Triathlons can be an expensive sport considering all the equipment needed for the three parts of the race. There is also the race entry cost, travel and nutrition which can be overwhelming if you have not budgeted accordingly. With all this to consider, it is vital that you don’t waste money on inferior or unsuitable equipment.
The best investment you can make is in a good wetsuit. It will make you a faster, more comfortable and confident swimmer. When purchasing a wetsuit, you need to make sure that you buy the correct type and size so that you don’t restrict movement or allow the water to seep in.
A swimming wetsuit is a highly sophisticated neoprene-rubber blend that is hydrophobic and has been specifically designed for comfort. In other words, the exterior actually repels water and helps you to move through the water faster. The arm and shoulder areas are thinner and more flexible so as not to limit your mobility or affect the reach of your stroke. The chest and parts of the legs will be thicker so as to help with your movement in the water.
Try to find a wetsuit manufacturer that allows you to try out demo suits to swim in, as you’ll only know if the suit fits correctly and comfortably in the water. It is vital that you choose a comfortable tri-suit or a two piece suit which you can wear under your wetsuit in order to comfortably continue with the rest of the race.
The biggest cost is undoubtedly, the bicycle. In your first few shorter races, any bike will probably do, as long as it has two wheels, a saddle and brakes that work. As you start improving and becoming more competitive, you will want to upgrade to a lighter, faster and more aero-dynamic machine. You will also need a cycling helmet to use in all training sessions and races, a good pair of cycling shoes, cycling kit and preferably sunglasses for eye protection.
Rather spend a bit more initially on the best and most suitable bike in your budget, than having to upgrade later on. Visit a reputable bike shop - preferably one that specialises in triathlons and get their advice on what would be best suited to your needs.
The running side is probably the easiest of the disciplines as you only really need a decent pair of running shoes and suitable clothing. Let a professional assess your running style and recommend the most suitable shoes for you to avoid injuries.
Once you have all the necessary equipment, you can focus on your training programme and preparing sufficiently for your first event.