Smaller pieces of triathlon kit

Small essentials of your triathlon kit

Whilst running shoes, cycle shorts and swimwear are all key aspects of the triathlon competitior's kit, there are some smaller items that could improve your performance in the swimming, running and cycling disciplines. Triathlon sunglasses, socks and number belts are all valuable items that will bolster your kit and hopefully your result. Here's the quick guide to minor items of triathlon kit.

Triathlon socks

Triathlon socks are, to a point, down to your personal preference. For the shorter distances of a triathlon race, you can usually get away with wearing no socks. If you are going to wear them, make sure they are sports socks though, not the normal thick type.

Triathlon socks need to be seamless if possible so that they are nice and comfortable. Socks that will not rub, and that breathe can be purchased from all good triathlon or running shops for little expense. See our section on transitions for how to get them on as quick as you can. Some people cannot cycle and run without socks on!

Competing in a triathlon

Triathlon number belts

Number belts are pieces of elastic that go around your waist attached by a plastic clip. You pin or ‘clip’ your race number to them. If you prefer using four safety pins instead, that’s fine. Some races will not allow number belts and different seasons have brought different rules.

The advantage of number belts is that if you are going to wear your cycle top in the swim, you can just clip the number on yourself in the triathlon transitions. You turn the number around to your back for the cycle leg, and the front for the run. You could make your own, or buy one from a triathlon store. Although it's best to check with the race organisers that you are allowed to use them first ...

Sunglasses for a triathlon

It is strongly advisable that you wear sunglasses on the cycle ride part of the triathlon. There are hundreds of designs for sunglasses to wear for sport. Cycling glasses are not really any different to most leisure-based glasses. However, they do usually come with the option of changing the lenses for different weather.

There are lots of designs of cycling sunglasses. Here some points to think about when you are buying:

  • Do they ride up and down when you are cycling? They need to be firmly on your head but not too tight ...
  • Will they fit on your head okay when you are wearing your cycle helmet?
  • Do you have complete vision in them?

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