Great Gadgets for the Triathlete

Gadgets for the Triathlon

If you’re like me, you love the spirit of competition and whether you choose team or individual sports, you want to achieve optimum performance. In order to do that, you may be willing to splurge on the latest and greatest accessories, yet perhaps you aren’t fully aware of all that is out there to choose from.

In order to help you become the best triathlete you can be, I am sharing some ideas about great gadgets that are especially for athletes like you.


Swimming

Swimovate Pool-Mate Swimming Computer

If you are interested in measuring time, laps, strokes per lap, calories burned and overall efficiency, you may be interested in the Swimovate Pool-Mate Swimming Computer. This wristwatch style watch is a great way to keep track of workouts. It comes in three colors and is water resistant to 50M. You can also use this for triathlon training, running, and cycling. It works great for both pool swims as well as open water swims and with its backlighting, it is easy to read.

Speedo Vanquisher Swim Goggles

While these goggles come in a variety of colors including blue and silver, it is the clear goggles that you should invest in. Since the vast majority of triathlons are swum in open water, clear goggles are crucial. Open water is often dark and murky, reducing or virtually eliminating visibility. Wearing darker tinted goggles will completely obliterate visibility, even when you are in your breathing strokes. Clear goggles offer the best opportunity for visualizing the competition when you are breathing and for seeing in the water as well.

Be sure that your goggles fit appropriately before purchase. Not all goggles are going to be right for you. The key here is to opt for clear goggles, beyond that, the brand is up to you. Inquire with your sales associate as to whether they have brands that you can try on prior to purchase. Press the goggles to your eye sockets gently. If they remain in place for 2 to 3 minutes without popping off, you have a good fitting pair. The goggles should not create too much suction. You should not feel as if your eyes are bugging out. Goggles that have a split strap are good as well, as it helps with adjustment.

Blue Seventy Wetsuit

Open water swimmers will agree that wetsuit ownership is critical to success. Most races will allow wetsuits if the water temperature is 73 degrees or lower, and in bigger, deeper lakes, that is often the case. Wetsuits are also preferred by distance swimmers for their buoyancy, which helps to promote speed and efficiency. Wetsuits come in a variety of styles including long and short sleeves, ankle and knee-length legs. A good fit is crucial, so before purchasing, I would recommend trying on a variety suits. Many stores also rent wetsuits, which will give you opportunity to try them on for size and functionality before purchasing. Good wetsuits are very pricy (several hundred dollars), but many rental stores will apply a portion of the rental price toward purchase. Be aware that wetsuits should not be worn in chlorinated pools, so if you are renting, please wear them in open water only. A tight fit is required for optimum performance and minimal leaking, so be prepared for the constricting feeling that a typical tri-suit does not have. Blue Seventy is a big name in wetsuits. I’ve personally worn Blue Seventy in competition and loved it. They are challenging to put on over naked skin, but are much easier to pull on over a tri-suit. They are easier to peel off and with the help of wetsuit peelers at your race, you should have no trouble. 

Speedo Aquabeat LZR Racer Special Edition 2GB MP3 Player

If you’re like me, you don’t mind swimming, but it would be a lot more enjoyable if you were able to listen to music while doing it. I love running and cycling with my i-Pod, but I’ve never been able to bring that music into the pool. Until now. This cool gadget is waterproof up to ten feet under water. The buttons are easy to use while swimming and the device floats, so in the event that you drop or dislodge it you can easily recover it. The device is compatible with i-Tunes, so downloading music is easy and you can enjoy up to 9 hours of music without recharging. The device comes with two extra earplug adaptors and waterproof earphones. This item can be found at swimoutlet.com

Cycling

Cateye Strada Wireless Cyclocomputer

This little computer mounts right onto your cycle without use of tools and measures such things as current, average and maximum speeds. It has a programmable odometer, a 12/24 clock and can measure two distances. You can track your pace and determine if you are at, above or below your average speed. Because the Cateye Strada has dual wheel-size settings, you can use it on two different bikes. That is perfect for the cyclist who trains on tri-bike, but logs additional miles on their road bike.

Giro Prolight Bike Helmet

This Italian manufacturer makes some of the best bike helmets in the business. Made for both the amateur and pro athletes at a wide range of styles, colors and prices, you’re sure to find one that is ideal for you. If aerodynamics and ventilation top your list of important factors, than you should consider the Prolight. It comes in 3 sizes (S-M-L) and is easy to adjust. It features 25 Wind Tunnel ™ ventilation chambers and fits both men and women. The outer shell is strong and built to absorb strong impact in the event of a crash.

I advise you to try on helmets before purchase. Play with the adjustments and check things such as whether or not there is a ponytail portal in the rear. 

Clipless Cycling Shoes and Pedal Systems

Athletes that are in training and others that are cycling long distances will benefit from investing in a clip less pedal system. There are two types of systems, those made for road bikes and those made for mountain bikes, so be sure to choose the one that is right for you. Clipless pedal systems are critical to posting faster times because they increase one’s efficiency by up to 30%. There are manufacturers that also make triathlon specific pedal systems. These are essentially road bike shoes that have special features including an inner lining that allows the cyclist to wear them without socks. This is an important factor for those that are trying to increase efficiency during T1.

I tried several brands and styles of clipless pedal systems prior to purchase, and found those manufactured by Shimano to be the most comfortable for me.

Adamo ISM Bike Saddles

If you’re like me, long distance rides on the bike can be excruciating. Most saddles, especially those that are aerodynamic and made for racing, are also woefully uncomfortable and can make mincemeat of your privates. Enter the likes of high-tech saddles such as those made by Adamo. I purchased an Adamo Typhoon racing saddle which literally changed my life! I have easily doubled my endurance and comfort. The saddle has the perfect amount of cushioning without looking like a weekend recreational bike. It’s V shaped design allows for both men and women’s private areas to rest between the Vs so as to be pressure-free. The seats are simple to install and adjust and are very lightweight. I highly recommend this to anyone who can no longer tolerate unbearable saddle sores!

Camelbak Bottles

Hydration is crucial to the triathlete and any athlete going the distance. I love Camelbak products. Their spill-proof bottles are revolutionary. With simple twist open/ close lids and sturdy, bite-proof rubber straws that produce your beverage when squeezed, these are the perfect bottles for cycling. Because of the physics involved, they do not need to be tipped when drinking, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road at all times, and they fit comfortably into your standard water bottle cage. If you’re up for a hands-free experience, which offers maximum efficiency, check out their wearable hydration packs. 

Running

Camelbak

Hydration is also obviously crucially important to the distance runner and triathlete in training. Camelbak has additional products that are ideal for the long distance runner including hand-held water bottle holders that fit their revolutionary fuel bottles and fuel belts that hold the 22 oz. bottles as well. Visit their website for a complete catalog of their incredible products.

Garmin Forerunner 405

Garmin is a leader in the GPS industry and makes a fantastic GPS watch which is ideal for runners who are particular about the features of their sport watch. This one is not only a watch, but a personal trainer as well. With this device you can monitor your pace, distance, time, and calories. You can add a heart rate monitor to monitor heart rate as well. Data from your training runs can be transferred to your home computer without cables and hookups and Garmin offers an online sport community, Garmin Connect, that you can join to share your training data with if you choose. I’ll admit that I am a bit technologically challenged, so I had a hard time taking full advantage of this incredible watch’s capabilities, yet I have several other athlete friends who managed just fine and love this watch! 

Elastic Shoe Laces

If you are trying to find a way to maximize efficiency during T2, then elastic laces are a very inexpensive, great option for you. They eliminate the need for tying your laces and get you on your way in record time. They come in a variety of styles such as speedlace cord locks, bungee cord laces, and more. Laces thread through a simple piece of plastic loaded with spring wires. Simply press the lever and slide along your laces to achieve desired fit. No tying. It’s perfect! Check out trisports.com for their selection of Easy Laces, iBungee Laces and Speedlace Cord Locks.

Balega Socks

You haven’t worn anything like these! I stock up on these socks. While a bit pricy, they are well worth the money. Running socks feature cloud-like cushioning, seamless toes, and extra deep heel pockets. They also feature a tab that protects the Achilles tendon from blistering. When I put on my Balegas I actually sigh…every single time! My feet are in heaven even before I start running. I can’t describe it. You have to experience them for yourself. My favorites are the Hidden Cool Sock and the Hidden Comfort Sock.

I-Fitness Fuel Belt

These belts are amazing! Lightweight, small, stretchy, and water resistant, they are one of my favorite running accessories. I got a double pouch which easily fits my cell phone, keys, IDs, i-Pod and Gu. Both sides zip shut and are made of durable neoprene. It fits like a dream and I always forget I’m even wearing it. Despite putting all my little accessories in it, it never bounces around. The reflector strips increase safety during nighttime runs, which is great for me because I hate running in the morning.

MISCELLANEOUS

Triathlon Transition Bags

We’ve all got tons of gear to carry to our races and having a bag that allows us to not only fit it all, but keep it organized, is crucial to reducing race day stress. Check out the Zoot Tri Bag, Speedo Pro Backpack, Zoot Z-Pack Training Bag or the Blue Seventy Nero Bag at triathlete.com. You’ll find any one of these to be a great investment.Great bags can also be found at swimoutlet.com

Triathlon Suits

These suits are wonderful for reducing transition times, providing optimum ventilation and comfort during your races. You can swim, bike and run in these without changing clothes. A light padding provides added comfort on the bike.

The Orca 226 Triathlon Race Suit has the lowest price guaranteed on women's wetsuits. These suits feature ¾ zippers and are made of hi-tech materials that facilitate quick drying. They’re tight fitting and hide nothing, but if you can pull this off, you’ll be happy you’ve purchased one. Enjoy fast, free shipping on purchases of $75, no hassle 45 day return policy and price matching!

Pearl Izumi Elite Triathlon Speed Suit also guarantees the lowest price on women's suits, so you be the judge. This is also a quality suit.


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© 2010 Jaynie2000

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Comments 4 comments

alahiker28 profile image

alahiker28 6 years ago from the Deep South

We ARE a society of gadgets, aren't we? Thanks. There is SOME great information here.


Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 6 years ago Author

We sure are...but they're so much fun!


GmaGoldie profile image

GmaGoldie 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

I love my heart rate monitor and cannot imagine living without it. The Balega socks I had never heard of - now that my husband and I are running together I will have to look into these. There is nothing better than great socks - I am a sock person not a shoe gal.

Fantastic information - you did your homework. Triathletes deserve the tools of the trade for the hard work they put in.

Thank you for your hard work. Voted up and useful!


Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 5 years ago Author

Thanks so much. And definitely look into the socks. They are amazing! Sometimes I wear them without shoes because it feels like walking on clouds. Love them!

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