What Should I Wear Under My Triathlon Wetsuit?
It’s a very common question many people don’t want to ask because they think it is a silly question. We always tell our kids the only silly question is the one you don’t ask. So, what should I wear under my tight-fitting wetsuit?
The vast majority of triathletes wear a one-piece or a two-piece tri-suit! Tri-suits are made out of high-performance material and both the one piece and the shorts have a built-in pad/chamois for your bike. If you decide to go with the two piece, make sure you purchase triathlon shorts and not cycling shorts! You do not want wear biking shorts with that gel pad during the swim. The biking shorts will absorb an overabundance of water and will NOT dry! The result…you will be running feeling like you have a wets diaper on! For woman, you will want to wear your sports bra under your tri suit if it doesn’t already have a built-in bra. The one piece and the two-piece tri-suit is worn for all 3 events, so you never change from one part of the race to the next.
If your budget doesn’t allow the purchase of a tri-suit or you are not just sure you want to invest in one, there are plenty of alternatives.
For women you can wear a sports bra and some sort of compression shorts, or you can wear a swimsuit. You do not want to wear something cotton-based which holds water because it will increase your chaffing. Also, do not wear underwear. Underwear will not dry out and will cause a sore saddle. You want to make sure that the clothing you decide to wear fit you snug and comfortable. If you choose to do the swim portion of the race in a swimsuit, you may also want to have a pair of shorts (athletic or cycling are good choices) and top to throw on over your suit before you head out for the bike and run portions of the race. Remember your sunscreen too!!
For men, you can wear compression shorts or another tight-fitting short and if desired an athletic shirt/tank that will not hold water (again think performance tees, not cotton!). You do not have to wear a shirt under your wetsuit during the swim if you don’t want to. After you remove your wetsuit you can put on any shirt and shorts to complete the other two legs of the race.
Do yourself a favor- try on and train in the clothing that you will be wearing for your race. This will let you know if the material will cause any chafing or restrictions. Remember, Body Glide, Tri Slide and Suit Juice are all approved anti-chafing lubricants that are safe for use with your wetsuit. They help get the suit on and off easier and they help reduce chafing! Apply it in key areas like the neck, arms, thighs and ankles for easier on/off of your wetsuit.