My choice of gear for triathlons has sort of been a game of trial and error the last couple of years.
My first sprint triathlon in 2009 involved a night-before purchased wetsuit from BJ’s
And tiny shorts and a tank top.
- The wetsuit kept me boyant and warm(er) in the cold water
- The tiny shorts and tank top were comfortable
- The wetsuit was NOT a tri specific wetsuit – it was hard to swim in and hard to take off
- Taking the wetsuit off, then adding the top on cost extra time in Transition 1
- The shorts had no padding and even the short 12 mile ride was a bit uncomfortable without extra cushion
A warmer course meant I could go with less gear in the water. I kept it easy with a night-before purchased pair of tri shorts (apparently I have a bad habit of this) and a white Lululemon sports bra (which is now discolored, thanks to the lake water).
- Not having to change my clothes meant faster transition times
- The outfit worked well for all three events
- The tri shorts ended up being a great investment
- Tri shorts are about as unflattering as the come. The tri shorts and sports bra combo pinch and pulled my skin and all the wrong places and I ended up hating the majority of my photos. 🙁
- I wasn’t comfortable enough in my skin to pull this look off – too much jiggle going on
For my first Olympic Triathlon I started with the tri shorts/ sports bra combo for the swim
And put a tank top on for the bike and run
- I was MUCH more comfortable biking and running in a tank top.
- Messing with the top added time to my transition
I tried to cheat the system by creating a ‘poor girl’s’ tri suit. I was hoping a sports bra + one piece swim suit + tri shorts would do the trick.
- I was very comfortable in the water and on the run.
- Faster transitions
- Shirt wasn’t folding up and I wasn’t worrying about jiggles
- CHAFING!!!!! (In a not so fun area…)
Basically, all of that lead me to this.
I. Want. A. Tri Suit!
I’ve been lusting after one since day one of tri training, but didn’t have it in me to fork over so much $$ for a casual hobby that I would only compete in once or twice a year. Clearly I was getting by with my own home remedies, but I was never happy with what I wore and always had something to complain about or try to tweak for next race. Not having a tri suit was saving me money, but it was also messing with my sanity.
After the chafing issues in Siesta key, I knew I had to figure something out before the Augusta Half Ironman in September. I can’t imagine going the double the distance in any of my previous outfit combinations. They were great for what they were at the time, but I need to step it up a notch.
So, I started to google options.
And found this.
$75.00? I could do that. Most tri suits I looked at were $150+, $75 all of sudden seemed pretty reasonable.
I left the tab open for a couple of days to let it sink it, then sometime last week I entered my credit card info and hit the checkout button.
Two days later it arrived on my front door and yesterday morning I took it for its first spin.
I ordered the medium, but probably could have gotten away with the small. It was very light, very comfortable, and very easy to get on and off. I also found it to be very flattering to my figure.
I loved that it had a built in sports bra shelf. The shelf was my only source of support for my 5.5 mile run yesterday and it held up well. At no point did I feel excessive flopping (yes, that’s a technical term) or pain in my chest.
I wanted to test the trisuit out on the bike yesterday, but we all know how that went. However, I am happy to report that it did survive the run test. The suit is so light, I really felt like I was wearing nothing the whole time. It breathed well in the sun and heat (major plus!).
The only concern I have is how very lightly padded the seat of the suit is. I’m afraid this might cause problems for the 56 mile bike ride in Augusta, but the only way I’ll find out is if I put it to the test on my next long bike ride (on Friday). I have my fingers crossed it will pass! 🙂
What has your experience been for finding the perfect race day gear? Any trial and error?