Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What to wear in a Triathlon?

Triathlons are multisport endurance races that commonly involve a swim in open water, a bike ride and then a run. For beginner triathletes, what to wear on race day is often a source of concern and confusion.  The clothing options will differ according to the weather, the race distances and your overall modesty level. Don't try anything new, clothing-wise, on race day -- make sure you have trained in the outfit you will race in. 

Swim

You will save time in the transition from swimming to cycling if you wear swim clothing you can also bike in. This could be a pair of swimming shorts that you can also cycle in, or cycling shorts in which you can swim. Many triathletes wear tri-shorts for all sections of the race -- these are similar to bike shorts, but have a fast-drying pad in the crotch area so you dry off faster during the cycle ride. In some races, you will be either allowed or required to wear a wetsuit during the open-water swim. Whether a race is wetsuit-legal or wetsuit-required will depend on race-day water temperature. You will also need swim goggles -- swim caps are typically provided at the race.

Bike

When you emerge dripping from the lake or ocean after the open-water swim, you'll need to add clothing for the bike ride. Triathletes have the option of continuing shirtless (male) for the cycling portion of the race, or putting on a triathlon top. You'll need to towel off and put on your sock and bike shoes -- these can be bike-specific shoes that clip to your cycle pedals, or the same shoes as you will wear for the run. Sunglasses are a good idea, and official triathlons require all cyclists to wear approved safety helmets for the duration of the bike ride. 

Dressing for Speed

Clothing choices during a triathlon involve compromises between speed, comfort and modesty. If you want to minimize transition times and maximize overall speed, you can complete the whole race in just a pair of triathlon shorts. At longer distances, you might need additional clothing to avoid getting saddle-sore in the bike ride and chafed during the run. Tri-suits are swimming suits that have a small amount of built-in padding and are a popular choice for speedy triathletes.

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