Life has been busy with training and work so it has taken me longer to get this written than I have anticipated. I have been keeping up with my swim training and biking but now it seems I haven’t been getting enough running in. Oh well, if I can crush the first two events then the run portion is just left, right, repeat. Right?
In other news! I have rejoined Team Topeca Race Team, formally known as Team Tom’s back when I first raced for them! Looking forward to getting in some road/crit racing in this season as well as Ironman Tulsa.
Onto the gear list I am using as of now!
I currently ride a Specialized Allez E5 with Mavick rims and Shimono 105’s. I have built this bike over the years to serve as a crit/road racer. I will slap some carbon aero bars on it for the Ironman.
Saris M2 Smart Trainer – The smart has been a life saver this winter, it hasn’t been too cold but it gives me the freedom to get a ride in after work instead of going out in the dark. I have the trainer linked to my Garmin Edge 530 where I am able to ride Train Road structured workouts or I can select a course to ride and the trainer will adjust for the hills simulating the elevation profile. It will also bring up the climb profiles and show you grade, distance, and distance left till the top.
Garmin Fenix 6 Sapphire – Wow let me tell you this watch series has more features and options than I have been able to discover yet! Seems like everyday I find out my watch does something I had no clue it could do. The Fenix series of watches are essentially your Swiss Army knives of watches. From cycling, running, swimming to mountaineering and expeditions with topographical maps. Very easy to use even with all the features. I upgraded from the Garmin 310XT (belongs in a museum now) to this watch and I am blown away by the advances in technology. I feel like both of my Garmin’s need their own separate post to go over features and how-to’s.
TrainerRoad – I discovered these guys from their excellent podcast they provide! I figured if they are giving out so much quality information about cycling, triathlons, and endurance on a podcast then their programs have to be worth it! I am impressed with all the features of their plan builder and structured workouts. It keeps me accountable for training by exporting my daily workout to my Google Calendar. I am excited to see how my cycling will improve for this upcoming season.
Road Shoes: Inov-8 Flite 230 – I have stuck with the Inov-8 brand since high-school when I first discovered them. They have kept their shoes very similar therefore when it is time to update I know the new model will fit just like the last. They use a step down method with their running shoes all the way down to a zero drop shoe. I usually stick with 0-3mm for my heal to toe drop and a very minimal stack height.
Trail Shoes: Altra Lone Peak 4.0 – I recently switched to Altra for my trail but my loyalty to Inov-8 might have me switching back once it is time to get a new pair of trail shoes. I really like the Altra brand of shoes though, all of their shoes are a zero drop and they provide a wide toe box for a more natural foot expansion on push offs.
Socks: Balega No Show Mohair – I will never wear another sock for training or racing! I have run up to 27 miles in them with no blisters or even the slightest hot-spot. Comfortable fit with a mid amount of cushion on the underfoot side then very thin on the top side. They are a wool blend providing extreme moister wicking and temperature regulation. As a treat to myself I buy a new pair before every race then just add them into my training rotation. The wool also provides natural deodorizers!
Headphones: AfterShokz Open Ear Headphones – I never ran with music or podcasts because I didn’t like the feel of something in my ears. It was extremely uncomfortable in my ears and I didn’t like losing my sense of hearing. Now with the AfterShokz Headphones I am able to hear everything around me and listen to podcasts while running, walking, or cycling. They use a bone conduction technology so nothing goes into ears, there is a pad that touches that bone in front of the ear that it uses to deliver the sound. I enjoy listening to the Ultra Stories Podcast, he is always telling great stories along with some deep philosophical conversations and tips for the ultra running lifestyle.
Headwear: Merino Wool Buff – Buffs are great for everything from sweat bands, ear warmers, hats, and face masks! Again I am sticking with the wool trend because of the moisture-wicking properties and better than synthetics at temperature regulation. I have used my Buff in below freezing temperatures to 70’s+ weather and it has never become uncomfortable.
I use the Fenix 6 to track my swims and I swim in a basic pair of spandex swim shorts.
Goggles: TYR – I chose a basic pair of polarized goggles for once I start open water swimming then something with a little darker tint in case the sun is super bright on the day of the Ironman. TYR is a long time trusted triathlon brand that makes high-quality products. I have worn their goggles for years without any dry rot on the rubber pieces.
Swim Cap: TYR Silicon – I just went with a basic silicon swim cap to mainly keep the hair out of my face while I am swimming but I do notice the drag reduction it provides as well. Also little added benefit when the pool is cold it keeps your ears and head warmer!
Tailwind – I have switched to Tailwind drink mixes for running and riding and WOW! No bonks, no cramps, no GI issues, and great hydration! A little bit of an acquired taste but once you get used to drinking it it actually becomes a craving! Their mixes are high in calories to keep you going till the end.
Tailwind Recovery – After your workouts you need to refuel and Tailwind again has perfected that combination. The perfect blend of protein, carbs, and electrolytes. Protein to build muscle, carbs to restore glycogen stores, and electrolytes to re-hydrate.
Nuun – I use Nuun for daily hydration, they provide a nice mix of electrolytes and taste to help me drink the recommended amount of liquids. Very light flavoring as well as a little fizzle. They now provide Nuun Immunity options and Nuun Rest options.
Liquid IV– Talk about hydration! This stuff gets you right in a matter of a glass. I drink this first thing in the morning to re-hydrate myself after sleeping all night. Also if I screw up on my hydration throughout the day or during a workout I will use one of these afterwards to replenish quickly!
Addaday Rollers – I stress this to everyone… RECOVERY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS ACTIVE TRAINING!!! You put in the effort to train 10+ hours a week and pay ridiculous amounts of money on gear and entry fees. Don’t jeopardize it to an injury when you have the tools to reduce your risk of injury! I put my rollers next to the couch so when I am chilling watching TV or whatever I am doing they are less than an arms reach away. Rolling helps break up scar tissue, lactic acid, improve blood flow, and loosens muscles better than stretching.
HyperVolt – The newest technology in recovery is the percussion massage guns. We have demo models at work that I use every shift to loosen up my calves, hip flexors, and work on my IT Band area. I will say it is much easier than rolling out and I notice a greater difference after using the percussion massage gun. HyperVolt is the in the middle road for percussion massage guns, long lasting and works great but also not as expensive as some models. HyperVolts come with a variety of attachments to hit the ideal target.
CEP Compression Socks – I have used compression socks for years for recovery and medical reasons. I like to wear them the night before a big run or bike ride, they make my legs feel brand new in the morning! Then I will wear them after a long run/ride to help with circulation and blood flow. I also have varicose veins so if I am going to be on my feet all day like at work or walking around I will wear them to prevent swelling.
Then lastly I freeze a plastic water bottle to roll the bottom of my foot out to keep that plantar tendon happy!
I hope this gives good insight into what I am using to accomplish this Ironman! Next post I will give insight to the book I am reading and the training schedule I am using to make sure I meet my goal.
Stay wandering my friends,