There are a million things that triathletes need. Seriously, though… from equipment to training partners to a race schedule to training routes, lots of thought go into each triathlon season.
Here are YoungTri’s Top 10 must-haves for every triathlete!
10. A training partner – This one is a must. Whether it’s family with whom you compete at races, a friend or a random stranger (just kidding), a training partner adds another level of depth and excitment to racing and training.
9. An awesome running route – There is nothing worse than an awful run route. One where you have to stop every two seconds, end up constantly tripping over rocks, or whatever. It doesn’t matter what an awesome running route means to you – maybe it’s a route in the woods, by a mountain, in a meadow (?), or through your county park. Whatever it is, find it. It can become an escape for you. If you don’t already have one, ask around. There are good routes in almost every neighborhood!
8. Group rides – Group rides are awesome. You get to explore new routes, meet new people, and push your limits. Don’t know how to participate? Look up a tri club near you and contact the club president. Most clubs and local bike shops have group rides! http://www.usatriathlon.org/resources/for-clubs/find-a-club
7. A bike (obviously…) – A bike is the single most important piece of equipment in a triathlon. Technically, you can swim without a wetsuit or goggles and run without shoes (ow). However, you can’t really bike without, well, a bike… Find a bike that suits you; your needs, your preferences, and your budget. Once you find a great bike (road or tri), get out there and ride!
6. An organized transition area – SO. IMPORTANT. Whether you are a beginner who likes to wipe the sand in between each of their toes during T1 or a speedy transitioner, an organized area is a must. Buy a transition mat like this: http://www.tmatpro.com/ and line up your shoes, socks, sunglasses, or whatever you need. It will definitely help!
5. Race in another state – Racing near your hometown is definitely fun. However, there is really nothing like going to another state and racing with new people in a brand-new atmosphere. I love racing in places where there are waterfalls (TOUGHMAN AND REV 3!!!), brooks, pretty scenery, etc. It adds to the fun of the race. Besides this, racing in a new area can help you meet new people with similar interests!
4. Sunglasses – Sunglasses are vital!!! Really… Whether you use them during the bike, the run, the bike and run, the ride home or during the awards ceremony to look extra cool, sunglasses are awesome. Every triathlete needs a good, quality pair.
3. Place in your room to keep all of your awards – Lots of young triathletes find themselves on the podium at the end of races. Whether it’s in your room on a hook or shelf, in a case or in your basement, find a place to put your bling! 🙂
2. Good nutrition – VITAL. I’ve had a couple of races without it, and believe me it was not pretty. You do not want to end up sick, bonking or DNFing because of poor nutrition. Check out http://www.pacificfit.net/ for great supplements. Also, be wary of food allergies or sensitivites to make sure that you have a great race!
1. A great race schedule – Plan out your races! Each winter, my dad and I along with my cousins coordinate our race schedules. It helps to be organized and plan out your spring/summer so you can fit in every race you want. Early registration can also help save money! When races are planned ahead of time, you can tailor your training to fit your goals.