Category: News (page 1 of 3)

Stocking Stuffers for Triathletes

Who doesn’t love their stockings stuffed? That is… unless you call socks stockings, and then I really wouldn’t want anyone stuffing anything in my “stockings.”

Growing up, stocking stuffers were all about getting those things we kind of needed but not really. Usually it was a little candy (Reese’s of course) and then a little higher quality toiletries and accessories than we would normally buy for ourselves. It was always great because we got some of those things we- Luxuries if you will- that made life a litter easier.

In the spirit of my childhood stocking, here is what a triathlete would want in their stocking!

Chapstick

Seriously. I would get a year’s supply of chapstick every Christmas in my stocking. I don’t actually think I’ve ever bought any chapstick for myself. Your triathlete will love having chapstick for those winter rides in the cold, and then again for the blistering summer rides. This is an easy win!

Wireless Headphones

There’s always debate on whether to listen to music, or not listen to music when training. If your triathlete is the kind that listens to music (and even if they aren’t) wireless headphones are the way to go! You can get really nice ones like the ones from Jaybird, or you can go the budget route and get the ones constantly on the top headphones lists.

Running Socks

Socks are just one of those things that can make or break a run. They are almost as important as good running shoes. Save yourself (I mean, your triathlete) so headache (footache??)and get some Balega Socks. They are all good, but the ultralight quarters are my go to.

Sports Nutrition

This is highly individual, but if you know what your athlete likes, then get them what they use! Even some single servings thrown in a stocking are a nice touch. If you don’t know where to start, I suggest grabbing some Nuun hydration packs, Honey Stinger gels, and a whole pack of Waffles. I’m serious. These waffles are the best afternoon snack!

Candy

Yes. Real, unhealthy candy! Reese’s are my favorite. What? It’s the off season!

Toe Covers

One of those comforts that are not expensive at all but can make all the difference in the world! Here in the South winter is only cold enough for full shoe covers for a week. Most other places around the US call that fall or spring! Toe covers are great for those rides where a full shoe cover is not needed, but a little extra warmth would be appreciated. I suggest the Toe Thingy from Castelli.

Elastic Shoe Laces

Yes, the staple in triathlon transition zones everywhere. Save a few seconds in T2 with elastic laces and get elastic laces. It’s probably time for your triathlete to get new running shoes anyway, so get them a good pair of laces to go in them! I’ve been using RipLaces for over a year now and they are the best ones out there! You can individualize each loop to fit right and don’t have to deal with a single elastic band running through the whole shoe. These are the bomb!

Bar Tape

Freshen up your Triathlete’s bike with some new bar tape. A new roll of tape will make a world of difference. Remember when I said these are things we wouldn’t normally buy ourselves? Well triathletes are notorious for letting their bar tape wear down to nothing. At least that’s what my bike shop told me.

RoadID

This is really more for you than for your triathlete. Peace of mind. Get them a RoadID and tell them about the RoadID app. Safety First!

Smartphone friendly gloves

Nothing is more annoying than having to take your had out of your glove to use a touch screen (be it a phone or bike computer). Smartphone friendly gloves are the bomb!

There you have it! 10 easy things to stuff the stockings and make your triathlete smile! What things would you add to the list?

If you are shopping online for these things (like I do!) then I’d appreciate you using my Amazon link! It’s free to you and I get a little kick back to help keep this site rolling.

Triathlete’s Gift Guide 2017

Gifts under $25! Gifts under $50! Stocking Stuffers!

This time of year there are so many gift guides out there for anyone and everyone. For any budget and every budget. Last year I did a full on gift guide with my recommendations on gear for your triathlete. This year, I’ve got a bit different take on the gift guide with a few specific recommendations thrown in.

(As a side note, if you are doing your Christmas shopping online, I’d love for you to use my Amazon link to support the site. It doesn’t cost you anything and it helps me keep going with my multisport pursuits!)

What not to get your triathlete

Let’s start here: what not to get. Triathletes are a peculiar bunch. We get finicky with the smallest of things. Whenever something is messed up we obsess over it. When there is new gear released we compare it to what we already have.

We also know what we want. We have our favorites and it takes moving a mountain to get us to try something different (or maybe just a horrible race… then we try EVERYTHING different!) With this in mind, don’t get your triathlete anything without researching what they have already and what they want/need. You don’t have to straight up ask them what they want, but a little peak in the closet, at race photos, etc. and a simple google search can go a long way.

For more on this subject (and a good laugh) check out this article by pro triathlete Jesse Thomas. (And this other one too)

What to get your triathlete

Here is the part you came here for: What to get your triathlete. After reading the above, probably the best thing to get them is a gift card so they can buy something themselves! Start with an online triathlon shop like Trisports. Then maybe their local bike shop. Also, Amazon has everything.

The next best thing is something to help their training. An indoor bike trainer like the Tacx Vortex, Flux, or Neo trainers. These are all smart trainers that can control power output for more structured training. If that’s a little too much for your budget, the Travel Trac is the best non-smart trainer out there! Throw in a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription to TrainerRoad and your triathlete will be a happy camper!

Consumables are also always a great bet. Obviously this would include their sports nutrition and supplements like gels, bars, hydration, recovery drinks etc., but I would also throw running shoes in there (make sure you get the brand and model the use!) and bike tires and tubes. These things are all going to need purchased anyway so it saves them from buying them laterso they have more money to spend on the shiny new aero items they’ve had their eye on.

Lastly, if you want to go big, I suggest you hit up the latest gadgets. Triathletes are almost always data nerds. If they don’t have the latest bike computer or GPS watch (like the Garmin 935) that’s always a great buy. A power meter is always welcomed as well! Just make sure to get one that is compatible with their bike. An easy way around this is a pedal based power meter like the Garmin Vector 3 or PowerTap P1.

Stocking Stuffers for your triathlete

The last thing to think about it stoking stuffers. I’ll do a whole other post on this next week, so for now I’d tell you to look for some great socks, those consumables we talked about, or even some small tools to keep their equipment going!

Happy shopping everyone!

And don’t forget to use my Amazon link to support the site!

If you like what you’re reading, you can sign up to get all my posts in you inbox as soon as they are posted! I only post once or twice a week and I promise not to spam you! Plus, you’ll get access you my free 5k Beginners Training plan AND my Beginner Sprint Triathlon Training plan!

Trisports Under New Management

A little while ago, Trisports announce to it’s staff, sponsored athletes, and then the public that it would be forced to close it’s doors at any time. Since then they have been liquidating their stock and putting up amazing deals on in-stock items.

A Change of Fortune

Just Thursday afternoon, however, a few of us noticed that they had changed their contact information on their facebook page including a new address in Portland, Oregon. I asked on a private team page about the update and at about the same time received an email that was sent to all the people on Trisports email list announcing that the company had been purchased by a company out in Oregon and the current owners were working with the new owners on a smooth transition.

I am so thrilled to hear that Trisports will live on, even if my friends Seton and Debbie will not be at the helm. The email I received made sure to note that the new owners would be working to continue support of the services, products, athletes and teams that Trisports is currently known for. I am excited at that as well!

The Plot Thickens

Later in the day, the founder of Trisports, Seton Claggett, replied to me and confirmed that Velotech, the parent company for multiple smaller bike shops, had bought Trisports. Then, overnight, I received an email from Slowtwitch founder Dan Empfield that he and a partner had bought Trisports to help usher it into new management. From the sound of the email he was just a temporary owner until the Velotech deal was struck.

There are other tid-bits of info floating around the interwebs such as the merger between Western Bike Works (a Portland bike shop) and Athlete’s Lounge (a Portland Tri shop) to help both shops survive and focus on an online retail platform (assuming with the expertise of Trisports) all under the umbrella of Velotech.

Where does that leave us?

I’m going to be honest, this all is very complicated and confusing. Parent companies and sister companies and mergers with middle men. I bet someone could make a movie out of it all. Regardless, I am hopeful. Trisports has been a cornerstone of the triathlon community for many years and I was sad to see it go. Something in me knew it wouldn’t be for long. Looks like it has new life before it ever fully went away. For that, I am thankful.

The one question is: will it still be the same company we have grown to know an love? With Seton helping with the transition I am hopeful it will be. And it that is the case, they still have my support!

What do you think of all this? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on twitter!

How Local Race Directors Can Harness the Power of Super League Triathlon

Super League Triathlon has taken the triathlon world by storm! A great mix up on the Swim-bike-run format that leads to more excitement and better viewing both in person and on TV. The format is great for a pro race, but how can local race directors harness this same experience for age groupers?

The Special Sauce
The main ingredient that generates all the excitement the “special sauce” so to speak- is the multi-day, multi-stage, race within a race format.

A local RD needs to start there. A simple stage format would be awesome for a local race! Start with a Friday, Saturday, Sunday layout. Go with a simple sprint triathlon on Friday night. Anyone can participate. Many will do the Friday night sprint and not participate in the other days of racing. This is actually great for a few reasons.

1. More “easy revenue” to make the race as a whole stay afloat
2. Those Friday only participants may stick around to be fans on Saturday and Sunday
3. It allows a qualification race to set the stage, groups, etc. for the following stages

Keep it simple
In these early beginning of a new format, simplicity is key. I would stay away from a points format simply because an age grouper wants to know if he won as soon as he crosses the finish line. The final day of racing has got to be a pursuit style. That means that whatever you do on the second day, you need to let the athletes start the final race in the order and at the interval that they need to overcome to win. The order they cross the finish line is the final finishing placing

Mix it up
One of the great things about super league is the triple mix format. Start Saturday with swim-bike-run, then do a bike-run-swim, then finish with a run-swim-bike. The order doesn’t matter. What matters is it’s not a traditional triathlon. Another option is to go time trial style like the Island House Triathlon and have the second day be 3 individual time trials. Cumulative time overall wins.

A word of caution here is to not make the second day pursuit style. That is needed for the final race (see above) but it could either be discouraging for the racers, or it could be logistically challenging for the organizers.

Keep the competition separate
This is going to be the biggest obstacle to making this work at the age group level. You don’t want to have other racers on course confusing things. I would suggest doing waves that complete a whole race before going to the next wave. Either create your own groups based off of the Friday sprint qualifiers, or combine age groups and keep them separate through each stage.

A simple bracket format with only the top 20-30 completing on the final day would work too. This all depends on the number of registrants and your area, but please, please, please make this clear to the athletes ahead of time (at least a week out). There is nothing more frustrating than a tournament organizer doing things on the fly!

Final thoughts
There is definitely a lot of potential in this area of new, exciting formats for triathlon. This is the perfect time for a local RD to get a plan together and promote a neat race for age groupers in 2018! I would love to see races like this pop up all over the country and get a new and exciting flare in the Multisport community and give people more to work towards beside going longer distances. Pushing the envelope is awesome, but pushing it in different directions is even better.

Do you have any ideas for a neat race format? Let me know in the comment or on twitter! I’d love to discuss them?

Are you a race director and want to put something like this on in your area? I’d be glad to lend a hand or even just a brain to help work through ideas! Use the contact form, hit me up on twitter, or email me directly!

Trisports.com Closing

**An updated article on the future of Trisports was posted on 10/14/17. You can find that here**

In the fast paced word of online information, this would be considered “old news,” but I wanted my readers to be aware of the changes in the Triathlon world that recently happened. Trisports.com, founded and run by Seton and Debbie Claggett, recently announced that they were closing tiger doors due to the final ruling on a lawsuit surrounding their bankruptcy from 2013.

On the one hand, I am sad to see a great company company close. On the other hand, I even more sad for the great people that made Trisports who it was. If you have spent any amount of time around here you know that I was sponsored by Trisports these last two seasons. The people were great to work with and an awesome support for my tri naming and racing. I also had a wonderful time writing articles for their Trisports University. If you haven’t check out that page, do it now before it goes away. (I have high hopes that at least TSU will continue even if their retail store does not)

So what does the future hold for Trisports? Continue reading

Running Power Meters… First Impression

Being on the bleeding edge is exciting. But you can also get cut deep (hints the “bleeding” part). Power meters were once bleeding edge technology, but today they are common sights. Ask experienced cyclist or triathlete the best upgrade they can make, and they will (should) tell you to get a power meter (If you don’t already have one). But running power meters? That’s bleeding edge!

There really are only a few names in the game right now as it comes to running power meters. The big name is Stryd, now on their second gen unit. The other is RPM2. A few others are out there, but they are more fringe and aren’t specifically power meters like Lumo run and SHFT. The biggest question hanging over running power meters is, are they worth it? Continue reading

5 of my Top Posts- 100th Post Celebration

Today I just realized that my post this week was number 100 on Triathlonpal.com! Crazy to think I’ve already made it up to number 100.

And to celebrate, I want to look back on 5 of my tops posts (according to view statistics)

1. Super League Triathlon Pro Race Report
This is my most viewed post, and for good reason. Super League triathlon is a big deal. It has the potential to make big waves across the sport. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the series turns out. Check it out to see my thoughts on the race.

2. Hammer Nutrition: Fully Charged Product review
To be honest this one has taken me a bit by surprise. I was not expecting it to be so popular, but since it is a fairly new product on the market, people want to know what it’s like. Thanks to Trisports.com for hooking me up for the review! Check out the post and see if it’s something you would like to try (and use the code TEAMSHARE15 to get 15% off at Trisports)

3. Finish Line Super Bike Wash Product Review
Another product review in my top posts. I think people just like to see other’s experiances and know what they are getting. I use this stuff every time I clean my bike. Love it!

4. A Tour of My Pain Cave
This is another fun post. I give you all a tour of my “Pain Cave” or my trainer set up. This has changed a bit since the relocation. It’s so much sweeter now. I’ll have to revisit this one soon.

5. Zwift and FTP Tests
Zwifters are fanatical! It really has grown quite the following over the short time it’s been on the market. I beta tested it, but am no longer on the program. Still, it’s a great program you should check out!

I hope you all enjoyed this trip down memory lane! I sure did! Thank you all for reading the blog as consistently as you do, and if you are new around here, subscribe to stay up to date on all that happens. Here’s to the next 100 posts!

Content Survey!

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I want to ask you for a favor. Would you take a moment and fill out this survey? I want to write things you want to read! This will help me know what you want! Don’t worry… you won’t hurt my feelings. Just fill it out and I’ll be able to make this website more enjoyable and more profitable for you! I won’t take any more of your time now… Thanks and happy weekend!

If for some reason the survey isn’t showing up for you, you can use this link to get to it.

Pro race- Super League Triathlon

While this blog is focused on helping athletes learn from others and make progress in the sport, I do like to take some time and focus on general news in the Triathlon world. Very few things have grabbed more attention in the past few years than the new races series known as Super League Triathlon. In my opinion, anything that can get more people interested in the sport, the better. That means grassroots efforts like USAT’s High School club program, as well as events like Super League. So what is this new event and what is it so special?

Continue reading

Trisports University Post- A Spectator’s Guide to Triathlon

Hey guys,

Just wanted to give y’all a quick Saturday update! Trisports just posted one of my articles on their educational page Trisports University. It is the Spectators Guide to Triathlon. 

This is a perfect article to share with your fan club or anyone else who may be going to watch you race. I have to admit, I had a little help on this one seeing as I have never spectate a race. So my wife gave me these pointers. She’s a real trooper and has been to all of my races but one, and most of those she drug along our little peanut for the ride. Do you can trust these as coming from an expert in the Triathlon Spectating field!

I hope you enjoy the article and glean some tips for your next race. 

Don’t forget to check out Trisports for all your Triathlon needs. They are your one stop shop for anything Swim-Bike-Run! And don’t forget to use the code SHARE15 for 15% off everyday! 

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