Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Deciding what to wear for an Ironman

by Meghann on October 22, 2013

Alright, I’m less than two weeks away from Ironman Florida, obviously that means there’s one important question that’s been lingering on my mind… WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO WEAR?!

You can read all about my history with my tri-wardrobe HERE. However, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the full Ironman distance is a whole different beast when it comes to everything, including wardrobe. Not only do you want to make sure you’re super comfortable for the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run, but you also have the added luxury of using a changing tent in T1 and T2.


Awww… changing tents. From what I’ve heard/read they turn into a chaotic mess of naked bodies, Body Glide, and volunteers helping dazed and slightly confused athletes on what they need/ don’t need from their gear bags. For some people it’s a blur as they fight to get out as quickly as possible, for others it’s a place to take a minute to recover before moving on to the next sport.

I’ll head to the changing tent for the first time after the swim, where a volunteer will *hopefully* hand me my gear bag for the bike. I’ll return again after the bike and be handed another gear bag for the run.


Not everyone will use the changing tents to change. Some folks will wear tri kits that will take them through all three sports. I’ve thought about doing the same – I mean, I wore a one-piece tri-suit for both of my 70.3s and was fine (even though I never did a long ride in tri short padding before race day) – but since the option is there, HECK YEAH I’m going to take advantage of it. I know how much my butt and lady parts hurt after riding 100 miles with full padded shorts, the idea of doing that distance in just tri shorts makes me wince.

I plan to do full changes during both T1 and T2, which means I’ll need three different outfits for race day. Do you think it’s hard picking one race day outfit? Try three!

I’m going to try to go for comfort and durability out there, but I want to throw in a little cute flair into the mix. Cute clothes make me happy. 🙂

Nothing is set in stone on what I’ll actually be wearing (I have the right to change my mind right up until I turn my gear bags in the day before the race if I wanted to), but here’s what I’m thinking…


  • Sports bra
  • swim suit
  • wetsuit

I’m planning on wearing the same sports bra through the duration of the race. I’m thinking my heavy duty Under Armor sports bra should last me 17 hours.

I thought about just wearing the sports bra and swim suit bottoms under the wetsuit, but I’ve heard way too many stories of athletes accidently flashing everyone when the wetsuit strippers took the bottoms off with the wetsuit. Not that I’m shy or anything, but I figured that’s just one last vajajay the wetsuit stripper has to see that day.



  • Sports Bra (same from swim)
  • Polka Dot Cycling jersey
  • full padded cycling shorts, arm warmers


I’ve worn the same Lululemon polka dot cycling jersey for 85% of my outdoor rides this training season. I love the cut of it, I love the feel of it, I love the HUGE pockets in the back, and I love how comfortable it is. It’s my favorite piece of cycling gear that I own and I can’t imagine getting through this race without it. It has sort of become my good luck charm. Also, I NEED the big pockets. Tri tops are very limited with the pocket space, I just don’t think that’ll cut it with all the fuel I intend to carry (I have a bento box, but I just prefer putting everything in my pockets now).


Race day temps are expected to be cool in the morning and eventually warm-up as the day goes on. I intend to start the bike with arm warmers (if needed) then toss them when I don’t need them anymore.

Like I said above, I think it’s worth making the change to full padded cycling shorts. My bottom will thanks me for it, I’m sure.


  • Sports bra (again, same one from swim and bike)
  • running top
  • running shorts.

I’m still nailing this one down. To be honest, I might just stay in my polka dot top and just change my shorts to something that’s free of padding. I’ll also have a long sleeve tee in my run special needs bag in case it does cool down at night.

So that’s what I’m thinking for now. What are your thoughts? Did you do a full change for your Ironman?

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