Category Archives: Gear

Book Recommendation – The Runner’s Edge

IMG_0003_NEW This was the best $14.21 I’ve spent at Amazon.com in a long time.  In this book, Stephen McGregor and Matt Fitzgerald put forward an excellent strategy for maximizing your race performance. It definitely supersedes Daniel’s book on running. They give training strategies, explain how to monitor your fitness and performance, and best of all, it is all built around the WKO+ Performance Management system. I can’t recommend this book highly enough—except for the egregious error of calling the New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard an Australian. After I pointed this out Matt did a mea cupla and copped the blame for that one—and promised to correct it in the next edition.

Product Endorsement – Sugoi Race and Recovery Knee High Compression Sock

I’m writing this in an Internet Cafe in Athens wearing these excellent socks. While the R&R are designed for racing and recovery, imageI also use them whenever I travel to help prevent deep-vein thrombosis which is a real risk for air travellers. I originally bought a pair at the Marine Corps Marathon expo a few years ago and I was so impressed that I bought a second pair. What is extra nice is that they are no longer in the florescent green colour, and I can get away with wearing them even to work.

There are different socks for your left and right feet and I use them quite regularly after training or during long trips. I tried using them during a training ride once but my legs got too hot.  Give them a try – you won’t regret it.

Product Endorsement – K-Edge Chain Catcher

I was on a really hard group ride when I changed down too quickly and threw my chain all the way off the front chain ring. As I saw the group vanishing away from me at about 40 km/h I knew that was me for the night. Blast.  It was even worse when I shifted back up again to try and get my chain back on the chainring: it somehow got wrapped around the crank arm so I had to dismount and manually fix everything. Talk about a newbie error.

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Product Endorsement – Drymax Socks

I was in my favourite running shop for some shoes and was surprised by the array of socks that were available.  What was noticeable was that they did not have what I have found to be by far the best socks: drymax. The really are the best kept secret of endurance athletes.

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50 iPhone Applications for Triathletes

If you are an iPhone user check out this posting which lists apps that you might find interesting.  Thanks to Amber Johnson for this!

Product Endorsement – pHitpills.com Alkaline Pills

If discussing body functions disturbs you do not read any further.

At Ironman Louisville I met Murray outside the race expo. He had set up a ‘gorilla marketing’ booth on the street corner to sell his pH balancing pills called ‘Extreme Endurance’. My wife Lis and I stopped and chatted and she (as the nurse and medical boffin in the family) got into a deep discussion with Murray  and his assistant. The basic theory they explained is that during exercise, especially extreme races like Ironman, the body goes acidic due to the use of muscle glycogen which produces lactic and pyruvic acids.  Their pills work against this by releasing acid buffers into the small intestine.

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Online Triathlon Bookstore

Ever since I was young books have been among my best of friends. This is evidenced by the overflowing bookshelves that we have at home – my wife is also a bookophile.  There is nothing quite like sitting in a comfortable chair with a good book to read.  Over the years I have assembled a good collection of triathlon related books, but unfortunately with all my travelling I often don’t have access to them. That is where electronic books come in handy. While they don’t have anywhere near the same attractiveness as ‘real’ books have, at least when I’m on the road somewhere I can refer to them. For that reason I was very excited when I heard about the Mindset Triathlon online bookstore – offering digital copies of triathon related books.

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Product Endorsement – WKO+ For Monitoring My Triathlon Training

Everyone who knows me well is aware that if you look up the word ‘geek’ in the dictionary my photo is next to it. I’ve always been keen on technology and this, coupled with my profession as an engineer make me a bit obsessive when it comes to data. And that’s being polite about it.  Fortunately, there are a number of tools out there which make it possible for me to monitor the effects of my training program which give me the ability to record lots of data, and tailor my training to my racing needs.

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Product Endorsement – wheelbuilder.com Wheel Covers

I have committed myself to racing 2009 using a power meter on my bicycle. This will hopefully help me from overdoing it on the bike and blowing up during the run in Ironman Louisville. I’ve made a number of other changes to try and help my performance – including buying an aero helmet which, although you look very dorky, gives a surprisingly good benefit in terms of reduced aerodynamic drag.

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Triathlon on a Folding Bike: The Reach Road

After Ironman Korea last year I decided to do Ironman Switzerland in Zurich this year.  I changed my countries at the World Bank to  the South Caucasus countries at the beginning of the year and I realized that there would be no way that I could take my regular triathlon bike (a Cervelo P3 with Head H3 wheels–the sexiest bike around) since I would be moving around so much.  This proved to be prescient as my trip before the race is: Washington-Munich-Yerevan-Paris-Baku-Beijing-Wuhan-Beijing-Munich-Frankfurt-Baku-Tbilisi-Zurich. Whew. It is tiring just to write about it.  I therefore decided that I needed to get a folding bike and do something I’ve never seen before: a triathlon on a folding bike.

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