Step 2 (read it here) covers the essential equipment and getting it sorted before you commence your training programme. This post will look at what other items will benefit you as you commence training for your first triathlon. You certainly can complete your first triathlon without anything mentioned in this post, but getting some of them as you work your way through the programme will make your training more pleasant, more successful and easier to do.
First up for females (males can jump straight to the next paragraph) is a good well fitting, quality sports bra. A good well fitting, quality sports bra will prevent ‘bounce’ which causes stretching of the Coopers Ligament. As there are no muscles in breast tissue, the Coopers Ligament is the only thing holding your breasts to your body. A good quality, well fitting sports bra can decrease bounce by 73%.
Good quality running socks. I personally swear by Thorlo socks because they keep my feet cushioned and, as they are a synthetic fibre, they wick moisture away from the foot thus minimising the risk of blisters. Occasionally I race in thin DryMax socks which have less cushioning than the Thorlos and although very lightweight are still very effective at wicking away the moisture. Both socks are expensive but no-one regrets buying quality.
Swimming goggles will protect your eyes by keeping water out of them.
I recommend two pairs:
- a dark tint pair for days when you are swimming outdoors in bright light
- a yellow/blue/pink lens pair for indoors or low light conditions as these colours enhance the amount of light coming into your eyes.
Specific open water goggles allow for 180 degree peripheral vision, giving you great perspective. Pool goggles have a narrower focus. Some goggles are specifically designed for females that take into account higher check bones and narrower nose bridges like the Blue Seventy Siren goggle.
Sun glasses are an important safety item whilst riding your bike. If you are riding at 20km/hr and a bug is flying at 20km/hr and it crashes into your eyeball that is a collision with your eyeball at 40km/hr!!! Regardless of how sunny the day is, sun glasses will prevent the bug colliding with your eyeball. I have three sorts: a yellow lens for low light days, a tinted lens for bright shiny days and a clear lens for when it is dark.
To misquote the lyrics of a Queen song “cycle shorts make the rocking world go round”. Good quality cycle shorts include a chamois which helps pad, protect and prevent chaffing of your nether region. Most quality brands will have specific chamois for each gender. Qwik Kiwi have a range of New Zealand made cycle shorts for both women and men. If you are a member of either Team Qwik Kiwi or the Qwik Kiwi Tribe you can purchase them at cost price. Contact Coach Ray if you would like to take advantage of this.
Cycling gloves are also important for the safety of your hands. In the event of crashing you are likely to instinctively put your hands out and may lose some skin from your palms. This will create discomfort and issues in the days ahead whenever you try and grip something, whether it is the handle bar of your bike or the steering wheel of your car.
If you are on a budget consider which of these items is the highest priority (you might need to do some maintenance from Step 2 which should be a higher priority than items in this list). If you would like further advice feel free to contact Coach Ray.
Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.
Coach Ray specialises in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at www.qwik.kiwi, firstname.lastname@example.org and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.
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