Wearing your Racing Shirt during the Triathlon Swim

Triathlon Event  Hi, this is a follow-up question about men’s triathlon apparel. I’m doing a my first triathlon next month (51.5). I’ve tried riding with loose tank top for the bike ride, but it flaps in the wind. A tight-fit wicking shirt would be better, however, i’ve been told it is extremely hard to put something tight on when your body is wet, hence, I was considering swimming with the shirt on. Oh, and I was planning on doing the swim, bike, and run with my swim shorts on and no bike pants or running shorts. Is that a terrible idea? thank you for your time.

Ken from Taiwan

Triathlon Event  Hi Ken,
Thank you for contacting!

Now we see why you were wanting to swim with your biking/running shirt on! We have two suggestions for you:

  1. Getting a tight shirt over a wet body can be difficult, but is not impossible. Experiment with getting the shirt on after a practice swim and make your decision from there.

  2. Swimming with the shirt is fine too, but you will be wet for a bit afterward. Moisture-wicking usually means that minimal amounts of water, like sweat or residual water from the swim, will be taken care of. Submerging the shirt is a bit different and may take longer to dry out. Again, do a practice run with it and see what happens

  3. Invest in a Tri Suit if you are not happy with option 1 or 2. They are made to wear for the duration of the triathlon.

Honestly though, we suggest that everyone practice both transitions at least once before race day. It will help you iron out a few big bugs — the small bugs are usually found on your actual race day and there’s little you can do about it except go with the flow and know you’ll have a good story afterwards.

Swimming, biking and running with your swim shorts on is fine. A lot of people do that. One thing to consider is your butt. If you’ve done all of your training with bicycle shorts on, your butt may be sore during the run. Again, try it out before you decide. You can always throw on a pair of bike shorts duting T1. They are very easy to slide on.

Be well.
Megan staff Recommended Resources:


Triathlon Swim : – Get the low-down on gear and read tips for training and events.

Triathlon Bike: – Learn how to structure bike workouts, find safety tips and read recommendations on great bike gear.

Triathlon Run : – Get the ultimate skinny on running sneakers, running gear, safety tips and much more.

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