Did you read that as triscuit?



We’re not talking about the crackers… we’re talking about tri-suits.  As in the suit you wear to do a triathlon in.  A trisuit!


‘Tis race season.  A bunch of my Charlotte friends are gearing up for the city’s big half marathon, and very soon, all of Charlotte’s spring and summer triathlons will kick off.   Runners and cyclists are everywhere, and the sudden burst of outdoor activity got me reminiscing on my own triathlon journey.  When I was getting ready for my first few triathlons, I had a few big questions:


Am I going to get eaten by an alligator during the swim? * (see endnote)

Am I going to wipe out on my bike?

Am I going to have any energy left by the time I get the run?

And, most importantly, what the HECK am I going to wear?!


A trisuit is designed to be worn through all three triathlon sports – the swim, bike, and run.  Therefore, it is tightly fitted, has a minimal butt pad (so that it dries faster than regular bike shorts), and a supportive shelf bra for the run.  For my initial triathlon experiences, I did not go out and buy any triathlon-specific gear.  I had a bathing suit, bike shorts, and running clothes, but no trisuit.  I tried out several strange combos:  for one triathlon, I swam in a sports bra and running capris – and then I biked in the capris.  No padding = big mistake.  For another, I swam in a sports bra and string bikini bottoms.  When I entered the first transition, I pulled on my bike shorts over my bikini bottoms, untied them, and pulled my bikini off over the top of the shorts (very sexy).


Eventually, I decided that I really did love triathlons and should invest in proper gear.  After much debate, I ended buying the 2XU 2011 Women’s Endurance (WT1778d), a one-piece trisuit.


I love – let me repeat… LOVE – my trisuit.  It is extremely comfortable and never chafes.  The shelf bra actually does a pretty good job of supporting the big ole girls, although I do pull a regular sports bra on over it for the run leg (if you’re also larger-chested, check out this post:  Sports Bras for the BTC).  The butt pad dries quickly.  And it’s pretty flattering.  Win, win.


Trisuits come in two forms: one pieces, like mine, or two pieces.  Two piece trisuits have a separate top and bottom, which can be extremely advantageous when you need to go to the bathroom.  When I have to pee during a triathlon, my entire one piece suit has to come off (and it’s a tight squeeze so it’s difficult to get on and off).  Although this part of one pieces is annoying, I opted for a one piece because of the inherent drawback of two piece suits:  they often ride up.  I hate it when my top rides up my stomach during races.


That being said, I’m starting to think about investing in a two-piece trisuit for my post-pregnancy races.  If I do a super sprint triathlon in the fall, as I’m hoping to, I most likely will not fit into my old trisuit (yet).  So perhaps I should try a two piece?  Maybe they don’t all ride up.  And the peeing advantage is a big one.  I’d love to hear feedback on which you prefer.

For more triathlon-related info: Check out the So You Wanna Do a Triathlon series


* Endnote:  For what it’s worth, a man did get his leg bitten off by a gator in the same lake that I did my first two triathlons.  Granted, he was swimming alone… in a lake in Orlando, Florida… which is pretty much the craziest, most reckless thing you could do… but it still freaked me out.  Long live Charlotte, North Carolina, a gator-free zone!



  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out April 3, 2012, 8:14 pm

    Umm, no thanks. I would not be swimming ANYWHERE where things could eat me.

    Why would you switch to a 2 piece instead of just buying a slightly larger trisuit? What are the other advantages?

    • Caitlin April 3, 2012, 8:17 pm

      I’m really just interested in the pee factor. LOL. Plus, I’ve never actually TRIED a two piece, and people seem to LOVE them, so maybe I’m missing out!

      • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out April 3, 2012, 8:38 pm

        Peeing is always beneficial. Haha.

        However with my post-baby body, I HATE having tight things around my waist…. Still. I think I would rather have the one piece.

        • Mary April 4, 2012, 1:52 pm

          They should make a long built in zipper at the bottom of one-piece tri-suits. How is that not already an invention?

  • GiGi Eats Celebrities April 3, 2012, 8:17 pm

    LOL! I totally read that as TRISCUTS!!! My eyes are failing me, plus… I was immediately drawn to the photo of those buttery-delicious crackers! Yum… I haven’t had one of those in like a million years! Good luck with your races! I give you a lot of credit!!

  • Laine April 3, 2012, 8:21 pm

    I’m doing my first triathlons this summer. As a 36G, a shelf bra doesn’t do much (ok, anything) for me. Thankfully, I just found out that Freya is making a performance top that has my sportsbra built in, and I’ll pair that with some tri shorts. I have yet to try swimming in the top, but hope to start doing that soon to see what it feels like.

    My tris will be in the ocean, no alligators, snakes, brain-eating amoebas and too cold for sharks.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 3, 2012, 8:33 pm

    Omg one of my biggest irrational fears is any kind of deep open water. I even got freaked out in pools as a kid (despite being on swim team… maybe I felt safer in a group?) Anyway, I could NEVER swim in water where alligators could be. I’d have a panic attack!

  • Jennifer Cook April 3, 2012, 8:45 pm

    I have 2 two-piece tri-suits. The reason I’ve gone with 2-piece is because of the pee factor. I also hate riding up, but have NEVER had a problem with either one of my tri-suits doing that. And actually, the other women on my tri team have never complained about it either. Most of them wear 2 piece suits.

  • Becca April 3, 2012, 9:02 pm

    I always admire people who are able to do triathlons. I LOVE the idea of them. However, I am petrified of snakes!! I will not even put my foot near a lake, I honestly think I would have a major panic attack. If I had to make a choice I would go with a 2-piece. It seems like it would be much more comfortable..
    But clearly I should not be giving advice as I won’t even be standing at the edge of a lake 🙂

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) April 3, 2012, 9:05 pm

    One piece is good for avoiding gaping between the top and bottom and for keeping everything in place. I love my hot pink one piece for Olympic distance races.

    For longer, two piece because I need better padding for 56/112 miles of biking, and I’ll probably need to go to the bathroom. Also, the two piece versions usually have more pockets for storing nutrition for the bike, which is huge for longer distances.

  • Kath April 3, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Totallllly read triscuits 🙂

  • Luv What You Do April 3, 2012, 9:18 pm

    Nobody can eat only one or two triscuts…they are amazing!

    I am a two piece girl. Partially because the one piece as not flattering and I wanted to feel good about myself when I was doing my race.

    The other piece was that with a two piece suit, I could use the shorts for training (where as I would NOT be parading aroudn the neighborhood in a one piece) and so it was also a financial decision.

  • Devon April 3, 2012, 9:31 pm

    I’m with Luv – 2 pieces are my MO. I have a great pair of tri shorts, and the fashionista in me has a few tanks that I wear for sprints. I’m not fancy enough to wear a tri singlet on top – just a sports bikini top since I’m in the itty bitty TC 😉 Once I move up to olympic tris, I’ll probably invest in a 2 piece set

  • Sarah B April 3, 2012, 10:29 pm

    I’m also a two-piece kind of girl. The peeing thing is a big issue for longer triathlons, and I definitely need more padding on the bike for half ironman distance and above.
    At 34DD I also have to wear a bra underneath and use a Berlei shock absorber underneath my tri top and it works well for me. It also dries out pretty quick. And it provides extra storage for gels on the run!!!
    Plus being a fussy kind of person I like different kit from different manufacturers! I have an Orca top, then if doing long course tri jaggad shorts, or short/xterra tri 2XU shorts.

  • Ebernst April 3, 2012, 10:36 pm

    I’m racing my first tri in a month (YAY! so excited!) and I just found a tri suit top at TJMaxx for around $30…much cheaper than a regular tri suit top. They had some tri bottoms too..but they were to small. 🙁 Hopefully I’ll be able to score a cheaper pair!! Maybe check out TJMaxx and see if you can score a top or bottom!!!

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 6:43 am

      Wow, I can’t believe TJ Maxx had a trisuit top. I will definitely look into this.

      • Ebernst April 4, 2012, 9:17 am

        I was so shocked!!! I have quite an addiction with TJ Maxx and I couldn’t believe they had tri-suits either! Check it out..I live in Raleigh so here is to hoping that all of the NC TJ Maxxes (or Maxxs??) are tri-suit stocked!!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen April 3, 2012, 11:02 pm

    I did read it as triscuit! But, I think my mind was fooled by the picture of them below the title! 😉

  • Laura April 3, 2012, 11:02 pm

    I bought a 1 piece tri-suit to use in my first tri this summer. I wanted a one piece because of the riding up issue and the potential butt crack issue. Also, I won’t have any elastic digging into my waistline, which will make me more comfortable and less self-conscious.

  • Lisa April 3, 2012, 11:07 pm

    I have a 2-piece tri suit from blue seventy and have had no problem with it riding up. I like the flexibility of choosing the top and bottoms I liked. I bought a little bit cheaper top, but a more expensive bottom (to save the booty on longer rides!). I think I can get a little more use out of the clothes that way too because it gives me an extra bike short if I need and an extra top that I might wear for a run or something. I don’t picture myself wearing a 1-piece anytime except during the tri.

  • Jen April 4, 2012, 12:01 am

    I totally read that as “Triscuit” and thought “One or two? I eat like seven!”

  • Marissa C April 4, 2012, 12:15 am

    I have a two piece tri suit…never had a problem with it riding up, and I usually have that problem.

  • Chelsea April 4, 2012, 12:27 am

    Girl just pee down your leg and giggle 😉 No so just kidding hahaha. I bet people around would start cracking up and totally understand though. Peeing isn’t my problem during races its the other poddy movement…

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 6:44 am

      I have tried to pee myself during races but I just… can’t… do… it.

  • Laurel (Runaway Laurel) April 4, 2012, 2:41 am

    I am so intrigued by the trisuit! I’ve only ever done sprint tri’s so my butt hasn’t suffered too much yet from lack of padding. I usually wear a one piece super tight running tank pinned to bike shorts and it worked for me… I like the idea of a one piece although during my last tri all I could think about on the bike was how badly I needed to pee…

  • Cindy April 4, 2012, 5:42 am

    I so read that as triscuits.

  • Katie April 4, 2012, 7:37 am

    I have tri shorts and a lose fitting tri top. For triathlons, I swim in my tri shorts and a sports bra, then during T1 I put on the tri tank top so that it’s not wet. It’s really easy and fast to do so it doesn’t take up your time in T1. I’ve also worn longer (tight-fitting) wicking running shirts instead of tri tops and those work as well.

  • Linz @ Itz Linz April 4, 2012, 7:52 am

    i definitely read that as triscuit! however i think the picture directly below it may have been a big influencer as well… 🙂

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed April 4, 2012, 7:56 am

    I don’t do tris (yet?) but I feel like the two piece will give you more versatility. As people described above, you could opt to wear just one of the pieces for training, which would be less intense than rocking that one piece around your neighborhood.

    The bathroom situation also seems pretty important. I know how much I hate taking off a one piece bsuit to pee and that one piece trisuit is a whole other animal!

    Trisuit + picture of crackers = brain fooled!

  • Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl April 4, 2012, 8:01 am

    I’m from Tampa, Fl and I’ll go back and visit friends in Summer. I remember the first time I went and a bunch of us went out on the lake to wakeboard. I was too freaked to swim so I just stayed in the boat. Well one of my guy friends talked me into riding a seadoo with him. So I did only to find out his intention was to throw me off in the water. I think I had a mini heart attack that day. I’ve always been scared of gators and to think one could be swimming around me was a little more than I could handle. I don’t know how they are ok swimming with gators but I sure can’t do it. I love living in NC and going to the lakes and knowing there are no Gators!

  • Carolina John April 4, 2012, 8:21 am

    I went one-piece for most of my tri’s until I finished losing weight last year. My problem with the tri tops is that they are too short for somebody my height. They are a great length for a guy who’s average height, like 5’9″ or so. but at 6’1″, I usually leave 2″ of belly showing. and since that’s also the only part of my body with excess body fat, it’s not the part I want to highlight. You might also want to consider racing in just tri shorts and a sports bra. I’ll leave off the top entirely if I can and just wear tri shorts.

  • Katy Widrick April 4, 2012, 8:45 am

    I still don’t use a tri suit…for me, the old bathing suit under my cycling shorts trick works. Maybe someday, though.

  • Stephanie April 4, 2012, 9:00 am

    I go two piece and like it. When I am nervous I have to pee, so the pee advantage in a porta-a-potty is a pretty big deal for me. I also like that I can switch stuff around, still wear my shorts and a t-shirt on top if I am running (since I don’t really like running in a tight top) or any other combination that I feel like. I also feel like I wear out my tri shorts faster than any of my tops, so I only have to replace the bottms and not a whole suit.

  • Alyssa @ Don't Look Down April 4, 2012, 9:40 am

    I have a two piece trisuit and it ALWAYS rides up. I am also a card carrying member of the BTC and my top leaves a lot to be desired. It is difficult to find something that fits snuggly so it doesn’t create too much drag in the water, but still has enough coverage. I’ve been looking for different tri tops but haven’t found anything yet.

  • Rae April 4, 2012, 11:00 am

    Two piece-the bathroom thing is really a big deal for long distance tris 🙂 Check out descente-their tops are longer so they dont ride up! I would advise ordering a size up though, they tend to run small.

  • Bria April 4, 2012, 12:31 pm

    Just bought my first “onesie” – a Louis Garneau soemthing-or-other “elite” and am in LOVE! I have done two half irons, and never had to use the bathroom so I may be hedging my bets a little BUT, worst case scenerio, it’s not that hard to get out of. 🙂

  • Megan April 4, 2012, 1:05 pm

    Have all of your swims been in pretty warm water? I have my second tri coming up in two weeks and while it’s probably going to be nearing 90 by the time I finish, it hasn’t been warm long enough to warm the lake, so I’m wondering what to swim in. Does a tri suit provide any warmth or is it not much more than just a suit? The company doing my tri is hosting a pre-swim and wetsuit trial this weekend, so they might convince me to go that route.

    • CaitlinHTP April 4, 2012, 1:07 pm

      I did one tri in a wetsuit – it was 55. If you can wear a wetsuit (Check with your race), I recommend renting one from wetsuitrentals.com! I have worn the trisuit in as cool as 70 degrees and it was fine.

  • Laura April 4, 2012, 1:33 pm

    Off-topic question (apologies) – why are Triscuits called that? Coming from the UK and therefore never having seen one, I always assumed they were triangular and hence the name, but the picture in your post shows otherwise!

  • Jen April 4, 2012, 6:48 pm

    Dang girl tiny waist! 🙂

  • Angie April 4, 2012, 9:01 pm

    I did my first season of tris in 2 pieces, and I hated the top flapping in the water and the top riding up/bottom falling down situation. I did my first tri post-partum (9 weeks) last year in a one-piece I’d gotten off the clearance rack the previous year. I loved the one-piece and invested in one for this season that will fit my normal body. The pee factor is less of a big deal than the comfort for me! As an aside, I am a curvy girl, and I think the one piece is more flattering than 2 pieces.

  • Tara April 5, 2012, 12:23 am

    For my first tri, I went with the tri bottoms and a tri sports bra. In T1 I threw on a tshirt for the bike and run. However, it started to pour in mile 2. At T2, I abandoned the soaked (white of course) tshirt and just ran in the tri bra top.

    I had no issues with riding up or down with my shorts. The support issue isn’t an issue here though (ibtc) so I was completely comfortable in just a bra top and shorts.

    Also, check local multisport stores for “last year” models of triscuits, shorts, or tops. As a beginner, the only change I notice are the color options and they are much cheaper.

  • Ellie April 5, 2012, 8:28 pm

    I have tri shorts and I just wear an under armour tank top with them – it works out perfectly well. I’m not a big fan of the tri-tops – I think they are kind of awkward and look like they will ride up a lot.

  • Lorin April 6, 2012, 3:09 am

    Wow, I totally read that as triscuit…

  • Alett April 10, 2012, 10:18 am

    I absolutely HAVE to go with the two piece tri-suit due to a seriously nervous bladder. NOTE: my bladder is a “nervous” one but I just cannot pee during the swim in the water. Invariably I need a pit-stop at the potty or woods during one of my transitions even in a SPRINT distance! Sigh.

    For what it is worth -> I have had great luck with Zoot branded tops. I also bought an Ironman branded top that is super long.

  • Steph March 30, 2015, 4:54 pm

    So I won’t ever be doing a triathlon in lakes that have alligators in them!!

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