The run portion of triathlon requires very little in terms of gear; however, what it does require is extremely important. The value of good running shoes cannot be overstated and can very easily make or break your training and racing.
Running shoes: If you’re going to make an investment in running and triathlon, make it here. Visit a running specialty store to get fitted for a shoe that fits your specific gait and biomechanics. Running in the wrong shoes will quickly lead to injury.
Socks: To avoid blisters and toenail loss, choose a running/sport-specific sock with sweat wicking materials to keep your feet dry and happy.
Shorts/Capris/Tights: You can get away with any shorts or sweats that allow for good movement and will not chafe your skin. Technical fabrics are your best bet but no need to invest in expensive run-specific clothing just yet.
Running Shirts: Although shirts made with technical fabric will allow for better breathability and therefore less chafing, sweat and general uncomfortableness while running, you can wear any athletic shirt you already own.
Hat or Visor: Hats and visors cut down on glare and block your face and eyes from harmful rays. Plus, if you need to squint to see the road, you’re wasting valuable energy needlessly.
GPS Watch: There are so many to choose from so it’s almost better to wait and see which will best fit the training you are doing. You can get a basic watch at a reasonable price that has GPS, pace and distance or a more expensive one with heart rate monitoring, cadence count and stride length.
Heart Rate Monitor: You may choose to purchase a watch with a monitor built in or you can buy a separate strap for your chest to monitor your heart during runs. Heart rate monitoring on the run is useful for a variety of reasons including tracking progress, zone training and avoiding overtraining.
Hydration Packs: If you plan on running longer distances you may want and need to bring water and fuel with you. With a wide variety of options, it’s best to do your research, read reviews and maybe even test a few out before making a purchase.
Allie Burdick is a freelance writer, competitor and twin mom. Her work has appeared in Runner’s World, Women’s Running and ESPNW. On her blog, VITA Train for Life, she chronicles her successes and failures as a triathlete to motivate and inspire others.