5 must-have pieces of triathlon gear
Triathlon gear I wouldn't be without
When it comes to triathlon training, the gear you use can make all the difference. During my training I’ve learnt what works (and what doesn’t!), so here are five pieces of triathlon gear I wouldn’t be without.
My SRM power meter has to be the main piece of kit I just couldn't do without. It's invaluable as a training tool and also as a racing tool. The key thing I find is that with an SRM you don't have to guess any more. This device will tell you exactly how hard you’re riding and if you know your powers, then it's very handy in races. Just stick to the powers you know you can achieve then it's less likely that you'll blow up. When you’re time trialling, I find it especially useful to set it to average power, pick a number and don't let it drop!
This is my race bike and one I've been using in the past year. It's an amazing piece of kit and of course being a time trial bike, every part is built with speed in mind. It has a fully adjustable stem, handlebars and seat, so that you can get the position that most suits you. There are hidden brakes and it’s finished off with Pro Disc, Shimano c75 front wheel and Dura Ace di2 electric gears. No excuses with this bike.
Heart rate monitor
Working with heart rate is useful as a training tool to use alongside GPS or Power but for me, not 100% of the time. Heart rate on its own doesn't tell you much it just tells you how the engine is working. Sometimes your heart rate can be suppressed or elevated depending on where your body is at, but nevertheless it's a good guide to have alongside a power meter or GPS.
The Sailfish G Range wetsuit is another on my list. Wetsuits are largely individual but this is definitely the best I've tried. With more flexibility than anything else I’ve worn and with a fit that feels snug enough to be fast without letting in too much water, it's perfect for me. In a test set of 5 x 300m in the pool recently I started off with no wetsuit hitting 3:43 average. However when I put the wetsuit on I was able to swim 3:20 average. Placebo or not that is a fast suit!
Giro Selector Aero Helmet
It often surprises people the amount of difference a good aerodynamic helmet will make to your performance. The big difference lies in your increased speed, because once you start to creep over 22mph, good aerodynamics really do make more and more difference. They are also relatively inexpensive providing which means they give you the best bang for your buck. I use the Giro Selector because the log tail fills in the gap between the hump in my back and my head. You can argue about the time savings all day, but for me, over 40 km, you'll usually save way north of a minute.
Written by Will Clarke
Will is a British triathlete. He's a former U23 World and European Champion, competed at Beijing 2008 and has twice been British national champion. He now competes on the World Ironman 70:3 circuit.