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"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
Kitsap TriBabes
Triathlon Gear: The Necessary, The Nice, and The Extravagant!
Dear Tri Babes,

Triathlons take a LOT of gear. This guide is intended to help you separate the ABSOLUTELY necessary from the optional! Everything you need can be found through me OR at either Silverdale Cyclery OR at Poulsbo Running. Silverdale Cyclery will give you a 10% discount during the season and Poulsbo Running will give you a onetime 20% discount coupon!!! Everything on this list is available at one of these two stores!

DA*NIT!!! (These are the items that you MUST have. No exceptions! No excuses!)

~ Bike (Any old kind will do - even Mountain Bikes. Hybrid bikes are great for beginners or fearful riders since they are more comfortable and more stable. Speed demons will soon be asking Santa or the Easter Bunny for a Road Bike. Divas will eventually insist upon a "Tri Bike") All can be found at Silverdale Cyclery OR at Recycled Cycles in Seattle.

~ Helmet (This MUST be ANSI approved. Silverdale Cyclery will provide you with lots of options AND a Tri Babe discount.)

~ Swim Goggles (This is NOT a time to get "cheap." Find a pair that fits your face. You know this by pressing them to your face on dry land. If they hold suction for a few seconds, they fit you; if they pop off immediately, they are trying to flee from you and you should let them!) If you are claustrophobic get clear ones; if you aren't consider tinted ones. Poulsbo Running carries a great selection.

~ Swim Cap (Sorry. NOT optional. You MUST wear one in a triathlon and therefore MUST get used to them in training. Besides, why would you resist? They keep your hair from getting dry and brittle. And, they provide warmth!!! You will receive a complimentary one with your Tri Babe registration.

~ Running Shoes (Do NOT get cheap here!!!! Get thyself to Poulsbo Running, get custom fitted, and replace every 200-500 miles.)

~ Bathing Suit (Remember that you'll be pulling shorts on over this at your triathlon, so get a form fitting one. I don't care HOW you look in it!!! Poulsbo Running has great suits geared for triathletes.)

~ Sports Bra (In due time, you'll get an entire email on this issue alone. But, suffice it to say, your 5 year old Sear's Special will NOT do! Check out the bras at Poulsbo Running or go on-line and check out Champion and Moving Comfort.)

~ An extra Inner Tube which fits your bike tire, a CO2 Cartridge & Dispenser, and Tire
These are the items you should have ON YOUR BIKE at all times just in case you get a flat tire. Even if you aren't able to fix the flat yourself, at least you have the materials necessary to depend upon the kindness of strangers! You can use duct tape to attaché these to your bike.

~ A means of carrying water on your bike (I prefer a simple cage mounted on my bike which holds a standard water bottle. But, Silverdale Cyclery has LOTS of options! Hydration = Health = Happiness;)

Whatever . . . (These are optional but highly recommended items. You CAN successfully train and
comPLETE without them but they make the experience MUCH nicer and training more effective.)

~ Official Tri Babe Shirt You will have the option to get a nice tech wear shirt with our KTB Logo on it. My suggestion is to get a more form fitting size because looseness equals chafing whilst training.

~ Tri Shorts Any old sports shorts WILL do. But, a built in shammy is awfully nice to prevent pain and chafing on the bike. Believe me . . . these puppies are sa-weet! (And sa-weeter still if you use copious Body Glide!)

~ Race belt (To attach your Bib number. I just can't abide safety pins!!!)

~ Wetsuit (If you CAN afford one, they are an immediate advantage. They force you to swim in a technically effective position; they are a built in flotation device; and they keep the expletives to a minimum as you enter cold water. Do NOT purchase one intended for surfing as it is bulky and NOT conducive to swimming. DO purchase one that is "triathlon/swimming" specific. If you want more flexibility/less warmth go with a "Farmer John" style; if you want more warmth and are not prone to claustrophobia, get a Full Sleeved style. No matter what expect that they fit very snuggly and require a "get to know ya" period before you truly appreciate their benefits. You will begin your relationship tempestuously and petulantly but once you come around, you will love it truly and deeply and never go without! Oh . . . AND, they function as your own personal "Port a Pottie" before races as well as immediate "Central Heating" at race start!!!)

~ Sports Watch

~ Odometer
(To keep track of your mileage and average speed.)

~ "Bento Box" or Saddle Pack for carrying items on your bike (Like flat fixing tools, food, etc.)

~ Body Glide How will you use this? Oh . . . let me count the ways . . .

~ Bike Pump (You should be pumping up your tires before each ride in order to ride more easily and efficiently.)

~ Bike Chain Lubricant (The more often you clean and lubricate your chain, the easier it is to pedal your bike!)

WhatEVER!!! (If you've got some money to burn, have a "need for speed," AND/OR have a desperate problem that needs to be solved, these items can help!)

~ Open Water Swim Goggles (Definitely preferred by contact wearers and the claustrophobic. If your goggles are giving you a headache, give these a try. They are wider, cover more of the face, and give you greater visibility in Open Water.)

~ Prescription Swim Goggles (For those of you who truly cannot see without your glasses, you might consider going to www.swimoutlet.com You simply give them your prescription numbers and they provide you with goggles that allow you to leave behind the world of "Expressionism" and re-enter the world of "Realism." And, they are priced pretty darn reasonable! And, the quality of the goggles themselves is pretty darn high!!!)

~ Heart Rate Monitor

~ Tri Suit
(For Speed and Comfort Demons who don't know the meaning of the phrase "body self consciousness." This is a single unitard like outfit that you wear in all three events. It drastically reduces your "transition time" and insures that you will NOT receive the dreaded "Tri Tramp Stamp" sunburn on your back. It also makes your body as aerodynamic as possible. It can single handedly can shave 1 minute off you time!!! So, if you measure success in minutes rather than hours, this is a MUST HAVE item!!! I do HAVE one but have not yet had the guts to wear it in public! If you want one of these, you can get an official and amazing Tri Babe Tri Suit through www.epixgear.com/custom/Kitsap)

~ Clip In Bike Pedals and Shoes

~ Biking Shorts/Bibs
(These are more heavily padded than Tri Shorts. It is nice to have a pair for your individual bike rides. Silverdale Cyclery can serve all your Bike short/Bib needs.)