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swimskins swimmers

What are Swimskins + Top 5 Best Swimskins

Swimskins have been growing in popularity during the past few years in triathlons and open water swimming. This is primarily due to their benefits for speed and aerodynamics and also the fact that they are legal even when the water is too warm for wetsuits.

Overall there are not a ton of options when it comes to swimskins, but the TriNewbies team has reviewed the best swimskins and came up with the list below:

    Image Best Feature Price
1 Roka Viper Pro Swimskin (Mens/Womens) Best Overall Swimskin $255 (roka.com)
2 Roka Viper X2 Swimskin (Mens/Womens) Best High End Swimskin $325 (roka.com)
3 Synergy Triathlon SynSkin (Mens/Womens) Best Value Swimskin $149.95 (amazon.com)
4 TYR SPORT Torque Elite (Womens) Best Lightweight Swimskin $225 – 25% Off! (swimoutlet.com)
5 blueseventy PZ2TX (Mens/Womens)   $209.95 (amazon.com)

1. Roka Viper Pro Swimskin (Price not available) – Womens/Mens

Roka is definitely the leader in the swimskin space, with most pros and amateur triathletes donning their swimskins. The Roka Viper Pro is the top of the line swim suit.

The Roku Viper Pro and X2 (below) both some with no -sew stretch woven technology, meaning there are no creases or lines in the suit to increase drag. The suits are coated with a Teflon DWR (Durable Water Repellent) which reduces drag and increases efficiency. The suits also provide a good amount of compression, which also helps reduce drag while supporting the core and the legs in the water, helping both swimming posture and speed.

Roka Size Chart for the Viper Swim skin

2. Roka Viper X2 Swimskin (Price not available)Womens/Mens

The Roka Viper X2 is the top of the line swim skin, and also tops the list as the most expensive. If you’re looking for the best swim skin your money can buy, the Viper X2 is the way to go.

The main difference between the Viper X2 and the Viper Pro is the IXI Taping which is placed in various areas in the swim skin. This allows your movements, especially lower to upper body, to become more in line and provide a smoother swim through the water.

3. Synergy Triathlon SynSkin Swimskin ($149.95)Womens/Mens

The Synergy Synskin is the perfect entry level swimskin that offers the excellent benefits of water resistant materials and aerodynamics at an extremely reasonable price.

The suite comes with many of the same features as the higher prices models, including bonded seams, which reduce drag, and YKK auto locking zipper for smooth removal. Like most swimskins, sizing can be an issue. The chart below should be a good guide, but there have been complaints about weird sizing so be sure about the return policy before you order, as you may need to go a size up or down.

Synergy Size Chart for the SynSkin 2

4. TYR SPORT Torque Elite Skinsuit (Price not available) Womens/Mens

TYR is known for their swimwear, so it’s not surprise that they make a pretty dependable swimskin (they call it a Skinsuit). The main feature of their swimskin is the light weight, just a quarter pound which is extremely light and will not produce must extra weight to drag.

Another cool feature is that the inner layer has a very low water absorption rate, around 0.5%. This helps reduce drag and reduce weight when swimming in this swimskin.

5. blueseventy PZ2TX Triathlon Swimskin ($209.95) Womens/Mens

The blueseventy swimskin offers a ton of great features listed for the other swimskins, including hydrophobic fabric, YKK zipper, and bonded seams. This makes the blueseventy PZ2TX a solid overall swimskin.

blueseventy Swimskin Sizing Chart

Common Questions about Swimskins

Swimskins vs Wetsuits

Wetsuits are thicker and bulkier that swimskins and generally are used more for warmth and buoyancy. Swimskins provide neither of those, instead focusing more on the aerodynamics and hydrophobics to make the swimmer more streamline through the water.

If you are looking for a wetsuit, check out our top wetsuits!

The advantage of a wetsuit is for colder races since they do provide warmth, but for some races with water temps in the high 70’s and above, wetsuits could be illegal and dangerous due to overheating. That is really where the skimskin has it’s advantage since there is little risk of overheating due to the thin fabric.

WetsuitSwimskin
WarmthYesNo
BuoyanceYesNo
AerodynamicYesYes
Improves SpeedYesYes
USAT LegalYes, up to 84 F Water TempYes
WTC (Ironman) LegalYes, up to 84 F Water TempYes

Are Swimskins legal in Triathlons?

Yes, always. Swimskins are not considered wetsuits so they are legal for all triathlon swims, even if the water is too warm for wetsuits.

Do Swimskins improve swim time?

Yes, typically swimskins improve swim time by making you more aerodynamic and reducing drag. Having a singular piece of material with specific fabric that is hydrophobic, which repels water, helps the swimmer move through the water faster.

How to you wear swimskins?

Swimskins are meant to be worn over your tri-suit and are taken off after your swim in transition.

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Best Sunscreen for Running, Cycling, Swimming, and Triathletes

Most athletes, such as cyclists, runners, swimmers, and hikers spend a lot of time outdoors, constantly receiving UV radiation from the sun, which can cause a number of skin conditions, including cancer. As summer gets closer and closer and quarantines are over, athletes are heading out the door to make up for the time lost due to the pandemic. And frequently prioritize comfort and the right gear, but, commonly, they miss a very important protection: sunscreen.

And just like exercise and a healthy diet are great ways to take care of our health, so is protecting our skin. So, it’s time to find out what experts recommend and identify the best sunscreen for athletes this summer. And, next time you head outside to train in the fresh air and sunshine, even if you’re under direct sunlight, you can rest assured that you’re protecting your skiing with the best protection, preventing skin damage and serious skin conditions.

Quick List of the Best Sunscreen for Athletes

  Sunscreen Image Best Feature Price
1 Thinksport Mineral Sunscreen Best Overall Sunscreen for Athletes $16.99
2 Zealios Sun Barrier Best Water Resistant Sunscreen for Swimmers $14.95
3 Supergoop! PLAY Best Strong Sunscreen for Cyclists $45.99
4 Skinnies Sungel Best Sweat-Proof Sunscreen for Runners $34.99
5 Blue Lizard Sport Mineral Sunscreen Best Sunscreen for Athletes with Sensitive Skin $26.22
6 Sun Bum Original Spray Best Spray Sunscreen for Athletes $12.79
7 SolRX Stick for Face Best Face Sunscreen for Athletes $10.99
8 Australian Gold Extreme Sport Best SPF 30 Sunscreen for Athletes $8.49
9 NO-AD Sport Sunscreen Lotion Best SPF 50 Sunscreen for Athletes $37.95
10 Sun Bum Original SPF 70 Best Strong Sunscreen for Athletes $17.98
11 Amazon Brand – Solimo Sport Sunscreen Lotion Best Budget Sunscreen for Athletes $5.40

What to Look for In a Sunscreen for Athletes

Sunscreen is more than just a safe way to get tanned and head out the door. Sunscreen has many benefits, such as delaying skin aging, preventing the appearance of spots, hydrate the skin, protecting against harmful UV and UVB rays that cause skin cancer. Yet, when it comes to choosing the right sunscreen, there are various things you need to bear in mind:

  • SPF: SPF stands for sun protection factor, which measures how long the sunscreen will protect your skin from UV rays.
  • Type of Sunscreen: Sunscreen comes in all shapes and forms. You can choose anything from spray, tubes, and sticks. The factor that determines which type of sunscreen you should choose depends on the sport that you practice. For instance, if you’re a swimmer, you might prefer a Spray sunscreen, which is easier to apply in hard-to-reach areas like the back and shoulders, which are often exposed when swimming.
  • Water Resistance: Whether you’re a swimmer, a runner, or cyclist, you always want to select a water-resistant sunscreen, even if you’re not underwater, you know you’ll sweat, especially during summer.
  • Ingredients: Ingredients should always play a significant role when choosing any type of product for our skin. Thus, we always recommend choosing natural and mineral forms to avoid rashes, allergies, and irritation. Besides, these options tend to be more eco-friendly and better for the environment.

Sunscreen for Sports FAQs

Why is Sunscreen Important for Athletes?

Everybody should utilize sunscreen, whether you’re just heading out the door to do some grocery shopping or if you’re going out for a walk. Especially athletes who perform any type of outdoor exercise or sport because they’re exposing themselves to dangerous UV rays for a prolonged period. When these harmful UV rays reach unprotected skin, they damage it, causing collagen reduction in deep layers of the skin due to the radiation, which causes premature aging, spots, and even cancer.

What Type of Sunscreen Should I Buy?

The type of sunscreen you choose will depend a lot on the kind of sport that you practice. However, as a general guideline, always choose sunscreen anywhere between 30 and 50 SPF. Experts recommend applying the product every two hours for maximum efficacy.

What SPF Should Athletes Use?

Again, this largely depends on the type of sport. But if you perform water sports, we recommend spray. A lotion is far better for all other sports, as it can cover much more than spray does.

Should I buy natural sunscreen?

Natural sunscreens are usually better options than synthetic chemicals sourced sunscreens, as the latter usually contain harmful ingredients. Another thing worth mentioning is that natural alternatives also tend to be free of parabens and preservatives.

Can you buy sunscreen that does not burn your eyes?

Sure! We made our pick below, so you don’t have to fuss about finding the right sunscreen.

Does wearing a hat prevent sunburn?

The short answer is yes. But, not entirely. While wearing a hat helps, if you want to completely protect your face from the damage of UV rays (which your hat can’t stop) you need to apply sunscreen.

Our Top Sunscreen Picks

After a careful reviewing session, we’ve come with a list of our 11 favorite sunscreens for all types of outdoor sports, so you don’t have to spend hours and hours reading reviews to find the right sunscreen for you.

1. Best Overall Sunscreen for Athletes – Thinksport Mineral Sunscreen ($16.99)

  • SPF: 50+.
  • Volume: 6 Oz.
  • Type: Lotion.
  • Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide, Sunscreen, purified water.
  • Features: Vegan, cruelty-free, Reef Friendly, Paraben-free, BPA-free.

Thinksport Mineral Sunscreen is by far the best overall sunscreen for athletes of all kinds because it ticks all the boxes: it’s natural, it’s a lotion format which is the best overall type of sunscreen, it’s potent, and among other things, it’s vegan friendly.

Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, hiker, or swimmer, this sunscreen is so efficient that it was the first sunscreen to pass Whole Foods Premium Care requirements. What’s more, Thinksport’s sunscreen is also Leaping Bunny certified, and it’s free from PABA, parabens, phthalates, BPA, oxybenzone, avobenzone, and petroleum. Lastly, it’s gluten and dairy-free, making it a safe choice for everyone.

2. Best Water Resistant Sunscreen for Swimmers – Zealios Sun Barrier ($14.95)

  • SPF: 45.
  • Volume: 3 Oz.
  • Type: Lotion.
  • Active Ingredients: Zinc oxide, Zinc.
  • Features: Water and sweat-resistant, vegan, gluten and cruelty-free, paraben and oil-free.

This sunscreen is hands-down the most water-resistant natural sunscreens in the market, thus it’s naturally ideal for swimmers and any athlete that sweats a lot! So, if you live in a hot area, sweat a lot, or swim, try this natural sunscreen! Designed by and for athletes, Zealous leads the way with a unique formula that dries fast and does not stain your clothes.

3. Best Strong Sunscreen for Cyclists – Supergoop! PLAY ($45.99)

  • SPF: 50.
  • Volume: 2.4 Oz.
  • Type: Lotion.
  • Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate.
  • Features: Vegan, Reef Friendly, Paraben-free, no oxybenzone, no octinoxate.

Ideal for sensitive skins, Supergoop! PLAY is the perfect combination of smooth, good-smelling, and effective sunscreen, ideal for cyclists thanks to its potent broad-spectrum formula. If you’re a cyclist, you know the importance of using sunscreen that is both sweat-resistant and has a great texture, so it does not feel sticky as the wind hits your face. Supergoop nailed its formula and checks all the boxes any cyclist looks for in a sunscreen lotion.

4. Best Sweat-Proof Sunscreen for Runners – Skinnies Sungel ($34.99)

  • SPF: 30.
  • Volume: 3.4 Oz.
  • Type: Gel.
  • Active ingredients: Avobenzone, Bemotrizinol, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone.
  • Features: Vegan, Reef Friendly, Paraben-free, cruelty-free, water-resistant, broad-spectrum, no water.

Unlike most sunscreens, Skinnies Sungel has 0% water, making it the perfect ally for runners. Why? For two main reasons; runners spent the most outside under the sun, and also water does not protect your skin from the damages from the sun. This unique gel formula forms a thin layer on your skin that you can’t even see. It dries super-fast and fully protects your skin against all types of harmful rays.

5. Best Sunscreen for Athletes with Sensitive Skin – Blue Lizard Sport Mineral Sunscreen ($26.22)

  • SPF: +30.
  • Volume: 8.75 Oz.
  • Type: Lotion.
  • Active Ingredients: Octocrylene, Zinc Oxide.
  • Features: Vegan, Reef Friendly, Paraben-free, sweat, and water-resistant, fragrance-free.

Ideal for any type of sport due to its potent water and sweat-resistant properties, the Blue Lizard Sport Mineral Sunscreen is the right pick for athletes with sensitive skin as its gentle formula free from parabens and harsh chemicals is specifically designed for sensitive skin.

6. Best Spray Sunscreen for Athletes – Sun Bum Original Spray ($12.79)

  • SPF: 30.
  • Volume: 6 Oz.
  • Type: Spray.
  • Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene.
  • Features: Vegan, Reef Friendly, Paraben-free, broad-spectrum, water-proof.

The ingredients utilized in this formula are excellent. Sun Bum uses top-quality natural ingredients and, on top of that, the hypoallergenic spray sunscreen is a great option for people with sensitive skin and the best is that it does not break out acne-prone skin. What’s more, Sun Bum’s spray formula is very lightweight and does not contain dyes or any harmful ingredients.

7. Best Face Sunscreen for Athletes – SolRX Stick for Face ($10.99)

  • SPF: 50.
  • Volume: 0.5 Oz.
  • Type: Stick.
  • Ingredients: Zinc.
  • Features: Reef Friendly, Paraben-free, broad-spectrum.

SoxlRX’s athlete-inspired stick is every runner’s best ally! Easy to carry, lightweight, and practical, Sol RX’s simple formula is all you need to protect your face from UV rays. It glides gently and easily, and it’s ideal for wearing under makeup too, due to its light formula.

8. Best SPF 30 Sunscreen for Athletes – Australian Gold Extreme Sport ($8.49)

  • SPF: 30.
  • Volume: 8 Oz.
  • Type: Lotion.
  • Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene.
  • Features: Vegan, cruelty-free, Reef Friendly, Paraben-free, broad-spectrum.

Australian Gold Extreme Sport’s new formula is specifically designed to be sweat and water-resistant, making it the ideal SPF 30 sunscreen for an active lifestyle. They have developed a unique technology that offers sweat-activated cooling to neutralize odors and maintain the skin fresh all day, whilst protecting the skin from both UVA rays and UVB rays, due to their broad-spectrum formula.

9. Best SPF 50 Sunscreen for Athletes – NO-AD Sport Sunscreen Lotion ($37.95)

  • SPF: 50.
  • Volume: 16 Oz.
  • Type: Lotion.
  • Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Oxybenzone.
  • Features: Vegan, cruelty-free, Reef Friendly, Paraben-free, water, and sweat-resistant.

This affordable and easy-to-apply sunscreen is ideal for any athlete, thanks to its lightweight formula which makes it great for all types of sports. NO-AD Sport Sunscreen Lotion is an allergen-free SPF 50 and broad-spectrum sunscreen ideal for athletes for its powerful UV ray blocking capacity.

10. Best Strong Sunscreen for Athletes – Sun Bum Original SPF 70 ($17.98)

  • SPF: 70.
  • Volume: 6 Oz.
  • Type: Lotion.
  • Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene.
  • Features: Vegan, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, Reef Friendly, Paraben-free, broad-spectrum, water-resistant.

Although easy-to-apply and ultra-sheer, this lotion is both strong and excellent to protect your skin from harmful rays while hydrating it, which is ideal for athletes as it protects the skin while neutralizing harmful free radicals are the principal cause of premature skin aging and skin damage.

11. Best Budget Sunscreen for Athletes – Amazon Brand – Solimo Sport Sunscreen Lotion ($5.40)

  • SPF: 30.
  • Volume: 8 Oz.
  • Type: Lotion.
  • Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene.
  • Features: Vegan, Reef Friendly, Paraben-free, water-resistant, non-greasy.

Great price for value! Amazon’s lotion is very sheer and easy to apply, making it an excellent choice for any athlete practicing any type of sport, including water sports, such as swimming or surfing. Besides, it’s great for oily and acne-prone skin, as it won’t break you out.

Final Takeaways

It’s no news that exercising regularly is an excellent way to stay healthy and live a long life. And, if you made it this far, chances are you’re truly committed to your health and wellbeing, so you know the importance of protecting your skin against harmful sun rays.

As you know, not only do sun rays damage our skin, but they can cause serious diseases like melanoma. And while sunlight is a great form to get vitamin D, it is also crucial to have the right protection. Don’t allow the harmful UVA and UVB rays to keep you from working out or practicing your favorite sport, but in doing so, make sure to protect your skin as you know best.

So, whatever sunscreen you choose, remember that what matters the most is how you apply it and how often you add a second layer. All the sunscreens mentioned in this post last a good 80-min protection, which will allow you to stay on top of your game for longer than other products do. So, we hope this post has helped you, and we hope you keep protecting your skin!

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Ultimate Guide to Top Triathlon Watches in 2021

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Finding your next triathlon watch is a big deal. It’s a piece of equipment that is on every practice run, bike, and swim, and it’s one of the most important race day device for tracking your pace. That is why finding the best triathlon watch is one of the most important decisions and investments you can make. A solid triathlon watch will last years and produce accurate training and race records.

Top Triathlon Watches for 2021

  Triathlon Watch Image Feature Price
1 Garmin Forerunner 935 Best Overall Triathlon Watch – Read Review $284.99
2 Garmin Forerunner 945 Most Advanced Triathlon Watch – Read Review Price not available
3 Fitbit Versa 2 Best Smartwatch + Triathlon Watch – Read Review $148.95
4 Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Best Watch for Extreme Triathlons – Read Review $699.99
5 Polar Ignite Best Budget Triathlon Watch – Read Review $209.59

Important Considerations When Choosing a Triathlon Watch

Battery Life

Battery life is one of the most important considerations when choosing a triathlon watch. Depending on the length of our race, you’ll want a watch that can last for the whole race. There’s nothing worse than having your watch die halfway through your run.

There are multiple factors that go in to a triathlon watches battery life. The size and composition of the battery itself is the most important. You can check the expected battery life in the product details. Another to consider is the use of GPS. GPS drains batteries substantially and considering you are likely using GPS for your training and races, this is one of the most important numbers to consider.

Everyday Usage

It’s also important to consider how you’re going to use the watch on a daily basis. Are you going to wear the watch all day or just during your trainings? Some triathlon watches are more suitable for everyday usage and include features such as music, payment, and resting heart rate, while other watches are more utilitarian without the features you may use everyday.

Types of Activities

Every watch on this list tracks runs and cycling via GPS, but only a few track open water swimming via GPS. If that’s important then you’ll want to make sure that box is checked when you’re buying a new triathlon watch. Outside of the basic swim, cycle, run, some watches track other activities such as weight lifting and even snowboarding. Our reviews contain listings of all activities tracked by the watch, so it’s important to know which activities you plan to do and make sure your watch can support it.

Budget and Cost

Triathlon watches are a big investment. Outside of the bike, the watch is one of the most expensive pieces of equipment a triathlete owns. Keep in mind that a solid triathlon watch will last you years, and thousands of miles on the pavement and in the water. It’s not the place to go cheap, so if you can afford to spend a little extra for a watch with all the features you need it will be well worth the additional investment. Your budget will likely dictate what kind of watch you can buy, as costs range from around $100 to well over $600. Figuring out how much you can afford is the first starting point when choosing a new watch.

Apps and Metrics

Different watch brands have different apps and metrics. Garmin is one of the most popular watch brands and has a solid app that all of its watches use. The Garmin Connect app is one of the best activity tracking apps on the market so that automatically gives Garmin watches the edge. Other software apps, such as the Fitbit Connect, are also serviceable services for tracking your training.

Another important consideration is metrics. Understanding which metrics are available in each app, such as VO2 Max for Garmin Devices, will help differentiate watches and help you understand what you need.

Top Triathlon Watches for 2021

1. Garmin Forerunner 935 ($284.99) – Best Overall Triathlon Watch

This is the watch that I personally use and is the best triathlon watch on the market. It can easily track most sports, including the most important running, cycling, and open water swimming. One of the biggest pros to this watch is it’s battery life which should last for any Ironman race. This watch does not only delivery during races, but is great for ongoing training and tracking. The Connect IQ app for iPhone and Android easily tracks workouts, heart rate, VO2, and many other metrics. In addition to training, the watch tracks everyday metrics such as resting heart rate and sleep. That makes the Garmin Forerunner 935 the best all around triathlon watch.

Cool Garmin 935 Features – Garmin’s Training Status

A few of the best features that I use often with this watch is the ‘Training Status’ and VO2 Max. Training status measures your current training load and overall fitness (things like heart rate and performance) during your workouts to determine what your training status is.

The different statuses are peaking, productive, maintaining, recovery, unproductive, detraining, and overreaching. You can read more about those on Garmin’s website but in general these are pretty good indicators of how you’re progressing.

I have found one problem with the training status – when doing brick workouts it does not take into consideration you did two workouts back to back, so your run (for example) after your bike could classify you are unproductive since your heart rate and performance is likely less than typical.

Cool Garmin 935 Features – VO2 Max Calculation

VO2 Max is a calculation of how efficiently your body is using oxygen during your workouts. Higher VO2 Max numbers have been tied to better fitness, performance, and overall health. The Garmin 935 does a good job tracking your ongoing VO2 Max and you can track your progress over the course of weeks or months as you build your fitness.

This is a great overall feature and is generally considered relatively accurate, plus it beats the tubs and lab testing that athletes normally have to go through. Lastly, you can compare your VO2 Max to others in your age group and the watch will give you an Top % and your fitness age, pretty cool!

Garmin Forerunner 935 Specs

Lens Material – chemically strengthened glass
Strap – Silicone
Size – 47 x 47 x 13.9 mm
Display Size – 1.2 inches in diameter
Water Rating – 50 Meters, Swimming
Battery Life – Smartwatch Up to 2 weeks, GPS/HR mode: Up to 24 hours, UltraTrac mode: Up to 60 hours without wrist heart rate
Connectivity – Bluetooth® Smart, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
App Software – Connect IQ
Heart Rate and RHR – Yes, taken every second
Activity Profiles – Indoor Rowing, Strength Training and Cardio Training, Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running, Hiking, Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Jumpmaster, Tactical, Biking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Biking, Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming

Download the Forerunner 935 Manual Here

Garmin Connect Software and App

One of the places where Garmin watches really shine is their software and app. When you complete a workout it’s automatically uploaded to the Garmin Connect app on your phone or on the web. From here you can track your training and workouts. The app contains a ton of useful information like stress level, heart rate, intensity minutes, and some other unique metrics such a VO2 Max and Training Load.

VO2 Max and Training Load Explained

One of my favorite features of the Garmin watch is the ability to track VO2 Max and training load. VO2 Max is a measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen an athlete can use during exercise. It’s a great measurement both of heart health and of athletic endurance. You can track this via the app and see the improvement.

The next metric is training load. Training load measures the amount of training and level of exertion during a rolling 7 day average. It will tell you if your in recovery, maintaining, productive, peaking, or overreaching in your training and also give you optimal recovery time after each exercise.

2. Garmin Forerunner 945 (Price not available) – Most Advanced Triathlon Watch

The Garmin 945 is by far the most advanced triathlon watch, containing many features of the 935 with the addition of more everyday applications for music, maps, and payment.

Difference Between the Garmin 935 and Garmin 945

In general the two watches have the same features for triathletes, but the Garmin 945 is more of a lifestyle watch plus triathlon watch. The main difference is the 945 contains music, maps, and payment abilities in addition to the normal activity features of the 935. Another difference most people notice is the price difference between the two – on Amazon the Garmin 935 is $284.99 while the Garmin 945 is Price not available.

Garmin Forerunner 945 Specs

Lens Material – Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX
Strap – Silicone
Size – 47 x 47 x 13.7 mm
Display Size – 1.2 inches in diameter
Water Rating – 50 Meters, Swimming
Battery Life – Smartwatch Mode: Up to 2 weeks, GPS mode with music: Up to 10 hours, GPS mode without music: Up to 36 hours
Connectivity – Bluetooth® Smart, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
App Software – Connect IQ
Heart Rate and RHR – Yes, taken every second
Activity Profiles – Indoor Rowing, Strength Training and Cardio Training, Running, Indoor Running, Trail Running, Hiking, Climbing, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Jumpmaster, Tactical, Biking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Biking, Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming

Download the Garmin Forerunner 945

3. Fitbit Versa 2 ($148.95) – Best Smartwatch and Triathlon Watch

The Fitbit Versa 2 is a watch that I have owned for many years and is one of the best smartwatch and triathlon watch. The easy to use interface is perfect for the beginner triathlete or Sprint/Olympic triathletes. This is the perfect watch if you want a mix of easy to use smartwatch and solid activity tracker for swimming, cycling, and running. One of the weaknesses of this watch is the battery life with GPS, which potentially could go out during a longer Ironman. Another weakness is the inability to track open water swimming. The watch does a great job of tracking laps in a pool, but is unable to use GPS to track swimming in open water.

Fitbit Versa 2 Specs

Lens Material – Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Strap – Woven band made from polyester
Size – 1.56 x 1.59 x 0.47 inches
Display Size – 1.57 inches in diameter
Water Rating – 50 Meters, Swimming
Battery Life – Smartwatch 4+ Days (much less if GPS is being used)
Connectivity – Bluetooth®
App Software – Fitbit Connect
Heart Rate and RHR – Yes
Activity Profiles – Run, Bike, Swim, Weights, Interval Workout, Workout, Spinning, Golf, Hike, Tennis, Stairclimber, Pilates, Circuit Training, Bootcamp, Yoga, Elliptical, Walk, Martial Arts, Kickboxing

Download the FitBit Versa 2 Manual

Fitbit Connect Software and App

The Fitbit Connect app and website is an easy to use activity tracker where you can check on things like heart rate, steps, and activities. Although the tracking is accurate and easy to use, it is a very basic platform and only has very specific information.

The interface is easy to use and tracks everything you need from steps to ongoing resting heart rate. Additionally the app will tell other lifestyle activities such as you how well you slept and how many calories you burned during the day (through normal activities + active workouts).

4. Garmin Fenix 6X Pro ($699.99) – Best Watch for Extreme Triathlons

If you’re planning on using your watch for some extreme hiking, mountain climbing, or skiiing, then this watch is the one for you. That is why we are ranking the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro the best watch for activites beyond triathlons. It contains all of the features of the 935 above, but is a bit larger, made with more durable material, and lasts longer due to solar charging. You hear that right, the watch has an option for solar charging in case you’re on a long hike. This extends the battery life substantially in regular mode, but only for an hour in GPS mode.

Another big differentiation is the ability to load maps (trail maps, climbing routes, and ski maps) on to the watch. This can be useful when training for extreme triathlons in mountains or remote trails.

Germin Fenix 6X Pro Specs

Lens Material – Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX or Sapphire Crystal
Strap – Silicone, Leather, Titanium or Nylon
Size – 51 x 51 x 14.9 mm
Display Size – 1.4 inches in diameter
Water Rating – 100 Meters
Battery Life – Smartwatch: Up to 21 days
Battery Saver Watch Mode: Up to 80 days
GPS: Up to 60 hours
GPS + Music: Up to 15 hours
Max Battery GPS Mode:Up to 120 hours
Expedition GPS Activity: Up to 46 days
Connectivity – Bluetooth® Smart, ANT+®, Wi-Fi®
App Software – Connect IQ
Heart Rate and RHR – Yes, taken every second
Activity Profiles – Strength, Cardio and Elliptical Training, Stair Stepping, Floor Climbing, Indoor Rowing, Pilates and Yoga, Running, Treadmill Running, Indoor Track Running, Trail Running, Virtual Running, Hiking, Indoor Climbing, Bouldering, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, Snowboarding, XC Skiing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rowing, Kayaking, Surfing, Jumpmaster, Tactical, Biking, Indoor Biking, Mountain Biking, Triathlon, Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Swimming/Running

5. Polar Ignite ($209.59) – Best Budget Triathlon Watch

The Polar Ignite is an intuitive feature filled triathlon watch that features a slimmer and lighter design than other watches on this list. This watch is a great starter triathlon watch in the $200 range and has all the features needed, including running, cycling, swimming, and a ton of other activities (see specs).

Polar Ignite vs Polar Vantage

The Polar Vantage is also a great multisport watch that is a bit of a higher price but arguably better for triathlon events. The battery life is higher (30 hours vs 17 hours with Ignite) and there are some addition metrics around things like cadence and stride. But overall we don’t feel the increase in price is worth the extra money for the Vantage over the Ignite.

Polar Ignite Specs

Lens Material – Dragontrail glass lens
Strap – TPU plastic, stainless steel buckle
Size – 43 x 43 x 8.5 mm
Display Size
Water Rating – 30 Meters, Swimming
Battery Life – 17 Hours Training Time
Connectivity – Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
App Software – Polar Flow
Heart Rate and RHR – Yes
Activity Profiles – Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Beach volley, Bootcamp, Boxing, Canoeing, Circuit training, Climbing (indoor), Cricket, Cross-trainer, High-intensity interval training, Cycling, Cycling, Indoor cycling, Mountain biking, Road cycling, Dancing, Ballet, Ballroom, Dancing, Fitness dancing, Jazz, Latin, Modern, Show, Street, Disc golf, Downhill skiing, Backcountry skiing, Downhill skiing, Telemark skiing, Duathlon, Duathlon, Off-road duathlon, Field hockey, Finnish baseball, Fitness martial arts, Floorball, Football, Functional training, Futsal, Golf, Group exercise, Aerobics, Aqua fitness, Group exercise, Spinning, Step workout, Gymnastics, Handball, Ice hockey, Jogging, Judo, Kayaking, Kickboxing, Kitesurfing, Orienteering, Mountain bike orienteering, Orienteering, Ski orienteering, Other indoor, Other outdoor, Riding, Rowing, Indoor rowing, Rowing, Rugby, Running, Jogging, Road running, Running, Track&field running, Trail running, Treadmill running, Ultra running, Sailing, Skating, Ice skating, Inline skating, Roller skating, Skating, Skiing, Biathlon, Classic XC skiing, Classic roller skiing, Freestyle XC skiing, Freestyle roller skiing, Skiing, Snowboarding, Soccer, Squash, Strength training, Surfing, Swimming, Pool swimming, Open water swimming, Swimming, Table tennis, Tennis, Triathlon, Off-road triathlon, Triathlon, Trotting, Volleyball, Walking, Hiking, Nordic walking, Snowshoe trekking, Walking, Wheelchair racing, Windsurfing, Wakeboarding, Water skiing, Windsurfing, Yoga, Body&Mind, Core, Mobility (dynamic), Mobility (static), Pilates, Stretching, Yoga

Triathlon Watch FAQs

Can you use the new Apple Watch as a triathlon watch?

Technically yes – the Apple Watch contains all of the features needed for triathlon activities, including open water swimming, cycling GPS, and running GPS. The main problem is battery life, which would barely last you through an Olympic Triathlon. So in general the watch could be an option for training and shorter triathlons, but not a good option for any serious triathlons.

Do I need a triathlon watch?

If you’re just getting started and training for a Sprint or Olympic distance then you probably could go without a watch. The amount of time training and racing don’t really warrant the additional features that many nice triathlon watches have. Anything over a Half Ironman, a triathlon watch is probably a top priority. You’ll want to track your runs, bikes, and swims and also have a watch that helps you pace during the race. Triathlon watches are meant for heavy duty training that comes with training

Featured post

The 5 Best Triathlon Wetsuits – A Definitive Guide for 2021

Selecting the best triathlon website can be confusing and overwhelming to the triathlon newbie. We review the top 5 triathlon wetsuits and top questions you should consider before buying a wetsuit.

You may think borrowing a surf wetsuit from your friend will be fine for a race, but actually having a fitting triathlon wetsuit would impact your triathlon performance strongly and make you more comfortable during the race. No matter you are the triathlon beginner, a poor or good swimmer, having a well fitted triathlon wetsuit assists your legs/chest/shoulders’ motion substantially. It also boosts your swimming speed and provides a greater buoyancy.

Top 5 Wetsuit Benefits

According to USAT Wetsuit guideline, if the temperature of the water is below 78 degrees, you are allowed to wear a triathlon wetsuit, even just a short distance race.

  • Thanks to its neoprene made from a rubber material, your body temperature is preserved to stay warm.
  • You do not have to consume much energy when wearing it.
  • Wearing it could enhance the swimming speed (10%). So, you have more time for transiting to a bike racing or running.
  • Decrease drag through the water.
  • Improve your swim thanks to its buoyancy features. By lifting up your head and leg higher than the water surface, you improve your ability to breath and increase your line of sight.

Obviously, you may not want to to invest in a wetsuit due to its high cost. It’s fine because you could rent it at many tri retailers.  Also, many open-water swim venues or swimming events allow you to try out a wide range of models for a quick swim. By this way, you could get what fits best before commit to buying.

Top 5 Best Triathlon Wetsuits

1. Best Overall Wetsuit – Neosport Triathlon 5/3mm Sleeveless (Price not available)

If you’re looking for a triathlon wetsuit that improves buoyancy, range of motion, and decreases drag, this sleeveless joint wetsuit is the one. You’ll also will be impressed by its comfort and its skin-like material.

In addition to comfort, the suit provides extra buoyancy for your legs. It increases your stroke efficiency, plus gives you a better position in the water. It has a thick 5mm neoprene chest panel which maintains body heat and it’s arm seal prevents water penetrating into the wetsuit.

Pros

  • An impressive ultra-light neoprene material gives you a great feeling of softness and a snug fit.
  • The sleeveless wetsuit allows your forearm to move flexibly. As for 5MM neoprene on the chest panel, your body position in the water is properly regulated.
  • It reduces the water resistance and its 3MM back panel supports your range of motion.
  • A mid-calf leg opening decreases drag in the water.
  • Offers a bigger tooth zipper to easily zip up/down.
  • A bonus point is given for its adjustable neck collar.
  • A reasonable price which is around $100.

Cons

  • Some swimmers complain about its tight neckline.

2. Best Beginner Wetsuit – XTERRA Volt Full Suit 3/2mm ($139.00)

This brilliant entry-level wetsuit is one of the triathletes’ favorites. It has a snug neckline which means there is no way the water could flush through it. Also, what makes it is well-known is the stretchy 3/2mm neoprene. With this wetsuit, a perfect combination of mobility and buoyancy is the main selling point.

Pros

  • Provides maximum flexibility thanks to its neoprene construction(3:2mm).
  • Its X-SLICE coat reduces water drag and help you swim faster.
  • Great applause for its eco-friendly neoprene which provides great buoyancy and flexibility.
  • A significant durability seam due to its double-blind stitching and three layers of glue.
  • Its 4D X_FLEX suit liner helps to retain its shape and fit. So, no need to worry about its durability.

Cons

  • Apart from few subjective complaints (etc. wrong size), there is no serious disappointment about it.

3. Best High Quality Wetsuit – Synergy Endorphin (Price not available)

This triathlon wetsuit is specifically designed for both the newbie and the advanced. In fact, it’s is endorsed by many athletes and approved by Ironman.

Indeed, the Endorphin’s 5mm core buoyancy assists with buoyancy and reduces energy consumed when swimming. Meanwhile, its YKK zipper reduces drag and helps you move faster through the water. Many swimmers also appreciate it’s ultra-soft low-neck. Likewise, it’s 3mm back panel, 2mm arms and shoulders panels guarantee your wetsuit will be maintained in good form for a year.

Pros

  • Most of the swimmers appreciate a flexibility it brings as the same as the sleeveless.
  • The provided panels over the torso give you higher float on the water. So, it enhances an aerodynamic and lessens drag.
  • Offer a high-grade internal zipper could fight back a corrosion. Also, the zipper’s seam is hidden to give your back surface a graceful look.
  • Providing an adjustable Velcro closure at the neckline. Hence, you could custom it to fit snugly conveniently.
  • Your body heat is preserved thank to its soft inner liner. Also, it prevents chaffing at your elbows, knees or armpits.
  • Its heels are cut to deliver a greater transition between the different legs of the race.
  • A wide range of sizing (16 options) that is available for all shapes.

Cons

  • Not a suitable option if you are on a distance triathlon swimming race (10k).

4. Best Budget Wetsuit – Zoot Z Force (Price not available)

One of the most important qualities of a triathlon wetsuit is it’s comfort during the swim. The Zoot Z Force offers great comfort and mobility during the swim (etc., restricted movement, reduced flexibility). The Zoot Z Force offers many great features like a reasonable neckline and well-craft blend of neoprene on legs and torso. Overall, the Zoot Z guarantees your performance efficiency, especially with its entry level price. That’s why this mid-range wetsuit is one of the best budget wetsuits on the market.

Pros

  • It’s SCS coated Yamamoto neoprene maintain your warmth in the water.
  • No more struggling with put on or take it off thanks to a back panel placed above the ankles.
  • You are provided a decent amount of buoyancy and restrictive -free panel shapes. By this way, your range of motion flexibility is enhanced, especially the shoulder areas.
  • It reduces drag through the water considerably. It means you could avoid any hindrance that affects your stroke movement.
  • With many listed great features, it offers a reasonable price.

Cons

  • It would be a bit heavier (4:3:5mm throughout) than other same range of wetsuit.

5. TYR Sport Hurricane Wetsuit (Price not available)

The triathlon wetsuit reviews aim to encourage the experienced triathlon swimmer after having made a first impression with the newbie and progressing athletes successfully. Indeed, it’s neoprene thickness gives you a nice feeling and higher floatation in the water. Also, thanks to its impressive all-around buoyancy, you could kick flexible while moving your upper body freely.

As it helps you move through the water easily, you could swim faster and quickly transit to the bike racing, for instance. Besides, you easily put it on or take it off. By this way, you should not concern about a movement around the shoulder areas from these triathlon wetsuit reviews.

Pros

  • Your body temperature is preserved to be reasonably warm in the water thanks to it’ Yamamoto SCS material.
  • Providing a sufficient upper-body buoyancy thanks to an added 3mm panel on the chest. Whereas, its 4mm panels at hips and legs lift your lower body floating well.
  • Meanwhile, the arm panel is such a remarkable supple.
  • It is noticeable lightweight to wear during swimming.
  • Offering eye-catching colors for men (black/green) and women (black/cyan).
  • An amazing price-to-performance ratio ($164 at the current).

Cons

Its neck neoprene thickness (4mm) may make you sore after 1km stretch. However, it would be helpful to apply some lubricant on this place.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whats the Difference Between a Triathlon Wetsuit and other Wetsuits?

Now, you may wonder the differences between a triathlon wetsuit and a non-swimming wetsuit? In fact, it matters about how the wetsuit interacts with the water.

Usually, the non-swimming wetsuit (surfing, windsurfing, scuba diving, etc.) are know for its warmth and protection functions. By keeping the surrounding water close to your core body, the retained water is warmed up. However, you would feel heavy and slow when swimming with these kind of wetsuits.

Whereas a triathlon wetsuit has a unique and slick material called “hydrophobic” that would repel water and increase your speed through the water. This material is an exterior of your wetsuit’s neoprene. Importantly, this proprietary blend is designed varied from each manufacturers base on the certain of the athlete’s levels.

For example, the entry-level ‘s wetsuit has around 2mm around the chest/arms and 3mm of material around the legs. Its purpose is to support the triathletes floating in a right position.

Types of Triathlon Wetsuits

There are a long-sleeve, which gives you a full-body coverage, and a sleeveless/long john style which does not cover your arms. If you have the budget, you should buy both, otherwise, here are pros and cons to help you pick the right one.

Long-sleeve

Used for 50 – 75 degree water swimming temps.

Pros: As it has more rubber, it is more buoyant than other types. Surely, you would swim faster and easier because you could float higher in the water now. It reduces drag and boosts your swimming speed significantly.

Cons: Many athletes may overheat in this full suit in warmer water.

Sleeveless

You could wear it when the water temp is over 75 degree.

Pros: You make your entry and exit easily out of the sleeveless.

Cons: Water is flowing smoothly through your shoulder areas which result in a higher water’s force that drags you behind.

Notes:

Though the full suit reduces a real feel of water, many swimmers appreciate its speed increase function, lessen drag effect and floatation increase. Likewise, some others like the sleeveless because it brings them a great flexibility of motion. So, it all about your preference.

However, you need to look closer to its sizing. More specifically, the women’s triathlon wetsuit would have a wider hip area and less room in the crotch than the men’s.

How Should a Wetsuit Fit?

At first, you need to comprehend how to justify the triathlon wetsuit is the one for you. If it too tight, your movement is restricted and you will quickly become exhausted. On the other hand, the water will gush in and out and reduce your body heat if it too loose. Five criteria below could help you find out if the wetsuit fits well.

  • Your shoulder ‘s mobility could move freely and comfortably.
  • There is no excess material or folds.
  • When trying it on, you do not find it tighten your body.
  • Replace for the better snug neckline if it ties around your neck.
  • Not feel anything like it’s riding up in the crotch area.

What is Neoprene?

The swathes of neoprene are cut and bind varied from the manufacturers, make sure you test it out before purchasing.

  • Mesh neoprene: With one nylon usually laid on the chest and back panels, your triathlon wetsuit’s coat is powered to prevent you from suffering a wind chill.
  • Double lined neoprene: With this type, there would be two nylon lining on the inside and outside. It enhances to protect your body core from hypothermia. Apparently, you are given more safeguard when swimming in the low- temperature water.
  • Titanium lined neoprene: This type helps to improve your wetsuit’s thermal properties. It has been added to the majority of most current neoprene.

What Thickness Should I Get for my Wetsuit?

  • Less than 2mm: It is designed for the highly active athletes, especially in less thermal protection conditions like tropical environments (above 85 F).  Plus, with this neoprene thickness, you are granted a remarkable flexibility.
  • 3mm: You would want to this wetsuit thickness if you love to enjoy a high-energy activity in the summer. Indeed, it is designed for swimming in the water temp between 70-85F.
  • 3mm-5mm: This range of thickness is available for the round year activities, no matter you intend to swim in warm or cooler water (60-70 F). It provides a sufficient combination of neoprene thickness, you are given an warmth when underwater. However, it leads to less flexibility of your motion.

What Kind of Wetsuit Zipper Should I Get?

Does the wetsuit deliver a reasonable ease of exit? Could you dress on quickly? That explains why you need to consider the wetsuit zipper carefully.

  • Chest zip: You may get have trouble entering and exiting with this zip. However, it’s small position and entry could minimize water flowing through your wetsuit. Besides, it provides a consistent neckline seal which also prevents the water flushing through your neck. It’s more expensive than the back-zip suit.
  • Back zip: Back zip has been around for a long time, and you could easily get in and out of the wetsuit. It also requires less shoulder’s articulation motion.

Tips

To decide easily, you only need to follow your personal preference. If you favor the ease of access, then back zip would be a nice choice. Otherwise, go for the chest zip suit in case you appreciate how the water flushing is reduced.

What Are the Different Types of Wetsuit Seams?

  • Taped seams: A strong nylon cloth or tape is applied to join the seam and back up it’s waterproof. By this way, there is no water strap between you following the triathlon wetsuit reviews. However, due to a few holes left after stitching the wetsuit’s segments, the wetsuit’s insulation ability is reduced somehow. Regardless, this type of seam improves your wetsuit’s durability noticeably.
  • Glued & Blind Stitched: As for this type, it’s stitched seams are bind by glue to prevent water entering your wetsuit. Overall, it seems perfect for your range of motion flexibility. Also, you could wear it for a cold-water swimming.
  • Welded seams: Remarkably, there is no need to stitch to bind the wetsuit’s segments. Instead, they are bind by a combination of seam glue. It enhances your wetsuit’s strength and water tightness. And not only provides an extremely good flexibility and outstanding comfort but also this type of seam prevents water from penetrating to your wetsuit. Besides, you could feel relaxed as it is truly lightweight. Obviously, with many benefits offered, it’s price is relatively expensive among others on the market.
  • Flatlock stitched seams It is the most common steam stitching. It overlaps the neoprene panels by sewing them together with 6 threads and 4 needles. Evidently, your wetsuit is strengthened to be more durable and comfortable to wear. However, it would limit your motion’s flexibility. Also, some holes caused during the stitch may allow the cold water to move in your wetsuit. As a result, you should not wear it for the cold-water swimming.

How Much do Wetsuits Cost?

I’m sure you’re aware how pricey the wetsuit is. But to pick the right one with the right features hat correspond to the cost is hard. So, here are some facts you want to look over.

The entry-level long joint/sleeveless costs approximately $200.

The high-end suits cost at least $450.

As for the more expensive wetsuits, it provides more enhanced technical features to support you swimming faster. Also, an exterior coat could resist the water’s force. Hence, your body shape and forearms are well-positioned to “catch” the water. Moreover, the more you pay, the thinner wetsuit you get. That’s how you gain a greater movement and more delightful buoyancy.

3 Extra Tips you Should Keep in Mind when Choosing a Wetsuit

Warranty

Remember to consider how your wetsuit backed-up by the manufacturer. Look in to how long the warrant lasts and what kind of things it cover.

Importantly, you are able to preserve it according to triathlon wetsuit reviews for long-term used. Particularly, after exiting the water, you roll it from the ankles up into a tube and put in your bag. Seriously, remember to not fold it when it is wet. Also, when dry it at home, you need to hand it over a clothesline through its middle. By this way, you would not crumple it.

Features You Shouldn’t Worry About

As a matter of fact, you do not have to concern much about its aesthetic or additional features like more or fewer zippers, color panel, or neoprene’s extra. In fact, spend your time considering how the wetsuit fit you to determine whether it’s good for your swimming efficiency.
Also, almost all the shops would unhappily accept your return. So, make sure the purchased wetsuit is totally fit and make your swimming experience smoothly.

Questions You Need to Ask

Overall, you need to ask yourself beforehand about a proper fit intense, the construction, the warranty. Also, the triathlon wetsuit reviews clarify whether a top-end suit or an entry-level suit meet your needs. By drawing out all clear answers, you could make a reasonable purchase of triathlon-specific wetsuit.

Final word

When it comes to the best triathlon wetsuit, you should consider the full range of motion for your arms and legs, as well as buoyancy. Warmth and fit should also be your top priorities. As a matter of fact, picking between the full-sleeve or the sleeveless is just a matter of your preference. Have fun swimming!

Featured post

Ultimate Bicycle Cleaning and Maintenance 101

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Welcome to Bicycle Cleaning and Maintenance 101. The following steps are what I consider my “weekly” and “monthly” cleaning or maintenance.

Of course, how often you clean your bike will depend upon how much mileage you put on your bicycle. The weekly clean-up represents perhaps 150 + miles of cycling per week. If you are not covering that much mileage in a week, than you can perform this maintenance once per month.

Before I go on, let me say, you do not need to purchase a bike stand. A bike stand will make things easier, and I do suggest you consider the purchase if you plan on sticking with this sport or at the very least, you continue cycling. Some folks will use their stationary trainer when performing cleaning or maintenance on their bikes.

  ** Steps 7 and 8 are part of my “monthly” tune-up. I recommend this as a once a month performance once a month, especially in the summer months.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I also suggest you put on some old clothes and even some protective eyewear. When using the toothbrush to scrub various parts, there will be some spray back of the degreaser so protect your eyes.

Typical Areas of Dirt, Grime and Rust Build-up on Your Bicycle

Below are the typical areas of the bicycle where dirt and grime will build up over time. Wet or damp roads, salt from coastal areas and sweat all contribute to the build up of dirt, grime and even rust. And taking 30-45 minutes once every week or two (depending on how much mileage your ride during a week), to clean your bicycle will add years to the life of your “machine!”

I also included a picture of the headset and stem bolt. Because triathletes spend so much time in the aero position, sweat can and will drip on these components and seep down into the handlebar stem as well. I have seen handlebar stems frozen in place due to rust because of the sweat factor.

Necessary Tools and Supplies for Cleaning Your Bicycle

Below are the basic tools and supplies needed for your weekly and monthly tune-up. None of the items are very expensive.

The Chain Cleaner is probably the most expensive and will cost around $25. But the initial investment will pay for itself within the first month or two. Furthermore, the supplies will last a long time. I have had my Chain Cleaner for almost 8 years now and it is still working fine!

The Tri-flow and bike grease will also last you years. The remaining supplies can be found in any hardware/ grocery/ automotive store or around the home!

1. Chain Cleaner – This is a Park Chain Cleaner and can be found in most cycling catalogs.  There are other excellent models on the market as well. It will be the most expensive supply in which you will have to invest but it is well worth the money for it will provide years of service.

2. Degreaser – Get a good degreaser. There are several excellent degreasers on the market. Degreasers can be found at auto parts shops as well as bike shops/catalogs. Get on that is biodegradable.

3. Waterproof Grease – I recommend a good waterproof grease. I have Phil Woods for years. There are others on the market.

4. 5mm Hex Wrench – A 5mm Hex should fit the bolts we will be referring to in this maintenance plan.

5. Teflon Spray – A good Teflon spray is necessary and can be found at most bike shops. We recommend Finish Line Dry Bike Lubricant.

6. Plastic container, old rags and a few old toothbrushes

Cleaning the Bicycle Chain

The first step in you weekly bicycle maintenance routine is cleaning the chain. Many bike shops will completely remove the chain and let it soak in a vat of degreaser while working on the bike. And there is nothing wrong with that. However, there is no real need to remove the chain with the chain cleaners available today.

1. Start out by filling the chain cleaner with degreaser (photo 1). This particular chain cleaner is a two part system with a top and bottom portion. The top portion holds the degreaser. The bottom portion contains the build in cleaning brushes and stores the leftover degreaser.

2. Attach the chain cleaner to the chain and lock into place. (photo 2). Whatever model chain cleaner you purchase, directions will be provided.

3. (Photo 3) Take the cleaner with your left hand. This particular model has a small black button on top that when depressed, releases the degreaser so as to clean the chain. Take the pedal with your right hand. Begin turning the pedal and crank arm counter clockwise and with your left hand, push the black button on top of the chain cleaner. To help the flow of degreaser, keep the cleaner as level as possible.

4. Follow this procedure until the all the fresh liquid is used. Remove the chain cleaner and pour the remains into a container. Then take an old rag and take hold of the chain while turning the pedals counterclockwise again. This will help remove any excess dirt and liquid.

5. Refill the container as in step 1 and perform steps 2- 4 two more times. You will notice by the third or fourth time, a froth develop. This means that chain is pretty darn clean! Take a rag and wipe off any excess.

Cleaning the Bicycle Wheels and Rear Cassette/Freewheel

After cleaning the chain, I then move to the back of the bike to clean the rear wheel and rear cassette/freewheel. This does require that you remove the wheel. And you want to perform this step AFTER cleaning the chain because dirt and grime from cleaning the chain will make its way down to the cassette/freewheel.

NOTE: With the exception of the rear cassette/freewheel, you will perform the same steps on the front wheel as well. If your cassette/freewheel was gunked up with dirt, the shifting may be off just a bit once it is clean. Therefore, after completing the bike clean-up, practice shifting the gears and adjust if necessary.

1. After cleaning the chain, I then move to the back of the bike and begin cleaning the wheel and cassette/freewheel. To do this, it is best to remove the rear wheel. And you find it much easier to remove if you remove the chain from the chain ring. First make sure the chain is shifted down to the small ring of the front crank system.

Then take your index finger wrapped with a cloth (photo 1) and start at the bottom of the chain ring. Place your finger between the chain and chain ring, pulling down on the chain just a bit so the chain is about a half inch off the ring.

Then, run your finger along the chain, while slowly guiding the chain to the inside (photo 2). Then drop the chain to the inside of the chain ring, resting it on the bottom bracket tube (photo 3). This will release the tension of the chain and allow you to pop off the back wheel.

2. Fill you plastic container with some degreaser (photo 4). Grab your toothbrush, your container, your rear wheel and an old t-shirt or rag to lay across your lap. Find a comfortable place to sit and get ready to clean that wheel! (photo 5)

3. Once the rear wheel is removed, remove the skewer. (photo 6). It is fairly simple. Just unscrew one end. Once removed, loot at the springs to see if there is a build up of dirt/grime. If there is, drop them in your container filled with degreaser to soak while you clean. If the springs are clean, then reattach the skewer so you do not loose any of the parts and put it off to the side (photo 7).

4. As mentioned in step 2, lay a cloth or old t-shirt across your lap to keep the grease and grime from getting all over you. Dip your toothbrush into the container and begin scrubbing away at the cogs of the cassette. Make sure to get in between the teeth. Be liberal by keeping the brush wet and clean (photo 8).

5. Once you have given the cassette a good cleaning with the toothbrush, take a rag and make a fold pulling tight enough to slip the fold in between each cog (photo 9).

Now, the cassette will only move in one direction. So, once the rag is between the cogs, turn the cassette with the rag then drag the folded cloth backwards cleaning a small portion of the gap. Continue the back and forth motion (similar to a ratchet wrench) until you complete the circumference.

Then drop down to the next gap. Do this until you have cleaned between all the cogs. Repeat this step by folding the cloth in a new spot, apply some grease directly on the fold and run through each gap again. This will pick up any loose dirt and grime (photo 10)

6. After cleaning the cassette, take the rag adn wipe down the hub (photo 11)

7. Clean the spoke nipples. Dip the toothbrush into your container of degreaser and scrub the spoke nipples. The spoke nipples are usually neglected and shouldn’t be. If ever you have a loose spoke, it is important to be able to tighten it. If your spoke nipple is rusted or oxidized, you will not be able to adjust it. After cleaning the spoke nipples, wipe down the hubs and spokes (photo 12).

8. Finally, shoot a little Teflon spray in the shoot of the hub before putting skewer back on the wheel (photo 13).

Cleaning the Rear and Front Derailleur

Next we move to the rear and front derailleur to remove any excess dirt and grime. This step is fairly simple but a very important one. These two components of the bicycle attract a great deal of dirt and grime so keep them clean and smooth running is a must.

1. Rear Derailleur – Nothing scientific about this step. Simply get out the toothbrush, dip it in your container of degreaser and begin scrubbing away at the rear derailleur. The main area of build up will probably be the pulleys (two small toothed rings in the derailleur). Get your rag and dry the derailleur and pulleys. Try to get in all the nooks and crannies. And make sure you wipe down the pulleys. This will be hard to dry so use some ingenuity with rag. Its doable!

2. Front Derailleur (not pictured)- Follow the steps as you would with the rear. You will not have pulleys to clean, but you will have to get into some tight corners. So do the best you can.

IMPORTANT: Once you have finished cleaning both derailleurs, shoot some Teflon spray on the springs and tight areas to help lubricate the system

Cleaning Your Bicycle Brakes: The Brake Calipers and Brake Pads

Cleaning and maintaining smooth working brakes is crucial for smooth stops and overall bicycle safety! Follow these steps for both the front and the rear brake system. Cleaning the brake system is a simple process but as I mentioned, is extremely important! It is best to remove both wheels to perform this step

1) Dip your toothbrush in your degreaser and scrub away! With the wheels removed, pinch the break pads together to get to expose the difficult-to-reach areas.

2) Also scrub the pads. There will be dirt between the treads of the pads.

3) Certain parts of the calipers have been known to attract rust such as the adjusting screw and exposed cable. We will go over care for the exposed cables later.

Cleaning the Bicycle Crankset or Crank System

The crankset of crank system is a major dirt “magnet” and keeping it clean is necessary for maintaining a smooth pedaling bicycle and is a key step in your weekly/monthly maintenance.

However, it is important to note, you do not have to remove the entire crankset from the bottom bracket each time you clean. By removing the chainrings, you can access those “hard to get” areas much easier. And you do not have to remove the chainrings each time you clean. How many miles you cover on your bike will determine how specific you get in the cleaning process.

Regardless, I think it is important to clean your crank system once a week to twice a month. Typically, I will keep the chain rings on for my weekly cleaning and remove them for my monthly cleaning.

1. Take the 5mm Hex wrench and remove the chain ring bolts (photo 1). Grab a hold of the pedal for leverage. There are two parts the chain ring bolts. After unscrewing the front, you need to remove the other located at the back of the small chainring. After removing the chainring bolts, let them soak in a small container of your degreaser while you continue. When removing these bolts, TAKE YOUR TIME! Be careful of your knuckles when unscrewing these bolts. The sudden loosening of a bolt could find your knuckles/hand becoming one with the teeth of the chain ring…and believe me…the chainring teeth WILL cut you up.

2. After removing the screws, line up the right side of the crank system with the right crank arm pointing straight down (12 and 6 o’clock). (Photo 2) You will notice two numbers located on the chainrings at the 12 o’clock point. These numbers represent the number of teeth on the each chainring. These are important to remember upon putting the chainring back together. They must be facing you. Some larger rings will also have a pin on one end (Photo 2) that lines up directly behind the right crank arm at the 6 o’clock point. Once removed, you scrub away on the chaingrings!

3. Remove the chainring. First remove the big ring from the front (Photo 4) the remove the smaller ring from behind the crank system.

4. You will now have access to your chain. (Photo 6) Simply take the chain and lift it around the crank arm so you can now access the bottom bracket tube. (Photo 7 & 9). Dip the toothbrush into the solution and begin scrubbing. And don’t forget the underside as well. (Photo 8) This area is often neglected and is a dirt magnet.

5. And while you are at it, clean your pedals! (Photo 10)For some pedals, the build up of dirt and grime will actually comprise the fit of the cleat as well as the float.

Now Lets Put it all Back Together

Important: Before putting the chainrings back on the crank arm, lift the chain back over the crank so it is inside the crank arm and resting on the bottom bracket tube.

1. When putting the chain rings back on, begin with the small ring first. While facing the chain ring, fit the small ring from behind. Make sure the number on the ring (39 or 42) is facing you. Then replace the large ring from the front with the number facing you (53, 56, etc) Both should fit snug in their respective positions. Also make sure the pin or dimple on the larger ring is lined up with the crank arm.

2. Attach the screws, making sure the holes line up. They should tighten down on their own.

Cleaning the Exposed Cables on Your Bicycle

Cleaning and maintaining any and all exposed cables on your bicycle is another one of those minimal tasks that if neglected, can cause problems in the future.

Much will depend on the geographic area or climate where you live and ride. In warmer climates with high humidity, rust can appear on your cables in as quickly as a week. Combine that with the “sweat” factor and problems could develop rather quickly. Now, this won’t affect some of your newer bikes with internal cable routing.

However, you will have exposed cables on your brakes and your front and rear derailleur. I have seen these cables snap because of rust brought about by neglect. The process takes about two minutes of your time so take the time and add some protection.

1. This is one reason I like to use a water proof grease. Phil Woods is my favorite, but there are others. This is also something that you will want to do every week no matter what, even if you do not perform a total bike clean-up. It is not full-proof but it will help.

2. Prior to this step, you will want to remove any existing dirt or rust from the cables. This can be as simple as wiping down the cables with a cloth doused with some degreaser. If there is too much rust, you have to use other means. I do not recommend using sandpaper to remove the rust. If the cables are in poor condition, it would be easier to replace them. Cable only costs a few bucks. Otherwise, use bronze wool (which you can pick up at any hardware store) and some naval jelly (again at any hardware or boating store) to remove the rust. Use gloves as well.

3. After cleaning the cables, put a little grease between your fingers (photo 1) and run your fingers along all exposed cable (photo 2). This will put a light film along the cable and help ward off moisture until your next cleaning.

Cleaning the Bicycle Seat Post

Maintaining your seat post does not require you to clean each time you ride or even once a week. However, if you are riding several times a week, it is a good idea to remove it and clean it once a month. I have seen seat posts frozen in the seat tube because of rust and corrosion.

You may not realize it, but it is a definite sweat magnet. And sweat = rust on certain parts of the bike depending on the material used. Obviously, during the summer month’s this will warrant keeping an eye on things.

However, if you are spending time on the stationary trainer during the winter months, the sweat factor is very real.

1. To check for any rust build-up, remove your seat post. Before you do so, mark your spot with tape. I have chosen a blue masking tape for visibility reasons. This tape will not hold. I normally use black electrical tape.

2. After loosening the seat post binder bolt, pull out the post. Wipe it down with your rag. You will probably notice the copper color of rust on the rag. After wiping it down, cover the post with grease below your mark.

3. Then slip the post back down the seat tube and tighten the binder bolt. There will be some grease that will gather at the top edge of the seat tube. Just wipe it off.

Cleaning the Handlebar Stem and Headset of Your Bicycle

This is another step that I suggest you do once a month. Even more so than the seat post. This area is another victim of body sweat! Especially for a triathlete riding in the aero position.

This is a photo of a traditional handlebar stem or quill stem. However, today’s newer ahead stems will also be subject to rust and corrosion.

ONE POSITIVE NOTE: Because today’s ahead stems basically “wrap” around the fork post, you do not have to remove the stem for cleaning. If you have an older quill stem your brake cables may be routed in such a way that it will be difficult to remove your handlebar stem. Especially a traditional stem. If this is the case, I suggest you consult your local bike shop to ask them what they would do.

1. Like your seat post, mark your spot with some tape before removing the stem. On a traditional quill stem, begin by loosening the stem bolt. This will require a large Hex wrench.

2. Once the bolt is loose, you should be able to lift the seat post up and out.

3. Wipe the stem post with a rag. Then cover the post with grease below your tape mark. Slide the stem back into place. Grease will gather at the top of the head set. With your finger, draw a bead of the left over grease around the stem covering the corner between the stem and headset. This again will help ward off future moisture until your next cleaning.

4. Just as you did with the exposed cables, put a little grease between your fingers and wipe on your head set just enough to put on a light film. No need to be liberal. Again, just a preventative means to help ward off moisture. Every little bit helps!

Final Cleanup of Your Bicycle

At this point, just get your rag and finish wiping down your bike, removing any smudges, dirt spots, etc. This won’t take but a couple of minutes.

Initially, this basic clean-up may a while. However, once you it becomes habit, it should only take about 45 minutes to an hours. A step that could save you $40 bucks next time your bike needs cleaning. I like to perform my maintenance once a week on a Sunday after my long ride.

Put on your favorite music, some old clothing and knock it out! Good luck.

Featured post

Swim Distance Charts For Racing and Training

Triathlon Swim Distances

The swim distances for the various triathlon distances are below. You can also check out our triathlon training programs. If you’re looking for swim gear, check out our top swim goggles, top wetsuits, and top swimskins.

Sprint Distance Triathlon – Swim distances will vary. Usual distance will be ¼ mile or approximately 500 yards.

International Distance Triathlon – Swim distance will vary. Distance may range from ½ mile to 1.5k or 800-1700 yards.

Olympic Distance Triathlon – Swim distance is 1.5k or approximately 1700 yards.

Half Iron Distance Triathlon – Swim distance is 1.2 miles or approximately 2000 yards.

Iron Distance Triathlon – Swim distance is 2.4 miles or approximately 4000 yards.

Pool Miles, Yards, and Length Distances

The conversions are below for miles, yards, and lengths. You can also view our swim workouts here.

25 Yard pool (Short Course)

MilesYardsLengthsLaps
 25 yards (from wall to wall)1 length 0.5 Lap
 50 yards2 lengths 1 Lap
 100 yds4 lengths 2 Laps
¼ mile  (Sprint Distance) about 500 yards  20 lengths10 Laps
½ mile about 800 yards  32 lengths16 Laps
1 mile (Olympic Distance) about 1700 yards  68 lengths34 Laps
1.2 miles (Half Ironman Distance) about 2000 yards  80 lengths40 Laps
2.4 miles  (Ironman Distance) about 4000 yards  160 lengths80 Laps

50 Meter Pool (Olympic Size)

MilesYardsLengths
 50 meters (from wall to wall)1 length 
 100 meters2 lengths 
¼ mile   (Sprint Distance) about 400 meters  8 lengths
½ mile  about 800 meters  16 lengths
1 mile (Olympic Distance) about 1700 meters  30 lenghts
1.2 miles  (Half Ironman Distance) about 2000 meters  40 lengths
2.4 miles   (Ironman Distance) about 4000 meters  80 lengths

How many laps in a pool is a mile?

One mile is 68 lengths of the pool, or 34 laps (there and back) in a 25 yard pool. In Olympic size pools (50 meters), one mile is around 30 lengths, or 15 laps.

How long is 1.2 miles swimming?

1.2 Miles is the length of the Half Ironman swim distance. In a 25 yard pool, 1.2 miles is around 2000 yards, or 80 lengths. In an Olympic size pool it’s around 40 lengths.

Featured post

The Ultimate Newbies Guide to Triathlons

So, you are thinking about doing a triathlon.

What is it that has motivated you?

Is it personal pride, the physical challenge, the thrill of competition?

Perhaps you were flipping the channels one Fall Saturday afternoon and became mesmerized by a bunch of crazy people swimming, biking and running for an entire day while vacationing on some beautiful tropical island. Maybe you were out picking up the morning paper and saw your neighbor heading out for a bike ride. Or did you attend a local triathlon in your area and notice the wide mouthed grins on the faces of the racers as they crossed the finish line?

Whatever the reason, all I have to say is… EXCELLENT and CONGRATULATIONS!

But be careful…

This triathlon thing is a like a poisonous bug…if you aren’t careful, it will bite you. And the poison once in your system is like an addictive elixir. You may never want to quit!

But where do I begin?

Let’s take a look.

Plan Ahead

Now comes the time for you to seriously consider what lies ahead. Now you must sit down with yourself and think about the reality of what it will take for you to be one of those smiling, satisfied human beings crossing the finish line.

To begin with, ask yourself some questions that are tied directly to your home.

Are you married? Do you have kids? What is your daily work schedule? Do you work full time outside the home or do you work full time in the home?

If you are married, you owe it to your mate to discuss this with him/her. Sit down with your partner and discuss the reality of doing a TRI. Of coarse, the initial conversation can be very encouraging. But understand one thing, neither you nor your partner really knows the type of commitment training for a triathlon takes…physically, emotionally and yes, financially.

Physically, you have your own mind, body and sole to think about. Training for triathlons takes commitment, hard work (it will seem so at first) good conditioning, quality time and oh yea, did I mention commitment?

Emotionally, you have to deal with fatigue, mental letdowns, outside responsibilities, last minute interruptions to your training program and of coarse the good times too!

Financially, the expenses can become overwhelming. You’ve got running shoes, cycling shoes, running and cycling apparel, a bicycle, swim suits, goggles, gym fees and pool fees…and yes they all add up.

If you have children, write out a schedule that includes your training and daily responsibilities, with which you and your partner can work and live. And assume you are doing this for the long haul. Anyone can be accommodative for one event. But after that first triathlon, what happens if you love it so much you want to continue? Patience on your partner’s part may be short lived. And let’s not forget…your partner can always train with you!

And of course, if you are single with children, the scheduling can be even tougher.

But it can be done.

And finally, if you are single, with no children, than you have NO EXCUSES.

I am not here to discourage you, but rather let you know some of the basic facts that go along with triathlon training and racing. But remember, there are folks just like you who have considered these very things, have set out on this very journey and wound up loving it!

Getting Down to Business

First things first…

Before you take another step…you need a goal. Something to shoot for…something to keep you motivated.

To begin, I suggest you choose a particular triathlon preferably close to home. Research the various triathlon magazines or search the Internet for a calendar of races in your area.

Choose a Race

My first recommendation would be to choose a Sprint Distance Triathlon. Determine the time between now and race day and give yourself enough time to adjust to your new training regimen. And set aside enough time to provide for a safe, injury free training period. Furthermore, do not rush your training. I would not schedule a race any sooner than 10 weeks out. And the farther out, the better. Below is a break down of the distances covered in a Sprint Distance Triathlon.

The Sprint Distance Triathlon:
Swim: ¼ mile = 400 – 500 yards(meters)
Bike: 9 – 15 miles
Run: 5K or 3.1 miles

There will always be variations in the distances of a Sprint Tri, but most will be pretty close to those listed above

Once you have decided on a race, sit down and map out a training schedule to fit your daily routine. You will find two 10-week training programs for beginners in the Training Program section of this site. Use it as a model for your own schedule.

Finding the Time

The first thing to determine when training for a triathlon is – when will you do your training? If you work full time, you will have to create a training schedule compatible with your work schedule.

Depending on your athletic background, no longer will your training consist of simply heading out for a run, driving to the pool for a swim or hopping on your bike for an afternoon ride. You must now combine all three sports as part of your training regimen and perhaps even some strength training in the weight room(primarily for strength and endurance).

And you must understand, the majority of your training will consume most of your “one time” free time.

Believe me, this will test your commitment. But like I said, most of the folks in this crazy sport are in the same boat, and somehow we all find a way.

Determine Your Goals

I do not know what your goals are regarding triathlon but we can break that down into two basic categories:

  1. To finish the race
  2. To be competitive in the race.

Because it is your first race, I am guessing your main goal is to finish the race and hopefully with a smile on your face! If you decide you love this sport, you will find there are plenty of triathlons out there for you to participate in and if so desired, you can adjust and build your training program around a more competitive performance.

If you decide to become more competitive in your racing, your training will probably become more advanced. Your training program would have to be more organized and well planned. If you decide you want to stick with this sport, then you really must learn to train with patience. Burnout, excess fatigue, injuries and ultimately frustration can develop due to over training, and a discipline, conservative training regimen is absolutely necessary.

Get the Gear!

Now comes the fun part…coughing up the greenbacks! The first thing to determine is what do you currently possess regarding equipment, training aids, etc and what will you need to purchase? If your birthday or a holiday is coming up you can also add some great to your wish list, check out our top gifts for triathletes. Below is a basic list of those items necessary for training and competition in the sport of triathlon:

The Swim Gear

  1. Competitive Swim Suit (usually made of lycra). A swim brief is not a must in the beginning. Any swimsuit will do. Guys, you may feel uncomfortable wearing a men’s swimming brief, but if you choose to become more competitive in this sport, a quality suit is crucial to your training. For the ladies, the choices are many, especially regarding racing apparel, so do some research and find out what is best for you.
  2. Goggles and a cap. You will be racing in a cap, so wearing one may help you get used to it. For ladies and long-haired guys, you will want a cap to keep the hair out of your eyes while swimming. Get a rubber cap, not lycra. As for triathlon goggles, check our the top goggles for triathlons.
  3. (Optional) A kick board, pull buoy and paddles. If you swim with a masters program or at your local pool facility, these items will probably be available. If they are not and you do decide to stick with this sport, I would consider making the purchase.

The Bike Gear

  1. A Bicycle– at this point, do not concern yourself with purchasing a new bicycle. Any bike with gears will be fine. In fact, many of today’s Sprint races have a “fat tire” division for those with mountain bikes, hybrids et.al. It is important, however, to have a bike that fits your body.
  2. Bike Shoes. Again, if you decide to stick with this sport, you will need a pair of bike shoes. For your first race, however, you can cycle in your running shoes. Make sure the bike pedals on your bicycle do not require specific cycling shoes. If they do, you will have to make a decision…either purchase different pedals or invest in some bike shoes. If your bike does have cycling specific pedals, I recommend having them switched out for a pair of basic pedals with a toe clip. A new pair of bike shoes can run you between $100-300. Where as, a set of standard pedals would probably only set you back about $30 (maybe less!). The bike shop will be able to change them out in a matter of minutes.
  3. Cycling apparel. I do recommend purchasing a couple pairs of cycling shorts for your training. Your derriere will be glad you did. Visit your local bike shop or search the Internet. You will find a list of the leading retailers listed in the Tri-Links section of this site.
  4. Cycling Computer. A cycling computer will be helpful with your training in determining your speeds and distances. But it is not a necessity. And there are many on the market. If you want one, find the most basic and least expensive.
  5. Water bottles and Repair Equipment. Water is vital! You will need water bottles (and bottle cages) for your bicycle. Having spare equipment will do you little good if you do not know how to change a tire. Especially if you are training alone. And always take along some money for a phone call(s) in the event you are left stranded. I have flatted out twice on one ride and all my spares were used up. One phone call, and 15 minutes later, a friend was there to pick me up. For now, I suggest you cycle close to home or with a partner. But for most of us, cycling close to home often means cycling in busier traffic so always cycle with caution.

The Run Gear

  1. A good pair of running shoes.This is very important. If at all possible, try to purchase your first pair from a knowledge source. That is someone who can look at your feet and determine what you may need. Good shoes are important. If there is a running specific store in your area…use it! Even if the shoes are expensive. Once you find a pair you love, then you can order online all day long and really save.
  2. Comfortable Apparel. This includes comfortable and weather appropriate clothing.
  3. Running Hat. If the sun is hot, a good cap is a plus to shade your face. Find one made with mesh. This will allow heat from your head to pass through.

Other Accessories

  1. Heart Rate Monitor. Once you decide you want to stick with this sport, invest in a Heart Rate Monitor. It will wind up being your favorite training partner. You will find a good source for heart rate monitors on our gears page.
  2. Wetsuit. Again, if you decide to stick with the sport, you will want to invest in a wetsuit as well. Now, for those of you living in areas where the waters remain chilly throughout the Spring and Summer you may want to consider wearing a wetsuit from the get go. But before you buy, see if you can borrow. Do not purchase a Dive suit or Surfing wetsuit. The material is much thicker and suits tend to be looser fitting. A Triathlon wetsuit is light and basically skin tight and allows for terrific mobility. We have a great triathlon wetsuit guide for you to check out.

One + One + One = One

I want to emphasize that even though you may excel in one particular sport (swim, bike or run), it is important to balance all three activities when training. If you are a runner, for example, you will have an advantage over most of the triathletes during your race, as long as you have not wasted yourself on the swim and bike. Because your race performance will be a direct result of your training, a balanced training program is necessary. Once you add two additional sports to your training regimen, your specialty may actually suffer a bit, at least in the beginning. Remember, two of the three events in triathlon – the bike and run – put a great deal of stress on the legs, so again, balance is the key to preventing over training and ultimately injuries.

The Breakdown of Each Event

Now let’s discuss each event as they exist in a traditional triathlon.

The Swim

Without going into the specifics of “How to Swim”, and not knowing your swimming background, I do have a few suggestions. If you are having difficulty with your freestyle in any way and you want to learn some specific drills to improve your stroke, you will find Four Drills that Will Make You Swim Faster located on this site. Terry Laughlin’s Total Immersion is also a good source for swim drills. If there is a masters swim program in your area with a coach, than I recommend you join. If you do have to swim solo, I have provided several workouts located in the swim section of this site.

Here are some basic facts that may help you as you approach your swim training. Most of today’s pools are 25 yards in length and one length = 25 yards. 4 lengths = 100 yards. In a Sprint Distance Triathlon, the typical swim is a quarter mile (¼) or around 400-500 yards, which is equal to 16-20 lengths. Now, some of you may be swimming in a 50 meter pool which will be a bit different regarding lengths and distances.

Refer to conversion chart below:

25 yard pool: 50 meter pool:
1 length = 25 yards 1 length = 50 meters
2 lengths = 50 yards 2 lengths = 100 meters
4 lengths = 100 yards 4 lengths = 200 meters
16 lengths = 400 yards 8 lengths = 400 meters
20 lengths = 500 yards 10 lengths = 500 meters

Cycling

Beginning a cycling program does not have to be difficult. As mentioned earlier, you will need a bike with gears. And this can be a mountain bike, a hybrid, or preferably a road/triathlon bike. Regardless of the bike you choose easy riding and building mileage is the key. You can start out with 10 miles or so on your rides and build to 25-30 miles in a relatively quick period of time without injury. In the beginning, do not worry about speed. If you live in a hilly area, try to stay as aerobic as possible on the uphill climbs. Switch to lower gears and try to stay in the saddle. If you happen to have a heart rate monitor, use it and try to keep your heart rate within your aerobic zone. If want to know more about Heart Rat Monitors and Methods of Heart Training click here .

Also, do not worry about spending big dollars on fancy bike equipment at this point. If you decide to stick with this sport, there will be plenty of time for you to blow your dough on the bike!

Just remember. Make sure your bike is safe and operating, as it should. Take it by your local bike shop and get properly fit. Have them check the brakes, the tires, the gears, etc. to make sure your ride is ready for the roads.

Running

If you are not or have not been a “runner” or you are not in the best condition, or perhaps you are returning to running after a long hiatus and you are heavier than normal, you need to approach your running program with care and some smarts. And, there are some excellent books on the market that will help you design a plan to get you high steppin’ on the roads and trails:

Tim Noakes..Running Lore
Jeff Galloway…Marathon Training
Phil Maffetone…In Fitness and in Health

The reason I refer you to these books, besides the fact that they are interesting and helpful for over all health and fitness, is because these authors endorse walking as a means of building a running program. And they incorporate walking in their programs.

Folks, there is nothing wrong with walking before or during a running program. At 6’4″ and 200 lbs, my size just doesn’t warrant me pounding the pavement as often as many of my lighter, quicker compadre’s! So I add some walking. And I find it wonderful. But to each his own and you will learn what is best suited for your body, your size and your physical condition. If you do run on a fairly regular basis, run easy and keep your heart rate a little lower than normal, at least until you begin to acclimate yourself to your new training regimen.

And as mentioned earlier (and I cannot mention it enough) get yourself a pair of good running shoes. Visit a running specific store if at all possible and have someone check out your body position, how you stand, your gate or stride, your feet, etc. and determine what shoe is best for you.

In Conclusion

In closing, remember you are incorporating a rather busy and body intensive training regimen – three sports and some weight lifting – with your already busy day. So please, train carefully and use your brain. Our goal at Tri-Newbies Online is keep you involved in this sport for the long haul.

Be patient and Good luck.

Best Amazon Prime Day 2021 Triathlon Gear Deals

TriNewbies.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Prime Day is here again and is running from June 21 – 22. These days feature incredible deals on a ton of triathlon gear so it’s always a good idea to stock up.

This page will be updates regularly with the best deals as Prime Day arrives.

Best Triathlon Prime Day Deals

  1. 20% off Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935
  2. 12% off Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 945
  3. 20% Off Happy Belly Crunchy Oats & Honey Granola Bars
  4. 20% Off Happy Belly Nuts, Chocolate & Dried Fruit Trail Mix
  5. 27% off Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor

Triathlon Gear Prime Day Deals

30% Off Speedo Swim Equipment

Speedo has 30% off swim equipment like goggles, swim suits, kickboards, and more. Great time to stock up on swim training gear!

30% off Camelback Water Bottles

30% off Camelback water bottles, which are perfect for your bike! You can also stock up on replacement lids and other accessories.

Triathlon Watches Prime Day Deals

Prime Deals on Garmin Watches and Heart Rate Monitors

Amazon has a good selection of high end Garmin watches for sale. These are rarely discounted and there are some triathlon watches that are included in the sale as well. Some of the best deals include:

20% off Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 935

The 935 is one of the most popular tri watches and is currently on sale for 20% off. It’s our top rate watch in our triathlon watch guide!

12% off Garmin 010-01746-00 Forerunner 945

You can get 12% off Garmin’s high end triathlon watch, the Forerunner 945. It’s a bit more expensive than the 935 but it’s worth the extra dough. You can find more details on why the 945 is the best triathlon watch.

27% off Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor

Amazon has their top selling and top rated Garmin HRM-Tri Heart Rate Monitor on sale for 27% off. This is a super great deal to score a great monitor for cheap! It’s also our top rated triathlon heart rate monitor.

Wetsuits and Swimskins Prime Day Deals

20% Off Synergy Triathlon Swimskins

20% Off MY KILOMETRE Triathlon Shorts Mens 9″

Food Prime Day Deals

20% Off Happy Belly Crunchy Oats & Honey Granola Bars

20% Off Happy Belly Nuts, Chocolate & Dried Fruit Trail Mix

Top 7 Cycling Gloves for 2021

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced cyclist, it is important to be well-equipped to prevent injuries. Our hands are essential. They support our body, promoting balance, stability, and direction. Besides, our hands are in direct contact with the air, the sun, or the rain, which can produce pain. We should also bear in mind that the cushion can prevent injuries if we fall.

In addition to being an essential garment that will provide you with comfort for hours and hours of healthy pedaling, cycling gloves will prevent annoying (and in certain cases, dangerous) sweaty palms. They will help you reduce numbness in the hands and provide the first defense against falls and shocks. There are many good reasons to wear gloves when riding a bike.

However, with so many options in the market, it is hard to decide the best option available. That’s why we narrowed down our search to the best and most affordable cycling gloves for 2021. Ready to learn what the best ones are? Let’s dive in!

7 Best Cycling Gloves

  Helmet Image Best Feature Price
1 Louis Garneau Biogel (Womens) Best Overall Cycling Gloves $52.02
2 Giro Jag (Womens) Best Road Cycling Gloves $19.95
3 Giro Bravo (Womens) Best Close Finger Warm Cycling Glove $29.95
4 Pearl Izumi Cyclone (Womens)   $40.00
5 PEARL IZUMI’s Select (Womens) Most Comfortable Cycling Glove $29.95
6 Endura FS260-Pro Aerogel Mitts (Womens) Best High End Cycling Gloves $44.99
7 GripGrab Aero TT Best Cycling Gloves for TT (Time Trial) Price not available

1. Best Overall Cycling Glove – Louis Garneau Biogel ($52.02)Mens / Womens

Pros
Breathability
Stretchy
Better range of motion
No sweaty palms

Cons
Sizing, we recommend sizing up.

Definitely the best overall cycling gloves. Designed to provide maximum comfort, the Louis Garneau Biogel RX-V gloves are our top pick. Thanks to its innovative design, unlike other gloves, these do not feel stuffy, will not get your hands sweaty and hot, and are an excellent option for all bikers, from beginner to expert.

The perforated palm with Biogel padding and ventilation allow for a better range of movement, thanks to the stretchable materials, which absorb the vibrations and minimizes the pressure on your hands.

Top Features

Its unique biogel technology is by far one of the best in the market, as it allows for cool and adjustable padding that automatically adjusts to your palm and seamlessly accompanies the movement of your hand.

Other features include spandex technology, which offers excellent stretchability and ventilation. On top of that, the air vent evacuates moisture and ventilates to keep your hands cool and avoid sweat.

2. Best Road Cycling Glove – Giro Jag ($19.95) – Mens / Womens

Pros
Ergonomic
Perfect fit
Sleek aesthetic
True to size

Cons
The Velcro is so strong it can be hard to take off
It can get slightly slippery in wet conditions

The phrase “fits like a glove” has never been so right! The Giro Jag gloves for men and Giro Jag’ette for women probably have the best fit. Ergonomic and with a good grip, these pair of gloves are perfect for both road or trail bikers. We can definitely say that these are the best road cycling gloves in the market right now.  

Top Features

The technology of these gloves allows for an ergonomic grip at all times. The strong Velcro protects your wrists from injury. Besides, the gel inserts target areas, thus strategically preventing soreness and pressure. The Giro Jag glove fits perfectly, enabling the fingers to move freely and comfortably. Additionally, the padding offers maximum comfort.

3. Best Closed Finger Warm Cycling Glove – Giro Bravo ($29.95) – Mens / Womens Tessa Gel LF

Pros
Gel fits in the right places
Great value for the price
Comfortable, flexible, and breathes well
Touchscreen compatible

Cons
It can be very lightly padded for some people

The Giro Bravo and Tessa Gel LF is a gel-padded and comfortable closed finger glove that ensures an ergonomic and comfortable fit at an unbeatable price.

The sleek design is both classic and clean. It is streamlined against the wrist to increase support and made with top-quality materials to ensure maximum comfort and prevent sweat. This glove is perfect for riders who want a traditional yet, light padding glove – ideal for cold weather.

Top Features

The Tessa LF provides you with comfort and presents an ergonomic design while providing premium materials at an affordable price. The breathable fabric is light and stays airy as the temperature rises. It’s the perfect choice for riders who want full-finger protection but also the comfort of gel padding. Its highly absorbent microfiber fabric also prevents sweaty hands. It is safe to say that these gloves are the best closed-finger warm cycling gloves on Amazon.

4. Pearl Izumi Cyclone ($40.00) – Mens / Womens

Pros
Ideal for harsh climate
True to size
Completely windproof

Cons
Not very aesthetic

The Elite Softshell fabric keeps your hands warm, even at very low temperatures. Its soft material can help keep your hands dry, even if you are sweating. The five gel pads across the palms offer cushioning on bumpy roads but are firm enough to keep you in control and provide a good grip.

Top Features

This is one of the most popular cool-weather gloves on the market. Designed with a synthetic leather palm that supports a four-way stretch and breathability. It provides both wind and water protection. The gauntlet overlaps with any jacket to avoid a bare wrist, making it an ideal glove for harsh conditions. 

5. Most Comfortable Cycling Gloves – PEARL IZUMI’s Select Glove ($29.95) – Mens / Womens

Pros
Excellent fit
Comfortable padding
Good grip

Cons
They’re a bit pricey

The Select Gloves are the most padded cycling gloves in the market and arguably the most comfortable. The high-quality gel foam technology prevents bulkiness while maximizing comfort.

Top Features

High-quality gel foam along with a pad configuration that prevents bulkiness and takes pressure off the hand. These gloves have a synthetic leather palm that is both soft and durable – thus, it is safe to say that these are the most comfortable cycling gloves on Amazon.

6. Best High End Cycling Gloves – Endura FS260-Pro Aerogel Mitts ($44.99) – Mens / Womens

Pros
Velcro closure is on the wrist, thus facilitating movements
Good grip, even when slippery
Easy to put on and take off

Cons
Not true to size, we recommend sizing up

The FS260-Pro Aerogel Mitts from Endura are excellent for long rides and are incredibly comfortable. Likewise, the molded gel padding absorbs shocks in the palm while providing a solid grip, thanks to its format.

Features:

These are the best high-end cycling gloves, thanks to its cutting-edge molded gel padding and silicone grips. Besides, it includes a set of handy finger tabs that allow easy glove removal.

7. Best Cycling Gloves for TT (Time Trial) – GripGrab Aero TT (Price not available)

Pros
Fits perfectly
Sleek design
Comfortable and light

Cons
It’s a bit pricey

The GripGrab Aero TT is a tight-fitting glove with minimal padding, designed to be light and minimalist. Ideal for races and supporting maximum speed, these are undoubtedly the best cycling gloves for TT.

These gloves offer a smooth airflow over your hands and a solid grip. This lightweight glove looks fast, feels fast, and is very comfortable. Fuel your power with these high-performance cycling gloves to maximize aerodynamic benefits.

FAQ 

Now let’s go through some of the most common questions both total beginners and professional cyclists ask themselves when considering buying a new pair of cycling gloves so that you can make an informed decision.

Do I need cycling gloves?

There are many reasons why you should start wearing cycling gloves if you’re planning to start cycling, or if you are already doing it. You should always consider the idea of wearing cycling gloves whenever you’re riding a bike.

This simple accessory has the potential to become the best way to prevent both tingling or numbness our hands normally get when we ride a bike. Therefore, it can protect us from possible injuries. So, if you’re thinking that going out without gloves, think again. These are just as important as a helmet.

What are the benefits of wearing cycling gloves?

1. Provides extra cushioning to reduce the impact we get on the road.
2. Full protection against falls, prevent both scratches and even fractures.
3. Improves handlebar grip, even if you have sweaty palms.
4. Offer comfort on longer trips.
5. It prevents numbness and even nerve complications that can appear from the vibrations of a bumpy road.

With that said, please take care of the health of your hands and avoid discomfort with a good pair of cycling gloves.

Do cycling gloves make a difference?

Of course, it does! If you have an accident or fall down, you can prevent serious injuries, ranging from a simple scratch to a wrist sprain or fracture. Besides, when it’s cold, they protect your hands from freezing, allowing you to have a better ride. And, in summer, it prevents your hands from getting sweaty and, thus, slippery, which can also prevent an accident. Always wear your gloves!

How should a cycling glove fit?

Gloves should feel like a second skin. However, they should not be too tight to the point where it feels restrictive and painful. Similarly, they should not be bigger, as they can fall off and you can lose the grip. All in all, gloves should feel comfortable and fit just right.  

What kind of padding should I have on my cycling gloves?

Cycling gloves’ palms are made of a thicker material, like leather or synthetic leather. This allows for a better grip. Similarly, some models have padded reinforcements, but not all. Still, most provide added protection to prevent injuries. 

Whether you prefer a minimal or a gel padding depends pretty much on your own preferences. While some people choose gel padding, others do so the minimal. However, if you are a beginner, we recommend gel padding to allow maximum comfort.


Whats the difference between half finger/fingerless vs. full/long finger gloves?

The main difference between fingerless and full models lies in both the protection and weather conditions. However, both designs have their own models for hot climates too.

On the one hand, fingerless gloves protect the palms in case of falls and offer greater support. On the other hand, gloves long finger gloves have larger reinforced areas, and they clearly protect the fingers.

Which cycling gloves materials are better and for what?

The biggest difference between various types of cycling gloves lies in the type of cycling you practice and the weather conditions the user has to undergo.

We can say there are three large groups:
1. Light gloves
2. Gloves for hot temperatures
3. Gloves for winter

Although all types of gloves provide extra warmth to your hands, winter cycling gloves are designed to keep your fingers warm even at cold temperatures.

However, these are not suitable for hot weather or for careers. They can cause restrictions to the maneuver in other types of weather conditions. For speed and races, we recommend light minimalist gloves.

Are there different cycling gloves for men and women?

Truth be told, there is no significant difference between men’s and women’s gloves. Thus, there is no particular reason to choose one or the other if your pick is not available for your sex.

What matters the most is the fit. However, whenever available and possible, we still recommend users to stick to theirs, as many brands may have different sizes for men and women.

How do I measure my glove size?

Measuring your glove size is pretty simple, and you can do it easily at home. To do this, simply grab a tape measure and wrap it around the widest part of your hand, not including the thumb.
Then make sure to write that number down and proceed to measure the length of your palm. You should measure from the tip of the middle finger to the end of the palm.

Now, compare your measurements (in centimeters) to the following table.

Side to side:
XS 6-7 cm
S 7-8 cm
M 8-9 cm
L: 9-10 cm
XL: 10-11.25 cm

Lenght of the palm:
XS: 17.5-18.8 cm
S: 17.8-19.0 cm
M: 19.0-20.3 cm
L: 20.3-21.6 cm
XL: 21.6 – 23.1 cm

The Best Cycling Helmet for Triathlons in 2021

Cycling is arguably the most important leg of a triathlon given the amount of time you spend on the bike vs running and swimming, both in training and during an actual race. Ensuring both efficiency and safety should be a significant concern throughout the time.

There are a lot of helmet options available in the market that provide protection, durability, and other important features. However, it can be difficult to find best helmet that meets the actual needs and demands. Therefore, a considerable amount of knowledge and research is required before choosing the best helmet for yourself.

7 Best Cycling Helmets for Triathlons

HelmetImageBest FeaturePrice
1Giro VanquishAerodynamic efficiency and reduces Drag due to Transform Air Technology.$269.90
2Giro AeroheadThe Helmet comes with a unique eye shield that prevents face view distortion$299.95
3Giro IsodeThese Helmets are preferably designed for recreational biking experiences.$54.00
4Kask ProtoneThe Kask Protone is uniquely made to provide a comfortable and ventilated cycling experience.$299.95
5Kask RapidoKask Rapido is a road helmet that comes with a unique helmet adjustment system, along with robust material and secure transitions.$79.99
6Smith Optics Podium$350.00
7Smith Optics IgniteThese helmets come with aero advantages, which provide an undoubtedly and comfortable slippery air safety feature.$250.00

1. Best Overall Triathlon Helmet – Giro Vanquish MIPS Adult Aero Cycling Helmet ($269.90)

The GIRO Vanquish MIPS is provides a faster cycling experience with excellent protection and safety. They have implemented a unique helmet design with TransformvAir technology, which helps with drag during cycling. The Transform Air technology provides advanced aerodynamics which is useful for both racing and training.

The helmet comes in three different standard sizes – small, medium, and large. This means the customer can find the correct fitting helmet based on Giro’s specifications in it’s sizing chart.

The ventilation and comfortable fitting are top notch in these helmets due to the Roc Loc Air Fit System combined with the MIPS safety technology. The best part here is that Giro itself introduced the feature for the customers.

In additional to keeping the head protected, aerodynamic and ventilated, Giro also introduced lenses to protect the eyes and nose during cycling. The lenses of this helmet come in Vivid Shape, which allows proper airflow along with a better tune-in contrast that provides a natural-looking environment. The lenses/shades are also replaceable so you can use their own shade in the helmet if you choose.

Pros:
• Shades built in to the helmet.
• Fewer Vents but bigger to allow more ventilation
• Very comfortable compared to other helmets.
Cons:
• Slightly Heavier.
• Not Preferable for High Cheekbones face.
Unique Feature:
• Aerodynamic efficiency and reduces Drag due to Transform Air Technology.
Basic Features:
• In-Mold Construction.
• Wind Tunnel Ventilation system.
• Roc LOC 5 Air Fit system.
• Integrated MIPS Equipped.

2. Fastest Triathlon Cycling HelmetGiro Aerohead MIPS Adult Road Cycling Helmet ($299.95)

The Second product on the list is also from the same manufacturer, Giro – the Aerohead MIPS Road Cycling Helmet.

The looks and performance of this helmet are definitely an upgrade than it’s predecessors in the marketplace..

The details and features of the Aerohead are what sets it apart. For example, the straps available in this helmet feel high quality and the inner liner is durable and lasts longer than most helmets.

One of the best features of the Giro AeroHead MIPS is the magnetic lens anchor attachment, which allows easy clip on and off of the lens with strong magnets but also strong enough to stay on during rougher rides.

The helmet has good ventilation, even cycling at slower pace with limited wind resistance. In other words, you will enjoy a good breeze and cooling effect regardless of weather condition.

Pros:
• Adequate Ventilation.
• Elegant Looks with Good Color Combinations.
• A touch of sensible and durable construction appears in this helmet.
• Affordable.
Cons:
• It comes for the Adult Range cyclers.
• The Shades catches stain, but it’s not a big issue.
Unique Feature:
The Helmet comes with a unique eye shield that prevents face view distortion. Meanwhile, the shield remains secure due to the attached magnetic anchor on it.
Basic Features:
• Super Fit Engineering.
• Vented Eye Shield.
• Polycarbonate Shell.
• Magnetic Lens Anchor.
• MIPS Equipped.

3. Best Beginner Budget Triathlon Helmet – Giro Isode MIPS Adult Road Cycling Helmet ($54.00)

The third pick on the list of best cycling helmets for triathlons is also a Giro helmet. This it’s the Isode MIPS which is famous for it’s unique and cool ventilation holes design.

There are more than 20 vents in the helmet making it a super cool and ventilated helmet. Although it has a considerable amount of ventilation holes, it doesn’t lower this helmet’s quality or safety. The MIPS technology in the helmet protects the head from any accidents.

Previously we have heard complaints about the fit of the helmet due to varying head sizes. Therefore, Giro has introduced an adjustable knob in the helmet that easily helps to adjust it as per the head size. The clips available in the helmet come in a compact and small size. Meanwhile, the straps are easy to adjust on both ends. This feature helps with a more comfortable and better positioning of the head with the helmet.

Pros:
• Lightweight.
• High safety rating with protection for multi-directional impact.
• Budget-friendly.
Cons:
• No Shades available for the eyes and nose.
Unique Feature:
These Helmets are preferably designed for recreational biking experiences.
Basic Features:
• Reflectivity.
• Quick-Dry Padding.
• Compact Shape.
• Full hard body coverage.
• Integrated MIPS technology.

4. Most Comfortable Cycling HelmetKask Protone Helmet ($299.95)

The Kask Protone has introduced a good quality inner frame with a slimline feature. Although the helmet is slimmer than most others on the market, the outstanding quality ensures that it’s a protective helmet.

Kask protone is an outstanding option for those who are looking for an everyday aerodynamic helmet. Why? Because there are only a few available in the market that offers positive results.

The inside cushioning of this helmet is unique and better than other helmets available. The best part is that the cushioning is dense and comes with a soft cool max padding. The brackets come with perfect padding and an comfortable shape. Hence, the helmet will hug the occipital bones to provide a better fit and feel.

The performance and designing testing never disappointed at all. Why? Because the designs and material testing approve by a top-notch service in Italy.

Pros:
• Comes with a protective fit.
• No flap Snug-fitting Chinstrap.
• The ventilation is outstanding.
Cons:
• No Shades available.
• The interference happens in the headbands due to the low retentions.
• Expensive.
Unique Feature:
The Kask Protone is uniquely made to provide a comfortable and ventilated cycling experience.
Basic Features:
• Polycarbonate Outer Material.
• MIT Safety Technology.
• OCTO Fit Micro Dial Adjuster.
• 3D Dry Padding.
• Wind Tunnel Tested Aerodynamics.

5. Kask Rapido Road Cycling Helmet ($79.99)

The fifth product in the best cycling helmet for triathlons is the Kask Rapido; it’s the second pick in the list of the Kask brand. The product comes with several color options and a perfect detailing that provides a unique appearance.

The helmet is very lightweight and has excellent shock absorption. This is because the brand has designed the product by jointing the outer shell and inner cap together, which brings an advanced mold technology feature.

For a triathlon proper ventilation is essential for helmets. Understanding this, Kask has included a total of 23 large ventilation slots present in the helmet. This makes the helmet perfect for long hot summer rides!

Finally, the brand is offering approximately three years of warranty for this product so every penny a cyclist spends on this product is worth it.

Pros:
• Aerodynamic.
• Better Ventilation.
• Lower budget, Good quality helmet.
• The product is suitable for those with thick hair.
Cons:
• The Craftsmanship and Materials are mediocre (Customer review).
• Narrow fitting (customer Review).
• The retention system is bulky.
Unique Feature:
Kask Rapido is basically a Road helmet that comes with a unique helmet adjustment system, along with robust material and secure transitions.
Basic Features:
• 100% Italian Made.
• In-Molding Construction.
• MIT Technology.

6. Best Time Trial (TT) Helmet for Triathlons – Smith Optics Podium TT Adult Cycling Helmet ($350.00)

The Smith Optics helmet is ideal for those who want to spend a bit more to get a better quality product. It’s specifically designed for racing and time trials, making it an ideal helmet for triathlons. With that said, these helmets are not the ordinary ones that can be used for recreational purposes—this helmet is specifically designer and maximum speed and efficiency.

The helmet comes with additional space to adjust the shades depending upon the needs. Also, it comes with an extra supportive and fully covered protective helmet solution so the cyclist’s head, face, and nose will remain protective throughout the time.

Pros:
• Super Protective.
• Comes with Adjustable Glasses.
• Good for intense time trial competition.
Cons:
• Expensive.
• Ventilation is not great and needs to be improved (Customer review).
Basic Features:
• AirEvac Ventilation.
• MIPS System.
• VaporFit Adjustable.
• Ultra-Light Single-layer webbing.
• Two Exhaust Vents.

7. Most Durable Cycling HelmetSmith Optics Ignite MIPS Adult Cycling Helmet ($250.00)

The last product in the list of best cycling helmets for triathlons is Smith Optics Ignite, which is also the second smith brand product in this list. The product comes with seven color options as Black, Matte Black, Matte Cinder Haze, Matte Charcoal, Matte mystic green, Matte rise, and matte white.

The Smith Ignite helmet offers good airflow due to the koroyd technology. However, the ventilation causes issues for those who have thick and long hair.

As compared to other helmets, Smith Ignite comes with a three year warranty. Despite the higher cost, it isn’t bad to spend such an amount of money on something that lasts for almost three years.

Pros:
• Three Years Warranty.
• Seven Color options to choose from.
• Multi-purpose Cycling Helmet.
• Good in Quality.
• Protective for Crashes or accidents.
Cons:
• Issues with the Matte finish.
Unique Feature:
These helmets come with aero advantages, which provide an undoubtedly and comfortable slippery air safety feature.
Basic Features:
• Eight Fixed Vents.
• Anti-microbial Lining.
• Light Weight.
• MIPS Brain Protection System.
• VaporFit Dial Adjustment.
• AirEvac Ventilation system.

Types of Helmets:

Road: The road Helmets are usually the regular use helmets that people wear when recreationally using the bike. The material used in these helmets is Plastic and foam, which protects the head. The exact purpose of using them is to stay safe from bike or major car accidents.

Aero: The Aero Helmets are good for those looking for smooth airflow at the time of riding bicycles. In other words, using these helmets can effectively slip the air. However, the cooling issues cut-off due to the permanently sealed-off feature.

Hybrid: People who are looking for extreme protective cycling helmets for triathlons can use hybrid helmets. It comes with a Robust ABS Plastic that ensures protection for the rides.

TT: TT means is Time Trail which is a great options for triathlons. Hence, these helmets are heavily used as cycling helmets for Triathlons. Anybody can make loads of advancements in these helmets for better results.

What is the best cycling Helmet type for Triathlons?

Generally time trail helmets is the best cycling helmet type for Triathlons. Why? Because it’s specifically designed for speed and efficiency , which are some of the most important features when racing long distances during triathlongs.

About Triathlon Helmets:

When buying a triathlon helmet, there are some essential features that need to be look-after before making a final decision.

Ventilation: Ventilation is one of the essential factors when considering triathlon helmets. With no or minimal ventilation, a triathlete may overheat quickly in the sun and heat.

Weight: Weight is the second important thing that needs to look after when purchasing a triathlons helmet. Ensure that the helmet is a lightweight as it can positively affect the performance and speed. Depending on the helmet, different material can have a substantial impact on the helmets weight.

Sizing: Sizing and fit is an essential element when selecting a triathlons helmets. Helmets generally come in sizes small, medium, or large. Thankfully, however, many helmets come with adjustable features within the helmet that will allow you to customize fit even further. Giro has an excellent resource with it’s Size Charts for measuring the size of your head in order to determine the helmet size.

What is MIPS?

To start, MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact protection. MIPS technology reduces the trauma when the helmet sustains impact from any angle. However, the ultimate goal of using the technology in a helmet is to protect the brain.

Nuun Product Comparison Chart

Nuun is a hydration and electrolyte product that helps to maintain hydration and increase endurance for casual and professional athletes. Over the past few years Nuun has expanded their product line to include different types of tablets specifically for sports, immunity, rest, vitamin, and energy. The nutrients and ingredients obviously vary by product so you can find the comparison table below.

If you did you want purchase some product you can Get $10 Off Your First Order of $30 or More.

Nuun Sport
Nuun Immunity
Nuun Rest
Nuun Vitamins
Nuun Energy
Flavors132264
Calories1515101015
Sugar1G (1%)2G (4%)1G (1%)2G (4%)2G (4%)
Zinc5MG (45%)
Vitamin A450MG (50%)112MG (13%)
Vitamin B60.25MG (15%)2.55MG (150%)
Vitamin B1210MG (417%)
Vitamin C200MG (222%)10MG (11%)
Vitamin D10MG (50%)5MG (25%)
Vitamin E3MG (20%)2MG (13%)
Folic Acid136 MG (34%)
Sodium300MG (14%)100MG (4%)100MG (4%)100MG (4%)100MG (4%)
Potassium150MG (3%)150MG (3%)100MG (2%)150MG (3%)200MG (4%)
Magnesium25MG (6%)15MG (4%)300MG (72%)15MG (4%)15MG (4%)
Calcium13MG (1%)15MG (1%)15MG (1%)15MG (1%)
Selenium 20MG (36%)
Caffine40MG*40MG*80MG

The Ultimate Half Ironman Training Plan – 18 Weeks

The following program is designed for the triathlete who has competed in several triathlons, perhaps even a season of triathlons, preferably Olympic Distance Races. It also takes into consideration he or she can run at least 7 miles or about an hour with relative ease, swim at least 5000 yards per week and ride at least 25-30 miles 3 times per week on the bike. A half Ironman is a big step-up from the standard Tri. It is definitely doable, you just have to race and train smarter.

The first 12 weeks of the program is considered a base building phase gradually increasing mileage and yardage. A speedwork/quality phase makes up weeks 13-16 with weeks 17 and 18 dedicated to the taper. You will also notice three recovery weeks on weeks 4, 8 and 12. These are important. Stick to them. By the end of the base building phase, some of you may start to get a little grumpy and irritable. This is due to the fact that you are pushing that “overtrained” state. Fortunately, the speedwork phase begins the following week. During this period you will be cutting back on the mileage/yardage while maintaining your overall endurance. This will also provide you with the added rest for which are looking. You will probably experience an increase in energy and your attitude will start to err towards the positive side! This is also a time when you must begin to use your head and train smart! An improper approach to speedwork can lead to injuries in all three events. We will discuss this further as we break down the individual activities.

The base building phase focuses on general aerobic training and should include the use of a heart rate monitor. If you do not own one, than I suggest you make the purchase. There are several heart rate monitors on the market and all do a fine job. And you do not have to buy the most expensive. However, you will want a model that has at least an overall time display. Alternatively, you can buy a triathlon watch with a heart rate feature as well – check out the best triathlon watches here.

Swim workouts are general distances but specific workouts can be found on our Half Ironman Triathlon Swim Workouts.

SwimBikeRun
Week 1   
Monday1000 yds. a.m.20 miles. p.m. 
Tuesday1000 yds. a.m 40 min p.m.
Wednesday 20 miles. p.m. 
Thursday1000 yds. a.m 30 min p.m.
Friday   
Saturday  50 min a.m.
Sunday 25 miles. a.m. 
Week 2   
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles. p.m. 
Tuesday1250 yds. a.m 45 min p.m.
Wednesday 25 miles. p.m. 
Thursday1000 yds. a.m 35 min p.m.
Friday   
Saturday  55 min a.m.
Sunday 30 miles a.m. 
Week 3   
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1250 yds. a.m 45 min p.m
Wednesday 25 miles p.m. 
Thursday1250 yds. a.m 40 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  60 min a.m
Sunday 35 miles a.m. 
Week 4RecoveryRecoveryRecovery
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1000 yds. a.m 40 min p.m
Wednesday 20 miles p.m. 
Thursday1000 yds. a.m 30 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  50 min a.m
Sunday 30 miles a.m. 
Week 5   
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1500 yds. a.m 45 min p.m
Wednesday 25 miles p.m. 
Thursday1250 yds. a.m 40 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  60 min a.m
Sunday 40 miles a.m. 
Week 6   
Monday1250 yds. a.m25 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1500 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Wednesday 25 miles p.m. 
Thursday1500 yds. a.m 40 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  70 min a.m
Sunday 45 miles a.m. 
Week 7   
Monday1250 yds. a.m25 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1750 yds. a.m 60 min p.m
Wednesday 30 miles p.m. 
Thursday1500 yds. a.m 45 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  80 min a.m
Sunday 45 miles a.m. 
Week 8RecoveryRecoveryRecovery
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday1250 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Wednesday 25 miles p.m. 
Thursday1250 yds. a.m 35 min p.m
Friday   
Saturday  70 min a.m
Sunday 35 miles a.m. 
Week 9   
Monday1250 yds. a.m25 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2000 yds. a.m 60 min p.m
Wednesday 30 miles p.m. 
Thursday1500 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 80 min p.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m.75 min walk p.m
Week 10   
Monday1500 yds. a.m25 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2250 yds. a.m 60 min p.m
Wednesday 35 miles p.m. 
Thursday1750 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 90 min a.m
Sunday 55 miles a.m.75 min walk p.m
Week 11   
Monday1500 yds. a.m25 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2500 yds. a.m 60 min p.m
Wednesday 40 miles p.m. 
Thursday1750 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 100 min a.m
Sunday 60 miles a.m.75 min walk p.m
Week 12RecoveryRecoveryRecovery
Monday1000 yds. a.m20 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2000 yds. a.m 50 min p.m
Wednesday 30 miles p.m. 
Thursday1250 yds. a.m 40 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 90 min a.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m.60 min walk p.m
Week 13SpeedworkBikeRun
Monday1500 yds. a.m30 miles p.m.0
Tuesday2500 yds. a.m Quality Day
Wednesday Quality Day 
ThursdayQuality Day a.m. 60 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. p.m 90 min a.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m.60 min. walk p.m
Week 14   
Monday1500 yds. a.m30 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2500 yds. a.m Quality Day
Wednesday Quality Day 
ThursdayQuality Day a.m. 60 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 90 min a.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m.60 min. walk p.m
Week 15   
Monday1500 yds. a.m30 miles p.m. 
Tuesday2500 yds. a.m Quality Day
Wednesday Quality Day 
ThursdayQuality Day a.m. 60 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 90 min a.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m.60 min. walk p.m
Week 16
Monday1500 yds. a.m30 miles p.m.
Tuesday2500 yds. a.mQuality Day
WednesdayQuality Day
ThursdayQuality Day a.m.60 min p.m
Friday20 miles p.m.
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds.90 min a.m
Sunday50 miles a.m.60 min. walk p.m
Week 17Begin TaperBegin TaperBegin Taper
Monday   
Tuesday2500 yds a.m. 60 min p.m
Wednesday 30 miles p.m. 
Thursday1500 yds a.m. 40 min p.m
Friday 20 miles p.m. 
Saturday(choice) 1000 yds. 75 min p.m
Sunday 50 miles a.m. 
Week 18   
Monday1500 yds a.m. 40 min p.m
Tuesday 40 miles p.m. 
Wednesday(choice) 1000 yds20 miles p.m.30 min p.m
Thursday(Travel Day)(Travel Day)(Travel Day)
Friday15 min. easy15 min. spin30 min walk
SaturdayRace DayRace DayRace Day
SundayRace DayRace DayRace Day

Swimming: The swim portion of the half Ironman is 1.5 miles and a set of swimming workouts for the entire program can be found at the bottom of this page. They were designed for training in a 25 yard pool. If you are swimming in a 25 meter pool, you can use the same workouts. For a 50 meter pool, there will be some changes. You are certainly not bound by these workouts so feel free to tweak them as you see fit.

Cycling: Your bike rides should be aerobic, concentrating on staying within your heart rate zone. Remember, for some, the running heart rate zone may be higher than that of cycling, so you will need to experiment to find out what works best for you. Attempting to cycle within your running HR zone may do more harm to your aerobic system than not. To experiment, subtract 5 to 10 beats from your running zone and determine how it feels during the ride.

Running: The key to a successful endurance running program is training smart. And the best way to accomplish this is through aerobic training with a heart rate monitor. By now you should have determined your running heart rate zone based on the information at the top of the page. A successful running program should include a solid warm-up and cool down. When you head out on your run, spend the first 12-15 minutes warming up slowly bringing your HR up to your aerobic zone. After you have completed the bulk of your run spend the last 12-15 minutes bringing your heart back below your training zone. Also, running gear is expensive, but it there are usually some good running gear sales going on at any given time.

The running distances in the program are listed in minutes. However, if you feel comfortable running in miles than that is fine. Just allow yourself a sufficient warm-up and cool down period. The advantage of running by minutes is it allows you to accurately assess your training improvement.

Week 1

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 30 miutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 50 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 25 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 2

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 45 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 35 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 55 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 30 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 3

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 45 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 60 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 35 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 4 – Recovery

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ridek eep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 30 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Satuday
Run: 50 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 30 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 5

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 45 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 60 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 40 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 6

Monday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ridekeep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a goodcool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 70 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 45 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 7

Monday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1750 yds am
Run: 60 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 45 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 80 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 45 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 8 – Recovery

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 35 minutes pm

Friday
Rest

Saturday
Run: 70 minutes am

Sunday
Bike: 35 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Week 9

Monday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2000 yds am
Run: 60 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1000 yds am
Run: 80 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 75 min pm

Week 10

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2250 yds am
Run: 60 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 35 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enough time for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1750 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1000 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 55 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 75 min pm

Week 11

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 25 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: 60 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 40 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enoughtime for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1750 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1000 yds am
Run: 100 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 60 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 75 min pm

Week 12 – Recovery

Monday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2000 yds am
Run: 50 minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enoughtime for a cool-down.

Thursday
Swim: 1250 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1250 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 60 min pm

Week 13

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: Quality Day

Wednesday
Bike: Quality Day

Thursday
Swim: Quality Day
Run: 60 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1250 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 60 min pm

Week 14

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: Quality Day

Wednesday
Bike: Quality Day

Thursday
Swim: Quality Day
Run: 60 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1250 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 60 min pm

Week 15

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: Quality Day

Wednesday
Bike: Quality Day

Thursday
Swim: Quality Day
Run: 60 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1250 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 60 min pm

Week 16

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Bike: 30 miles pm
Your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ride keep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a good cool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: Quality Day

Wednesday
Bike: Quality Day

Thursday
Swim: Quality Day
Run: 60 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm
When you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.

Saturday
Swim (choice): 1250 yds am
Run: 90 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am
Your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.
Walk: 60 min pm

Week 17 – Taper Week

Monday
Rest

Tuesday
Swim: 2500 yds am
Run: 60 Minutes pm

Wednesday
Bike: 30 miles pm

Thursday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 40 minutes pm

Friday
Bike: 20 miles pm

Saturday
Swim: 1000 yds am
Run: 75 minutes pm

Sunday
Bike: 50 miles am

Week 18 – Race Week

Monday
Swim: 1500 yds am
Run: 60 minutes pm

Tuesday
Bike: 40 miles pm

Wednesday
Swim (choice): 1000 yds am
Bike: 20 miles pm
Run: 30 minutes pm

Thursday
Travel/Rest

Friday
Swim: 15 min easy at site
Bike: 15 minute spin
Run: 30 minutes walk

Saturday
Race Day

Sunday
Race Day

Heart Rate Monitoring

I subscribe to the Maffetone method of determining your aerobic heart rate zone. This is just one method of heart rate training and certainly not the only one. You will find a basic description of this method as well as the tradtional 220-method in the article Follow Your Heart: Methods of Heart Rate Training located in the Triathlon FAQ’s section.

According to Dr. Maffetone, the following formula will give you your aerobic heart rate zone:180 minus your age will give you your upper range in beats per minute. Then subtract 10 to find your lower range in beats per minute. If you feel this range is too high then bring everything down 5-10 beats per minute.Ex: A 37 year old individual in descent shape-

180 – 37 = 143 This would be the upper range.

143 – 10 = 133 This is the lower range.

Therefore, the aerobic range of this particular individual is 133-143. You will find a complete breakdown of Dr. Maffetone’s method of HR training on the Tri FAQ’s page. Now according to Dr. Maffetone, this should be fine for the run and the bicycle. However, some folks have a hard time sustaining that high a heart rate on the bike. So an adjustment downward may be necessary.

The heart rate monitor should be used as a means of keeping yourself in “aerobic” check. BE STRICT with yourself and stick to your aerobic levels. Do not let anyone else influence your training. If you have been training with a partner or are currently looking for one, explain to the individual what your goals are and make sure he/she will go along. I also suggest purchasing Dr. Maffetone’s book “Training For Endurance.” I am really not trying to single out or promote his materials, I just feel he does a nice job of conveying his message while keeping things simple and easy to understand. And even if you do not fully agree with his HR training zones, the book is extremely informative and can be applied to any type of training program.

** I have included an extra workout in weeks 9-17 for each activity. You will find each highlighted in red. They include a Saturday swim, a Friday bike ride and a Sunday long walk. Each will be discussed below in their respective section. They are considered recovery workouts but will also contribute to base building within your overall program.

Swimming Half Ironman Training

The swim portion of the half Ironman is 1.5 miles and a set of swimming workouts for the entire program can be found at the bottom of this page. They were designed for training in a 25 yard pool. If you are swimming in a 25 meter pool, you can use the same workouts. For a 50 meter pool, there will be some changes. You are certainly not bound by these workouts so feel free to tweak them as you see fit. Please see the
breakdown below:

25 Yard (meter) Pool – usually standard length
1 length = 25 yards (meters)
1 lap (2 lengths) = 50 yards (meters)
2 laps (4 lengths) = 100 yards (meters)
½ mile = about 800 yards = 32 lengths
1 mile = about 1700 yds (meters) = 68 lengths
1.5 miles = about 2500 yards = 100 lengths

50 Meter Pool
1 length = 50 meters
2 lengths = 100 meters
½ mile = about 800 meters = 16 lengths
1 mile = about 1500 meters = 30 lengths
1.5 miles = about 2300 meters = 46 lengths

When you read the swim workouts, you will notice that I did include yardage for stroke drills but did not specify the type of drill.

***The main set of each workout is based on repetitive swims with very little rest between each. Swim these relaxed. The idea is to build endurance while swimming aerobically, NOT fast. You will find your speed will begin to increase naturally. In order to stay aerobic, periodically check your heart rate throughout the set. You can use on of our top waterproof heart rate monitors, or the quickest way to do this is place your finger under your chin/neck, find your pulse and count the beats for a six second count and add a zero to the total.

For example:14 beats in 6 seconds = 140 beats per minute.

Try to keep your heart rate between 140 – 160 beats per minute. For folks in their 40’s and up, try to keep your rate closer to 140, maybe even a bit less. For athletes in their late twenties to mid thirties, try to keep it closer to 150. And for those in their twenties and younger, 160 should be fine. The idea behind this method of training is to prepare your heart rate for the bike ride upon exiting the water during a race. The closer your heart rate is to your bike training rate, the better the outcome of your entire race. For example:

Let us say you are in your early 40’s and for eighteen weeks the bulk of your aerobic bike training was at an average heart rate of 125 bpm (beats per minute). Come race time, you exit the swim with a heart rate of 175 bpm. As you begin the bike ride, you are now a full 50 beats per minute above your bicycle training rate! Within a mile or two the ride, your heart rate will drop, but probably not the full 50 beats. More than likely, it will settle in at about 145-155 beats per minute or a 20-30 bpm recovery. Thus you will be riding the 25 mile/40k bike coarse with a heart rate some 20-30 beats higher than your training rate. And this will be the beginning of the end, for you will pay the price on the run. Now, if you were to exit the water in the same race with your heart rate closer to 140 or 150 beats per minute, and you recovered the same 20-30 bpm during the bike ride, your heart rate would settle in somewhere between 120 and 130 bpm – your normal bicycle training rate! This would only leave you better prepared for the run.

Do I have to learn to do flip turns?

Do not worry about flip turns while you swim unless you feel very confident doing them. Simply take a quick breath on the wall and push off. Flip turns will cause your heart rate to rise. This in turn may negatively affect your aerobic pace. If you do swim with a masters program, you may be forced to do flip turns to keep up with the swimmers in your lane. If this be the case, move to a slower lane with less pressure from the other swimmers.

How should I breathe when swim training?

When swimming freestyle, you should get into the habit of breathing every stroke. The more oxygen you take into the body, the lower your heart rate will remain. However, alternating your breathing or breathing every three strokes, will help you in two ways:

1. It will balance out your freestyle stroke.
2. It will get you used to looking in both directions, which may help during a race when trying to find your mark

Also practice lifting your head and looking forward when swimming…say once or twice per lap during your main set. You may have a black line down the middle of the lane, but unless you are racing in the clear waters of the Caribbean, the open water in most tri’s will be fairly dark.

** You will notice I added a 1000 yard Saturday swim workout in weeks 9-17. The purpose of this workout is to add base yardage to your swim program and still benefit from the effects of a recovery swim. Treat this workout solely as a recovery workout after your long run on Saturday. Swim easy and relaxed, but not sloppy. There is absolute no stress involved. Kick easy, swim real easy, just relax, rest a lot and piddle in the water.

The quality workouts listed at the bottom of this page are designed to help you build speed. You will be getting a bit more rest overall from here on out, however, there will still be some longer distance workouts to maintain endurance. When you do the workouts, you want to slowly build your exerted effort and work on getting faster as the set progresses. You also want to build each workout with the last week of the quality period showing the greatest results. For example:

Your quality set is 5 x 100’s all out on the 6 minutes. First, you want to try to build your effort with each lap of the100 so you are finishing faster than you started. In a 25 yard pool, always swim the first 25 yards building up your effort so when you come off the first wall, you can begin to really push it. You will also want to attempt to descend each 100 so the each 100 gets faster. And your overall set should be faster the last week of the quality phase as opposed to the first. You do not want to start out at a full sprint. You will risk injury, perhaps in your shoulders, and you will be driving your heart rate up too fast, too soon. I suggest you swim your quality workouts in a 25 yard pool. The point is simply to build speed. If you attempt to do quality work in a 50 meter pool, lake or ocean, you will tire out much sooner due to fewer walls which will actually hurt your speedwork. Plus you will not be swimming this hard in a race, so there is no point in trying to simulate such conditions. And again, do not worry about flip turns. In a set like this where you are pushing your heart rate to maximum levels, flip turns will not hurt you. But if you do not know how to do one…it is fine. Taking a quick breath on each wall with a good push-off will actually help you remain in “sprint-mode” for the entire swim.

Cycling Half Ironman Training

Again, your bike rides should be aerobic, concentrating on staying within your heart rate zone. Remember, for some, the running heart rate zone may be higher than that of cycling, so you will need to experiment to find out what works best for you. Attempting to cycle within your running HR zone may do more harm to your aerobic system than not. To experiment, subtract 5 to 10 beats from your running zone and determine how it feels during the ride. For example:

If you are 40 years of age, and in pretty good shape, your aerobic heart rate zone based on the Maffetone method, should be 130-140. If you were to subtract 10 beats for your cycle training, your zone would be 120-130. And this is where you should experiment.

Obviously, the flatter the terrain on which you ride, the easier it will be to monitor your heart. If you live in a hilly or mountainous area, your rate will definitely rise when cycling uphill. If this be the case, shift to higher gears (so you are spinning) and try to keep your ride smooth. Avoid pumping the pedals if possible. The harder you pump, the higher your heart rate will rise. This will not always be as easy as said but you should at least attempt to keep your heart rate as low as possible during the uphills. Also, try to remain in the saddle while riding uphill and only climb out as a last resort.

Cycling workouts during base building phase:
Monday- your ride should be treated as somewhat of a recovery/aerobic ride after your long Sunday ride. Warm up for 15 minutes keeping your heart rate (HR) below your training zone. For the bulk of you ridekeep your HR at the lower end of your training zone. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a goodcool-down. On all cool downs, wait until your HR drops as close to or below 100 bpm before stopping.
Wednesday- your ride will be about the same as Monday. However, during the bulk of your ride, train with your heart rate at the mid to high end of your zone but do not go higher…stay within it. Just remember to leave yourself enoughtime for a cool-down.
Friday- when you begin your Friday rides on the 9th week, treat each one as an easy, easy spinning day. It will be a nice warm-up for your Saturday long run. Keep your heart rate well below the zone throughout the entire ride.
Sunday- finally, your Sunday ride will be the most important. This is where you will practice your eating and drinking. Begin the ride with a 20 minute warm-up. For the bulk of the ride keep your HR at the low end of the zone for as long as possible. As you increase your distance, you will begin to see your endurance fall off as your heart rate will climb just a bit toward the end of the ride. In fact you will probably be riding slower than when you began. Do not worry, just keep your HR in the zone. Eventually, you will see your endurance increase. Finally, leave yourself enough time for a cool down.

Aero Position in Training

Because you will be cycling for about 2.5-3 hours during your race, acclimation to the aero position is necessary, especially on a flatter race coarse. The flatter the coarse, the less the need to get out of the saddle to ride i.e. Hill work. Your Sunday long ride will certainly be a good time to practice. Once you have decided on a race, try to find out as much info as possible about the bike coarse. Is it hilly? What are the winds like…etc? Then try to simulate these conditions within your own training rides. For example, if the coarse is hilly, incorporate some hill work or hill repeats into your biking regimen.

If you know the coarse is famous for its winds, say along a coastline, try to ride on days you know the wind has picked up. Typically, the wind will pick up in the afternoons so plan a couple of rides after work. Once daylight savings time begins, you will have time in the late afternoons to get in a good ride. Spending a lot of time in the aero position can cause some lower back pain, at least in the beginning.

Back Pain When Cycling

If you are experiencing lower back pain after your ride, a good lower back stretch is a must as you increase the distances in your cycling. One good stretch is to lay on your back and pull your knees to your chest. Wrap your arms around the outside of you legs and gently squeeze the arms pulling the knees closer to the chest. You should feel this in your lower back. Remember, ease into the stretch by pulling gently. You may also lift one leg at a time to your chest while leaving the other extended with a slight bend.

Hill Workouts for Cycling

When incorporating hill work into your bike rides or if you are faced with strong headwinds throughout your ride, staying aerobic should still be your goal. With the hills, this will be tougher to do. Unlike riding into head winds, gravity plays a huge roll on hill work, and your heart rate can soar. So do the best that you can.

As you travel uphill, stay in the saddle, switch to higher gears and try to maintain an easy spin as opposed to pounding the pedals. Obviously, if you live in the west where “hills” are much steeper and longer, some of this is easier said than done, but try to stay as close to your zone as possible. For some of you, headwinds will always be part of your training. If so, again, shift to higher gears, and find a comfortable pace. As I stated earlier, gravity will not play the same role here, but psychologically, head winds can be quite defeating. Find a nice gear and spin rather than grind the pedals. Do not worry about speed.

Using Bike Training for Triathlon Workouts

During the winter months, some of you will be forced to ride indoors on a trainer. And this can be extremely boring!…even with the most user friendly trainers such as a Computrainer. However, riding on a trainer does provide one excellent benefit – Mental Toughness. And this will only help. Once you begin riding outdoors, the bike trainer can still play a significant role in your cycling program especially during your quality workouts.

Quality workouts can be dangerous on the highways unless you can find a road that is rarely traveled upon. And even this can be dangerous simply because sprint cycling on the highways requires so much thought and concentration, safe biking habits are usually sacrificed. The trainer will offer you the ability to focus solely on your speedwork without any worry of highway traffic.

Quality Work: Like swimming, you will want to build within your quality set, as well as throughout the weeks of the quality phase. For example:

If your quality workout consists of 6 x 5 and 2’s…Five minutes hard, two minutes easy/recover, you should take the first 5/2 of the first day building your effort. On the first 5/2, gradually build your effort throughout the first five minutes. Do not just start out hammering. On the second 5/2, you can build your effort a little quicker so by numbers 3-6 you are really going after it. And each particular quality day, follow this same pattern. By the last week of the quality phase, your output or results should still exceed those recorded on that first session.

You will notice I added a 20 mile bike ride on Friday’s in weeks 9-17. The purpose of this addition is to add base mileage to your cycling program and still benefit from the effects of spinning. The ride can be used as a recovery ride as well as a prep ride for your Saturday long run. However, to benefit from this ride you must spin in a high gear the entire ride, keeping your heart rate very low. If you are riding on hills, than this will be tougher but try to stick to your plan. If you are riding in headwinds, just slow your cadence until your heart rate drops to the desired mark.

Running Half Ironman Training

The key to a successful endurance running program is training smart. And the best way to accomplish this is through aerobic training with a heart rate monitor. By now you should have determined your running heart rate zone based on the information at the top of the page. However, if you would like to explore other methods of heart rate training feel free to check out the article on Methods of Heart Rate Training. 

As previously mentioned, I tend to adhere to the methods of Dr. Phil Maffetone. And according to Dr. Maffetone, a successful running program should include a solid warm-up and cool down. When you head out on your run, spend the first 12-15 minutes warming up slowly bringing your HR up to your aerobic zone. After you have completed the bulk of your run spend the last 12-15 minutes bringing your heart back below your training zone. For example:

An individual with an aerobic HR zone of 130-140 bpm heads out on a 45 minute run. The first 15 minutes is spent slowly bringing the heart rate up to 130 bpm. After the warm-up, the individual then runs for 15 minutes keeping his/her heart rate between 130-140 bum. Finally, the last 15 minutes will be spent running below 130 bpm and should be maintained until the run is completed.

The running distances in the program are listed in minutes. However, if you feel comfortable running in miles than that is fine. Just allow yourself a sufficient warm-up and cool down period. The advantage of running by minutes is it allows you to accurately assess your training improvement.

Half Ironman Running Training Tips

 If you can, run on a grass path, or gravel path. The softer the ground, the better the shock absorption for your legs. Concrete is the worst, asphalt is next, tar is very soft (running track) with any type of dirt trail being the best. Actually, running on a golf coarse is ideal! Unfortunately, concrete sidewalks surround the entire island on which I live, so remember, you get what you get. Whatever the surface, stay aerobic and you should be fine.

Walking During Long Training Runs

For many of you, you will be testing new grounds regarding running distances and injury prevention is of the upmost importance. If you are having difficulty on your long run, then incorporate some walking into the run. Long time marathoner, author and running coach, Jeff Galloway incorporates walking into his training programs for longer distance running. After reaching a particular distance in your long run, say 9 miles or so, then begin a walk/run segment to finish your run. For example:

If your long run is 90 minutes or around 6-8 miles, and you are having problems getting over that 60 minute barrier, than run/walk for the remaining 30 minutes…perhaps 5 minutes run, 2 minutes walk.

You will find that your overall time will not be that much slower and most importantly, you will feel much better after the run. At least your legs will thank you! If you do decide to run/walk on your long run, do not run until you become fatigued and then decide to walk.

Many folks will say to themselves “I’m not stopping, I feel fine” subscribing to the no pain, no gain philosophy. However, you may find you will not recover fast enough for the next run segment. If you have set a 5 minute limit to your run, then stop at 5 minutes! If you want to build your mileage as pain free as possible then stick to your limits regardless of how good you may feel.

**You will notice walking was added to the program in weeks 9-16. I am a huge believer in walking. You can use it as a means of recovery after your long ride as well as a substitute for an easy run day. I usually walk at least once during the week, for about 75 minutes and at a rather fast pace with a long stride. I like to think of it as an extra day of running without the pounding. I personally do not do a lot of arm pumping when I walk, however feel free. It won’t hurt you.

Weight Training During Half Ironman Training

Finally, I suggest you lift weights at least two days per week and no more than three. Do some type of circuit training and 2 sets of 15 reps per exercise. Keep the weights light. You do not want to build bulk. We just want to build some strength for endurance.

And, make sure you do not rush through each set of 15. Just because the weights are light, does not mean you hurry through the set. Take your time with each rep concentrating on form rather than speed.

You may feel sluggish the first couple of weeks but it will get better. A basic circuit consists of Lat Pull Downs, Bench Press, Leg Lifts, Leg Curls, Squats (or lunges), Tricep Pull Down, Bicep Curls, Calf Raises and sit-ups or crunches. Feel free to add or leave out what you see fit.

Speed or Quality Workouts

Swim Quality Workouts
Warm – up
»500 sw, 200 k, 100 sw
6 x 50’s build 15 sec. rest bet. ea. ……1100 yds
»5 x 100’s hypoxic-breath every 3 strokes…………………………………………500yds
»5 x 100 fast on 7 min.sw with an
easy 50 while resting……………………….500yds
»Easy 200 sw dn …………………………..200 yds
Total …………………………………………2300 yds
Cycling Quality Workout
»Warm-up:10 miles easy or 30 minutes.
Keep youe HR below your training zone.
»6 x 3/2’s – 3 minutes hard/2 minutes easy
10 mile (30 minute) cool-down
»During the hard portion of the ride, build within the ride. Keep your HR 5-10 beats above your HR zone.
Note:During the four weeks add a minute to the
hard ride so by week four you are cycling
6 min hard/2 min easy
Running Quality Workout
On a Track:
»Warm-up 1.5 miles (6 laps) easy
»5 minute stretch routine
»1 x 880 (2 laps) 5 bpm above top end of HR zone w/ an easy 440 between (1 lap) then rest 1 minute. Do this set 3 times
Easy 1.5 cool down – run/walk
Note: During the four weeks add an 880 eachweek so by week four you are running 6 x 880’s.

**Note** regarding the Quality Running Workout: if you are unable to make it to a track, then you can incorporate this workout into your regular daily run. Just take your average 1 mile split time and half it. This will be the length of time you will run hard. Then divide the average by four and this will be your recovery run. Then walk for 1 minute.
For example:

Your average 1 mile run is 8:00. You will run hard for 4 minutes, recovery for 2 minutes and walk 1 minute. The warm-up and cool down will remain as above.For a 7:00 minute/mile average, your hard run will be 3.5 minutes (3:30), your recovery 1.75 (1:45) minutes and your walk 1 minute and so on.

The Best Gifts for Triathletes in 2021

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Shopping for Triathletes can be difficult. Triathlon gifts are great for birthdays, holidays, or just a present for a successful completion of a triathlon. Given the wide variety of disciplines in the sport it can be hard to narrow down what is exactly needed for that special Triathlete in your life. Fortunately, there are a few essentials that every triathlete needs and should be on your gift list.

How to Buy a Gift for a Triathlete

It can be difficult to find the perfect gift for a triathlete if you’re unfamiliar with the sport or you don’t know what gear they already have. In general I would suggest not buying a large gift (such as a watch or wetsuit) unless it’s specifically asked for. The reason for this is that these items tend to be very personal and can be very specific to a triathletes.

What Gifts Do You Give a Triathlete

The best gifts for triathletes are things they use often and need to replace often. Consumable products (such as body slide, gels, etc) are great purchases since they will need these eventually. Other items that tend to wear out quickly for triathletes are things like socks, water bottles, goggles, and towels. These items are critical but are often afterthoughts for most triathletes. You can’t imagine how many dingy water bottles and towels I see at races!

With all that being said, this list contains a good mix of products that most triathletes need or will need in there future.

Inexpensive Triathlete Gifts Under $25

Triathlon Coffee Mug – $13.95

Triathletes love coffee and tea. A coffee mug is an inexpensive and fun gift for your triathlete and will help keep them caffeinated durin those early morning training sessions!

Body Glide – $9.99

Most triathletes experience chafing and most have invested in a bottle of Body Glide or something similar. Your triathlete will probably need this stuff at some point so why not make sure they are stocked up?

Race Belt – $12.99

Race belts are worn during races, primarily during the run section but sometimes during the bike as well. You know what that means? They get sweaty, dirty, and smelly. If your triathlete does multiple races each year they are likely going to need a new race belt sooner than later. If they don’t have one they will wonder how they lived without one before. Every race director and coach advises getting a race belt to store liquids and gels, display your race bib, and make your transition super speedy!

Water Bottles – No products found.

No products found.

Triathletes always use multiple water bottles… bottles for the bike, bottles for the run, fresh water to rinse off after the swim – a triathlete can never have too many water bottles. Getting your triathlete a new and clean water bottle will always be appreciated and will get plenty of use.

Triathlon Socks – $14.00

Your triathlete puts thousands of of running and cycling miles in their socks every year. They easily wear out, fade, and become torn. Buying new socks will always be appreciated and the best ones out there are Balega. Balegas are one of the most popular socks for triathletes and are sure to keep your triathlete’s feet dry and comfortable during those races and long training sessions.

Foam Roller – $20.00

Foam rollers provide essential muscle recovery after a hard swim, bike, or run. If your triathlete does not have a foam roller they make the perfect gift!

Swim Goggles – $21.20

Nothing beats a fresh pair of swim goggles. Goggles are a very personal item and most triathletes have a specific preference for type and fit. So if you are buying a pair of goggles its best to do some research and find what they are currently using. If you’re starting fresh or are unsure, the Speedo Vanquisher are one of the most popular goggles available. You can also check out the Best Goggles for Triathletes.

Anti-Fog for Goggles – $12.98

Buying your triathlete some ‘spit’ may sound gross, but its a great gift and product to for the person who deals with foggy goggles during the swim. Most goggles come with some sort of anti-fog but it fades over time with use. Anti-fog spray before each swim helps to eliminate fog and helps the swimmer see more clearly, which is super important during open water swims.

Swim Paddles- Price not available

If your triathlete needs help with their swimming, paddle boards are a must have. Swimmers wear these to help build arm and should strength.

Pull Buoys – $13.20

Swimmers use pull buoys to help keep their legs afloat while not kicking, focusing all of their effort on arms (aka pulling). They are a great companion to the swim paddles above.

Bike Repair Kit – $6.99

Every cyclist should have a repair kit on their bike, and if your triathlete does not have one, or has an old one, they need this ASAP!

Microfiber Towel- $11.99

A microfiber towel has multiple uses for a triathlete. They can use it as a mat for their transition items, use it to dry off after the swim, wash up after the bike, or even use it in training after swimming. If your triathlete is using an old or dingy towel a nice microfiber towel is the perfect gift!

Lock Laces No Tie Shoe Laces – $8.49

Classify this as ‘things you never thought you would need’. No tie shoe laces are an easy way to tighten your running shoes during transition. Lock Laces has almost 25k reviews on Amazon.com so they are the best option and a great gift!

Triathlete Gifts Under $50

Subscription to Triathlete Magazine – $34.95

A magazine subscription is a great and often overlooked present for the triathlete in your life. “triathlete” is the most popular magazines out there and is a great guide that includes training, nutrition, and gear advice. A subscription is something any triathlete would find helpful and will get plenty of use in the months leading up to the big race!

Gu Energy Gel – $32.97

Most triathletes competing in an Olympic Tri or longer use some form of energy in the form of a gel or bar. The most popular gel is Gu. Most triathletes have a strong preference for the flavor, so if you don’t know which one to buy the variety pack is a good option.

Expensive Triathlete Gifts Over $100

Shiatsu Foot Massager – $119.99

Triathletes spend A LOT of time on their feet. Between running, biking, and swimming… a solid foot massage can be heavenly for a triathlete. This top rated foot massage has 3 modes and an option heating feature.

Triathlon Watch – $284.99

Triathlon watches are no joke. They provide accurate times, training routines, and important metrics such as heart rate. Finding the right watch for your triathlete can be challenging, but the best triathlon watch is the Garmin Forerunner 935. Yes its expensive, but you cant go wrong with this watch. This makes a great ‘big’ gift for your favorite triathlete.

Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit (womens) – $189.95
Synergy Triathlon Wetsuit (mens) – Price not available

One of the top rates wetsuits is the Synergy sleeveless wetsuit for men and women. If you’re looking to buy this as a gift it’s important to get the proper measurements since fit is very important. The 5/3mm thickness provides a good amount of warmth and buoyancy making it perfect for triathlons and Ironmans.

If you’re interested in other wetsuits, check out our top 5 triathlon wetsuits.

Triathlon Gifts for Women

2XU Women’s Mid-rise Compression Tights – No products found.

No products found.

Compression tights make a great gift for the female triathlete in your life. They can be worn while working out and lounging around the house. Even if your triathlete already owns a pair, it never hurts to have a backup. You really cant long with these tights. One of the most popular brands is 2XU and it has great reviews on Amazon.

Speedo Unisex-Adult Deluxe Ventilator Mesh Equipment Bag – Price not available

Triathletes have a lot of gear. Women usually have some extra clothing and gear, so a solid bag is a great gift option. Whether heading to the pool, the track, or to the race, triathlons always need more bags to carry their stuff. One of the best bags out there is the Speedo Deluxe Ventilator and it comes in so many different colors you can find the perfect one to go with the rest of your triathlete’s gear.

Ironman Triathlon Gifts

Once an Ironman always an Ironman. Completing an Ironman race is a big deal and many triathletes are very proud of their accomplishment. Buying an Ironman specific gift is a great way to get something they will love and be proud of!

Ironman Leather Necklace – $24.99

An Ironman necklace display the total distance traveled during the race (140.6) makes an excellent gift for any triathete who has completed an Ironman.

Ironman Decal Sticker – $2.99

Display your triathletes achievement on the car or truck with this super affordable Ironman decal sticker.

Christmas Triathlon Gifts

Buying Christmas and holiday gifts for triathletes can be easy! Most triathletes start their training early in the year, so it’s a great opportunity to stock up on the essentials. But if you’re feeling more in the holiday spirit, there are specific holiday presents that your triathlete will love!

Triathlon Christmas Tree Ornament – $14.99

Amazon has a bunch of really cute tree ornaments for triathletes, and the Santa hat triathlon ornament is one of the most popular and highly rates. Great gift for Christmas!

Triathlon Ugly Sweater – $36.22

Yes. There is an ugly holiday sweater for triathletes. You can show your triathlon pride and get in the holiday spirit with this awesome ugly Christmas sweater!

Best Running Gear Deals – Updated November 2020

It’s officially winter running season. For some, snow has started to fall and layers have started appearing on runners. There are also great deals in later November around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, making this one of the best months to upgrade your running closet!

Running Shoe Deals

Save on Brooks Womens and Mens Running Shoes at Brooks.com


50% Off Footwear at Olympia Sports – get some great deals on running shoes from top brand such as New Balance, Nike, and Adidas.


30% Off Brooks Running Shoes at JackRabbit – get a solid 30% off rarely discounted Books running shoes.


Spend $75 get an extra $10 Off at Joes New Balance Outlet


Over 300 Shoes on Sale at Dicks Sporting Goods – Dicks always has a good selection of discounted running shoes, and they currently have over 300 shoes on sale.

Running Clothing Deals

30% – 40% Lululemon Apparel – Get a good discount on the ‘we made too much’ merchandise at Lululemon.


Up to 50% Off at REI Outlet – REO Outlet has great deals on running clothing from brands like Under Armor, Brooks, and Smartwool.


Get Up to 50% Off Apparel at Olympia Sports – get great deals on some big brands, including Adidas, Champion, Under Armor, and The North Face.


Brooks Sports Bras on Sale at Fleet Feet – get some good discounts on a wide range of womens sports bras.