Triathlons have only been around since 1974, but in a relatively short time, the triathlon has become a very popular form of competition.
A triathlon is usually a competition that starts out with swimming, move on to biking and ends with running.
The triathlon is a timed event. It starts at the beginning of the swim and finishes at the end of the run. Your transition times, or times it took to move from swimming to cycling, and cycling to running, are also counted.
The swimming competition may be done in a pool, or in a body of water in the great out of doors.
What to you need for the swim? Goggles with a good seal will help you to see and protect your eyes.
A swim cap will do more than protect your hair. It gives your goggle straps something to hang on to, and it lowers the water resistance you'll be dealing with.
If the swim is out in the open rather than inside in a pool, and if you'll be swimming more than a couple hundred meters, you'll want to wear a wetsuit.
Wetsuits are required if the water is going to be less than 14 degrees Celsius, or about 57 degrees Fahrenheit.
The purposes of a wetsuit are three-fold. It will keep you dry, it will keep you warm, and it will make you more bouyant in the water.
In the biking competition, you need a helmet.
Cycling shoes can be useful though not essential. These attach to the pedals helping you to maximize your pedaling. However, comfortable shoes that go on and off quickly for transitions will do nicely.
Of course, you'll be needing a bike. Most bikes in good condition will serve your purposes. Your bike must be in tip-top shape though.
Check your tires, make sure there are no leaks and that they contain the right amount of air. Oil your chain. Check your gears and brakes beforehand.
For the running competition, wear shoes with good support, a snug but not tight fit.
Your cardiovascular system, core, legs and upper body will benefit from swimming. All of these body parts and systems will yield even more benefits when you add on cycling, with your legs yielding the greatest results. Your bones will become stronger and denser from running.