First sprint - what to wear?

Hi Tri folk - I've been competing in road races for a while now and have just signed up for my first Tri to see if its for me. I am doing my first one in the beginning of August, a short sprint in Chelmsford Essex. I dont really want to go and buy a load of specific kit for the event if I then end up not adopting it, so my questions is, if you were a novice Triathelete - what would you wear on your first event? Its 200m x 9.5k x 3k run so it really is very entry level in terms of endurance. 

Thanks in advance for your help/advice.


  • No need to spend much at all for your first tri. 

    Swim:- standard swim trunks/suit or lycra running shorts, goggles.

    Bike:- if necessary pull on running shorts over trunks, short sleeved tee or vest, helmet, sunnies, socks, trainers or bike shoes.

    Run:- remove helmet, change shoes if necessary and off you go.

    Guide to your first tri here

    Enjoy image

  • I treated myself to a pair of tri shorts for my first tri in 2007, they were about forty quid. Still going strong, still used regularly up to this year. I figured even if I neer used them for a tri again, I could swim/holiday/beach in them.



  • Last year I completed my first sprint tri in a pair of swimming shorts, an REO Speedwagon tshirt and my old rusty mountainbike, I have since upgraded all of my kit except my lucky Tshirt, that stays image

  • My friend and I just bought a cheap tri suit and used the t-shirt we got given over the top for bike and run. More Mile do a nice cheap one. I assume you have a bike And trainers? 

  • I suspect the advice might vary depending on your gender but a male friend of mine just completed his first Sprint (400m, 21k, 5k) wearing his swimming shorts throughout and just layering up for bike / run as conditions dictated.

    Speaking from personal experience, guys can get away without padding for short cycle rides and swimming shorts with mesh lining (rather than skin tight shorts / trunks) aren't too dissimilar to many running shorts.

    Good luck!

  • Dustboy's suggestion also a good one for the guys.

  • Bionic Ironwolf wrote (see)

    I suspect with such a short distance you really don't want to waste time on your transitions. I always swim in the gear I'm going to bike and run in. Besides, it can be tricky trying to pull on a shirt over wet skin.  image

    completely agree. I wore a swimming costume with a sports bra underneath (as i was quite large in the chest area) and then running from the bike - threw on a pair of shorts and then did the bike/run dressed like that.

  • Did my first tri last month, purchased a pair of tri specific shorts and when i got out of the water just pulled on a sleeveless Aldi base layer. If you dont have tri shorts you could just do it in swimming shorts. Good luck by the way!!

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