Tag Archives: featured

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:

  • An efficient stride can improve your time and reduce fatigue
  • Lightweight design provides support without weighing your feet down
  • Insoles that are specific to your shoe, specific to your activity, and specific to your feet
  • Truly an athletic insole with anti-microbial, moisture wicking, and air circulating features
  • Superfeet provides top quality foot support and optimum comfort.

Info on Superfeet Insoles for Triathletes

* This content is pulled from the One Tri website and newsletters with permission. I wanted to share it on this site to have a consolidated resource. Just wanted to give credit where credit is due.

Beginner Triathlon Transition Tips

Triathlon Transition Area

Your fingers scrape against dense sand, a startling and unfamiliar texture, after having swum across a bottomless and vast expanse for what seemed an eternity. As you near the end of your first triathlon swim course the roar of a crowd cheering penetrates the sloshing water and the guff of your hardened rhythmic breathing and your adrenaline spikes. The next few seconds become an overwhelming blur as your body wills itself through sand, sound and silhouettes towards the transition area, all the while your mind focusing on one question. What happens next?

The transition area is at best controlled chaos. You’re in race limbo, trapped within a fixed space where you must prepare yourself for the next stage of your journey, and all the while the omnipresent race clock continues to tick. Upon entering this area, triathletes, no matter their age, sex or elite status are immediately sorted into one of two categories. Prepared and unprepared.

This is a guide for beginner triathletes who want to better prepare themselves for triathlon transitions.

Swim to Bike – Transition One (T1)

Before you arrive to the course you should be practicing taking off your wetsuit. Don’t be that person searching for the pull zip while running through the transition chute. Instead take the time before your race to practice running while finding your wetsuit zipper and stripping it down to your hips. Run, don’t walk, out of the water while immediately taking off your cap and goggles.  When you do pull your arms through your suit pull your cap and goggles through too, lodging them into the arm of the wetsuit. This helps to keep the clutter of your own transition area to a minimum and will ensure that you don’t forget them when you’re packing up after your race.

Practice taking your wetsuit off beforehand!

Before your race you should have already mastered the art of taking off a wetsuit as to avoid the time-costly and comical transition wetsuit wiggle. And honestly it just takes a few tries to get it down pat.

How to arrange your transition area:

Transition Area Setup

Transition Mat Setup

  • Choose a spot as close to the bike exit as possible
  • Set bike equipment in front of your run equipment so that it is quickly accessible.
  • If your swim exit took you through sand you may want to have a tiny bucket or water bottle available to quickly rinse your feet of sand and pebbles
  • Never eat or drink while in transition. Attach all nutrition to your bike (taping it to the tube or inside a bento box). There will be plenty of opportunities to eat and drink while cycling!
  • Put your bike helmet on first! You should mount your helmet between your aerobars or on your handlebars making it easily accessible and immediately visible. You must have your helmet on and clipped before having any interaction with your bike otherwise you will suffer a penalty.
  • Run your bike to the mount line and mount your bike in one of 3 ways.
  1. Running bike mount – This is the fastest and most difficult mounting technique. With your shoes already clipped into the bike’s pedals, the triathlete runs alongside the bike and jumps onto the saddle while taking a few pedal strokes to gain speed and stability before slipping his/her feet into their shoes. 
  2. Push-start mount – Somewhat fast. With your shoes once again already clipped into the pedals, stand next to the bike with one foot on the pedal pushing off with the other foot before pedaling away and slipping your feet into your shoes.
  3. Over the bike standing mount – This is the slowest and most common form of mounting your bike. Chances are this is how you start off every training ride and is the way that most of us have gone about mounting our bike since our first ride. There’s nothing wrong with this technique, you’re just losing time putting on your shoes and beginning from a static state instead of doing all of this while gaining momentum and distance using either of the above techniques.

Bike to Run – Transition 2 (T2)

Some Triathlons will mark exits in chalk

When approaching the end of the bike course, shift to a higher gear and spin at a higher cadence to help prepare your legs for the run. Remember to keep your helmet on and clipped at all times until your bike is completely racked to avoid a penalty! After racking your bike, unclip your helmet and put on your triathlon running shoes and race belt before grabbing any extra gels or equipment. When making your way to the run exit, put on any extra run gear instead of staying static at your transition-mat. Finally, shorten your stride until your legs loosen up from biking. It may take a mile or so but don’t worry, you’ll find that running groove in no time!

I hoped to answer some of the following questions in this post. Let me know if I missed something.
– What do I need for my transition area?
– How to set-up a transition area?
– What is a transition area?
– What is the best way to set-up my transition area?
– How do I set-up my transition area?

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 the least out-of-control of your surrounding environment in this leg, which can allow for the capability to put a nice damper on your time. Most triathlons take place in some kind of a body of open water, so assuming your pool skills will transfer right over isn’t the case, and often times, can be dangerous. There’s many tips that can be followed to keep yourself safe, and drop seconds to minutes on your swim. We spend tons of money on gadgets, wheels, aero-dynamic and light-weight everything to save seconds and minutes, so why not take the time to practice open-water techniques for the swim? Below are some triathlon swim tips.

Pool Swimming

Pool heaters, a line to follow, lanes to keep our flailing bodies in, and visibility as far down as the eye can see. What’s not to like about training in a pool? Well, it’s not a realistic representation of the race environment. Certainly, it’s great for things such as speed-work and interval training, but it needs to be used in conjunction with your open water training. We’re not required to lift our head up in a pool to see where we’re going, or to modify our breathing according to surprise waves smacking us over the head, and if we get tired, oh boy! …a nice wall or lane line to grab onto won’t be there. Certain aspects of oceans and lakes call for specific gear, technique, and safety measures. Train to increase your conditioning, practice being in the environment to get you mentally prepared for the elements.

Necessary Equipment

So you’ve been training in the pool and want to venture into a lake, river, or ocean swim. Where do you begin? Most people do fine with some swim goggles, some find that a wider-lens goggle allows them to spot better in the open water. Here’s an example:

Wetsuit? Or no triathlon wetsuit? You’ll find at your triathlon races, about 95% (depending on temperature) of triathletes will be in wetsuits. Your first idea about this is probably that they’re wearing them to keep warm. Swim purists are strictly against this notion of wearing neoprene to swim. I myself was one as well, until I saw friends who I was lapping in the pool beating me in the open water. Not gonna fly. Tri wetsuits will give you quite the advantage. Sure they’ll keep you warmer than not having one, but they’re designed to make you more buoyant and reduce your drag. This allows you to conserve power, thus saving you energy and making for a faster time. My advice: get one.

Chaffing. It’s painful and unnecessary, but has a strong likelihood of happening with your tri wetsuit if some kind of a lubricant is not used. The chaffing will most likely happen around the neck, but there’s a few areas we strongly recommend as well to put the lube. Below are the two options, BodyGlide and TRISlide.

TRISLIDE

Body Glide

Both will protect against chaffing, and also aid in getting the wetsuit off quickly. We suggest putting it around your ankles, wrists, and neck prior to putting on the wetsuit before training and races.

Now that you have the necessary gear, there’s a few things you should consider prior to your open water swim training. It’s best to be checking the swells and currents prior to when you’ll be swimming if you’ll be swimming in the ocean. In a recent race I did at the Camp Pendleton Sprint Tri, the starting wave did not take note of the strong current and swam an additional 200-500 yards at least. Those that caught on and realized they needed to start their swim further down to avoid fighting a current, were able to gain a few hundred yards (which equates to at least a 2-5 minute lead) HUGE.

For Your Safety..

If you’re not an experienced swimmer, trying to get past the waves (or break) will be almost impossible if it’s a large wave day, and incredibly dangerous. Check to see if there is a lifeguard on duty if possible, who will quickly notify you of any potential dangers such as undertows or rip currents. If you do have a higher anxiety about open water swimming, choosing a day when there’s greater visibility out in the water (usually on a sunnier day) is certainly a smart idea. If the ocean seems far too terrifying, I would highly recommend swimming in some kind of bay or lake if you can access one. There’s fewer possibilities of potential anxiety triggers, and will serve as a great way to segue you into unprotected open water swims. It’s incredibly important when you’re getting into any body of water to not go alone. You never know what’s going to happen in the water. As an example, a fellow friend of mine was swimming in the bay when an unsuspecting 10 foot wood oar split his head open from a boater. He luckily had friends to drive him to the hospital. With that said, there’s a reason fish swim in schools. So should you!

Specific Open Water Techniques for Racing

Where the heck do you put yourself in the start of the swim pack? Before you answer, consider this: Would you hop in the fast lane on a 5-lane freeway going 45 and expect to not get honked at, tail gated, or dirty looks? Probably not. The swim isn’t a good idea to do this either. Line up according to your ability. Fast swimmer? Jump to the front. Let’s just say if you’re swimming a sub 7 or sub 6 minute 500 yard time, you’d do fine at the front. Mediocre swimmer? Get to the middle. Consider this the equivalent of how people stagger themselves at 5k’s and marathon starts. It’s also smart to place yourself on the outskirts of the pack, not directly in the center. If swimming isn’t exactly your caveat, stay towards the back. You’ll thank yourself later. You will avoid unwanted kicks and elbows this way. Once you’ve figured out how to place yourself, let’s think about how you’re going to get yourself through the waves, or from the sand to the water. With a technique known as dolphin diving, getting through the shallower water and under the waves will save you time and energy (and maybe a few waves to the dome). Below you can find a perfect example of how to do this. I do not recommend doing this if you’re a beginner in very shallow water (let’s say, below the knees). Once you become more familiar with this type of diving, you can utilize it in shallower waters, but I wouldn’t recommend it until you get a better grasp. This method is often used in lake swims as well.

Once you’re past the waves or initial start of the swim, you’ll feel pretty crowded. In the majority of open water swims, the wave of people you start with will spread out within the first few minutes. The only race I’ve participated in that this is not the case is an Ironman. The Ironman Arizona swim will never throughout the 2.4 miles of swimming, spread out. Back to the point. Most races will. You’ll begin to feel synced with your stroke. However, it is IMPERATIVE you are looking up. This is what we call “spotting” in open water. Everyone will tell you differently on how often you should be raising your head to see where you are, but I say a good rule of thumb would be every 10-30 strokes, depending on how experienced with this you are. Most triathlons will have you swimming in some kind of twisted triangle or rectangle similar to the one pictured below:

There will be buoys marking the corners, which are what we’ll call your trackers. They’re huge and brightly colored. You need to make sure you’re staying in line with these trackers, by picking up your head to see where you’re going. The only reason you swim in a straight line in the pool is because of the fat solid black line you swim on top of to keep you in check. It’s a good idea to practice spotting in a pool, or at least practice in open water prior to racing. You can easily add on a few hundred yards or more depending on how long your swim is if you’re not spotting the buoys. You also might swim yourself into a nice kayak, which are often conveniently located right in the middle of the line of swimmers. I myself have smacked my head hard on one of these puppies and proceeded to blame it on the nice kayak volunteer for being in my way. Point being, look up. The example above is of a lake swim. Most ocean swims will have you swimming parallel to shore, which means you’ll have the waves at your back coming in. Body surfing these in and beginning to dolphin dive once it’s about waist deep can save you some precious time.

Key Points To Take Away…

  • Pools aren’t a substitute for open water
  • Get the necessary gear to make your life easier for open water swimming
  • DO NOT swim alone or at least tell someone on shore you’re swimming and to keep an eye out
  • Learn how to study your surroundings; know the currents and swells
  • Place yourself correctly at the start of the swim start in a triathlon
  • Learn what spotting and dolphin diving are and how to utilize them (know your swim course as well)
  • Enjoy it! Stay calm, and remember why you started it all in the first place

Further Guides to Help:

Sleeved Wetsuit or Sleeveless?

Choosing the Right Triathlon Wetsuit

Printable Triathlon Gear Checklist

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.

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.

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?

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

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.

Profile Design Aerodrink Base Bar

Profile Design Aerodrink Base Bar. Simple and basic, this new bracket by Profile Design is probably one of my favorite new products.

  With this new bracket, your aero drink mounts directly onto your base bar, freeing up space from your cockpit and brings it closer to your body.  For a lot of people, it makes it easier to drink from this new position.  This bracket is also a lot more secure, and reduces any excessive rattling, as it allows the bottle to “click-in” place.

The bracket is for use with Profile Design aero drink bottles.  To see more Profile Design products, check out their brand page.

Race Day Revo Review

Economical, budget minded, thrifty. Any way you word it the Louis Garneau Race Day Revo backpack gives access to top-tier features, found in other more expensive bags, while maintaining an entry-level price point.

The Race Day Revo all suited up and ready for business

You’ve seen the 10 gallon hat, now meet the 5 gallon bag

This transition bag, in this humble reviewer’s opinion, doesn’t strike an especially strong aesthetic chord with my discerning eye for what’s kitsch or cool, however the bag delivers where it counts. Louis Garneau manages to fit in numerous bells and whistles into the Race Day Revo, incorporating:

  1. Vented wetsuit compartment
  2. Double sided-internal dry compartments for shoes
  3. Vented towel compartment
  4. Sunglasses/goggle pouch
  5. External helmet connector

The Race Day Revo manages all of these extras while still showing off the usual assortment of side pockets and water-bottle holder.

Just another day as the office water-boy...

Constructed from extremely thin nylon, this race day bag is completely waterproof and collapsible to the point where you could just roll it up and pack it anywhere when not in use. The internal compartment doesn’t seem large, since the bag itself is smaller than most, however we managed to fit a 5 gallon water bottle inside with ease meaning that it will fit all of your race day gear, and then some. When you break it down the Race Day Revo’s weight is designed to be light (it won’t break your momma’s back) and when a problem comes along, the Revo whips it (whips it real good).

Zoot Z-Pack Tri Bag

Zoot Z-Pack Training Bag

This Zoot Triathlon Bag is what you need for a streamlined race day or training session.  The Z-Pack features:

  • The ability to attach a Race Travel Bag for complete travel ensemble
  • An expandable helmet storage panel
  • A Separate wet/shoe storage pocket with external access
  • An external ID/business card window
  • Two mesh cargo pockets for easy-access storage
  • An interior CD/MP3 pocket with rubber headphone jack
  • A large main compartment with top access
  • Two external zippered, fleece-lined pockets
  • Cell phone pocket on shoulder strap
  • Vented back panel for breathability and comfort
  • Memory foam shoulder straps for comfort
  • Adjustable sternum and shoulder straps for different torso lengths

Specs:

  • Fabric: 1680D Nylon in high-abrasion areas, 420D Poly, PU- coated mesh
    Size: 11″ wide, 9″ deep, 21″ tall (28 cm wide, 23cm deep, 53.25 cm tall)

At a triathlon transition where space is usually scarce, having a bag too bulky would make things much too difficult.  One, you’ll likely peeve other people around you, and second,  merely getting organized ends up being a more daunting task if  you end up bringing too much to transition.  This is why the Z-Pack is a great choice.  Bring what you need to your training session or race day, so you can focus on what’s most important – your race.

See how the Z-Pack compares for your needs to other Triathlon Bags.

TYR Hurricane Category 3 Wetsuit

“You’re only as fast as your wetsuit will let you be.”-TYR


With that said, and your money pockets taken into consideration, feast your eyes on the Category 3. TYR’s Hurricane wetsuit series is composed of three tiers (pun intended), 1, 3, and 5. For those that want the primary technologies of the Category 5, but don’t want to spend top dollar, the C3 is the perfect option for a mid range suit. The wetsuit boasts light-weight Yamamoto 38/39 SCS coated neoprene, as well as varying 5mm panels. The high-buoyancy 5mm panels found in the chest, legs, and core were designed to help the swimmer to be elevated in the water and keep the swimmer from dropping their lower half. This feature, known as Speed Wrap Paneling, as well as the ones listed below were carried over from the CAT 5. The only features the Category 3 doesn’t come with when comparing it the 5, are that the entire surface area isn’t 100% Yamamoto Nano SCS rubber, and the inside isn’t lined with soft jersey fabric.

  • Free Range of Motion Zones – Less pinching and constriction, meaning more flexible reach.
  • Form Fitting Wrist Cuffs – Multi-stretch cuffs at the wrist allow powerful strokes while keeping water from entering the suit.
  • Quick Release Ankle Cuffs – Tapered legs allow for a speedy release of the suit without much effort.
  • 360 degree core stabilization system: Creates the sensation of your core feeling a wrap-around support which works to elevate the swimmer, ensuring optimal body position and saving energy over the long-term of the swim.
  • Graded Force Catch Panels: Paneling along forearm allows for greater pull in the water, such as a built-in paddle would.

If you do have an entry-level wetsuit and want to make the upgrade to a mid range suit that’s going to come with all the bells and whistles, the Hurricane Category 3 by TYR is great choice. Check out this wetsuit and many other triathlon wetsuits at One Tri.

Bellwether Retro Jersey

I’ll probably get a lot of crap for this, but triathlon and cycling apparel has gotten so serious and technical that all the style is non-existent these days.  So this is why I’m a proponent of the Bellwether Retro Jersey.  Comfortable and stylish, it features an elastic-free arm opening, silicon elastic gripper at the hem, three slanted pockets, and a 4″ zippered pocket.   Pair this  with a Bellwether Forma Bib Short  (I found these to essentially double as a compression piece for active use), and you’re set for the road.

Fit:  Club Fit (means that the fit is a bit more relaxed, as if you’re riding with a club, get it?)
Fabric: Quadra-Tech (excellent ventilation system for moisture and heat management)

Bellwether Comfort Control System (Below info is from Bellwether)

Clothing physiology is the interaction between the layers of clothing and the body’s own micro climate. Air temperature, humidity, skin temperature, rate of perspiration, and other factors all effect clothing performance. Technical fabrics and products only work well if they allow the body to achieve equilibrium between the input and output of heat and moisture.  With the Bellwether Comfort Control System, the correct balance of breathability and moisture transfer is achieved. The properties of each fabric are chosen to support the thermoregulation of the human body to insure maximum performance and optimal comfort.  At Bellwether we understand the functional design of our products. Using our Comfort Control System as a guide, we can ensure that each item is designed to excel for its intended purpose.

Quadra Tech

Unique box like construction increases the outer surface area of the fabric which improves transfer of perspiration away from the skin for speedy evaporation, while small channels promote ventilation for proper temperature modulation.

Orca Alpha Review

My first impression on the Alpha is that it’s another flagship wetsuit from a quality manufacturer, and it is. What I’ve discovered is that reviews or outside industry impressions are scarce and far-between for the Alpha and that the majority of the copy on the internet comes straight from Orca’s marketing department. Allow me to fill in the blanks.

You can expect the standard top of the line qualities from the Alpha: 40 cell Yamamoto, Nano SCS coating, quick out ankles etc. These are all features that have become commonplace most of the uncommon top tiered suits but what sets the Alpha apart from the rest of the pack are three key features.

  1. The Alpha’s shoulders are ridiculously thin. 1.5mm thin to be exact. The idea is that you want a balance between form and function and the 1.5mm thickness gives your body the range of motion needed for your swim stroke without sacrificing buoyancy.
  2. Instead of simply adding a gripper or pattern for the catch panel the Alpha instead features a 3mm thick contoured catch panel, branded as “AquaTread”. The added thickness layered on the super thin 1.5mm shoulders/arms gives the suit just a bit more buoyancy positioned in the perfect place
  3. “Aerodome” 5mm neoprene.  Orca took a 5mm cut of it’s 40cell Yamamoto neoprene, put a bunch of holes in it and then sealed it. The holes increase the buoyancy of the paneled areas by 30%, trapping air and using it to keep your tired rear afloat.

After looking over the suit I can’t wait to take it out for a test swim and as far as flagship wetsuits go, the Alpha is now at the top of my list.

Zoot Women’s CompressRx Sock

Behold the Zoot Compression Sock. Along the lines of items necessary to your arsenal of tri gear, I would claim it fair to say these should certainly be included. With all the hooplah out there on the market about compression, let’s clear some things up on the science behind it all and why these socks in particular are going to help your performance.

Let’s start with the science. Zoot utilizes graduated compression, and more importantly, utilize it correctly. The amount of compression ranges from 26mmHg (mmHg is the unit of measurement used in compression garments) at the ankle and decreases to 18 mmHg just below the knee. The strongest amount of compression is found in the lower part of the leg. This method allows for deoxygenated blood to flow back to the heart. Within the ranges of compression, the 26mmHg falls under medical grade compression. This factor is important when choosing compression. Anything less than 20mmHg isn’t considered medical grade, and will not offer the same benefit. So what is all this doing? The socks help to flush out lactic acid in the veins as well as assist in proper venous flow and return. While running with Zoot CompressRx socks, one is able to get up to 40% more arterial flow in their calf by supporting consistent pressure on the muscle. The compression increases the pressure in the tissues beneath the skin allowing for reduced excess leakage of fluid from the capillaries and increasing absorption of tissue fluid by the capillaries. The goal is to assist the body in doing what it naturally does in flushing damaged muscle tissues.

So what the heck is the benefit? Well, here’s a couple noteworthy stats:

  • 29% decrease in lactic acid build-up.
  • 25% reduction of perceived effort.
  • 40% improvement in recovery time.
  • 5% increase in performance.

These socks in particular can be used as active compression (use them while training or racing) or recovery. Also, keep in mind that they’re perfect for travel use while flying, driving, or even if you plan to be on your feet for a prolonged period of time. The sock is also foot specific with padded foot soles to prevent irritation.

Measurements: It’s important that you measure your calf (circumference of the largest part of the muscle belly on your calf) prior to choosing your size. Proper fit will ensure optimal performance.

Train on!

Sleeveless vs Sleeved Tri Wetsuits

It’s a roaring debate between some, others it’s a cut and dry situation, but still the debate remains: is there an added benefit to swimming with or without sleeves? The short answer is sleeved tri wetsuits will always be faster, but then again, only for some.

The facts:

Sleeved

If looks could kill this suit would leave competitors dead in the water
  • Added buoyancy (aids in sighting strokes as well)
  • More efficient glide stroke
  • Greater surface area with addition of catch panels
  • Increased insulation for colder water swims
  • By far the more popular version of triathlon wetsuit
  • Can potentially keep water out better (which means less weight to pull)

Sleeveless

  • Greater range of motion
  • Less strain on shoulders
  • Better feeling of the catch
  • Increase in comfort for warmer water

What the debate ultimately boils down to is which suit best fits your body type and the water conditions that you’re racing in. If you have shoulder problems from an injury or surgery or an old-school/hardcore swimmer, you will notice an added benefit from wearing a sleeveless suit. If you’re a struggling swimmer looking to gain from added buoyancy or a hardcore racer looking for the latest and greatest to shave off a few seconds on your splits, a full-sleeve suit is what you’re looking for.

Debate over sleeved vs. sleeveless wetsuits at the Slow Twitch forum:

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/When_is_a_sleeveless_wetsuit_faster_P3430382

What triathlon wetsuit is the best? – This is another resource to help you determine which tri wetsuit is right for you. If you want to learn more about buying the right triathlon wetsuit this article may help.