Chrissie Wellington’s 10 top tri kit essentials
Chrissie Wellington’s 10 top tri kit essentials
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Chrissie Wellington’s 10 top tri kit essentials

If anyone knows what tri gear you need (and don’t need) to race, it’s Britain’s four-time Kona queen

Here I’ll list the bare essentials, with the overarching advice that all of your gear needs to fit YOU. So get professional advice, from a coach or sports shop, to ensure you have gear that fits.

In addition, you can use the same kit in racing that you wear in training but never use anything new on race day that you haven’t used before.


Essential for training and for pool-based races. Some athletes even wear swimsuits for the entire race, but your undercarriage may not thank you…!

Chrissie Wellington on… Choosing swim gear


They should have great all-round visibility and be very secure. Leaky, ill-fitting goggles can cause panic and discomfort. The right fit means that they stay on your face, even without the strap, that your eyelashes don’t touch the lenses and the nose-piece doesn’t cut you. One pair of slightly tinted goggles is best, as they’re suitable for cloudy and sunny conditions, as well as in the pool.

Open-water goggles: how to choose the right lenses

Open-water swim goggles: 10 of the best reviewed and rated

 6 of the best pool goggles


Wetsuits are mandatory in some races (dependent on water temperature). They help keep you warm and also provide buoyancy. Ideally it should be swim/tri-specific rather than a surf wetsuit. You don’t need to spend a fortune and some companies offer one-off, monthly or even season rentals. 

Chrissie Wellington in the swim

(Image: Jonny Gawler)

Be sure to swim in the wetsuit before race day, and learn how to get it on and off properly. It needs to be snug, but not too tight or restrictive. Shoulder flexibility is important. I cut an inch off the legs to make removal easier (obviously not recommended if it’s a rental!).

What to look for in a tri wetsuit

Triathlon wetsuits: 14 of the best tested and rated

How much buoyancy does your triathlon wetsuit need?

How to swim in a wetsuit

Swim cap

These are usually provided by race organisers, but a spare is useful for training and for doubling up if the water is cold.

Pool tools

Swim equipment can be useful but, in the same way that there are different strokes for different folks, different toys suit different people.

It’s best to ask the advice of a good triathlon-friendly swimming coach who can look at your stroke, advise you on what toys are suitable for you and ensure you’re using them correctly.

12 swim tools to improve technique and fitness

Continue reading (2/2)


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