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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 at either Silverdale Cyclery OR at Poulsbo Running. Both businesses sponsor us by offering Tri Babe Discounts during our training season!!!

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

~ Bike (Any old kind will do. Mountain & Hybrid bikes are great for beginners since they are more comfortable and more stable. Speed demons will soon be asking Santa 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!!! Poulsbo Running has inexpensive plastic ones. But, if you don't like the feel, there are more expensive cloth ones available.)

~ 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, yor 5 year old Sear's Special will NOT do!)

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 (We have moisture wicking technical wear ones for $45 OR cotton Tee-Shirts for $10. Show your Pink Pride AND make sure that all cars see YOU!!!!)

~ Biking/Tri Shorts (Any old sports shorts WILL do. But, a built in shammy is awfully nice to prevent pain and chafing on the bike. If this is a HUGE problem, go with the more heavily padded Bike Shorts; if it is a minor issue, go for the less bulky Tri Shorts which serve you better on the Run/Walk portion of the Tri. Tri shorts are available at Poulsbo Running; both are available at Silverdale Cyclery.)

~ 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.)

~ 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!)

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

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.)

~ Heart Rate Monitor

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

~ Tri Suit (For Speed Demons only 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 makes your body as aerodynamic as possible. Dane modeled one at the Meet & Greet! I HAVE one but have not yet had the guts to wear it!)

~ Clip In Bike Pedals and Shoes