Favorite Things 2013

Over the last year of doing triathlons I’ve had a chance to try a lot of different products. So Oprah-style, here are my “Favorite Things: Triathlon Edition“.  Hopefully this sparks some ideas for the triathlete in your life this holiday season.

What would you add to this list? (By the way, I have zero affiliation with anyone on this list… I’m not that important).

1. Headsweats visor

  • I have a couple of these and they are amazing!
  • They have an absorption lining to wick away sweat and they never fall down or move around; the elastic band ensures a snug fit everytime
  • Good for hot races when you’re dumping cold water on your head
  • Machine washable

2. Spi Belt

  • I think I’ve gone through at least 5 different pockets, pouches, arm bands, and packs for storing keys, ID, cash, and my phone on long runs. Every single one I bought was annoying, too heavy, bounced around, and just horrible. The Spi Belt changes all of that.
  • It fits snugly around your hips so it never bounces around. I can keep my iPhone in there along with my keys, cash, cards, etc. The pouch is a very stretchy material and can handle quite a lot.
  • I  have the black one so you can barely tell I’m wearing a mini fanny pack.

3. Picky Bars

  • 100% vegan and gluten free (need I say more?)
  • 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, slow releasing carbs for level blood sugar, minimal soy content, and healthy fats making up  25% of the calories
  • They’re made by pro endurance athletes (Jess Thomas and Lauren Fleshman), for endurance athletes
  • I eat these on long bike rides and they taste sooo delish!

4. Smash cycling kit 

  • My favorite kit! Super comfortable, stylish, and created by Hillary Biscay
  • Shorts have a good amount of padding and the top is form fitting with deep pockets

5. TYR Tri bag

  • For those multi-sport weekend days when you’re swimming as well as biking or running
  • I was using a duffel gym bag for a while, but I realized on race day that I needed to be able to ride my bike and carry all of my gear at the same time, hence the need for a backpack
  • Or for race day morning to carry all your transition gear
  • Tons of pockets and compartments
  • Of course I bought the navy/gold option (Go Blue)

6. Thule Helium bike rack 

  • I had a Yakima for a while and it was horrible! My bike fell off on one side, on the freeway, on the morning of a Century ride…
  • Upgrade time. The Thule bike rack still has some issues with swaying, but it’s generally hard to correct for that
  • The Thule Helium is extremely lightweight and decently easy to take on and off
  • Arm folds down (cheaper models don’t do this, which makes it tough to park and navigate)
  • Built-in lock (but don’t rely on this – always use a U-lock in addition to this!)
  • If your car is able to handle a roof rack (mine doesn’t), I would go for that instead of a hitch mount

7. Strava Premium

  • You’re probably already using Strava to track your cycling and running workouts, but Premium gives you that extra edge
  • Set goals, see your active friends, analyze your power, real-time segment feedback, etc

8. 2XU calf compression sleeves 

  • I wear these after a hard workout and on a long plane ride. The pressure on my calf feels pretty amazing.
  • I don’t wear them during workouts, but I see a lot of people doing that
  • Great for recovery and blood flow
  • When I take them off, I get large X’s imprinted on my calf’s; kinda cool

9. GoPro

  • Pumped to take it out for bike rides in Tahoe and around the Bay Area
  • Good way to capture the beauty of your cycling routes without having to bust out your iPhone camera

10. Cycleops indoor bike trainer

  • Too rainy outside for your long bike ride? Bring it indoors!
  • Throw in a movie, a spin class DVD, or your favorite Netflix show and start pedaling!
  • Make sure to keep an eye on the wear and tear on your back tire, as the trainer can damage the tire over time

Thanks everyone and happy holidays! Swim. Bike. Run. Eat Plants.

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