The three most important pieces of gear you’ll need to get started with your Ramblin’ Rose training are swimming goggles, a bike and a good pair of running shoes. If you’re new to the sport of triathlon, this could raise a lot of questions in your mind, but we’re here to help with some useful advice to get you started stress-free.
A dependable pair of swim goggles is a must when swimming for fitness. Even if you don’t plan on getting your face in the water right off the bat, you’ll want to protect your eyes from the inevitable splashes of chlorine-treated pool water in most pools. While most of your swimming will be done indoors during the winter, you may want to consider a good pair of all-around goggles that also offer UV protection should you get some laps in at the neighborhood pool when the weather gets warmer. Anti-fog and anti-scratch lenses should be on your list no matter what type of swimming you do. Your best bet is to try on some goggles from your local triathlon store.
When trying on goggles, place them against your face and press down lightly to test the seal. You should feel a second of quick suction as you press. If the suction is not adequate, the goggles are not the right type for the shape of your face and they will likely leak. On the other hand, suction that is too strong can be uncomfortable and even painful. Try on multiple pairs and styles to find one that gives you the most comfort with all of the features you need. Goggles usually come in round or oval shapes to accommodate different-shaped eye sockets. You may also find goggles with an adjustable nose piece for an even closer fit. Test the straps to ensure they hold the goggles firmly in place. Shake your head from side to side and try to mimic any movements you may use while in the water. If you’re not sure what’s the best choice, ask an employee at your local triathlon store for help.
Ramblin’ Rose triathlons do NOT require a specific type of bike. Since 2006, Ramblin’ Rose triathletes have been finishing triathlons on commuter, hybrid, mountain, road and triathlon bikes. If you don’t already own a bike, you can certainly borrow one from a friend. If you plan to borrow a bike, be sure it’s free of mechanical problems; employees at your local bike shop will be happy to check your bike. Even if you plan to buy a bike, try riding a few bikes that your friends have to see what you like best. If you’re still not sure, visit a bike shop and talk to the employees and don’t be afraid to take a test ride around the block.
The first steps inside a bike shop can be intimidating, especially for the derailleur-challenged, but rest assured, local bike shops cater to the whole family – not just hard-core cyclists! Whether you plan to make triathlon your newest hobby, or just want a bike that will get you through the race and serve as a great family ride bike, too, local bike shops will have great choices for you. If you’ve been taking spinning classes at your local gym, but now want to hit the road for long weekend rides, we suggest a road bike.
Buying sneakers used to be simple, as there were few choices on what to buy. As kids, we had sneakers that we wore for everything from riding a bike to climbing a tree to playing baseball. Now there are shoes for every sport – and countless varieties to choose from, depending on your style of running. Asics, Nike, Mizuno, New Balance, Saucony … minimalist, stability, control … these are just a few of the companies and styles of shoes to choose from.
So how do you know which running shoes are right for you? Before you begin your training program it is a good idea to seek the advice of the experts at your local running store, where you can get fitted for good running shoes to suit your particular gait. Employees at your local specialty running store can evaluate your run gait (this is how your feet, ankles, knees, hips, etc., are affected as you progress through the strike to push off of your run stride). They should watch you run and also talk to you about your run history and distance, past or present injuries, and general aches and pains so that you can train in the right shoe.