One of the most common questions asked by those just starting out in triathlon is what kind of clothing to wear for their training or for the races. While it may seem like a very simple question, the answer is actually quite complex. Below are some pointers to help with this issue, particularly for male beginner triathletes.
Triathlon Clothing for Racing
One major thing to consider when you’re shopping for tri suits for men is the distance of the race you will be competing in. For a short distance race (sprints and Olympic triathlons), you can wear a tri short with no pockets and minimal padding. You must wear a body-fitting tank top or singlet, which will prevent extra drag while swimming and will not retain water. Alternatively, you can also wear a one-piece outfit instead of wearing two separate pieces.
Whether one-piece or two-piece, triathlon suits are typically very snug and allow extreme mobility during the swim. You certainly do not want to wear loose attire that will swell up when you get into the water. Tri suits for men often features a front zipper, which you can just pull down a little during hot weather to give you ventilation.
For long distance races (half and full Ironman), you have the same options above but most pros go for two-piece outfits that make calls of nature hassle-free and come with features such as pockets for carrying fuel items and good padding. Also, wearing a more padded triathlon short and a looser fitting top is recommended for long-distance races, whereas the opposite is better for sprints and Olympic triathlons.
Triathlon Clothing for Training
When it comes to choosing tri suits for men for training days, the most important thing to consider is the type of workout you will be doing because different types of workouts call for different types of clothing.
For a bike-run brick workout, you can follow the same pointers above to prepare for actual race day conditions. For shorter workouts, wear either a one-piece suit or a tri short with minimal padding with a tight-fitting top (although it is also fine to wear a looser fitting top for training). For longer workouts, a loose-fitting jersey and a well-padded tri short is recommended. For individual running or cycling workouts, you can wear regular running shorts or cycling shorts and a comfortable and breathable top.
For a swim-bike brick workout, you can also choose between a one-piece or two-piece suit. If you do wear two-piece tri suits for men, just remember to wear a triathlon short with excellent padding for longer trainings. You’ll be fine with a minimally-padded tri shorts for a shorter workout. For swimming-only workouts done in a chlorinated pool, it’s best to wear chlorine resistant jammers instead of tri shorts which are generally not resistant to chlorine.