I've had quite a few people ask me lately about my gear for running/triathlons so I figured here would be the best place to throw together some of my favorites..
-good shoes! I can't stress this enough, go to a specialty running store and have them help you find the perfect fit for your foot/gait...trust me, it will be worth the extra $$$
-a headband that ACTUALLY holds your hair and won't fall off or slide...I've tried tons of these, every company claims that they have the miracle product, but truth be told my absolute favorite has to be this velvet headband from Suddora. It doesn't give you a headache and it really does stay on (trial tested by myself on various runs) PLUS right now they're doing a special promo through the end of February, if you use the code SUDDORA5 you'll get 50% off (reg price is $6.99 so this is seriously a steal!)
-socks, I prefer compression socks of various heights depending on the race but my favorites are Swiftwick and PRO Compression. I'm part of the Switftwick sock of the month club which lets me try a wide variety of their selection and I have loved every pair. For the PRO Compression socks I tend to buy them from The Clymb because that's where I've found the best deal on them.
-bike, for beginner triathletes you don't need to go out and buy the fanciest bike out there. I went with a moderately priced hybrid and it worked just fine for my races. Is it the lightest thing out there? no, but it gets the job done and it's still leaps and bounds ahead of a mountain bike.
-helmet, it's the rules folks...you must have an up to date helmet (you can check the rules for specifics but really I would hope you would want your head to be safe)
-water bottle/cage, you will get thirsty on your ride and this is your best chance to refuel. I also keep a fuelbelt strapped to my bike so I can eat some cliff blocks as needed during this portion of the tri.
-gloves, if your hands get sweaty or you need some extra shock absorption gloves are great. If you sweat a lot you might also want a towel on hand somewhere to keep you dry
-goggles, these don't have to be super fancy but you want something that won't fog up and fits your head well.
-swim cap, you will get a TON of these with each race you participate in so my advice is if you know there is a seasoned triathlete where you train or maybe even a group, ask them if they would mind letting you borrow one...most likely they have an overabundance of them and wouldn't mind just giving you one of theirs.
-tri suit, I'm sure there's plenty of debate on this but if you're like me and don't want to be fussy about changing at each transition the tri suit is a simple, easy way to get through the race. I wouldn't recommend using it for training in a pool, but it's great for outdoor swims and I loved mine on race day.
-wetsuit, now this isn't a must but if you live near a body of water that is generally cold you might want to invest in a wetsuit. Not only will it keep you warm but it will also help you float and move through the water with less resistance. If you do choose to go this route, I might also suggest some body glide to help get the suit on and off
Obviously this is just a super basic, bare bones list but it's a good place to get started. You don't need all the bells and whistles to get started, just a few basics will be enough. Hope this helps the newbies out there :)