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Superfeet Insoles Guide for Triathletes

If you’re a triathlete and you don’t already wear insoles you’ve probably thought about using them at one point or another. Here’s a high level guide put together buy One Tri that gives you a rough idea of what insoles to get if you are considering purchasing a set from Superfeet. Why Superfeet for triathletes: […]

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transition-rack

Beginner Triathlon Transition Tips

The transition area is at best controlled chaos. You’re in race limbo, trapped within a fixed space where you…

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Open Water Swimming in Triathlon

The shortest leg of the race in triathlon is often funny enough, the most feared. By far, you’re certainly…

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Congratulations to all Ironman Arizona Participants

Just wanted to say congratulations to our good friend James Nguyen from OneTri.com for finishing Ironman Arizona this past week (a little delayed forgot to click publish). We also wanted to congratulate everybody else who made it to the start line and did their best.

We hope everybody has been getting all their wish list items this holiday season. We are all grateful that we have the opportunity to participate in the great sport of triathlon.

Bike5 Finisher JamesRun1Arizona2013

Trisports.com file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Tri Sports has been in the industry a long time so it’s sad to see this type of situation happen to them. Rather than get into specifics I’ll just post some links to the details that are already available online:

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=4624821

http://www.xtri.com/features/detail/284-itemId.511715838.html

http://www.slowtwitch.com/Opinion/On_Trisports.com_s_Chap_11_filing_3705.html

Giro Advantage 2 Aero Helmet Sale

Here’s an awesome find for our deals section.

I’ve seen this Giro helmet on sale before but not at this price! It might be a typo so go get one right away. Get one of the best-selling aero helmets in history. It looks like the Advantage 2 is on sale only for a limited time so go grab one before they are all gone. This is a great helmet for triathlon, time trials, or Halloween parties.

If you’ve been waiting for the cheapest price, big deal, special price, or coupon wait no longer. Google it you’ll see the price is the lowest around. I’m pretty sure this won’t last.

Here’s what the site says about the helmet:
“… The Giro Advantage 2 Time Trial TT Aero Bike Helmet is shaped with input from the worlds fastest riders over 23 years. The choice of elite professionals like Alberto Contador, Levi Leipheimer, David Millar and Alejandro Velverde. The Advantage 2 represents the pinnacle of aerodynamic performance, fit and ventilation. Simply put, it’s what the world’s best riders wear when every thousandth of a second counts…”

Giro Advantage 2 on sale, there’s also a video review of the product on the site. I’ve embedded it here:

Black Friday Sales and More Deals

Check out the following Black Friday Sales for triathlon stores. If a store doesn’t have a specific Black Friday section then I will put a link to a sales, clearance, or deals section of the stores website. This post started as a Black Friday listing but I ended up finding all the links to the sales section of triathlon store websites. The best deal as of the “updated” date is at top.

Updated Wednesday 11/21/12

OneTri.com
You get and additional 20% off almost everything on the site. This includes items already discounted from 20%-65% off! So everything is an awesome deal. This one is going to be hard to beat. Sale ends on Monday 11/26/12 so go check it out soon.

Here’s the banner directly from the website. Click the banner to be taken to the site.
http://www.onetri.com


Tri Zone
I don’t see the Black Friday Sale up on the site yet but they do have a Clearance Section with a selection of discounted items here:

http://www.tri-zone.com/Categories.html?cat=1001


Tri Village
I don’t see the Black Friday Sale up on the site yet but they do have a Clearance Section with a selection of discounted items here:

http://www.trivillage.com/clearancestore.html


Tri Lab
I don’t see the Black Friday Sale up on the site yet but they do have a sale section here:

http://www.triathlonlab.com/categories/sales.html?sort=newest

http://www.triathlonlab.com/categories/sales.html?sort=newest


All3Sports.com
I don’t see the Black Friday Sale up on the site yet but they do have a Clearance Section with a selection of discounted items here:

http://www.all3sports.com/clearance.html


TriSports.com
Tri Sport’s Thanksgiving day sale is a 25% off coupon. This is great for regularly priced items. However you can stack a coupon on top of already discounted items which makes the deals much better.
http://www.trisports.com/thanksgivingsale2012.html


Triathlete Sports
Again, no Black Friday Promotion up yet but here’s the link to the end of year clearance section:
http://www.triathletesports.com/Clearance-s/9.htm


Happy Shopping!

Black Friday Tri Gear Deals (Issue 2)

Update 11/22/11: Click here for the latest Black Friday Sale Updates

Issue 2 of our deals, specials, promotions, clearance, close-outs, and coupon search for tri equipment. If you landed on this page directly click on the “Deals” section above to see all issues of our deals.

Deal #1 – Men’s Tri Shorts 25% off
All3Sports.com: DE SOTO CARRERA TRI SHORT LOW-CUT – 2011 MEN’S $55.95 $41.99 Save 25%
Compare To:
TriSports.com: De Soto Men’s Carrera Low Cut Tri Short Regular price: $55.95 Sale Price: $44.47 You Save: 21%
SwimOutlet.com: DeSoto Men’s Carrera Tri Short Low Cut List Price: $58.00 Our Price: $55.95 You Save $2.05!
TriathleteSports.com: DeSoto Men’s Carrera Tri Short – Low Cut – 2011 – Price: $55.99 Sale: $49.99 You save $6.00!

Deal #2 – Triathlon Hooded Sweater 54% off
OneTri.com: Art of Tri Classics Hooded Sweatshirt $54.95 On Sale: $29.67 54% off
Compare to:
All3Sports.com: Art of Tri Classic Hoodie $54.95 $43.95 Save 21%

Deal #3 – Extreme Endurance $25 back with Purchase
OneTri.com: XEndurance Extreme Endurance 180 Capsule
Bottle
, $37.95$25 gift card w/purchase (effectively 65% off)
Compare to:
TriSports.com: Extreme Endurance 180 count Regular price: $38.05
Amazon.com: Extreme Endurance 180 Tablets Price: $42.90

Deal #4 – Women’s Trisuit 30% off
TriathlonLab.com: De Soto Sports Womens Lift Foil Tri Speedsuit 2011, SKU17573 List price: $190.00 Price: $132.98
Compare to:
Sports Basement: DeSoto Women’s Liftfoil Speed Trisuit 2011 $152.00 Compare At: $195.00
TriSports.com: De Soto Women’s Liftfoil Speed Trisuit, Item #: 47-011150, Regular price: $189.95

Deal #5 – Men’s Tri Shorts effectively 47% plus Free Shipping on entire order.
OneTri.com 2XU Men’s Comp Tri Shorts 2011 $40 gift card w/purchase and free shipping on entire order (use code: gc40)
Compare to:
TriVillage.com: 2XU Comp Triathlon Short – Men’s Product Code: TWOMTR1200-11, Price: $84.95, Price: $63.71 – You Save 25% ($21.24)
TriathleteSports.com: 2XU Men’s Comp Tri Short – 2011, Price: $84.99, Sale: $75.99, You save $9.00!

Deal #6 – Aero Helmet $95 back w/purchase
OneTri.com: Giro Selector Aero TT Helmet $95 giftcard with purchase. (use code: GC95select)
Compare to:
Rei.com: Giro Selector Bike Helmet $275.00, Item # 823088
RealCyclist.com: Giro Selector Helmet, Item #GIR0331, $274.95
GottaRideBikes.com: GIRO SELECTOR AERO TT HELMET, Code: GIH3268 Price: $274.95

New Tri Deals and Discounts Category (Black Friday)

Since Black Friday is near there are a lot of us looking for deals. We are attempting to list some of the deals that we have found in various categories specifically for triathletes. We created this new Tri Deals Category since we’ve all been thinking about deals as of late. Check back regularly because we’re going to keep adding updates. Also, let us know if you find other great deals. Make sure to check the dates of our posts so you know how relevant they are. We can’t guarantee that the prices we list will stay current forever.

Click Here to see all Tri Discount Updates

In addition to deals we will be looking for specials, discounts, clearance items, promotions, coupons, close-outs, free shipping, etc… Please feel free to share deals that you find with us and we will do our best to update the list. Thanks again for reading. Have fun training and racing.

Please note: These are all specific deals we’ve found online. Be sure to check individual store websites for further details, restrictions, and other qualifications. Happy Shopping!

Black Friday Deals for Triathletes (Issue 1)

Update 11/22/11: Click here for the latest Black Friday Sale Updates

Since Black Friday is near there are a lot of us looking for deals. Here’s our attempt to list some of the deals that we have found in various categories specifically for triathletes. We created this new category since we’ve all been thinking about deals as of late. Check back regularly because we’re going to keep adding updates. Also, let us know if you find other great deals. Make sure to check the dates of our posts so you know how relevant they are. We can’t guarantee that the prices we list will stay current forever.

Deal #1 – Women’s Tri Short 55% off
OneTri.com: De Soto Women’s Micro Tri Short 2011 (Clearance) Regular:$55.95 Sale:$25.18
Compare to:
Amazon: DeSoto Women’s Micro Tri Short – 2010 $55.99 (Old Model)
Sports Basement: DeSoto Women’s Micro Tri Shorts 2011 $30.00
DeSoto Women’s Micro Tri Short – 2011 Price: $55.99 Sale: $49.99

Deal #2 – Men’s Tri Short 40% off
OneTri.com: 2XU Men’s Active Tri Shorts 2011 (Clearance) Regular: $59.95 Sale:$35.97
Compare to:
Amazon: 2XU Men’s Active Tri Shorts List Price:$60.00 Price: $44.24
Discount Tri Supply: 2XU Men’s 2011 MT1772B Active Tri Short Price $$42.00
24 Tri: 2XU Men’s Active Tri Short – 2011 Item No.MT1772b Price: $53.49

Deal #3 – Men’s Tri Wetsuit 40% off
OneTri.com: Orca S3 Wetsuit 2011 Men’s Fullsleeve (Clearance) Regular: $198.95 Sale: $119.37
Compare to:
Triathlete Sports: Orca Men’s S3 Fullsleeve Wetsuit – 2011 Price: $199.00 Sale: $179.99
All 3 Sports: ORCA S3 TRIATHLON WETSUIT – 2011 MEN’S $198.95 $178.99 Save 11%
Pleasure Sports: Orca Men’s S3 Wetsuit 2011 – Men’s Triathlon Wetsuit Item# YVN5 Regular price: $229.95 Sale price: $154.95 (33% Savings)

Deal #4: Tri Bag effectively 45% off
OneTri.com: Louis Garneau Tri Pack Revo 2011 (CLEARANCE) $119.95 $55 gift card w/purchase (effectively $64.96)
Compare to:
Triathlete Sports: Louis Garneau Tri Pack Revo Bag – 2012 Price: $119.99, Sale: $95.99, You save $24.00!
Amazon: Louis Garneau Tri Pack Revo Bag List Price: $119.95 Price: $95.00 You Save: $24.95 (21%)
Tri Sports: Louis Garneau Tri Pack Revo Item #: 30-111101 Regular price: $119.95

Please note: These are all specific deals we’ve found online. Be sure to check individual store websites for further details, restrictions, and other qualifications. Happy Shopping!

2XU Winter Training Gear

With Kona behind us and colder months looming ahead, northern hemisphere triathletes are discovering that the opportunity for a warm daylight workout session is quickly being replaced with tenebrous training schedules. As each workout becomes subject to harsh winter weather the key to staying safe, snug and stoked lies deep within your stockpile of cold weather training gear and 2XU is eager to keep you in the training game.

2XU Winter Beanie

Ditch your visor in favor of this cold weather training staple. It keeps sweat away from your eyes all the while keeping you safe with its reflective highlights. Plus it helps to keep you warm. Duh.

2XU Active 360 Run Jacket

Lightweight and all sorts of shiny, the Active 360 Run Jacket will keep you comfortable during the entirety of your workout. Constructed with a warm jersey lining the Active 360 features large vents under the arms to help circulate air through the jacket while you run, keeping your microclimate comfy and cool, not sticky and sweaty. The jacket has only 1 small zip pocket, suitable for keys, but it remains fairly difficult to access making it unideal for storing nutrition. Perfect for short to medium runs the Active 360 will have you training safely and stylishly.

2XU Sub Zero Cycle Jacket

There comes a point in the season where a jersey and arm warmers simply don’t insulate enough. While I don’t recommend cycling in negative degree weather, the Sub Zero Cycle Jacket is designed to do precisely that (albeit as 2XU is Australian they are most likely referencing Celsius, not Fahrenheit). One of the most thought out cycling jacket designs that I’ve seen, the Sub Zero angles its rear pockets allowing easy access while riding and keeps those pockets deep so you can keep extra tubes and nutrition on your back without the fear that they will eject when you hit a rough patch in the road. Comfortably lined with fleece the jacket stays true to 2XU’s design strategy of stitching their garments along the lines of what can be considered a “performance cut”, all at once making it both form fitting and sleek looking.

2XU Men’s Racer Track Pant

When you realize that the idea of leaving your warm and comfy bed to face the stinging winter elements to be shielded by only the thin protection of your summer run shorts isn’t the most motivating means to begin your morning it’s time for a wardrobe upgrade. The Racer Track Pant from 2XU is designed to keep you motivated no matter what the outdoor conditions may be. A basic track pant design, the Racer features two zippered side pockets and drawstring cinching, but where the pant sets itself apart are the outstanding “3D Thermal Knit” high filament polyester yarns. This unique construction will regulate your temperature from the cold and chilly first mile to your steamy and sweaty triumphant finish, meaning that your body will be at a comfortable temperature throughout your workout. Suddenly leaving the shelter of your snug sheets becomes that much easier knowing that you’re perfectly outfitted to battle back against whatever winter weather you may find yourself facing.

What is Yamamoto Neoprene?

38, 39, 40. These numbers do not reference European shoe sizes nor do they allude to a series of symphonies, instead these are the proletariat model numbers that correspond with Japanese rubber manufacturer Yamamoto’s lines of neoprene rubber. The fact of the matter is you may be able to find a tri-wetsuit that’s not made from Yamamoto neoprene, but it wouldn’t be easy. These ubiquitously used materials are pervasive within the majority of triathlon wetsuits found in today’s market and if you’re a triathlete you’ve more than likely heard the name and numbers thrown about alongside that sleek new wetsuit you’ve been eyeing.

You may wonder what the numbers mean and what significance, if any, they carry that makes these levels of neoprene best suited for triathlon wetsuits?

Yamamoto began producing wetsuit material in 1961 and have grown with the sport of triathlon ever since Dan Empfield’s pioneering work marrying the garment with the sport. Yamamoto’s rubber was chosen after the discovery of the unique properties that the rubber holds making it a perfect fit for triathlon specific garments. Yamamoto neoprene is a limestone sourced rubber and whose amazing properties include:

  • Nitrogen gas blown rubber that augments the insulation of the wetsuit, making it warmer
  • A 23% higher closed-cell structure than oil derived neoprene, making it more buoyant
  • Maximum elongation of over 480%, whereas human skin stretches only up to 60 to 70%
  • 95% water impermeable whereas oil derived standard is nearly 70%
With each model already possessing these impressive qualities, the underlying difference between each series is found within the increased flexibility and buoyancy gained by each subsequent model. It is understood that 39 is more flexible than 38 and 40 more-so than both, however where 39 represents an increase in durability over 38, 40 is considered to be more fragile than 39 and is thus used strategically throughout the suit to provide critical flexibility where needed without sacrificing the wetsuit’s durability.
Ironman-Arizona

Ironman Arizona Race Tips

It’s almost here. Ironman Arizona.

After all the hundreds of consumed GU’s and Gatorades, waking up feeling like a bulldozer hit you every morning for 4-12 months, and having your drive, courage and heart tested day in and day out, it’s time to see what it was all worth. Let me start by saying Arizona Ironman 2011 was my first, and I know what everyone has gone through with training. I’ve had the days when I’ve collapsed in tears on runs wondering how I was going to piece it all together come ray day, absolutely terrified of failing. It probably didn’t help I was only 22 years old and felt a little bit over my head. However, the fear is what fueled my training, and ignited my hunger to eat this race alive. With all of this said, there’s a few tips I could have used, and want to share some golden advice so you too can have the race of your life. I’d also like to note that this is what worked for me, and by no means should anyone think these tips are the only way to go.

Pre-Race Week

Let’s start by the week leading up to the race, because I’m going to bank on the fact that anyone reading this followed their training regimen semi-closely. Emphasis on the semi. THE WAY YOU TREAT YOUR BODY THE WEEK LEADING UP TO IRONMAN CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR RACE. Why did I put that entire sentence in caps? Because you’re already at a deficit prior to your race if you haven’t been prepping your body properly this week. What do I mean by prepping? Slow down! Nothing you try to throw in last-minute with training 10 days leading up to the race is going to benefit you. As far as working out, my pre-race week taper looked like this:

Monday= Easy 5 mile run, Stretched like crazy

Tuesday= Easy 20 mile ride, Stretched like crazy

Wednesday= Easy 2,000 meter swim, couple mile jog, Stretched like crazy

Thursday= Easy swim, 30 minute VERY EASY ride, Stretched like crazy

Friday= Walked/ Stretched like crazy

Saturday= 15 minute VERY VERY LITE jog, walked, Stretched like crazy

(I didn’t do the pre-race swim which you can opt to do Saturday, didn’t want to risk catching something from the water)

Sunday= RACE!

Take note I stretched every single day. To some, you may think this was not enough. It worked perfectly for me. You’ll be going crazy this week. You’ll feel like crap. Your body will be confused wondering why all of a sudden you’re not working out for 5 hours at time, and you’ll probably feel the most restless you’ve ever felt in your life. It’s OKAY! Remind yourself how crucial it is that your repairing your muscle fibers and preparing for one of the biggest days of your life.

Onto the eating part. Do it. A LOT. But not just anything. I’m 5’6, 135 pounds. I ramped my calorie intake up to about 3,000 to 4,000 calories the 4 days leading up to the race. Yes, four. Carb loading is not effective enough one day prior to race day. You’ll read different advice on this. Some say it’s not necessary to up your carb load due to you tapping into a different reserve store in your body. Because you’re racing at a lower energy level during an Ironman, you’re using much more of your fat stores as compared to solely tapping into your glycogen stores. Meaning, some will argue it’s not necessary to pack the calories on prior to race day because the process for utilizing fat as energy is much more complicated and slower. What am I getting at with this? Well, reflect on your hardest training days. The days where I simply didn’t eat enough prior to the days before my bricks, I bonked. Whatever works for you. I sweat close to (in my opinion) what a man does, and thus felt the need to eat. And I’m glad I did. I ate a lot of veggie/protein/pasta packed meals. I also started adding additional salt to my diet 3 days leading up. Two salt stick tablets a day prior to race day, as well as a gallon of water a day. I treated my body like a queen. Slept 7-9 hours a night.

To recap: Rest, don’t throw in crazy workouts, drink water like a mad man, eat healthy, protein packed meals, and stretch like crazy. And by god don’t eat at some crazy new eclectic restaurant you discovered down the street from your hotel the night before the race. That’s just dumb, and you’re asking for it. Eat what you’ve eaten the past 9 months before your hard workouts.

Race Nutrition

Prior to telling you my magical combination of food, I’d like to again, reiterate that this is what worked for me. All of our bodies will respond differently..

I didn’t figure out what Hammer Perpetuem was until 6 weeks out from my race. Wish I would’ve known about it earlier. Who knew that you didn’t have to jam 5 Cliff Bars, 7 GUs, and a plethora of fruit down to get all of your calories in?! Liquid calories are the two key words here. The quickest way your body is going to metabolize the necessary amount of nutrition is through a liquid/powder blend. This powder is a blend of almost everything your body will need:

Here’s what my race day nutrition looked like:

Pre Race Morning: 2 Oatmeal Packets with 1 banana, 20 ounces of water, 10 ounces Gatorade, 1 GU, 2 Ibuprofen. I had the solids down by about 5:30 am (ish).

Swim:

Nada!

Bike:

Six 24 ounce bottles in total. I think at the end I had about 1/2 bottle left that I didn’t finish by the end of the bike.

Bottle #1: Purely Water

Bottle #2: Gatorade

Bottle #3: 2 1/2 to 3 scoops of Perpetuem

(Bottles 4, 5, and 6 were the same, and in my special needs bag approx. half way through). I made sure to start with water, and have my last feed bottle (Perpetuem) down by the high 90’s miles so I wouldn’t be too bloated. Bottom line, don’t get off the bike hungry, and don’t assume you can make up calories on the run.

In addition, 1 Cliff Builder Bar, 1 banana, couple of orange slices, 4 GUs, 1 Bag of GU Chomps, 3 Ibuprofens and 5 Salt Sticks. I stored these in the back of my tri jersey as well as in my bento box. I also used a rear hydration system by Xlab and had a bottle cage on the bike. Tip: I froze both of my feed bottles about a 1/3 of the way up with water the night before. I then added the Perpetuem powder on top race morning for the bike bottle. You will have access to your bike race morning (you have to drop it off in transition the day before), but not your special needs bags. The powder isn’t too tasty lukewarm, so it’s smart to half freeze the bottle and add the water later on. Another note, also may be smart to bring a cover for your bike, as it will be outside all night in transition and subject to any elements. I saw people wrapping their bikes with plastic protectors or anything they could find to cover up their brakes and components.

Hydration set up under my seat

This is a cost-effective option for a hydration system. It can however be a bit difficult getting your bottles in and out of the cages, as they’re a bit stiff. A more convenient option in my opinion, is the Speedfil Hydration System. Below is a quick video on the system.


Remember, every 15 minutes you should be doing something. Whether it’s eating, drinking, or taking a salt stick, you have to keep a steady intake going. If this means setting a timer to go off every 15 minutes on your watch, then do that if you can’t remember to steadily be drinking and eating. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget about fueling.

Run

The idea here is to get off the bike feeling fairly full. If you’re getting off the bike hungry or thirsty, you’re in trouble. You’ll also find that once you get to about mile 10, you’re gonna get nauseous at the sight of GU’s. At least I did. I probably only ate about 3 Gus, some Power Bar Gel Blasts, a 1/2 of a nutrition bar, and some orange slices. I ate a few salt sticks during the run and also carried a couple Tums. I was sipping on some type of fluid every 10 to 15 minutes. I also gave into the Coca Cola at about mile 17, which was incredibly hard not to do earlier! My advice, keep eating small stuff lightly. Keep some kind of a sugar/salt intake going. If you planned your bike nutrition right, you really shouldn’t need to be taking in much. Just remember again, just as you did on the bike, do something every 15 minutes. There will be chicken broth offered later at the aid stations (towards 5pm) for those on the course a little bit later which can taste and work magic with its high salt content. You will find an aid station just about at every mile or so which I found myself slowly doing a shuffle through while eating. It’s okay to walk a bit to get your nutrition down!

The Course

Let’s start with the swim. Throw what anyone told you out the window right now. Unless you’re a pro, and starting your swim 15 minutes prior to everyone else, the water will never smooth out. When you go to get in the water, don’t wait until the last minute to jump in. I know it’s cold, but it’s important to 1. Not get stuck directly in the middle (or far back for that matter) and 2. Not get stuck near the wall. You’ll see a wall to your right. Stay away from it. Swimming is my strength and I moved to the front. I somehow still managed to have someone swimming over my back while getting kicked from the front in the meantime. All the thrashing for the first 500 yards or so is a bit unavoidable. Simply remember to just stay calm. It’s the shortest leg and will be over before you know it. I’d say your best bet is to stay to the mid-left away from the wall. The two shots below are a snap-shot of what the swim start will look like. The second photo is a much scarier one, and certainly from my perspective, a far better depiction. Wetsuits are a necessity.

Some words of advice:

Look up, often. Watch where you’re going. If you don’t, one or all of three things will happen: 1. Another irritated swimmer will give you a nice, hard jab. 2. You’ll smack your head right into a kayak or two. 3. You’ll add-on additional minutes/yardage. Learn how to spot.

When you go to get out, the stairs are pretty steep. Don’t be tough/guy, tough/woman and try to lift yourself out of the stairs. Let the volunteers lift you up so you don’t eat it and hurt yourself. They’ll literally carry you up the stairs. You’ll be so dizzy from being horizontal for so long that it’ll take you a minute to gain balance anyways. After allowing the wonderful volunteers to get you in and out of transition quickly, while putting your shoes on for you (yes, they literally do everything for you in the tent), let them lather you up with sunscreen as well. There’s a pack of 5 or 6 people ready to glob sunscreen all over you after leaving the transition tent. Very smart idea. Below is video of the swim exit. Narrated by my proud Mother. Take note of the vertical steepness. Below the swim exit video is a quick video to give you an idea of what transition looks like.

Bike! You have three loops as I’m sure you’ve already read up on. It’s not hilly. The most you have to worry about is a false flat up Beeline Highway. The biggest issue with this course tends to be the wind, as it was the year I did it. Hopefully, the wind will be at your back while going up Beeline. Regardless, I ended up being in aero position for about 95 of those miles. I opted to use an ISM Adamo Saddle, which served wonders, as it is designed for pressure-relief in aero postion.

If you don’t have aero bars on your bike for this race yet, I would highly suggest it as most of the course is flat. Below is the course outline for the bike.

The “climb” up Beeline Highway is approximately 10 miles. It really is more of a false flat. If you did any, and I mean any, hill training you should be fine. I’d say being mentally prepared to get through hours of a head wind is much more important. In my opinion, wind can be far more defeating than climbing a hill. Drafting is not legal, but there were tons of people doing so last year, for fear of literally being blown over. The wind will most likely heavily pick up on your third lap. Stay calm, and don’t try to ruin yourself on the bike. I thought having three laps was going to feel like murder, when in reality, it couldn’t have been better. You know exactly what to expect come lap 2, where to push, where not to push, you get to see your family quite a bit (awesome), and have a better time-lapse for your nutrition. If I remember correctly, your special needs bag on the bike will come at about mile 57 or so. Take time to use the bathroom! I got off my bike half way through to use the facilities. This is also why it’s a smart idea to wear a tri top and tri short as opposed to a trisuit on a race like this. Much more easy to get off. There are porta-potties all over the bike course. Just please take note to be careful when veering off the road to do so. Signal your way over. I did see a crash with this situation last year.

Run (The Best for Last)

Again, 3 laps of beauty around Tempe Town Lake.

I’d like to note that a good 20 plus of the marathon miles are on cement. Ouch. I found myself jumping on over to any patch of dirt or even asphalt I could find because my body didn’t take well to the pounding on the cement. Don’t try to use your race flats on this course. A stability trainer worked perfectly for me. Also keep in mind you’ll have your special needs bag at about mile 11 or so. The special needs bags are the bags you yourself put belongings in that you’ll need on the course. You’ll get one on the bike almost half way through, and you’ll have one on the run as well. I packed some more nutrition, some warmer clothing just in case, and a change of socks in the event that my feet got wet. Anything you think you just might need throw in there. They’re fairly large, and the volunteers are INCREDIBLY good about organizing and getting your bags quickly. The volunteers on the course are unlike anything you’ve ever seen at any race. Every step of the way they’re there to help you while cheering you on and making you feel like a million bucks. I ended up finishing at about 6:30 or so and only was in the dark for a couple miles. I could barely see during these couple miles. If you end up running in the dark, the course states you must use the glow sticks they provide. I don’t think it’s enough light personally. I’d say bring some other type of light because it really was hard to see, and you’re going to be pretty delirious at that point. Unless of course you’re Chrissie Wellington..and have more than enough light to see your way through.

This is your day. Soak up every second, and trust in the months of training you’ve done. Come prepared and don’t forget why you’re doing this in the first place. To see the finish. It’s everything you’ve dreamed of. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to thank your loved ones who’ve supported you day in and day out throughout it all. At the end of your race, I’m sure they’ll tell you as well that they felt like they did an Ironman too after cheering you on all day.

Me with my trophie. 2nd Place WooHoo!


Wetsuit Fitting Diagram

Do I Need a Wetsuit?

A common question among first time triathletes is, “Do I need a triathlon wetsuit?” Wetsuits are almost always recommended in triathlons, but I’m writing this from the perspective of necessity.

This is a big concern because it’s often a hefty monetary investment, beating out the entry fee for a first timer. You can usually borrow a friend’s bike, or use your own hybrid/mountain/beater, but wetsuits are a different story because the fit is particular to a person’s body.

So do you need a wetsuit?

Wetsuit Fitting Diagram

I know it's not the most appropriate image for the article, but hey I thought it was helpful.

It depends.

Off the bat, when the water temperature is warm enough, wetsuits can be banned outright by the race, or permissible but rendering the athlete ineligible for awards.   If you’ve signed up for a race that falls under this instance, you won’t need one.

The USA Triathlon (USAT) rules on this point:

  • If the water is 78 degrees or lower, you can wear wetsuits without any issues.
  • But if the water is 78.1 – 83.9 degrees, competitors may wear wetsuits but will not be eligible for awards.
  • If the water temperature is 84 degrees or above, wetsuits are banned outright.

The World Triathlon Corporation (WTC/Ironman) rules on this point:

  • If the water is 76.1F degrees  or below, wetsuits are allowed without issues.
  • If the water is 76.1 – 83.9 degrees, competitors may wear wetsuits, but will not be eligible for awards.
  • If the water temperature is 84 degrees or above, wetsuits are banned outright.

For races where wetsuits are allowed (meaning the water temperature is on the cooler side), there are a few factors to consider.  Let’s get started.

Is it a pool swim?

If yes, there’s no need.  Have a good race!

No?

Is it an ocean swim?

If yes, then a wetsuit is recommended.   Waves and currents make ocean swimming challenging, especially for the more casual swimmer.  Having a wetsuit helps with buoyancy, making it easier to stay afloat, and also helps  you swim faster.  It’s a safety net of sorts, as the wetsuit can do quite a bit of work for you.  But if you’re a life long swimmer, and it’s a badge of pride to swim only with a jammer or bathing suit, perhaps this doesn’t apply. There is no doubt that a wetsuit will still provide benefits even if you don’t really need it to finish the race.

Not an ocean swim?

Is it a Lake swim?

If yes, a wetsuit is generally still recommended for the benefits of buoyancy as noted above.  But, the need here isn’t as dramatic.  Calm lake swims in bearable waters is something you may already do every summer.  Enjoy.  Same analysis for the life long swimmer as noted above. A wetsuit will provide benefits even if you are a great swimmer.

But what if the water is super cold?

Then yes, it’s recommended, but you might be able to abate the cold by also using a neoprene swim cap under your colored race swim cap provided to you.  This is where those life long swimmers would fall into. For all categories of people you should probably get a suit to help combat the cold.

Do you need all the help you can get?

A young lady I helped in the store told me, “I need all the help I can get.”  She blurted this statement as part of a logical assessment of her newbie abilities after I explained to her the different attributes and levels of suits we carry.  She ended up going with a Zoot Women’s Prophet that was on sale, fitting into her budget.   If you, like her, are not very confident in your swimming abilities and have heard yourself saying this, then you will take solace in having a wetsuit for the race.

It doesn’t have to be a high-end wetsuit, but practically any of the popular swim/triathlon wetsuits would give you the help you’ll need. I won’t argue the fact that a more expensive wetsuit generally offer more benefits. However I will say that there are so many choices out there that sometimes the most expensive option isn’t the best option for you.

So after going through this exercise, you may have concluded that a wetsuit is something you need.

I’ve compiled a few wetsuit resources along with actual products for your research:

Best of luck to you on your search for a triathlon wetsuit.

What to Wear Under a Triathlon Wetsuit

The question of, “What am I supposed to be wearing underneath my tri wetsuit?” is undoubtedly the most asked in the shop. The idea of wearing clothing underneath neoprene,  seems odd to many first-time triathletes. In reality, you can’t tell a difference underneath your wetsuit, and will save quite a bit of time by swimming in what you will be racing in. Essentially you wear whatever it is you’ll be competing in underneath. Often times, it’s the same clothing that you’ve been training ever so hard in over the course of the past months/weeks. With that said, triathletes have a couple of options as to what they choose to wear underneath their tri wetsuit. There’s two main types of race apparel: a trisuit, or a top with tri shorts.

Option 1:

Why a trisuit?

Racing in a one-piece can certainly be convenient. You’re simply wearing one article of clothing, not two, and thus don’t have to really worry about your shirt riding up and revealing anything not wanting to be revealed (muffins perhaps?) Most trisuits also have a zipper as well as  built-in-bra for additional support. Some trisuits, depending on the brand, have side or back pockets as well, which are perfect for storing those gu’s. Negatives? Certainly, if you have to use the restroom during your race. I recommend one-pieces to those participating in shorter distances such as sprints, or olympics. It is not particularly ideal to get out of this puppy when you’re in a rush to use the facilities during a longer race.

Option 2:

Why a two piece?

I find more athletes tend to gravitate towards wearing a triathlon top and triathlon short as separates. This could be that people are simply a bit weary of the one-piece, and in many cases have never seen one before. Wearing separates offers the ease of potentially more pockets for storing your goodies. Some tops are more of a singlet style with zip up in the front (like the one pictured), whereas some are a racerback style. When wearing two pieces, you have the option of changing up styles, coloring and brands. For example, if you like the feeling of a looser fitting top, and a short that’s a particular length, (most range from 4″ to 8″ for women) wearing two pieces offers a bit more variability. This option tends to be the better choice for the longer distances.

Other options:

Some athletes choose to wear no top under their wetsuit for the swim (or in a woman’s case, just her sport bra) and then put on their top once they reach transition. This can be a difficult task to do, as you will be wet and will be adding additional time to your race.  There have been those to wear a one-piece bathing suit underneath their wetsuit (Speedos or jammers in the case of men) underneath their wetsuit and do their race in just that. This is an option, although not the most comfortable.

For the triathlons where the swim portion takes place in a pool, the trisuit may be the better option, as a loose-fitting top could easily create drag. Most triathlon apparel is composed of a lycra blend, meaning it’s quick to dry, and barely noticeable while racing. If you’re wondering what to use for strictly training purposes, most simply wear their swim suits or, for men, jammers.

Any of these options will work,  it depends upon what you’re more comfortable wearing. The cardinal rule is to race in what you’ve been training in. Choosing to wear new race apparel can lead to the awful surprise of new-found seams and possible chaffing.

These are the variations of questions that I get.
What do I wear in a triathlon?
What do I wear under my wetsuit?
What do I wear under my tri wetsuit?

Helix Wetsuit Review

The Helix. Crazy. Fast.

Finally, a high-end wetsuit designed for an elite level athlete. The Helix wetsuit is designed for athletes who understand that certain wetsuits may increase your buoyancy to the point where the suit counteracts a strong swimmer’s stroke, forcing them to float too high in the water, interrupting a memorized motion that’s been practiced and refined for years. Blue Seventy’s top-tier design keeps athletes neutrally buoyant while strategically placed buoyancy panels deliver float in all the right areas.

In addition to a high-performance body position the Helix offers a rare and dangerously thin 1mm thickness in both the shoulders and arms, giving the athlete serious range of motion but also allows for a greater “feel” of the water. This means that the athlete is more aware of their arm position, encouraging better technique and a more efficient overall stroke.

This is a great thing if you’re a serious swimmer looking for a serious suit, but for the serious triathlete the Helix not only offers full graduated compression in the legs of the suit, improving blood flow; the back of the knee is composed of special flex panels to keep your transition bound legs pumping up the beach without added resistance.

The reverse zip design is yet another advanced attribute that is designed for a more masterful athlete. What it means for you:

  • Faster suit exit
  • Can’t be pulled down by other swimmers
  • Thinner neck results in greater comfort and improved sighting

This is far and away the Helix’s greatest design triumph and tragedy. Honesty, I can’t zip it without help, period, which is where for me the suit looses some of it’s luster. If you’re a strong swimmer, advanced triathlete or swim stroke nerd then the Helix will be the fastest suit you’ve ever worn or will ever wear and if you’re not, you have a suit to look forward to wearing when all that training and coaching pays off.

Why Do Swimskins Work?

http://www.onetri.com/torque-swimskin-mens-short-john-2011-p-4841.html

Wearing a wetsuit for the added buoyancy gain and inherent thermal protection certainly isn’t cheating and for many athletes it can be an absolutely necessity, but at a certain level of racing the competitive advantage gained from wearing a wetsuit is banned. Triathlon’s pinnacle race distance, the Ironman, and its respective championship race, Kona, have witnessed the rise of a new form of swimming garment; the swimskin.

Bred out of the need for a hydrodynamic suit that adheres to the guidelines from the scrabble list of acronymic governing bodies: USAT, WTC, and FINA, the swimskin has evolved into a textile based solution for elite open water swimmers looking to always be faster than the rest of the pack and to gain a competitive edge against other racers. TYR would say that you’re only as fast as your suit will let you be.TYR Torque Pro

Enter the Torque Pro swimskin.

This swimskin is not only going to give you a competitive hydrodynamic edge in the water during the elite races, but for shorter, mid-temperature and high surf-condition races, you’ll be less buoyant through the break, actually making you faster out to the first buoy since you’ll be able to leverage your bodyweight in a more efficient manner against the waves. I’d say for any sprint race or elite IM athlete, these new TYR swimskins are exactly the edge that you need to get the initial lead on the competition and keep them in your rear sights during the swim.

Louis Garneau Tri-Lite Bike Shoes

Louis Garneau Tri Lite Bike Shoe

The Louis Garneau Tri-Lite Cycling Shoe

Louis Garneau makes several different triathlon cycling shoes, including the tri lite, which is a mid to higher end shoe.

I updated to the Louis Garneau Tri-Lite last year from a generic regular bike shoe I bought at a big chain store when I first got started in cycling a few years before.   After a bit of installation to line up the cleats as I had them, I went on the bike for a ride and immediately felt the difference.  This was the first thing I bought with carbon for biking.

By far, one of my favorite features on this shoe is the carbon composite sole.  Because it’s stiffer than the last shoe, the power transfer is significantly more efficient, and my feet are much more comfortable when riding.  These shoes feel much cooler, as Louis Garneau’s Tri-Lites have vented soles to help your feet dry from the swim.

The shoe weighs 226 grams.

Picture of the tri-lite.  Notice how it has one main reversed strap on the upper.

The carbon sole with vent.

Also a great plus about these shoes is the interchangeable sole insert.  Red for colder days, and blue for the warmer ones.

I’ve worn these without socks for sometime now, and I rarely wear my other cycling shoes, which I’ve relegated to spin class.

Check out the tri-lite and other tri shoes at OneTri.com.

2x-EliteTopPerform-1l

2XU Perform Compression

What is 2XU Perform Compression?
2XU has created the first weapon in the arsenal of compression wear to utilize a combination of 50/70 denier fabric in conjunction with the properties found in a circular knit garment, resulting in superior fit, breathability and race-day performance gains. The Perform from 2XU doesn’t simply compress to impress but rather applies an ideal amount of pressure at the body’s extremities so that the levels of graduated mmHg (millimeters of mercury) enhances a healthy body’s circulatory system while augmenting muscle position and response, all without sacrificing range of motion.
Why Perform?
2XU created these race ready and high intensity training garments to assist athletes in four specific ways.
  • The improvement in a healthy circulatory system results in faster warm-up times, working with your body to actually increase the venous return to the heart and lymph to the lymph nodes.
  • Anatomically correct compression holds muscles, minimizing vibration, reducing the level of fatigue resulting from impact and exertion.
  • Perform aids the body’s natural sense of proprioception by stimulating nerve receptors in the limbs, giving greater feedback and response as to where various body parts/limbs are at any given time.
  • The PWX fabric used in the construction of Perform garments utilize a graduated compressive design and a circular knit process which naturally regulates the body’s tempurature, providing better cooling and warmth regardless of region or climate.

PXR Fabric:
Within each line of PXR compression garments 2XU has made use of one of three, or a combination of, their proprietary PWX fabric. This fabric, constructed from superior medical grade circular knit Invista Sport Lycra, has 4 times the durability when compared to elastane found in other garments. In addition to the PWX fabric’s durability 2XU utilizes 50 and 70 Denier Lycra in the construction of it’s Perform garments, where competitors use 30/40 Denier, representing a thicker yarn that delivers a stronger compressive effect across all PWX garments. The Perform garments utilize the PWX FLEX fabric whose elastomeric yarns, when wet from sweat, separate from each other, resulting in increased flexibility and breathability (moisture/vapor transmission). Perform is designed to offer the ideal amount of compression and range of motion for competition and training.

2x_QuadSleeve_1l

New 2XU Compression Quad Sleeve (Perform)

New 2XU Compression Quad Sleeve (Perform)

As part of the new “PXR” 2XU Compression line, the 2XU Compression Quad Sleeve (Perform) is unisex, versatile, and great for active use to promote the plethora of compression benefits during activity.

Constructed with 2XU’s new fabric, PWX – POWER, WEIGHT, FLEX – this compression piece is arguably a favorite among triathletes because of the ability to isolate a single muscle group that’s prone to soreness during and post activity.   This isolation helps you increase overall blood flow to the area and reduce muscle oscillation.

2XU Compression is packaged and labeled to easily identify its function for athletic use.  Here, the P stands for Perform, or active use.

A sizing chart behind the package helps the shopper pick up the correct 2Xu Compression Quad Sleeve size.

For men, a vote for this product over the 2XU Perform Compression Short has merit when it comes to comfort, as it’s not always necessary to have everything up to your waist compressed.

What are the benefits compression for active use?  Off the bat, here’s two:

Reduced Damage

2XU Compression features muscle containment properties which reduce muscle damage during exercise. By reducing muscle damage, 2XU Compression garments can minimize swelling post exercise and can significantly reduce the severity and duration of exercise induced muscle injury and soreness such as Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

Increased Performance
During exercise, your muscles are exposed to vibration. This major cause of muscle fatigue, known as muscle oscillation can be reduced when wearing 2XU Compression garments. This leads to improved muscle endurance, strength, power output and lower heart rate for greater performance.

Still curious about the benefits of compression?  See: What is 2XU Compression?

2x-2XURecovery-1l

2XU Refresh Compression for Recovery

What is Refresh?
Swelling, muscle degradation, soreness. Every athlete has experienced each of these symptoms and to vary degrees based on each individuals unique level of exertion and natural recovery cycle. The Refresh compression garments from 2XU separate themselves from the already impressive Perform and Xform garments who use 50/70 Denier Lycra in their construction by utilizing a 150 Denier circular knit fabric to provide the highest form of compressive power and stability found in the sports industry. This rigidity augments your natural circulatory flow, enhancing the body’s natural recovery abilities all the while providing the correct level of compression so that the garment may be worn comfortably over prolonged periods of time.

Why Refresh?

Have you every asked your self: What is the best recovery tights? or What is the best recovery socks? From my experience and based on what I’ve read I think 2XU Refresh products should rank well because they seem to put thought and effort into creating their products.
According to 2XU and studies by the Australian Institute of Sport, in approximately 1 hour of wearing a Refresh garment:
  • A significant decrease in and clearing of blood lactate
  • Decrease in exercise-related swelling/blood pooling
  • Decreased perception of muscle soreness.

Simply stated, Refresh gets you back training in better shape with less muscle fatigue. Research has shown that the average femoral vein blood flow may be increased to as much as 138.4% base line when a compression garment has graduated pressure ratings of 18mmHg at the ankles and 8mmHg at the thigh. The Refresh line of recovery garments delivers this level of pressure, meant for a healthy circulatory system, instead of the highest level of pressure found in medical garments, which may inhibit blood flow in a normally healthy athlete, removing any perceived or substantial recovery benefit. The Refresh by 2XU is a purposeful engineered garment and is designed to apply consistent, graduated pressure with the highest quality and longest lasting construction. After wearing Refresh recovery garments it is clear that not every compression garment has been created equal.

PXR Fabric:
Within each line of PXR compression garments 2XU has made use of one of three, or a combination of, their proprietary PWX fabric. This fabric, constructed from superior medical grade circular knit Invista Sport Lycra, has 4 times the durability when compared to elastane found in other garments. Competitor’s fabrics, built from Nylon or elastane yarn may feel “tight” after a first use, however over time these garments struggle to maintain previous adequate levels of pressure, making them a poor investment for the savvy athlete. Refresh’s 150 Denier PWX Power construction results in a compressive garment that will continue to provide recovery benefits long after similar competitor garments have lost their elasticity, lending to 2XU’s trademark, “It’s In Our Fabric”.
If you want to find out a lot more about 2XU compression click here: New 2XU Compression PXR
To buy 2XU PXR compression go here: 2XU PXR Compression
To buy 2XU Refresh specific compression visit here: 2XU Refresh Compression
To learn more about the research done on 2XU products visit here: 2XU Compression Research
Blue Seventy Axis Wetsuit

Blue Seventy Axis Review


Oh swimming. With 85% of triathletes coming from a running, cycling, or other background, it’s no wonder so many people fear this leg of the race the most. If  swimming isn’t your strength, Blue Seventy has an answer. The Axis. Blue Seventy has recognized the fact that there’s different needs for different types of swimmers. Some athletes have denser leg compositions due to established thigh muscles and dense calves. Many of these swimmers tend to drop their lower half in the water. Thus, the Axis was innovated with balanced buoyancy zones. This suit in particular focuses higher buoyancy in the hips, thighs and lower legs. This helps to elevate the lower body, creating a more streamlined position in the water, and more efficient stroke for the swimmer.

The Blue Seventy Axis was also designed with Femme Fit, a design unique for women, designed by blue seventy. This fit is designed with a woman’s shapes, curves and all skill levels taken into mind. There should never be a one-cut fits all wetsuit on the market. Clearly, a woman’s body is shaped differently, and wetsuits should reflect this. Here are the differences:

  • Lowered neckline
  • Extended zipper length to accommodate wider hips, and in aiding exiting and entering suit
  • Slimmer, 1.5mm thick arms to allow for higher stroke cadence
  • Re-design of suit in bust and torso area (women tend to have shorter torsos)
  • A wider range of sizes to choose from (7 to be exact) from XS to Large Athena
  • 360-flex reach panels to create supreme flexibility and arm maneuverability

With all of this said, I hear over and over within wetsuit sales, “I need all the help I can get in the water and I’m not a strong swimmer. Which wetsuit do you recommend?”

The Axis it is.

2xucompression

New 2XU Compression – Perform, Xform, and Recover

Introduction to 2XU


Based in Melbourne, Australia, the philosophy of 2XU has been to promote human performance through competition and training.  Making a name for itself by crafting wetsuits, compression, and athletic apparel, their functional quality and cool factor is uncompromisingly delivered as an end product.

Through the years, they’ve partnered with heavyweights such as the Australian Institute of Sports and other research scientists, leading 2XU to industry recognition, and most recently becoming the official compression partner of the Ironman brand.

Introduction to Compression

With roots in medicine, compression apparel has found application in sports and competition, aiding athletes to perform better and recover faster.

2XU has redefined the compression category by sourcing and working with the right fabric for varying stages of athletic performance.  2XU’s latest fabric – PWX – which stands for Power, Weight, and Flex, offers different denier gauged fabric, providing different levels of mmHg to narrowly tailor toward the specific needs of an athlete.  This has been the design philosophy of the new 2XU compression, making it one of the unique product  in the industry.

How 2XU Compression Works:

The design of 2XU’s compression is graduated – it’s more compressive at the extremities to encourage and enhance venous return, pushing de-oxygenated blood back to the heart while also allowing the arteries to relax to deliver oxygenated blood to improve overall circulation.

The Benefits of 2XU Compression:

  • Increased blood circulation – sustained muscle performance, less fatigue, and faster recovery.
  • Muscle containment – reduced muscle vibration, improved muscle alignment for increased power.
  • Reduced effects of delayed onset muscle soreness.
  • Improved thermal regulation – better cooling and warming in varied climates

The Primary uses of 2XU Compression:

  • Active wear – warming up, training and racing
  • Recovery – post workout
  • Destination races – Prevention of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and pooling of blood in feet on air travel.
  • Sleeping – Increases circulation for improved muscle repair and faster recovery
  • At high altitude – to help combat less oxygen
  • Rehabilitation from injury or surgery

Introduction to P,X, and R


Perform (Active)

Designed for active use, this category focuses on dampening muscle oscillation during performance.  This unique fabric offers great breath-ability, moisture management, and flexibility to keep the wearer comfortable and focused on performance.

2XU Calf Guard – Perform

Xform (Active and Refresh)

Combining the fabrics from both Active and Refresh, XFORM is powerful and breathable, providing support to dampen muscles oscillation, and more efficient delivery of oxygenated blood to fatigued muscles.

2XU Long Sleeve Compression Top

2XU Long Sleeve Compressoin Top – Xform

Refresh (Pure Recovery)

Constructed with high denier fabric, the Refresh category is the gold standard for compression apparel, as the recovery phase is where its athletic use began.  The application is vast, as it can be used post workout, during long travel (to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis), during sleep to maximize muscle repair and recovery, and rehabilitation from injury or surgery.

2XU Compression Recovery Tight – Refresh

2XU currently offers a full range of compression apparel with its new revolutionary fabric to include arm sleeves, cycling bibs, compression shorts, and knickers as well.  You can find these and more on OneTri.com’s 2XU Compression homepage.