I Want to Try a Sprint Triathlon, What Equipment Do I need?

Hilary in Pool

If you want to try a sprint triathlon, what equipment do you need?

Here’s a checklist:


  • hydration belt or insulated water bottle
  • cap or visor (keep the sun out of your eyes)
  • sunglasses (optional) – TYR has a great pair of lightweight sunglasses. I also like the ROKA sunglasses because they can put your prescription in them.
  • good pair of running sneakers – there are so many good brands on the market
  • good pair of anti-friction socks (I prefer Balega.)


  • helmet – a good helmet is imperative. You may consider a MIPS helmet to protect your head.
  • road bike or tri bike (If you have a hybrid bike or a mountain bike, you can use it for your first event, but you may want to get a road bike. You will be much faster.)
  • pedals and clipped shoes (optional for the first one but you may want to purchase this down the road)
  • good, comfortable seat
  • cadence sensor (if you are going to continue with triathlons, you may want to invest in a cadence sensor and a power meter)
  • bike computer (you don’t need it for your first one but you may enjoy seeing your stats)
  • flat repair kit


  • goggles – get a pair that won’t leak and will fit your face right!
  • bathing cap – keeps your hair in place and helps create less drag in the water.
  • bathing suit – get yourself a technical suit. You can buy one cheap on swimoutlet.com or you can go to the TYR website. They have awesome suits!
  • kickboard – not the most fun swim toy but necessary to make sure that your legs are straight out and that you kick from the hips.
  • pull buoy – this will help you keep a straight line in the water and will prepare you for open water swimming.
  • fins – these are great for various drills. They are not cheating! They make swimming more fun because if you’re kicking right, you will fly through the water.
  • paddles – there are many different ones to choose from. I like the Sumarpo ones but the Finis paddles are good as well. Paddles will help you learn to pull the right way.
  • wetsuit – if you’re event is in the water, you will need a wetsuit. I like Sumarpo and have a discount code!


  • tri kit — you will need a one-piece or two-piece kit that you can use for all three disciplines.
  • nutrition and hydration – make sure that you get it right. This will help you get through any event. (Ask me for recommendations!)
  • transition mat or towel

You can use what you have when you start, but as you enjoy the sport, this is a checklist to help.