since I already have the polarized Half Jacket, I left the standard lenses in mine.

Best of all, Oakley donates $20 to for each pair sold to Young Survival Coalition, a non-profit serving young women with breast cancer.

Water bottle and Cage

Bontrager RL Cage, $20: Why did I buy this water bottle cage? Because it matches my bike. Marketers, are you paying attention? I buy things because of their color all the time, and that color is rarely pink. When I upgrade to aerobars, I’ll likely get a hydration system for riding in the aero postion.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners

2XU Water Bottle

2XU Large Drink Bottle, $10: I’ve gotten more water bottles than I can count at hotels and in race swag bags over the years, so much so that I routinely give them away. But not my 2XU Large Drink Bottle that I got in a swag bag. It’s clear, which I prefer so I can easily see how much liquid I have left, it’s easy to squeeze (not all are), and has a nice indented gripper in the middle. It’s got everything I need for fueling on my bike.

Bike Computer

No, you don’t need a bike computer. I trained for four triathlons without one. But a bike computer is helpful, especially in training, to get to know your speed and cadence, run drills, and the like. Now that I use a bike computer I love it. REI has a great guide to help you figure out what kind is best for you: traditional bike computer, GPS sports watch with bike mode and mount, or a smartphone plus app and mounting bracket. I went the GPS route.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners

MOTOACTV with optional watch strap.

Motorola MOTOACTV, $250: I was a MOTOACTV ambassador at the 2012 NYC Half, and two and half years later I’m still training with it. I love the GPS watch, its built-in MP3 player, and all the bells and whistles it comes with—other activity tracking, text messaging and call answering. I especially love that it has a cycling function. I bought the accompanying bike mount, speed and cadence sensor, and hooked it up to my bike. It gives me all my bike data right on my handle bars. I absolutely love it.

Sadly, MOTOACTV has been discontinued. But that means you can pick up a unit for much less than the $250 list price.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners and Beyond

Bia Multi-Sport GPS Watch

Bia Multi-Sport GPS Watch, $279: If you can do without cadence, this is where the Bia GPS Multisport watch is a fantastic choice for triathletes. The watch also clocks bike workouts, giving you your time, distance, and speed, and automatically uploading the data to your online training log, whether you use MapMyFitness, Strava or Bia’s own site.

The multi-sport function logs all your data too, moving you from leg to leg with a simple click of the button. Choose from triathlon, duathlon, brick, aquabike and aquathlon settings.

Right now, its only meant for outdoor rides, but indoor functionality is in the works. It’s all I need when I’m racing.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners and Beyond

My seat bag kit

Repair Kit

Liv/Giant Quick Fix Seat Bag Kit, $50: Punctures and flat tires happen. So every cyclist should have a mini-roadside repair kit at the ready. I didn’t for a long time and was taking a big risk. I finally bought myself the Liv/Giant Quick Fix Seat Bag Kit and spare tubes. Why did I pick this one? The tools are purple. Perhaps you’re noticing a trend? I just wish the bag was any color other than black. Oh well, I’ll likely get a more fun-colored bag at some point in the future.

Triathlon Gear For The Run

By this stage of the race, you’re already wearing most of your gear: kit, watch, sunglasses and maybe your race bib. What’s left? Fashion for your feet.

Shoes

When it comes to the run leg, you ideally want shoes that are light and drain well. Whatever you’re running your road races in will probably be fine. I go through many pairs of running shoes each year. Just looking at the photos on this page, I’m wearing three different pairs of kicks from K-Swiss, New Balance and Mizuno. What will I race my next triathlon in? I have yet to decide. I currently have shoes by ASICS, New Balance and Nike in my rotation.

Triathlon Gear List for Beginners and Beyond

ASICS Gel-Noosa Tri 9

ASICS Gel-Noosa Tri, $130: Some companies make tri-specific running shoes, like the ASICS Gel-Noosa Tri, which has triathlon ready features: mesh upper and perforated sockliner for ventilation and drainage, elastic laces, an outsole designed to grip wet surfaces, and more.

I’ve never worn the Gel-Noosa Tri because its more of a stability shoe; I wear a different pair of neutral trainers that ASICS gave to me. But I love the idea of them. I’ve even tried them on twice in two different stores because I love the colors and features, but the salesperson in both cases rightfully talked me out of buying them. No matter how much you like a pair of shoes, they have to be right for your feet. These aren’t right for mine, but they might be for you if you like stability features in your shoes.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners and Beyond

New Balance 890 V4

New Balance 890 V4, $110: The New Balance 890 V4 is in the mix because I love how light and cushioned they are. They hug my heels, cradle my arches, and soften every step. I bought the runDisney edition at the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon, wearing them sparingly to “save” them.

But I’m not the only one who loves them. The 2014 Triathlete Buyers Guide to Running Shoes also included this shoe. I completely agree with their glowing assessment, right down to the narrow toebox.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners and Beyond

Nike Flyknit Lunar 2

Nike Flyknit Lunar 2, $150: My newest pair of running shoes, which Nike fit for me to run the 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, also made the 2014 Triathlete Buyers Guide to Running Shoes.

The Flyknit Lunar 2 ride is plush, soft and incredibly light. The seamless Flyknit upper is breathable with perforations woven throughout, a fantastic option for running sockless. Plus, a heel tab makes them easy to slip right on. These shoes have a slipper-like fit that feels great.

Elastic Laces

Elastic laces aren’t essential. But you want to be able to slip your running shoes on without tying them. That means either a loose knot or elastics.

Hickies, elastic laces

Hickies Elastic Lacing System

Hickies Elastic Lacing System, $15: I tie my laces loosely enough that I don’t need elastic. But Hickies sent me their elastic laces for a test run and review last year: Hickies Elastic Lacing System For Shoes. They’re a good option if you like a tighter shoe fit, but need to slip shoes on quickly.

Socks

For a triathlon, you can take or leave socks. I’ve raced both with and without them. I put body lubricant all over my feet for the swim and just pull on my shoes for the bike and run without socks. Other races, I’ve taken the time to put socks on. It’s personal preference.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners and Beyond

Under Armour Liner Socks

Under Armour Liner Socks, $19 6-pack: My favorite socks to race in are Under Armour’s simple liner socks. I bought a pack more than five years ago and they’re still going strong. Yes, I have and like fancier running-specific socks, but these are easy to slip on. I find myself reaching for them again and again. The liners are supremely thin, so if you prefer more padding, they may not be right for you.

Triathlon Gear List For Runners. At the Wild Dog Triathlon

My Fitletic race belt (Phil Hospod)

Race Belt

For the swim, your number will be marked on your body. For the bike, your number will be on your helmet and bike. For the run, you have two options for wearing you bib: safety pins or a race belt.

Fitletic Neoprene Single Pouch with Race Number Holder, $24: I love Fitletic (formerly iFitness) belts. I own three: a double-pouch belt that I bought myself, a single-pouch belt that I got as a freebie in a swag bag, and a hydration belt that Fitletic gave me for review.

Triathlon Gear List for Beginners and Beyond

Fitletic Belt

I’ve tried other brands, but keep returning to Fitletic run after run. I love their belts because they stay put no matter where I put them—waist, hips, butt—and the neoprene keeps my phone, money and other items dry. I wear these three belts all the time.

For triathlons, I use the Single Pouch with Race Number Holder. Other triers use race belts that are merely a thin strip of material and toggles to hold a bib. Fitletic sells that too for $9. You name your needs, Fitletic has a belt for you.

Triathlon Gear List For Beginners. At the Long Island Gold Coast Triathlon

Pinned my bib on a shirt at a Long Island Triathlon (Capstone Photography)

Safety Pins, $0: Your other option is simply pinning your bib to your shirt or bra, like I did at my second triathlon. Pin it on under your wetsuit or to a shirt that you’ll put on after the swim.

Next Steps

The next gear I’m going to acquire will be aerobars for my bike. Cycling is by far my weakest of the three legs. Case in point: at the 2013 Wild Dog Triathlon in Rhode Island, I finished second in my age group on the swim (behind the women’s overall winner), third on the run (behind the women’s overall winner and one other speedster) and eighth on the bike to finish 5th. If my bike was as strong as my swim and run, I’d be at the top of the age-group heap.

The bike is also the longest portion of the triathlon. In any given race from a sprint to an Ironman, the bike takes up half of the total race time. So this season, I added cycling shoes and clipless pedals to step up my ride. Next season, I’ll incorporate aerobars once I’m a sturdier rider.

As you can see, tackling the sport of triathlon doesn’t have to be an all-in process. You can acquire your gear bit by bit, easing into the multi-sport lifestyle until you have a closet full of triathlon gear just like me and all the other triheads out there.

As mentioned above, companies provided the following items to me free of charge: Moo Motion Rosa Tri Short and Jersey, Bia GPS Multisport Watch, Specialized Women’s Trivent Expert Shoes, Timex Ironman Sleek Watch, Oakley Sunglasses, MOTOACTV watch, Nike Lunar Flyknit Shoes, Hickies elastic shoelaces and Gold Bond Friction Defense. The other 17 products mentioned, I purchased myself or got as freebies at races.

As always, all posts and opinions are purely my own. Seriously. Just because a company gives me gear does not mean I will write about it all, let alone lavish it with praise. I’m always completely honest in my experiences with a product, and carefully choose which products to write about among the many I receive. For more information, read my Disclosure policy.

Karla Bruning

About 

Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.

17 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Triathlons still intimidate me. I love the simplicity of running; get to the star line, then get to the finish line!
    Who knows though, maybe now that I am going to try swim lessons, I might catch the multi sport bug.
    Kristi@ Blog for an Average Runner recently posted..Trying New ThingsMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      2

      I agree: running is so much simpler and there is beauty in that. But I love the go-go-go of a triathlon, too. Good luck with swimming lessons!

  2. 3

    You run without socks sometimes? My feet would be just a mess of blisters! Is that your testimonial for the Gold Bond, haha?
    Sadye recently posted..RetirementMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      4

      Haha, I guess so! I just did my last tri with no socks. Slathered my feet with the stuff before the swim and I was fine!

  3. 5

    Awesome post! I just recently bought my first Tri suit (2 piece) and cannot wait to bite the bullet and find a good deal on a road bike!

    • Karla Bruning
      6

      So exciting! Hope you find the perfect bike for you. It was a fun experience to find “the one!”

  4. 7

    This is a great list!! You can definitely piecemeal all the equipment. I still don’t have bike shoes or a road bike (I’m still using my hybrid). I’ve gone through I don’t know how many pairs of goggles trying to find a good one so I’m curious to try out the Zoggs!
    Emily recently posted..2014 Zooma ChicagoMy Profile

  5. 9

    Awesome tips! My first, the Lobsterman Olympic Triathlon is coming up on September 6th so I totally needed this advice!!! Good luck in your tri!!!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted..I remember why I fell in love with running. #RunLoveMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      10

      Thanks, Sandra and good luck to you too!! I’ve read such great things about the Lobsterman. Should be a fun race. Anything with lobster in the name is alright by me!

  6. 11

    Any chance you’ll be reviewing the Bia?? I’m interested to hear what you think of it…I backed it on Kickstarter and honestly since I’ve gotten it I’ve only used it a few times and am really just not sold on it.

    This is a great list of things for a beginner triathlete! I’m still debating whether or not there will be any more tri’s in my future, I definitely didn’t fall in love with the sport during my first few experiences, but at the same time I admittedly didn’t train as well as I should have for the swim & bike!
    Danielle recently posted..The One With The Full Moon PaddleMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning
      12

      I’ll definitely be reviewing Bia. I’ve got some clear thoughts about it as a triathlon watch vs a running-only watch. I think if you swim and bike in addition to run, and esp. if you do triathlons, it’s a fantastic GPS watch at a great price point (and I love the slim profile). If you only run, you’ve obviously got a lot more options on the market, and many have more bells and whistles. An in-depth review is coming in September!

  7. 13

    Ok, when I clicked on the link I wasn’t expecting such an in-depth guide. Unfortunately I can’t get any of these shoes in my country. Is there any place online with international shipping that I could try??
    Thea recently posted..Star Wars 7 News Recap – Where Do We Stand Today?My Profile

  8. 15

    As someone who is still trying to work up the courage to take the plunge and sign up for a tri, this is SUPER helpful! And here I thought running required a lot of “stuff,” haha. 😉

  9. 17

    Triathlons still intimidate me. I love the simplicity of running; get to the start line, then get to the finish line!
    Who knows though, maybe now that I am going to try swim lessons, I might catch the multi sports bug.
    Emily Brown recently posted..Schwinn Men’s Network 3.0 700c Hybrid Bicycle ReviewMy Profile


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