Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tri Talk Tuesday - Must Have Gear

Now that I am once again alive in the blogging world I am linking up with our lovely hosts Courtney over @ TheTriGirlChronicles and Cynthia @ YouSignedUpForWhat for a little Tri Talk Tuesday!

Today's subject is "Must have gear". In the world of triathlon there are sooo many gadgets/clothing/gear/nutrition options to choose from that it can certainly get overwhelming at times. However, in that vast sea of choices I have a few favorite items that have proven their weight in gold over my short triathlon life.

   1.  Garmin Forerunner 910XT 

The all-in-one GPS device that provides detailed metrics on your distance, pace, elevation, and heart rate. Ever get tired of having to cart around your phone to utilize a GPS app which never seems quite accurate anyway? Want more data than just how far and how fast you've traveled? Want actual swim metrics to help you become more proficient in your stroke? Look no further. Last Christmas I asked exclusively for Amazon gift cards knowing that I wanted to make the 910XT a reality. So happy I did - love, love, love this thing. Not only does it act as a GPS for your running/biking miles, but it also keeps track of your distance/cadence during OWS as well as indoor lap swimming. I purchased my Garmin in a tri-bundled package at the beginning of this year which included the heart rate monitor and a bike cadence sensor. I swear the censor alone is worth the bundle upgrade. Getting real live data on how quickly you are turning your legs over while logging hours on the bike as been super beneficial allowing for more detailed training sessions.

I know what you're thinking and yes, unfortunately this little piece of equipment is a monster expense, but if you can swing I highly suggest the purchase. If the 910XT isn't in your budget, or if the swim specifics which make this watch unique aren't your biggest concerns, then most definitely look at other GPS options. Garmin makes all kinds of models which capture most of the same metrics that you can upload to an online account and spreadsheet the heck outta your numbers. :) Cause we're triathletes and we love us some numbers.

   2.  TYR Swimsuit

I know, I know, the part we all hate most about the swim portion of triathlon....the bathing suit. As much as I loathe the tightness and overall feeling of suffocation a wet suit can bring, I'd rather wear that tight piece of full body rubber over a bathing suit any day. But once again, what can ya do? In my previous competitive swimming life, and teenage body, I preferred to wear Speedo and Speedo alone. Yes, I was a 90's label whore. Now that I have blossomed (ballooned) into a mature (saggy), womanly (stretch mark riddled) body, I trust my swimming needs to TYR - weather it's the Alliance T-Splice design or the Durafast Lite DiamondFit  (shown above), I feel that their cut in suits better reflect a woman's curves and ultimately lead to a more comfortable training session in the pool. They seem to last for-ever too. I can go an entire season without the need to buy another.
Whatever suit you do decide on, just make sure that it is designed to be used for actual lap swimming and not that adorable two piece you'd wear to the beach. You don't want any unnecessary drag in the water and certainly don't want to be worried about the girls popping out for a meet and greet with your lane buddy. ;)

Oh, and TYR makes some pretty great triathlon specific gear as well.

    3.  Lock Laces

So this is more of a recent discovery of mine which I wish more than anything I would have known about sooner. My transition PR and 2nd place finish in my last sprint tri can definitely be attributed to Lock Laces. Not having to worry about tying, or re-tying for that matter, your laces during a race is priceless. Simply stick your foot in and go! Not only are these elastic laces designed to help with speed in transition but it also helps to better distribute the tightness and flexibility of your shoe placement. Last year during my half marathon training I suffered for about 2 months with issues from tendon inflammation (big toe) on the top of  my left foot due to having tied my laces way too tight. One run, that's all it took to have that sucker flare up and cause a whole lot of pain. After ruling out any sort of stress fracture, I ended up laying off the running for about two weeks and eventually changed up my lacing pattern so that the tendon would no longer rub against my shoe. That worked ok but not without having taken too much time off. With Lock Laces you don't have to worry about whether or not you've manually tied your laces too tight - find the right fit the first time and you're worry free.

Lock Laces - doooooo it.

   4.  CarboPro

CarboPro is another newish product for me. Having only done Sprint and Olympic distance tris the last few years, my need for nutrition on the bike was fairly minimal. 1 GU gel and a few sips of water while on the road was all I needed. Having the Boise 70.3 to contend with this year I knew that what I did for nutrition and hydration on the bike would be one of the most important aspects of the entire race. Enter CarboPro. This pure complex carb mix is designed to be combined with your normal form of hydration, completely replacing the need to have separate forms of fuel during a race. Say whaaat?? Oh yeah, it's a brand new day folks. For Boise's bike stage, I combined 2 scoops of CarboPro and 2 tabs of Nuun into each bottle of water and that was it. Seriously. No unwrapping protein bars, no chewy blocks to choke down and no messy gels to deal with. Simply sip and keep moving.

There are certainly other products similar to CarboPro that I may look at trying down the road but mark my word, I will NEVER go back to separate fuel/hydration during my longer races. With a mix like this it is just too easy! 

   5.  RoadID


I'm just saying. 

Ok, so maybe this isn't specific to the art of triathlon but it IS one of my most favorite pieces of gear. Name, blood type, known allergies and emergency contact numbers. Shouldn't that always be readily available when you're out at about, especially when alone? I have heard/read far too many stories of how this simple little wrist band has saved so many lives. We all know that the road out there can be a tricky place and it seems like more and more cyclists are in the news as the result of a nasty fall or God forbid even a hit and run. With the Road Id, assuming you're not able to speak, all the imperative information needed for emergency responders is right there, plain as day. It saves lives - easy as that.

Yep - my fav 5. Hope one of these items may have peaked your interest (ahem - Road ID). If you have any questions or want more info just let me know!

~Cheers, Rebecca

What are some of your can't live withouts?

No comments: