If you've been inspired to swim, cycle and run after watching Team GB's impressive Brownlee Brothers at last summer's London 2012 games, go for it!
To train for a triathlon you will most definitely need to be on top of your organisational skills. I've found that in order to give sufficient time to the 3 disciplines you need to be disciplined yourself. It's a fine balancing act and if like me you tend to favour one element more than the others, it pays to get organised and plan your time well.
Even if you have a balanced training plan, a typical week could see you complete 2 swimming sessions, 3 bike rides and 3 lots of running. If weather or terrain dictates you may not have time for your equipment or kit to dry out before you set out for the next training session. With this in mind, it's important to invest in training equipment that you'll not only feel comfortable and safe using, but pieces that'll easily meet the demands you place on it.
Look for quick drying, breathable, easy to wash materials. If you find a piece of kit that you particularly like, then it's not a bad idea to buy 2 of them. This will allow you to rotate your kit and it means you're not compromising on comfort. In my experience it helps to have a back up set of running trainers: one a trail pair and the other for the road or firmer surfaces. This is a good way to keep injuries at bay as you use the right shoe to train on the right surface.
Here are some basics to start with, but feel free to multiply so you can deal with most eventualities
Things going swimmingly?
The swimming kit range at johnlewis.com catered for my needs and although I'd recommend wearing a wet suit outdoors, you can always get some practice in at your local pool. The Speedo endurance fastflow swimsuit for women is designed for durability, making it ideal for regular swimmers. With greater back coverage for additional bust support, it offers you comfort and confidence in the pool. It's also quick drying too - great for consecutive swim sessions.
For men, get into the pool with the Speedo Superiority aquashorts. They have a comfortable, secure fit, with internal support and are 100% chlorine resistant. When pushing out lap after lap, protect your eyes by adding a set of goggles, the Zoggs Tri vision mask uses curved lens technology to give you 180 degrees undistorted peripheral vision while swimming. Soft seal frames offer you a comfortable customised fit, while the head strap has a quick adjust mechanism so you can alter it easily to fit snug on your head.
On your Bike!
Having comfortable clothing really helps, so men might like the Adidas Climacool Cycling T-Shirt while women might like to try Ronhill women's bike shorts. The shorts are made in a technical fabric with great strength and recovery so they'll last you ride after ride.
Complete your kit with a Ridgeback Bike Accessory Pack and you'll be ready to roll. If you have a combined bike/run session, you can leave your bike safe and secure while on your run. Then switch on lights when it gets dark if on a late afternoon/evening practice session. It also includes a strong but lightweight helmet.
A run for your money!
For me it's the running that really excites. I recommend taking a look at the variety of running shoes and clothing kit available, including Mens Asics Gel-Trail Lahar 4 Running Shoes and Womens Asics gel-trail lahar 4 running shoes.
A perfect item to use as a base layer before adding a running jacket is the Nike AA Miler top. I always advise using base layers and this has the Dri-Fit fabric for comfort and moisture management, while the mesh side panels offer maximum ventilation. You can always add or remove layers of clothing, depending on the weather.
When training, regardless of the weather, staying hydrated is a must. I never forget my water or isotonic drinks. You can carry yours in the Nike sport water bottle. It's easy and comfortable to carry with a leak proof valve to keep the water in the bottle and not all over you! It's available in clear and white or a funky pink and black colour design.
Now get kitted up and go for it!