I have been at this triathlon thing for a few years now, and, at this point, have become pretty stuck in my ways. Customers and friends frequently ask me for recommendations on products. Owning a triathlon company, I have had the perk of trialing many different products over the past year—some I have loved, while others I absolutely hated. Triathlon can be an expensive sport, and I am not much of an accessory type of girl. I do, however, have my favorite things, all of which are under $200! Here is a list of my favorite products from the 2015 tri season:
- I absolutely hate wearing a wetsuit, and I love when a race is not wetsuit legal. I try not to race with one if I don’t have to (especially during a sprint), and I love swimming all summer long outside without one. However, if I am going to wear one it’s my TYR Sleeveless Category 1. Between rentals and purchases I have tried about 5 or 6 different brands both full and sleeveless, and the TYR is by far my favorite. Hands down it’s the most comfortable wetsuit I have worn to date. It offers quick release ankle cuffs and 5mm neoprene panels throughout the entire leg, chest, and core keeping me buoyant and reducing drag. I have a few friends who also agree that for the price, this is the best and most comfortable wetsuit out there.
- TYR Special Ops 2.0 goggles. Holy crap—the best ones I have ever owned, and so many customers agree. Offering both regular and small sizes, they fit just about every single person I have spoken to. They are comfortable, anti-fog, polarized, have nice wide gaskets, and never seem to leak. TYR now also offers the Special Ops 2.0 with transition lenses which are phenomenal for both indoor and outdoor training.
- I believe I have found the holy grail of cycling shoe. No, they are not made of 100% carbon and they are not that fancy, but damn it they are so comfortable and light weight. The Pearl Izumi Tri Fly V are a great deal for $100. They are designed with the triathlete in mind—lightweight, breathable, and comfortable with or without socks. They never give me hotspots or blisters, and the heel is totally non-slip, unlike traditional cycling shoes.
- My Yankz T2 Transition Bag is amazing. It keeps even someone as disorganized as myself organized for race day. This bag has more compartments than I know what to do with. Whoever designed this bag put a lot of thought into it. When you open the bag everything you need is right there. There are 2 mesh pockets: one for your running shoes and one for your cycling shoes—absolutely perfect. The outside has 2 side pockets for water bottles, and a front pocket that snuggly fits your helmet. It even comes with a separate mesh bag for your wetsuit. I can jam everything I need for race day and more into this bag.
- I know you are not supposed to try anything new on race day, but really, what’s the fun in that? There is no element of surprise if you’re using the same old stuff. I often try new things on race day, including a new tri bike at IMLP in 2014. So it was no surprise when I impulsively bought a 2-piece tri suit at the Raleigh 70.3 Expo last spring. I ended up getting the Zoot Tri Shorts, wearing them for the race and I loving them. I mean I always look like a stuffed sausage in those things, but at least this one has a comfortable chamois!
- I’m saving the best for last. My all-time favorite this season is Trislide. I love it. I sell it to everyone who asks what to buy. In the words of the Frank’s RedHot lady: “I put that shit everything”. Head to toe, under my wetsuit, in between my legs during a run to prevent the chub rub, on my feet to prevent blisters, under my arms…anywhere I can put it I do. I think it is single-handedly the best product on the market for any athlete.
Whether doing a sprint or a full 140.6 miles, I swear by these products. They make every race I do so much more enjoyable and that much easier.