Gear Checklist

Essential Gear

A word of caution here — it is very easy to get carried away with non-essential gear when you’re talking about training and racing for three different sports. Keep in mind that experience will guide you through the extras you may need over time so the following list provides only the essential items needed to begin to train and race triathlon:


  • Swimsuit
  • Goggles
  • Swim cap
  • Wetsuit (may be optional if you live in a warmer climate or have a pool swim)


  • Bike, whatever you already have will do (road, tri or mountain bike), but you may want to take it to your local bike shop to make sure it’s tight, lubed up and ready for a race!
  • Helmet
  • Bike shorts
  • Bike shirt — not essential but cuts down on wind resistance and has pockets for fuel, phones and car keys
  • Flat kit bag secured to your bike, with an extra tube, a pump and tire levers
  • Sunglasses
  • Bike shoes with appropriate clips
  • Gloves for grip and/or cold weather


  • Quality running shoes
  • Athletic socks to avoid blisters
  • Sweat wicking clothing
  • Sports bra for women
  • Hat or visor
  • Looking for more than the essentials? Check out our swim, bike and run gear guides.


Compiled by Allie Burdick, USA Triathlon and IRONMAN