I recently read an article on a Tri website that spoke of the essential tools that every triathlete needs.

I thought I’d see if anyone else was saying something similar.

Turns out they are. A lot.

So with all this “information” out there on what is portrayed to be the best/ essential/ cannot-live-without-or-you-might-stop-breathing equipment it can be extremely confusing.

Look we won’t kid ourselves we all love toys. We love light, we love aero, we love fast … oh there is a lot to love.

But essential?

Not always.

Lets make this easy.


Your body, obviously, is going to get you around that race course. The wheels, shoes, helmet are all details.

Now you can get the most tested, wind-tunnelled, aqua dynamic, Kenyan inspired equipment that money can buy, but it means nothing if your body is not ready. If you haven’t prepared yourself (this includes mentally as well) then its simply irrelevant what your new ‘must have is’ – it doesn’t work too well if the body isn’t ready to go, or is operating poorly.

To turn up to a race with a body (and mind) that is strong, fit, and tuned for that particular environment requires careful planning and considerations.

It requires you to align yourself with someone who understands the fact you have a goal to get to X but also understands that you have multitude of other things to manage along the way: family, work, holidays, to name a few. You need someone who know how to get you to that start line, without ignoring the other aspects if your life. And someone who knows how to effectively communicate to you.

The easiest way to determine what ‘equipment’ is best is to ask yourself “If I train/ race without it, will I still be able to get to goal X?”

If its not clear or not if it will get you there, then you probably don’t need it.

Yes gadgets are awesome. And having some bling is cool too. And yes, most of them work or at least do what they say they can do. Its important for the future of the sport that athletes support the industry. Some tools will make your life a lot easier when training or racing, but they are NOT a substitute for hard-work, determination, and a great coach helping you along the way.

Choose wisely, invest in YOURSELF first.

Coach Pete Lever