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Triathlon Race-Day Essentials

  • Kevin Steele

    The Basics

    Swimsuit, goggles, shorts, and singlet

    Upgrade: Tri Suit

    Why: Designed to be worn for all three parts of the race and available as either a one- or two-piece, this suit is made from a quick-drying fabric and features light padding in the shorts to make cycling more comfortable.

    Bike and helmet

    Upgrade: Road bike

    "You don't need to buy an expensive new bike for your first tri; as long as what you have has two wheels, is in good shape, and fits you correctly, it should get the job done," notes Alison Kreideweis, a triathlon coach and cofounder of the Empire Tri Club in New York City. That said, road bikes are much lighter and faster than hybrid or mountain bikes, making both training and racing go more smoothly.

    Running shoes

    Upgrade: Bike shoes

    If you have regular flat pedals on your bike, running shoes will do just fine. But for more power and speed, try anchoring your feet into clipless pedals, which can make your riding more efficient.

  • Peter Ardito

    Must-Have Triathlon Gear

    Athleta swim top ($54, athleta.com)

  • Peter Ardito

    Must-Have Triathlon Gear

    MooMotion Stamina Tri shorts ($89, moomotionsports.com)

  • Peter Ardito

    Must-Have Triathlon Gear

    Craft singlet ($50, craftsports.us)

  • Peter Ardito

    Must-Have Triathlon Gear

    Zoot Performance Tri race suit ($120, zootsports.com)

  • Peter Ardito

    Must-Have Triathlon Gear

    Specialized Amira Compact road bike ($1,750, specialized.com for info)

  • Peter Ardito

    Must-Have Triathlon Gear

    Aqua Sphere K180 goggles ($25, aquasphereswim.com)

  • Peter Ardito

    Go-Faster Gadgets

    Get more out of your swim, bike, and run workouts with these cutting-edge training tools.

    In the pool

    The waterproof Neptune MP3 player attaches to your goggle straps and conducts sound through your cheekbones directly into your inner ear, so you get crystal-clear music with every lap. ($160, finisinc.com)

  • Peter Ardito

    On the bike

    The wireless Garmin Edge 200 one-ups an odometer, tracking your path with a GPS, as well as your time, distance, speed, and calories burned. You can even download other courses to guide you along new terrain. ($130, garmin.com)

  • Peter Ardito

    For the run

    Find your perfect workout zone with the colorful Puma Fit heart-rate monitor, which also calculates time, calories burned, and more. ($95, puma.com/time)

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2013.