Tri Gear – the Rest of it

Continued from Tri Gear Continued — Running and Biking.

Other Stuff

But wait, there’s more! And I bet I’m forgetting stuff too!

  • HRM – There are many options for tracking heart rate during workouts. The one built into my Garmin watch hasn’t been all that impressive in accuracy so I wear a chest strap style unit when running or riding or doing strength training. I had one for swimming but it tended to slide down my chest every time I kicked off the wall so that got retired.
  • *Watch – you aren’t a triathlete without a tri watch to measure all the things. I already had a nice Garmin Fenix3 watch that I really liked but I upgraded to a Fenix5x Plus this season. It is a bit bigger so easier for my eyes when on the bike AND, more importantly, has the ability to call for help if I abruptly stop moving (like, oh… say a bike crash). That was an important feature to me.
  • *TrainingPeaks.com subscription – coach does everything in TP.com and while I could remain at the free level I opted to pay a bit to get all the pretty lines and graphs. Do I know what they all mean? Not yet, but I’m getting there…
  • *Strava subscription – I have been using Strava for about 8 years now both free and paid. I opted for paid this year to get better power and HR data from my workouts. Not mandatory, but being a numbers geek it seemed like a good idea at the time.
  • Tri kits – What to wear when racing? I don’t really have a plan for this yet. I have a pair of tri shorts and shirt that I picked up on Amazon last year and used a few times. I will have some experimenting to do to see if this gear will work for longer courses. And then there’s the whole one-piece vs. two-piece debate that I just don’t want to think about yet.
  • *Gym bag – I upgraded to a larger backpack style gym bag that can hold the gear for 2 or 3 disciplines at a time.
  • *Race Fees – holy cow.
  • *Coaching fees – I definitely am seeing the value, but I won’t deny the costs gave me pause at first.
  • *Gym membership – maybe not mandatory for everyone, but this time of year I need my gym for treadmills and pool at a minimum. I can do some treadmill and weight routines at my apartment’s gym, but we definitely have more/better gear at the Life Time I go to (well, and the pool).
  • Nutrition – I’m months away from any events but I am already experimenting with gels and gummies and such to figure out what might work best on these long bike rides and runs. Definitely don’t want to try and figure it out on race day!
  • Chamois butter – I don’t really use this much outdoors, but when doing 3+ hours on a stationary bike I gotta say this is a life/butt saver.

What have I forgotten? 

Tri Gear Continued – Running & Biking

Continued from Tri Gear. Egads. Stuff for Bike and Run.

Running

  • *Running shoes – plan on going through a few pair a year as volume increases. And don’t be cheap.
  • *Running hat – sweat management
  • Running shorts – I guess not critical, but sure a lot more comfortable than running in gym shorts.
  • (eventually) Hydration – some sort of bottles and/or belt system to carry water as training run distance increases

Biking

  • Road bike – training and races with serious climbing. Last year I used my beloved old Pinarello with reasonable success for training and racing.
  • *Tri bike – At my level this is pretty optional, but I stumbled into a sale and got all excited
  • *[Tri] bike fit – You aren’t going to be happy — or fast — on your bike without a good fit
  • *Tri bike hydration – for now I just added a couple inexpensive carbon water bottle holders. Eventually I may incorporate something more aero/tri-focused
  • *Power meter – I bought a set of Garmin power pedals (the cheaper version with a meter just on one side) for use when training outside
  • *Smart Trainer – I went with a Garmin Tacx Flow smart trainer. Smart trainers are great for training with power inside.
  • *Axle Adapter – Have to spend extra money to get a bike with disc brakes mounted to a trainer.
  • *Trainer tire – Don’t want to burn down my outdoor tires on the trainer so swapped the rear tire to a purpose built trainer tire (very hard yet “grippy” to work better with the trainer’s rotating surface)
  • *Software subscription – Got the smart trainer, now you need something to push it. I purchased a Zwift subscription since it integrates so easily with TrainingPeaks.com for my coach’s bike workouts.
  • Helmet – mandatory and necessary. The cool kids are rocking various level of aero styles. I’m not quite there yet but maybe next year?
  • Bike shoes, clips, bike shorts, chamois cream, etc.

To Be Continued

Tri Gear. Egads.

Money Bag

This is the series of posts in which I confess how naïve I was about the amount of equipment one might want (need?) to become a triathlete. And, related, how much you can spend doing this. Swim, bike, run, right? So I just need a bike, some shoes, and a swimsuit? Simple!

Ha.

I started this year with an agreed upon budget. Boy, that went fast.

The trick with this is that I love tools, toys, and gadgets so I’ve had some challenges reigning in my expenses — as Mrs. AdultOnset will no doubt agree.

To keep this brief and readable, I’ll break it up into a series of posts over the next few days.

Swimming

First you need a swimsuit. And not your comfy and baggy ol’ beach shorts style. Oh, and the smaller and tighter the suit is the more you’re paying for the privilege of that exposure it will give you [to the world]. yeesh…

What else? In no particular order (and a ‘*’ indicates I purchased this year):

  • Kick fins – useful for kick drills and some swim drills
  • Kick board – kick drills again. I always just borrow one from the pool where I swim
  • *Hand paddles – useful for pull drills to work on form
  • Goggles – Right now I have one brand/model I like that fits my big face and doesn’t leak. I need to find another that offers some tint for outdoor morning swimming though.
  • Buoy – something to clench between your legs when doing pull drills to help keep the legs afloat
  • Gear bag – necessary to carry all this stuff around
  • Wet suit – cold open water swimming is cold. So cold. My wetsuit is sleeveless to better accommodate my shoulders and ape-length arms. No rub rashes ever, but it does leave my arms exposed to that cold water.

    Late last season I picked up a pair of neoprene sleeves that I will experiment with this year. Trick is I don’t have the arms of the traditional 140 lb triathlete so the sleeves are a bit challenging to get on and off in any sort of timely fashion.

To Be Continued.

Time Management

Time Management

I think my biggest challenge in hiring a coach and diving head first into training has been time management. There are a lot of workouts and typically more than one a day. And sometimes you really shouldn’t just stack ’em all up and do them back to back.

I am a bit blessed with my job — I work a lot of hours, but not necessarily all during traditional times and I generally have a lot of flexibility. Granted, sometimes that means I am doing server or network ops tasks at 9 or 10 at night… but there’s great balance on the whole.

My wife also has a demanding professional job. And together have fairly busy social schedules (sometimes) and we are building a house this year. Our kids aren’t home, but we usually have something going on with them as well. And that little granddaughter…! All that leads up to me having to be very diligent to ensure I’m not stressed out (or grumbling) about the workouts.

Thankfully, after a few weeks into this, we got organized. Mrs. AdultOnsetAthlete and I now have a shared Google calendar. On that calendar goes all of our things that we should both be aware of. Each of our workout schedules, social stuff, family stuff, work trips, you name it. I then pull that calendar into my work calendar to see my whole life at a glance.

This is priceless when planning out each week’s worth of workouts!

I generally sit down each Sunday and plan out the upcoming week in the calendar. Having our mutual stuff all in one place helps ensure that I can still be sensitive to family events. Also helps ensure that we can work to combine our trips to the gym which is always a bonus 🙂 Without this level of planning each week I suspect I would not be doing nearly as well at getting in all the workouts and would probably be a lot more frantic too.

Also priceless is the ability to link a calendar feed from TrainingPeaks.com into my Google calendar. When doing my weekly planning I can just look at the Google calendar and see what is planned for the week all in one spot. As you do the workouts and log them to Training Peaks, it updates the calendar entries to reflect when you actually did the workout.

The image there is just a little snapshot of today and tomorrow. The stuff in blue at the top is what was pulled in from TrainingPeaks.com so I know to block time out for those throughout the day. Today, as an example, has several activities so I will do one before work, one over lunch, and the rest after work.

Some weeks change from day to day based on rehab and health so I have to remember to keep on top of things but generally I do a quick check at the end of the day to ensure I’m properly planning for tomorrow and that minimizes surprises.

1/19/20 Sunday Thoughts

The Knee:
Hopefully almost recovered from the knee incident of 2019. Been doing a lot of what I call pool trotting these past few weeks and — don’t tell Coach — but I’m actually learning to like it. Wearing an old pair of shoes in the pool sure helps, a tip I learned from Coach after I rubbed skin off the bottoms of my feet on a long run. Ewww…

For the longer sessions I [carefully] wear some bluetooth headphones for music and run a backwards lap every 5 or so. And I count the laps. And I do weird math in my head working on converting 18 meter lengths / 36 meter laps to feet or yards or miles. Yes, it can be a little mind-numbing… but music helps a lot.

For mid to high Zone 1 work that surely is building strength you can’t beat it. I can’t really push much into Zone 2 without adding knee stress which would defeat the whole purpose. And I do it in the warmer lap pool so that’s pleasant too (our normal lap pool is cold. Plenty tolerable after a few laps but getting into it about stops my heart.)

Last week I tried some shorter runs outside and had some knee stiffness afterwards. Not a lot of pain and didn’t see any swelling, but I may have just a bit more pool trotting to do yet before I can get back to running like a normal person.

The shoulder. Eh, it is what it is. It still ain’t great, but it no longer holds me back from swimming. I can’t throw a tennis ball across the room but thankfully that’s not part of my current chosen sport(s).

Two months in:
I’ve been doing this training for about 2 months now and I am happy to say I am already seeing some results in spite of my various injuries. Swimming is progressing nicely and bike endurance is coming up. Looking forward to FTP testing on the bike soon to see where I’m at compared to where I was last year. Hope to get actually running soon but at least cardio is coming along.

I am no longer very low carb / keto and that’s been an interesting adjustment. Probably more on that in a future post.

Scheduling all the training is a bitch. Definitely more on that in a future post.

Updated Pain Cave:
I posted pictures a while back about my indoor bike training setup (aka the Pain Cave). With the new bike I had to make some changes — in particular, the TV had to be lower to be watched from that changed riding position or I’d ruin my neck. The tablet running Zwift is right in front of it. Works out great. I have a small stand to my right that I keep nutrition, TV remotes, phone, and tablet on for convenience.