May 10, 2011

The Gear of a Triathlete

Ah, the gear of a triathlete.

When I started to get into triathlon last summer, I had the bare bones of gear. For swimming I had my old swimsuit, a pair of goggles and a swimcap. For biking I had my helmet (and no proper biking clothes, so I wore running clothes). And for running I had my running shoes, an old water belt and a visor, in addition to a few running capris and tops. That's it. I like to keep my gear on my washing machine, since I pass through the laundry room to leave the house, making my gear easy to grab. And back in the early days last summer, I didn't need to grab much.

Soon, however, I started to acquire a bit more gear. Paddles for swimming. Sweatbands for running. Arm sleeves for biking. And then more I got MORE gear....more goggles, more swimcaps, biking gloves, a new water belt. Soon I needed a basket for my gear. This is what it started to look like:

Can you find anything in that mess? No, neither could I. So, a few weeks ago, after months and months of rummaging through this mess on a daily basis, I got organized. I went to Michael's and bought three baskets. Now, on my washing machine, I have 3 baskets full of gear: one for swimming, one for biking, and one for running:

This new system has worked SO well for me! I can easily find whatever gear I need in the designated basket.

I'm sure that more experienced triathletes have way more gear than I have; as a newbie, with only four triathlons under my belt, I'm still accruing. Here's what's inside each one:

  • Multiple pairs of goggles, most by TYR. I also have a pair of Speedo goggles I can use in a pinch. I usually use the same ones for every swim, but I like to have extra in case one breaks.
  • Paddles by TYR. I just started incorporating them into my swims, and love the strength they give me.
  • Multiple swim caps. Initially I bought one by Speedo when I first started to swim, but have since received several more as you are given one in every triathlon.
  • Lubricant, which I only use for triathlons. I put some lubricant under the wrists and ankles of my wetsuit to help ease it off during transition.
  • Defogger for my goggles.
  • NOT in my basket are my wetsuit, by Xterra and my swimsuit by Speedo. And, of course, my towel.

  • Bike gloves by Royal.
  • Arm sleeves.
  • More gloves for those really cold winter days.
  • My Road ID.
  • NOT in my basket are my bike (a Quintana Roo), helmet, bike shorts and bike shirt, as well as gear like a water bottle and my bike tools/pump.

  • A variety of sweatbands, including ones by Go Headband, Sweaty Bands, and other headbands and bondi bands.
  • A variety of hats and visors.
  • A second Road ID (yes, I have two... I had lost mine and then re-found it after I ordered a second to replace it)
  • A shoe pouch for keys and money while running.
  • A race belt for triathlons.
  • My beloved Nathan 4 Water Belt.
  • My iPod Shuffle.
  • A variety of cold weather gear, such as wool ear covers, a wool hat and gloves.
  • NOT in my basket are my Garmin Forerunner 305, shoes (I'm a Saucony girl) and the dozens and dozens of running outfits (I am addicted to new running tops, bras and capris).

Of course, I have other gear around the house, including my new triathlon suit, tons of Gatorade, Gu and Clif Bars, a foam roller, and my Tommie Copper compression sleeves, among other things. But I have to say, having most of my gear organized in individual sporting baskets has really made a difference to me. It saves me time, frustation, and makes my laundry room look neater too.

I know I'll be adding more gear, or updating gear I already have. No one ever said triathlon was an inexpensive sport...but I love it!


  1. i would need some JUMBO baskets!!! i have WAY too much gear LOL!

  2. I also just started a basket, and it's already pretty full, but I'm JUST starting too! I like your 3 basket idea, thanks for posting this, it's a great idea!

  3. I don't think I have ever been more proud of your organizing skills!!! Looks great! Ali

  4. I do the same except I have 3 transition bags filled for each...I have a bag fetish so this gave me a good excuse to buy multiples :) but I do like the basket thing (have 1 for visors and 1 for SweatyBands)...I need to get a big one for all my anti-chafe/chamois goo..

  5. I'm not gonna use the same fru-fru baskets but I like the idea and think I'll try something similar. Thanks for sharing! I think I need baskets for my running clothes too. - @wirelessjake

  6. This is such a neat idea! :) thanks for sharing it with us!! it will be of great help!


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