Triathlon spring product roundup 2014
Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
It was in the upper 70’s today. After a long dark winter – the coldest I can ever remember – the warmth and sun made me feel like it’s possible to find my fitness again.
The trees are blooming, the birds are singing, and I don’t have to start my car 10 minutes early before driving to the pool in the morning. The roads are bordered by cyclists again and lunch hour means a long run – instead of a double cheeseburger and large fries. That must mean spring is here.
Here are a few products that I’m using to help me get back into the swing of things!
Sable Water Optics RS 101 goggles: My question was the same as yours probably. How different can a pair of goggles actually be? I found the answer as soon as I put these on and pushed off the wall under water. Zero distortion, zero fog, and complete clarity of vision – like wearing a pair of polarized sunglasses for the first time after wearing nothing but $5 drugstore sunglasses. These come with several nosebridge options so that you can customize the fit (I had to use the largest bridge despite having a fairly “regular” sized nose). You can also change lens colors.
Pearl Izumi Tri Fly IV Carbon cycling shoes: Carbon fiber soled cycling shoes make a difference! And these are the gold standard in my book. Super light at just 270 grams. Direct-vents allow for cooling and drainage. Anatomic strap system to eliminate hot spots, lined mesh upper for barefoot comfort. And awesome colors. What’s not to love?
XX2i France 2 polarized sunglasses: What’s that glowing orb in the sky that’s hurting my eyes? Oh, the sun. Yes, it’s spring and time break out the shades again. These are my first pairs of XX2i sunglasses. I’ve worn sunglasses that cost $200 MORE than these. Yet, the XX2i France2 is as good as it gets. Extremely light. Comfortable with adjustable nose pieces, temples tips, and lenses for a custom fit and look. I love the “hyper” colors, but also like the black matte for a more laid back incognito look.
To say I have “a few pair” of running shoes is a considerable understatement. I have a lot of shoes. A man has to have a few weaknesses, right? This spring I’m loving my Mizuno’s (as usual). Mizuno provided two great so fresh and so clean looks with these great classic looks. First, the traditional Wave Rider 17. Having been a fan of the Wave Rider 16 I was nervous about the 17 and how it may change the ride of what was already a great shoe. I was thrilled to put them on and actually like them better than the 16! Mizuno actually dropped the weight from the 16 to the 17 (10oz to 8.6oz), although the heel to toe stack is a little steeper (fair warning for zero drop converts). These are my go-to shoes for building my mileage base this spring.
Although Mizuno dropped the weight in the Wave Rider 17 I still need a dedicated “go fast” shoe for spring 5k races and interval workouts. Enter the Wave Hitogami. The Hitogami comes in at 7.4oz making them ideal for racing, but also sturdy enough for training.
GU products have become my trusted resources getting me through races and training, both long and short. That said, I’ve always struggled with electrolyte tablets made by other companies. They’ve generally bothered my stomach and have been used only on the hottest of days when I reached that “I’ve gotta try something moment” of survival. GU came to the rescue this season with their new Roctane capsules. How are they different? GU added vitamin D and Ginger to help ease stomach distress.
SF350 Softflask from Hydrapak: From the makers of my trusty Hydration Pack, Hydrapack, comes the Softflask. It’s pretty simple: fill it with fluid or gel calories, consume, smush it up, stuff it in your pocket. This is an awesome way to carry more calories or hydration on the bike especially since it fits a cycling jersey rear pocket nicely. And it’s BPA free.
Since we triathletes are a pretty pasty shade of winter this time of year it’s smart to slather up with the products made by my friends at SkinStrong. Still the makers of the best sunscreens and antichaffing products for both athletes and non-athletes on the market. Spring is a great time to try out their DUST product and their full line of sun products.
I love you,
* I was given these products for purposes of this product roundup. My opinions are my own. I was under no obligation to provide favorable reviews.