Category Archives: Gear

Book Recommendation – On the Wings of Mercury: The Lorraine Moller Story

IMG_0004_NEW When I moved to New Zealand in 1983 from Canada the runner Lorraine Moller was always in the news. Going on to win the Bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, she is the best marathon runner New Zealand has produced. I met her at the 2009 Boston Marathon where she was selling her book. I’m glad I bought it—not only because it is an absolutely riveting read (very unusual for a sportsman’s biography) but I’m sure her signing it for me and sharing her ‘wings of Mercury’ talisman helped me to a PR in the race. Thanks Lorraine for the great read and the PR.

Book Recommendation – Going Long

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If you are going to inflict an Ironman triathlon on yourself there are two things I would recommend: (1) check out the free resources at www.endurancenation.us and  (2) buy this book. You will be set to go.  These two sources complement each other and the book is well worth the $15 at Amazon.com. It is singularly the most thorough guide for Ironman training through racing. 

Book Recommendation – Training and Racing With a Power Meter

IMG_0005_NEW This is one of those books which was seminal for cycle training. Hunter Allen and Andy Coggan explain the concepts of training with a power meter and how you can use it to maximize the benefits of your time in the saddle. If you have a power meter and don’t have this book you are wasting your time and money.  You should also join the ‘Wattage Group’ which is a very active online community devoted to power cycle training. Join at: http://groups.google.com/group/wattage/topics

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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