Friday, February 26, 2010

Best Tri / Endurance Racing Products...

I've been running long distances for 30 years and racing triathlons for 16. I've tried tons of different products over the years made for every aspect of endurance training and racing. Here are a few that have totally won me over. I think these companies and their products are the best out there.

NUTRITION - Hammer Nutrition - I've been using Hammer products for well over 10 years, learning more about their products and using more of them each year. I not only use their fueling and recovery products for training and racing but also their vitamins and supplements which are fabulous. They also make excellent casual, training and racing clothing that are super comfortable and very reasonably priced. The customer support is second to none. Best staff around!

EYEWEAR - Zeal Optics - I've been wearing Zeals for 3 years now and really like many things about these sunglasses. They are cutting edge in looks, yet very functional, serving well the purpose that each model is created for. For casual wear or for training and racing, they fit great and provide a clear, clean view. The models I race in are so light I don't even know I'm wearing them.

BIKE - Valdora Bicycles - I've been on a Valdora for five years now and could not be happier. My Valdora PHX is a full-carbon bike that is super stiff and responsive yet very comfortable and light. The full carbon weave is eye catching and makes for a sweet looking ride. The staff in Phoenix is very helpful and supportive!

SWIMWEAR/GOGGLES - Barracuda - This company's swim gear is the best! I love their wide selection of goggles and partiually the Predator which is perfect for triathlons. They also have great swimwear, apparel, accessories, fins, hand paddles, etc. Their prices are excellent as well.

HYDRATION - Nathan Hydration Systems - Nathan has a huge selection of hydration products, many of which have keep me hydrated during long workouts and races too. They offer belts, hand bottles, backpacks, and a great tri gear/transition bag along with tons of other products are available, all of them make with the the athletes needs in mind. I love their stuff and use it all the time!

WETSUIT - Xterra Wetsuits - Xterra makes a fantastic line of wetsuits from the $99 entry level Volt, to the top of the line Vendetta - Xterra has it all. The wetsuits are super flexible in the arms and shoulders but provide extra thickness from neck to toes along the front of the body where it's needed. I love my Vector Pro 2X fullsuit. It's comfortable and very fast! They also provide some great tips on swiming on their brand new website.

THERAPY - The Stick - I'm a bit new to The Stick but have used it some and was so impressed I contacted them for sponsorship and am expecting to get my sticks tomorrow in the mail. The little that I've used them I discovered that working The Stick over my muscles felt great, caused blood flow to increase, breaking up adhesions and speeding the recovery process. The Stick comes in a variety of lengths and levels of stiffness and is recommended by people like Phil Jackson, coach of the L.A. Lakers. Check it out -

There you go. My favorite companies and products. They all rock! They all have been proven over time to be the best! Give them a try and you won't be disappointed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Tri Training - 2010 Tri Season...

OK, so, it's been a brutal winter here in Nebraska. Approaching 3 months with snow on the ground and way below normal temps. Wind chill right now, at 5:30pm is 7 and the yearly average high for Feb. 22 is 41. Ouch. Training has been consistent but all indoors. I've become a whimp and now run on my treadmill all the times vs. going outside like I did from 1982 til 2000 before we moved to Phx. Run an hour and lower body resistance/weight work one day, swim and upper body resistance/weights the next, then bike an hour on the rollers and core work the third day, then, repeat...all winter...

I do have my first race of the year in four weeks at Lake Havasu, AZ. I've done the sprint race there five years in a row with my AZ buddy Randy Kastler. I've got a first, second, third, fifth and six (not in that order)at this race. Then, while we're in Tenn. in April I'll do the Scenic City Tri there at the end of April. One race in May in Iowa, then we hit a nice summer race schedule. I'll throw in a couple of running only races and maybe a cycling time'll be a fun season.

I really got spoiled in Arizona where the tri season is 11 months long. No such thing in the midwest. Long off-season where an athlete can put on a quick extra 10 lbs. and then work like crazy to try to get that off in time for the season - not easy at 53 yrs. another 6-7 to go. Why is food better when it's cold out? Just is.

Need to ramp up the swimming now and start adding some speed word to the run training and go a little longer on the bike. I'll be in Alaska for the Iditarod dog sled race for 6 days in early March (not competing - smile) and will most likely only get in a run or two during that week, but that's OK.

Picked up a new sponsor - The Stick. Check it out at It's a great total body therapy tool for both maintenance and injury treatment. Hope I only have to use it for the first one of those two.

Next post will probably be a Lake Havasu Tri race report. It's an early season race and a great opportunity to measure one's fitness.

God bless!