Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ironwoman Wednesday - Gear

Oops, can't believe it has been a week since I last posted! I guess that's what happens when I go back to work for my one summer month. Anyway, it's time for another Ironwoman Wednesday post!

Ironwoman Wednesday is a weekly linkup on a variety of triathlon-related topics (that will be announced the week before). It is similar to Tri Talk Tuesday that a few other bloggers started, but the more people talking about triathlon the better!

Gabi at Lean Green Island Girl, Michelle at Ironwoman Strong and I are all training for Ironman Louisville. It is really exciting (and encouraging) to be sharing this journey with these two amazing women!

Today's topic is gear!

When we started running, I bought the cheapest pair of Nike running shoes that I could find. They were not the best, but running CAN be relatively cheap if you want it to be. Triathlon, on the other hand, isn't really like that.

You need more than just a pair of running shoes to finish a triathlon. Granted, you don't need a $20,000 bike to finish a triathlon either.  At a minimum this is what you need, in terms of gear, to finish a triathlon:

  • Bathing suit
  • Goggles
  • Cap (usually provided by the race)
  • Bike (any kind)
  • Helmet (mandatory)
  • Running shoes

Yes, that's it. You don't need a wetsuit to finish a triathlon, you don't need clipless pedals, you don't need an aero helmet, etc. You probably would also want shorts and a shirt, but that's up to you. And maybe a water bottle.

This was our second tri, but you get the point

Mike and I didn't have wetsuits for our first triathlon and we didn't have clipless pedals. We did have a bit more than that very minimal list, but we have increased the amount and quality of the gear that we have over the years. If you aren't sure that triathlon is your thing, or you are only going to do one or two sprint to Olympic distance triathlons a year, you don't need to feel like you are buying a car to be involved in this sport.

 Of course I have watermelon gear!

Mike and I knew right away that we were going to be involved in triathlon for a long time, but it took us some time to get gear that we really love (and I still want a new helmet). As with everything, gear is individual and you find what best works for you. The following items are what I own and what work for me, for right now.


From this weekend's 80 mile ride

Tri top
Tri shorts
Garmin Forerunner 910xt
BodyGlide (Essential!)

I don't own a tri suit (one piece), but that's a personal choice. I think it would be a pain to have to almost completely take it off to go to the bathroom before (and possibly during) a race. That's just me. I may look into getting one for our Ironman since the swim will be wetsuit illegal. I own a variety of brands of tri shorts and tops (and I have a pair of purely bike shorts), such as, Epix, Sugoi, 2XU, etc.

Mike and I just upgraded to the 910xt watches. They are great! You can swim with them in the water (and get data) and set it up for multi-sport mode to easily switch from one sport to another (and transitions) during a race or training. They were a great investment!


I've been wearing the same brand of goggles for a long, long time

Goggles - Speedo Vanquishers (women's)
Cap (most provided by a race)
Suits (Speedo brand) for training in the pool
Wetsuit - Zoot Z Force 2.0 Sleeveless


 Our bikes!

Helmet - Giro (I would like to upgrade to a better helmet)
Bike - Trek Speed Concept 7.0
Clipless pedals - Look Keo
Shoes - Bontrager RXL Hilo
Sunglasses - New Balance
Aero bottle - TorHans Aero 20

I also have bike shorts, as mentioned above, cycling jerseys and jackets for training. We will use bike trainers so that we can ride indoors during the winter.


 Saucony <3

Shoes - Saucony Mirage 3s (long distance), Saucony Kinvara 2s (short distance), Saucony Peregrine 3s (trail)
Bib Belt - SPIbelt
Water bottle - Nathan hand-held

In addition to all of that, I have numerous pairs of running tops, shorts, compression sleeves (calf and arm), compression socks, regular socks, etc. And since we live in Western New York, lots of winter running gear and night running gear.

It was freezing, but fun!

I am probably forgetting something, but that is the majority of my gear! Mike and I don't even have the same exact gear. He prefers a different brand of running shoe (and isn't as loyal as I am to a brand) and he has a Felt B12 tri bike. Mike also will wear a hat while running, but I don't.

It is a lot of gear, a lot of money (could be even more since we don't even get the most high-end stuff), but it is so worth it in my opinion!

Next week's topic is strength training!


  1. I just did my first tri (Ironman 70.3 Syracuse), and going into it I thought it would be a "one and done" experience, so I didn't invest in a lot of gear. I used my road bike and borrowed a wetsuit from my sister. I enjoyed the race a lot more than I thought I would though, and now I think I might do more, so I guess I'm going to have to make some investments! Do you have any recommendations for sites where you can get good deals on gear?

    1. For running stuff (some of which can be used for tris too), I love There is also trisports, allthreesports, and Amazon can be great. We also get emails from The Clymb, and Active GearUp which have great deals too!

  2. Holy cow! That is a ton of gear! I think the thing that has me most afraid of bikes are the pedals. I mean, I can clip in while at a spin class, but I'm so afraid of being outdoors and trying to do so.

  3. And I thought I had lots of gear...:)
    I actually have clip in shoes for spin, but am terrified of using them on the road.

  4. "You probably would also want shorts and a shirt, but that's up to you." LOL. I don't know why that cracked me up so much. Oh and love my 910XT!

    1. Haha I've seen people with just a bathing suit and shorts on (female)... so more power to you!

  5. I was at a tri expo over the weekend watching people rack their bikes and got so intimidated by how nice these bikes were. Wow! I know they probably didn't start there but it made my trusty road bike look like a piece of you know what.

  6. We sure do need a lot of gear! One can easily get gear envious in this sport.

  7. All the gear! I do the two-piece tri suit too. I feel like a one-piece would look ridiculous on me. ;) I need to get a new helmet too--may make the jump to aero too!

  8. Yesterday I signed up for my first sprint tri. I know I'll be slow, but my first goal is to just finish. My concerns lie in the transition. I'm still trying to process all that I "need" and how to make to flow well. I purchased a zoot tri top and short yesterday. Do women wear sports bras under the tri tops? are they generally snug enough you wouldn't need one? Would a sports bra dry out well enough? Where all do you apply body glide? just the thighs? Oh, I have so much to learn. Just hoping to do it with a smile on my face!

    1. I do wear a sports bra under my tri tops, even though they have built-in bras I don't feel like it is enough support for the run. I try to pick one that will dry quickly. I use bodyglide on the bottom of my feet to prevent blisters, my thighs, under my arms to prevent chafing, and then I use it on my neck and on my ankles for getting on and off my wetsuit quickly.