February 28th, 2011
03:37 PM ET
Are you ready to train for a triathlon, just like the CNN 6-pack? Want to change your lifestyle? Become a role model? Get super fit and healthy? If you answered yes, then it’s time to go SHOPPING. Woo hoo!!!
Your first year in triathlon is an expense. You’ll need a bike, a wetsuit, cycling shoes, sneakers, a helmet, and a few accessories. You can opt to borrow stuff from friends, and feel free to start with the most basic gear for more savings. Once you have everything, though, you’re good to go for years to come.
Shopping…my favorite part! Here's your list:
• Helmet – Mandatory: your helmet must be Ansi or Snell certified. Hint, if you want to look cool, and less like a beginner, snap off the removable visor in front. Just trust me on this one.
• Road bike – Purchase a bike you love. You’ll be on it often! You can also find a used bike online for much less.
• Clipless pedals and cleats – Buy “road” pedals and cleats, as opposed to other options, such as mountain biking.
• Cycling shoes – You can buy “road” shoes or “triathlon” shoes. The only real difference is that triathlon shoes are made for fast transitions, so normally the closures are Velcro only. If you are thinking that you’ll just wear your sneakers, think again! The hard bottom of a cycling shoe transfers more power. Plus, attaching to the pedal crank allows you to work every angle of the pedal stroke.
• Spare tubes – You are going to get a flat tire at some point and it’s easier to fix than it is to walk home.
• Floor pump – This measures the precise amount of air in your tires as you pump. It’s important to get the correct psi (pounds per square inch) for an optimal riding experience. Pump before you leave the house for every ride.
• Sneakers – Go to a “runner’s shop” as opposed to a sporting goods store. They are usually more knowledgeable and can evaluate an individual’s needs. Some even have treadmills to assess your form.
• Swim cap – I’d go silicone if you have long hair as it’s more comfortable.
• Swim goggles – Before purchasing, press the goggles up against your face to test how comfortable they’ll be. Most shops will let you do this.
• Wetsuit – Buy one or borrow one. I would recommend a wetsuit with long legs and long sleeves, as their main purpose is to keep you warm and buoyant.
• Sunglasses – Mandatory when riding your bike, as they protect your eyes.
• Allen keys – Allows you to adjust most parts of your bike.
• Water bottles – Always have hydration available when you ride.
Next week we'll have the first installment of our 23-week training program, leading up to the Nautica New York City Triathlon!!
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.