Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Favorite Triathlon Gear for Under $20

My friends getting into triathlons often bounce questions off of me on types of gear they should buy and train with. It all comes down to budget as you can spend a few dollars to a few grand on gear. That being said, there are a few essential items I use that are very budget friendly and really help during training and races. With Easter quickly approaching, the following also make great Easter Basket fillers for your favorite multi-sport athlete.
Halo 2 head band ($10.83 Amazon)
This isn’t your dad’s favorite sweatband from the 80’s. It’s made with a high absorbant. Also there is a “sweat guard” strip to help block sweat from dripping onto your eyes. During the summer, its slim profile fits perfectly under a bike helmet to absorb sweat during long rides.

Clean Bottle ($9.05 Amazon)
One of my biggest gripes with water bottles is how gunked up they get after awhile because of how hard it is to clean the bottom. The Clean Bottle solves this dilemma. This 100% BPA-Free bottle has a unique twist off top and bottom which makes it a breeze to clean in a dishwasher. Like the Blender Bottle, it is a simple yet practical idea.

Fuelbelt Fuelbox ($11.31 Amazon)
Simple enough, this storage bag sits on the top tube of the frame right behind the handlebar stem so you have quicker access to things you might need on bike ride. It comes down to preference but I liked having the bag right in front of me rather than have to reach back to a bag attached under the seat.

Lock laces (~$7 Amazon)
I remember the first time I went with bungee laces instead of regular shoe laces on my running shoes. Outside of speed advantages putting on your running shoes in transition for a triathlon, I feel like the bungee laces provide a better fit, more convenience, and not having to worry about laces becoming undone during a race. After trying a few different brands, I’ve settled on Lock Laces as my favorites.

Nuun Hydration Tablets ($6.95 for one)
I was always weary of drinking Gatorade or Powerade because of how sugary/syrupy it tasted. During intense workouts or training during the heat, I really needed the electrolytes to stay hydrated. I came across Nuun Hydration Tablets. Each tube has 12 tablets that dissolve into 16oz of water to make a very low calorie (5) no carb hydration drink. The container is very portable and cost effective if you think about how much twelve 20-oz bottle of Gatorade would cost. Nuun also happens to be my drink of choice when I need to re-hydrate the morning after a long night.

RoadID ($19.95 RoadID.com)
I remember hearing about the unfortunate story a few years ago about a female runner who had a freak accident running and died from a tree branch falling on her. It took nearly a day to figure out who she was and contact loved ones. This was enough for me to get a RoadID and wear everytime I go running outside.

Crank Brothers Speed Lever ($5.85 Amazon)
A basic skill for any cyclist is to be able to change a flat tire. This tool makes it a ridiculously easy and fast process. I was lucky to not have more than one flat last year so I didn’t have to use the speed levers on the fly but I did use it a bunch of times switching off and on trainer tires. Trust me when I say this lever makes it 100% easier.

BodyGlide ($12.99 Amazon)
The name says it all. Apply this stuff in areas where you might chafe during long workouts. In addition, this stuff works awesome when you apply it around your ankle and wrist areas to quickly get out of a wetsuit. Recently, I’ve swabbed it onto hotspots on my foot that are prone to blistering to prevent them from occurring on longer runs.
injinji Performance Toe Socks ($10 Amazon)
Speaking of blisters, these socks have individual sleeves for each toe which helps to protect against blisters. It takes getting used to at first, but after a few runs and lack of blisters, I’m a fan. These socks also work well with the Vibram Five Finger shoes.

Compression Socks ($16.95 + $2.99 shipping)
compression sock
Compression socks are all the rage for long distance racing but the prices on them can get pretty ridiculous. I came across this pair that offers all the benefits at half the cost of some of other brands.

Aqua Sphere Kaiman Swim Goggle ($15 Amazon)
aqua sphere
I’ve always had problems with goggles leaking in water or goggles that didn’t fit right and gave me “raccoon eyes” after longer swims. I came across these goggles on a triathlon forum, tried them, and haven’t worn any other goggles since. The fit is great and I’ve never had issues with water leaking in.

1 comment:

  1. These socks are ideal to be used without shoes or sandals. Only toe socks. Do this experience and answer after. Is a magical sensation... Wonderful!!!