Over the past week I have been writing a series of posts detailing my periodization training plan leading up to my first Triathlon in 5 months and beyond. The specific goal of this series targeted various aspects of my training and identified the strengths and weakness and developed goal specific plans to address identified weaknesses. While the focus has been specifically on swim, bike, and run portions of the plan to date, I decided it would be good to outline some of the gear that I find essential to support my efforts.
I have read from a few bloggers and websites that triathlons do not require allot of gear. In a way this is true, all you need is a bike, a pair running shoes and goggles for the swim. But, if you are truly preparing and trying to do things up right, or like me, you are planning on doing a season of triathlons and challenging your self, the gear end of things can get a little expensive. This list is my list of items I have acquired and now that I have them, consider them must have items. These are items I now consider truly needed for training or whatever reason.
- Road ID – A bracelet that has a customizable faceplate that contains all the important data. When I run,backpack or bike I do not carry much on me in the way of ID. What I do carry is usually tucked away in some out of the way place that if something was to happen to me it would be difficult to get my vital contact information. Enter the road ID. A simple sports friendly bracelet that has your name, date of birth and a couple of contact numbers printed on it. You customize what goes onto it, but this is the basic idea of what you should have. They make helpful suggestions as to what needs and should go onto the face of the bracelet. I also have the fact I am a type 2 diabetic on there and my trailname for backpacking so they can follow me in the shelter registers on the Appalachian Trail. I have actually gotten used to wearing mine every time I leave the house, mostly just to get used to wearing it initially, but it might also be the fact is an orange bracelet on my wrist. Never leave home without it!
- Timex Global Trainer Watch – I originally bought this watch when I was running only because it was so much cheaper than other GPS based running watches. My brother is the one who had filled me in on the deal as he had been using one for a few months. When it first came out it was an REI exclusive, but there were firmware issues with the GPS and sales tanked. While listed at 350$ or more, Amazon started selling these for brief period for around 100 bucks. When I bought mine the watch was 120$. Recently the price has been inching up again. While the firmware was initially glitchey, Timex has since released numerous firmware updates for the watch fixing many of the initial issues. In the package this watch also comes with a bike mount so it can be used as a bike computer and a heart rate monitor. As a running watch it works awesomely and the customization that are easily set on the computer interface make this watch great at keeping up with all the bits and digits and useful running data. I usually set mine to create a new lap with each mile. The cool thing is that this watch is made to time and train for iron man competitions as well. I have not used it yet but this watch has a mode that allows you to time your swim into T1 int the bike into t2 and out to the run, all at the push of a button. It will also connect with power meters and cadence sensors to collect additional data. As my phone (a Samsung Galaxy Note) is too large to use for training, this watch does everything and more and reduces having to carry a bulky phone. I cannot say enough about this watch. It truly is like having a training computer on your wrist.
- Training Peaks – I lucked into this as it is the software that Timex pairs with for uploading data. When I upload my data into training peaks from my watch it adds the workout into my weekly totals and allows me to view in map and tabular form my splits and details of my workouts. If you click on the images of any of my runs I have posted on my site will give you a taste of what all this will do behind the scenes. Money pending, I might eventually upgrade my current free version so I can add my planning into this software. I currently use Google calendar and a spread sheet to plan things out. Also, the software has nutrition tracking data as well, but I still use live strong for that purpose. One thing I have started doing recently is tracking my blood sugar and blood pressure as the interface gives plenty of metric options to be entered multiple times a day.
That is the essential fancy gear I use. Maybe I will post more gear stuff later as this post is getting long. I have allot more gear that I find essential that I also have an opinion on that I might include in a later post. Do you have a favorite piece of training equipment, something you can not live without? Til next time.