Triathlon and duathlon: kit and equipment list

3 men in wet suits and swim hats

There are so many products on the market, and you'll need kit for more than one discipline, so it can be hard to tell what you’ll actually need for your duathlon or triathlon challenge. Our checklist will help you select everything you need.

Swimming

Swimsuit

Have you thought about getting a tri-suit for the competition? You can swim, cycle and run in them.

Swimming cap

These reduce drag from the water and provide protection from the chlorine and salt. Brightly coloured caps are good for open water swimmers because they’re easily spotted.

Goggles

Make sure these fit well. You can buy goggles made especially for triathletes, which allow wider vision.

Wetsuit

These are generally compulsory for duathlon and triathlon events and you’ll need to train in a wetsuit to get used to wearing one. It’s best to either buy or hire a special triathlon wetsuit and make sure you’re well practised for the changeover between events.

Baby oil or body glide

Apply this to your skin before putting on your wetsuit. It will make the suit easier and quicker to take off.

Cycling

Bike

You can use any type of bike for your first duathlon or triathlon, but at some stage you may want to invest in a road bike. It’s worth going to a specialist bike shop and getting fitted for the right type of bike within your price range.

Helmet

There’s never an excuse for not wearing a helmet. They’re lightweight, comfortable and cheap.

Shoes

The type of shoe you’ll need depends on your bike. If you have a road bike with ‘clip in’ pedals, you’ll need bike shoes with ‘cleats’ that fit into your pedals.

Cycling shirts

Wear a ‘close-fitting’ shirt to eliminate drag from the wind. These are made from special fabrics, which keep you dry by ‘wicking’ away sweat from your body and helping it evaporate. The shirts also have several handy pockets in the back to carry your cycling essentials.

Cycling shorts

 The padded seat in these shorts should help you feel more comfortable on long rides. They’re also made from special fabrics to keep you dry.

Water bottles

It’s important to make sure you stay hydrated. Most road bikes will have a holder for two water bottles.

Trye pump

It’s really useful to have a free standing hand pump which allows you to fully inflate your tyres easily.

Spare tubes

Carry spare inner tubes on longer rides in case you get a puncture.

Eye wear

 It’s always useful to wear glasses to protect against wind and debris. Sunglasses, clear glasses or glasses with inter-changeable lenses are ideal.

Lights

An obvious bit of kit if you’re riding in poor light or at night. It’s illegal to cycle at night without a front white light and rear red light in the UK. All bikes must also be fitted with a rear reflector and reflective strips on the back of each pedal.

Chain lube

Although you won’t need to take this on training rides, it’s an essential bit of kit because it helps to keep your chain lubricated so your gears change smoothly.

Running

Trainers

Having the right trainers is essential. A specialist running shop can help you select the right shoe for your running style. It really is worth spending money to get the right shoe.

Running tops

A running top made from special fabrics which keep you dry and cool while running is essential.

Shorts and socks

Specialist socks are designed to supply cushioning in the right places.

Winter wear

Gloves, a hat and running tights are useful for running in colder weather. A lightweight shower proof jacket is also useful. Look for one with sleeves which can be unzipped, because running for long periods with sleeves on can cause you to get too warm.