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ADIDAS/May 2024/
5 minute read

Tri Attire: What to Wear for a Triathlon

Gear up for glory with adidas. Prep for race day with us and learn what to wear for a triathlon.

Born of a need for speed and adventure, triathlons started in California in the 70s and are now a worldwide competition. A pinnacle of athletic endurance, triathlons are a test of stamina, focus, and will. This sport not only demands energy and intention from every muscle, but also requires you to dress the part to compete at your best. Prep for your competition with adidas as we break down what to wear for a triathlon.


What do I wear if I don’t wear a tri suit? 

If you don’t want to wear a tri suit during your triathlon you can wear a swimsuit for the first part of the race, then change into a cycling jersey and shorts for the second half, and finally a singlet or running tee and triathlon shorts for the last part of the race.  


How should a cycling jersey fit? 

If you are completing a triathlon during a warmer season, you’ll want a breathable cycling jersey with a looser fit. If your tri takes place when it’s cool out, you’ll want a jersey with a snug fit to keep the heat close to your body and keep warm.  


What is a singlet?  

A singlet is a shirt without sleeves. This garment covers your torso but leaves your arms free of any restriction.  


What to Wear for a Triathlon  

Triathlons are made up of three legs: swimming, cycling, and running. Each leg pushes the mind and body of triathletes towards greatness. Here’s a breakdown of what you should wear for each leg of your tri below. 


Leg One: Swimming 

The Attire: Some participants opt for a wetsuit, especially in cooler temperatures. However, if you want to save a bit of money or are competing during warmer months, a swimsuit works just fine. Women typically wear one-piece suits and men typically wear swim trunks. 


The Fit: When competing in the swimming leg of a triathlon, you want your suit to fit snug but also be flexible so that you can move through the water with flow and without restriction.  


Accessories: During this part of the race, be sure you also have goggles, a swimming cap, ear plugs if you are prone to swimmer’s ear, and a towel to dry off after you get out of the water. 


Leg Two:  Cycling 

After you get out of the water there will be a transition area where you can change, get on your bike, and hit the open road.  


The Attire: For the cycling part of the race, some people throw on a pair of shorts over their swimsuit, while others prefer to change completely. If you're open to changing, opt for cycling shorts, a cycling jersey, and cycling shoes. Participants are encouraged to wear cycling shoes over running shoes for this section of the race. Spend the time transitioning into the proper footwear to optimize your performance.  


The Fit: Every athlete has a different approach to how to wear cycling shorts in a race.  You can either put them on over your swimsuit or take your swimsuit off and put them on. Regarding the fit of your cycling attire, you want your cycling shorts to have padding for comfort and to be form-fitting but still breathable to support your muscles. As mentioned above, the fit of your cycling jersey may change based on the weather. adidas cycling shorts and jerseys are made with AEROREADY tech, which allows sweat to be quickly wicked away from your body so you can stay dry and comfortable while competing.   


Accessories: Don’t forget your helmet, sunglasses, a thin pair of socks and cycling gloves if your hands tend to chafe or get sweaty. 


Leg Three: Running 

The final leg of the race is the run. Be open to transitioning from your cycling gear into running attire to perform at your best.  


The Attire: For the run you can wear your cycling shorts or change into triathlon shorts and a singlet or running top. Be sure to pick a pair of running shoes that have energy return and cushion to support your feet as you trek ahead towards the finish line.  


The Fit: All of your running attire should be breathable and sweat-wicking. Whether you’re wearing a singlet or a running tee, you want your top to be lightweight so that it doesn’t feel restrictive. For shorts, anything with compression will be great as it helps reduce muscle fatigue and encourage muscle recovery.  


Accessories: For the running part of the tri, you can wear a fanny pack that houses your performance gels or energy bars and sunglasses or a hat if you need sun protection and a thin pair of socks to protect your feet from blisters.   


Get Ready to Go for It 

Whether you're preparing for a triathlon or figuring out how to dress for a sprint marathon, remember that the first step to a successful race is being properly geared up.  Before participating in a triathlon, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the race's specific rules regarding attire. As you gear up for your next triathlon, keep your focus sharp, stay committed, and dress the part.