When starting out in triathlon training, you will be focusing on the 3 disciplines, swimming, biking and running. Each one requires a specific set of gear, and in this MyTriPro Buyer’s Guide, we’ll discuss essential swimming gear you’ll need for training and race day. As a beginner, you don’t need to buy everything all at once – no need to show up to the pool with every item listed below – so we have the essentials below for training and competition.
It goes without saying that you will need goggles for your swim training and racing. But we don’t recommend using any goggles you find for $5 at a local shop. Check out the clear version of Speedo Vanquisher for your pool training, plus clear options from TYR, including the new Special Ops 3.0 and Nest Pro.
Race Day and Open Water Swimming
Whether you’ll be doing some Open Water Swimming (OWS), or it’s race day, we recommend getting polarized or mirrored goggles, which helps cut down on glare and offers UV protection.
A terrific pair to consider are THEMAGIC5, which has reinvented the swimming goggle. They are custom fitted for you, and THEMAGIC5 swim goggles fit perfectly. They are comfortable to wear, plus prevent water leakage.
Swimsuits and Swim Caps
Swimsuits and Swim Shorts for Training
Comfort is king (or queen)! Feeling comfortable is the most important thing to consider with swimsuits – and alternatively, swim shorts. We recommend using these recommendations to train in; come race day, you’ll be wearing a triathlon suit or tri shorts and top made specifically for swimming, biking and running. We’ll cover those in a future guide.
For women, check out this selection from TYR – they hold up well in chlorine and open water use. Wear this instead of your triathlon suit or tri shorts and top in the pool. Other great options include one-piece and two-piece suits from Jolyn, plus options at Funkita.
Swim Caps: These are really required for races, and they will give you one when you pick up your race packet (which contains the cap, your race number or bib number, etc.). They will be color coded to which wave you’ll be in when the race starts. It’s wise to wear a cap when training in open water, and women or men with long hair should wear one.
Gear for Training
We’re going to offer some swim gear that can help with your training, but it’s optional if you wish to buy them all now, or just one or two pieces to start. These include Fins, Paddles, a Pull Buoy, a Snorkel, and a Swim Backpack or Bag.
Fins: A good pair of fins will help you improve your kick technique, while improving your body position and your stroke technique. TYR EBP Burner is a quality pair of fins to consider. These are soft, comfortable and true to shoe size. Check out this blog on 8 Benefits of Swimming With Fins.
Paddles: When using paddles, you will work on your catch and pull, particularly a high elbow catch. Combine use of the paddles with a pull buoy to really focus on your upper body. FINIS Agility is a good option for paddles, while more advanced swimmers may want to consider Strokemaker.
Pull Buoy: This will keep you from using your legs (it’s placed between your thighs), and when combined with paddles, you’ll work on your catch and pull technique. Check out this pull buoy from FINIS.
Chlorine Removal: At some point you’ll notice that no matter how much soap, shampoo and conditioner you use, you’ll still smell like chlorine. Fortunately there are some options to help out: TRISWIM Chlorine Removal Body Wash and Shampoo, along with Ultra Swim Shampoo and Conditioner. Over time, chlorine has adverse affects on the body and hair, and these products can help keep you clean.
These are used primarily when the water temperature falls below a certain point, and a triathlon race will designate it as, “wetsuit legal.” For some races, it may not be necessary, especially sprint triathlon distances where the swim is shorter – but cold water can affect your performance. It’s really up to you.
Wetsuits help keep you warm, while decreasing drag and increasing buoyancy. It isn’t necessary, but nice to have. If you do buy a wetsuit, there’s no need to wear it in the pool for the majority of your triathlon training. However, it’s good to practice putting it on and taking it off, and a few weeks prior to your race, get some swims in while wearing it, preferably in open water. Here is a variety of wetsuits from Zone3.
This is a great option for your swim training. There are many benefits to following a structured workout with MySwimPro paired up with a smartwatch such as Apple Watch, Garmin, WearOS by Google, and Fitbit. Highly customizable, MySwimPro offers personalized swim coaching for everyone, from beginners to elite swimmers, for both the pool and open water.
MyTriPro, Your Personal Triathlon Coach
You can get started in triathlon without breaking the bank, and enjoy the many health and social benefits. MyTriPro will guide you through training for your first triathlon with a dynamic coaching algorithm that includes workouts for the swim, bike, and run, plus bricks and strength training. Get personalized plans for Sprint, Olympic, 70.3 and 140.6 triathlon distances.
Get started today by downloading the MyTriPro app for iPhone today, and join the Global Triathlon group on Facebook to connect with people around the world, who are all working towards achieving their triathlon goals. Follow us on social media: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.