In this post we'll look at what you need to prepare for your triathlon, and what you need to know about triathlon training in Chicago specifically. Just like Live Grit -- Chicago's triathlon store -- this is geared toward all levels of triathletes.
For each phase of your race, you first want to make sure your gear set is solid. It's what you will use to prepare, propel you through each test, and when it comes down to it: fall back on when you need it. Don't fall prey to thinking the materials you rely on are of lesser importance than your training. With both the same rules apply: fundamentals, efficiency, and quality.
When it comes to swim gear start with your goggles. After you find a pair you love, be sure to check out our guide to wetsuits. Finding the perfect one (remember to keep in mind those cold-water swims as well) will be an investment that will pay off the more you are in the water, accomplishing your goals. In addition to wetsuits, bags and accessories will also come in handy.
Now to that training...Get your pool set, of course. But don't limit yourself to chlorine. Look for spots to test where you'll actually be swimming! Check out our weekly open water swims to get accustomed to Chicago's wonderful water and be part of a community to support and push you as you prepare. Speaking of, training groups and even private sessions are a great way to not only guarantee you are honing your fundamentals, but that you are simply getting those prep hours in.
Your cycling gear is a little different than the rest because even if you have a new bike, even after you get proper bicycle fitting, throughout your preparation and right before your triathlon date you will need proper bicycle service. If you're not already a regular at your favorite shop, or even if you are, consult our team of experts at Live Grit to experience one of the best bike and repair shops in Chicago. Then check smaller gear, including shoes, pedals, electronics, and other accessories, off your list as well.
Cycle training, just like the race itself, has its stages: power, hills, cold weather, endurance, speed, turns, etc. Be sure to chart your race course and acclimate you and your bike to similar terrain, while also mixing up your stage objectives. Check out our Weekly Group Rides and cycle training options for community reinforcement as well.
When it comes to hitting the pavement, start where you make contact. The right pair of running shoes is the critical first step to starting any endurance run (note that we strongly believe finding the right fit is best accomplished in person -- check out our Run Shoe Fit guide for more details). Other gear to make sure you're set on includes: belts and hydration, clothing, sunglasses, and electronics.
Run training is simple: get out there and do it! Or is it? Just like for swim and bike, make sure your fundamentals, schedule, and routine are as strong as you want to be yourself. Training programs are another great way of preparing with support and motivation. Move from understanding the basics to proper warm ups, increasing speed, efficiency, and strength, and proper post-run stretching comfortably before your start date.
Chicago Triathlon Resources
Here are some other helpful Chicago-based links: