Beginner Triathlon Gear Guide - Part 3: Run Gear
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Part three in this four part series focuses on the gear requirements to train for and execute the bike leg of triathlon. We've listed the core staples (necessary for a successful training block & race day) along with some popular ‘add-ons.' Given we’re trying to remain budget-conscious, the ‘must-haves’ that you should prioritize are in green! The bike leg has the highest cost associated of the three disciplines, mainly due to the bike, but there are certainly ways to remain budget conscious as you begin training.
Triathlon Run Gear:
Sneakers ($$): Simple right? Could be, but here are some recommendations for you that should be factored into your decision. First, it's always recommend to go to a local running store to chat with an expert to determine what type of shoe fits your running style and foot. Second, runners often rotate at least 2 pairs of shoes as they increase weekly mileage. Alternating shoes will allow their soles / cushion to recover between runs and last longer. Additionally, different shoes have different benefits. For example, a more cushioned shoe might be perfect for longer, relaxed runs, but a carbon plated shoe can be perfect for race day and interval work. Depends on who you ask, but most experts state that running shoes last 300-500 miles. Strava has a mile-tracking feature that you can use to keep an eye on how many miles you’ve put on each pair. Lastly, shoe technology has skyrocketed over the last few years with the introduction of carbon and nylon plated race shoes. These are by no means necessary, but can definitely help your performance come race day. Road Runner Sports has put together a running shoe guide that helps runners select their ideal pair. Check it out here!
GPS Sport Watch ($$$-$$$$): Not necessary by any means, but can be a very valuable tool. Smartwatches (Garmin, Apple, Coros, to name a few) allow athletes to see real time data such as heart rate, pace, cadence, etc on their wrist. Here’s a great buyers guide if you’re in the market for a GPS sport watch (DC Rainmaker - Watches). These are useful in training to ensure you stick to the workout prescribed by your coach or training plan. They're also helpful come race day to ensure you don't over-exert and execute your plan properly, whether you race on pace, power, heart rate or a combination of metrics. Keep your eye out for refurbished deals as well!
Heart Rate Strap ($$): Heart rate straps allow athletes to see real-time data to gauge their effort-level. While GPS sport watches provide this information as well, chest straps are far more accurate. Before engaging in any type of training, it’s always advisable to discuss it with your doctor. Some athletes will train with heart rate as their primary monitoring metric, while others use it as a complement to power or perceived effort, and some don't consume it at all. After discussing with your coach, if you plan to use HR data in your training, a heart rate strap will allow you to do this most effectively.
Race Belt ($): Occasionally forgotten about, race belts allow triathletes to attach their race number to themselves. Unlike a running race bib which can be pinned to clothing, triathletes often use race belts because (1) their trisuits are tight, expensive and don’t accommodate pins well and (2) speed during transition. Race Belts are inexpensive and can be used over and over (Amazon - Race Belt)
Sunglasses ($-$$$): While you'll use them on the bike as well, lumping these into the run gear post because you'll likely use them more in run training. Personal preference on style and cost, but removing glare on the course and allowing your eyes to relax comfortably will make your race day experience much easier.
Did we forget anything? Let us know some of your favorite running gear and we'll continue to add to this guide and make it a living document.