Did you read that as triscuit?
Weâ€™re not talking about the crackersâ€¦ weâ€™re talking about tri-suits. As in the suit you wear to do a triathlon in. A trisuit!
â€˜Tis race season. A bunch of my Charlotte friends are gearing up for the cityâ€™s big half marathon, and very soon, all of Charlotteâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€“ 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 Womenâ€™s Endurance (WT1778d), a one-piece trisuit.
I love â€“ let me repeatâ€¦ LOVE â€“ 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 youâ€™re also larger-chested, check out this post: Sports Bras for the BTC). The butt pad dries quickly. And itâ€™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 itâ€™s a tight squeeze so itâ€™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, Iâ€™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 Iâ€™m hoping to, I most likely will not fit into my old trisuit (yet). So perhaps I should try a two piece? Maybe they donâ€™t all ride up. And the peeing advantage is a big one. Iâ€™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 itâ€™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 aloneâ€¦ in a lake in Orlando, Floridaâ€¦ which is pretty much the craziest, most reckless thing you could doâ€¦ but it still freaked me out. Long live Charlotte, North Carolina, a gator-free zone!