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The Official Blog of SwimOutlet.com!

  • Feb

    How to Plan a Triathlon Season

    by Evan Rudd, SwimOutlet.com Triathlon Team

    If you’re thinking about jumping into a triathlon this year, a little planning will go a long way toward making sure you’re rested and ready to tackle a multi-sport event. Whether your goal is simply to finish your first triathlon or claim a spot on the podium, tailoring your training to peak at your target race is critical.

    Read More
  • Jan

    Moving Along On The Journey To Rio

    By Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic Triathlete

    Last year on August 1st I broke my collarbone and it changed all of my goals and expectations for the remainder of the season. But since December, I have been cleared from PT and have no restrictions (except try not to crash and land on your shoulder for a few more months!), I have turned the tables to 2016 and our final Olympic qualifier which is May 14 in Yokohama, Japan.

    Read More
  • Dec

    16 New Year Resolutions That We Love

    It's that time of year again; we go buy the pretty journals, dig out our fancy pens, throw sequins around like confetti and start jotting down our over-ambitious New Year resolutions. Fast forward to March-- the sequins have lost their sparkle, the journals begin collecting dust under the bed and there are coffee stains on our precious list of goals. Let's be honest, 8-weeks into the new year and we've already forgotten our resolutions. 

    Well, here are 16 resolutions that are worth remembering; 

    Read More
  • Sep

    SwimOutlet.com Triathlon Team Season Recap

    The SwimOutlet.com sponsored triathlon team capped off a wildly successful season with 29 age group podium finishes and six overall victories in its inaugural season. The team showed its versatility with impressive performances at every race distance from sprint to Ironman, racing at high-profile events across the country.

    Read More
  • Sep

    Brand Q&A: Catching Up With Blueseventy

    Bluesevently recently launched their latest NERO TX tech suit. The suit has certainly made an impression in the swim community for its enhanced technology and colorful style. But Blueseventy is more than just top-of-the-line tech suits and fun practice gear, they're a leader in the triathlon industry. We caught up with Blueseventy's marketing manager Helen Gorman on some of the latest Blueseventy developments.

    SwimOutlet.com Blog: Blueseventy has been a popular open water swim brand for years, but you are moving more and more into high-end tech suits. Tell us about that evolution?

    Blueseventy: Our heritage is open water, but we’ve been involved in pool swimming since before the Beijing Olympics, that’s eight years of making performance swimwear for swimmers in the highest level of competition. It’s a market we feel we can make a difference in.

    Read More
  • Sep

    Journey To Rio: A Bump in the Road, Literally

    By Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic Triathlete

    Editor’s Note: The road to Olympic qualification in triathlon is a complicated one for the average fan. Between event results, point standings and U.S. qualification events, there are several different ways to punch your Rio ticket [Link to http://www.usatriathlon.org/news/articles/2015/7/070215-olympic-guide-1.aspx].  One qualifying event was at last month’s Rio test event. Another is this weekend at the ITU Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago. We checked in with SwimOutlet.com in-house triathlon expert and 2008 Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker on his latest Journey to Rio with the Chicago triathlon looming on Saturday.

    Everything was moving smoothly into Rio. I arrived into town a week before the race in early August and had acclimated very well. Running and swimming were on point and the little biking I did outside was great. Mostly we were inside on trainers since the traffic is crazy and there is not really anywhere to bike that is quiet or safe.

    Read More
  • Jul

    The Long Journey to Rio, Part 1

    By Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic triathlete

    I have been a pro triathlete for 11 years and each day I have two ultimate goals that I work towards:

    1) Be the best athlete that I can be;
    2) Represent my country at the Olympics

    As an athlete, the opportunity to compete in the Olympics comes around once every four years when the lucky few get to compete for a spot on their country’s Olympic team. I had the opportunity to represent the United States in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics and I just missed the team in 2012 despite being ranked #1 in the U.S. I am going for it again in 2016 and I will be sharing my experiences on that road with you.

    Read More
  • Jun

    Neoprene Swim Shorts: A Triathlete’s Best Friend

    By Evan Rudd, SwimOutlet.com Triathlon Team
     

     

    The sport of triathlon attracts people with diverse athletic backgrounds and can serve as an exhilarating challenge, regardless of prior competitive experience in swimming, biking or running.

    The swim is typically the most daunting leg for beginner triathletes, but the extra buoyancy offered from a wetsuit (http://www.swimoutlet.com/triathlon-wetsuits-c11380/) can help ease that feeling of anxiety associated with swimming in open water.

    While most triathletes race in wetsuits, few spend much time training with one on in open water. Here’s the problem: your body is in an entirely different position in the water while swimming in a wetsuit compared to what you typically wear while training in a swimsuit in a pool. The buoyancy of a wetsuit elevates your entire body, allowing you to swim faster with less energy.

    Read More
  • May

    Brand Q&A: Catching Up with Jaked

    Jaked is one of the newest entrants into the tech suit market in the U.S., although they’ve been well-known in Europe for several years. We caught up with Jaked’s U.S. rep to learn more about the brand that has had swimmers talking since the brand’s terrific visibility at the 2009 World Championships.

    SwimOutlet.com Blog: So first off, is Jaked considered an Italian brand because of the heritage?

    Jaked: Jaked is an Italian company with the headquarters in the North of Italy (close to Milano). The company has been created in 2008 when four guys had a great intuition: to use the polyurethane together with a state-of-the-art construction technology in the manufacturing system of the full body competition suits. It has been a real revolution in the swimming world! In the 2009 Swimming Worlds in Rome, most of the swimmers were using the Jaked competition swimsuit called J01, breaking 17 world records and earning 37 medals.

    Read More
  • May

    Top Cycling Helmets Compared – The Shoemaker Review

    By Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic Triathlete

    Editor’s Note: There are dozens of helmets to choose from and picking the right one can be a challenge. Luckily, we’ve got one of the best triathletes in the world to help you find the perfect one. We sent four high-end road helmets to 2008 Olympic Triathlete Jarrod Shoemaker to test. These helmets all strive to provide the perfect balance of low weight and ventilation with an emphasis on aerodynamics. 

    Read More
  • May

    SwimOutlet.com Triathlon Team Shines in Debut Race

    The newly formed SwimOutlet.com Triathlon Team had a stellar kickoff to the 2015 season, claiming the top two steps on the podium at the Half Moon Bay Triathlon on April 19th.

    Four members of the SwimOutlet.com Triathlon Team tackled the beautiful course along the California coast, which included a 1.5km harbor swim, 40km bike course along the coast and 10km run on the popular Coastal Trail.

    Decked out in their SwimOutlet.com Louis Garneau Tri Suits, 24-year-old Scott Kolofer (Sunnyvale, CA) and 30-year-old Evan Rudd (Campbell, CA) finished 1-2 atop the podium.

    Read More
  • Mar

    Brand Q&A: Catching up with TYR

    TYR recently launched their latest Avictor tech suit in their line-up to much critical acclaim. The suit received straight A’s in our SwimOutlet.com 2015 Tech Suit Reviews and has made an impression for its colorful style. But TYR is more than just a top-of-the-line tech suit. We caught up with TYR’s media rep Erika Amandola on some of the latest TYR developments.

    SwimOutlet.com Blog: The TYR Avictor is your new statement suit, tell us a little bit about the product development and characteristics of the suit?

    Erika Amandola: This suit has been a pursuit of ingenuity two years in the making. Manufactured in the United States, it stands alone from so many other suits on the market, and that is something we as an American based company, are very proud of. From the start we were dedicated to utilizing the latest technology in both materials and manufacturing. Now fully developed, the suit consists of three major advancements. The first, Hydrosphere Technology, allows swimmers to maintain a position higher above the water, reducing drag and adding speed. The second, Speed Dry Fabrication, enables swimmers to feel lighter and dry faster. Finally, Super Flex Bonding, conforms to the swimmer’s body to provide a durable, 360 degree stretch.

    Read More
  • Dec

    The Shoemaker Holiday Gift Guide

    By Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic triathlete

    It's holiday time and that means scrambling to find that perfect present. Unfortunately I will not be able to predict anybody’s perfect present, but I will give a few suggestions that can help you buy for your favorite athlete.

    Read More
  • Nov

    The Ins and Outs of Open Water Swim Caps

    Swim caps make perfect stocking stuffers! Easy to wrap, affordable with styles and designs for all types of swimmers. We asked our in-house triathlon expert Jarrod Shoemaker to break down the different swim cap options for open water swimmers.

    By Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic triathlete

    There are quite a few types of swim caps on the market, and quite a few different varieties. This article specifically focuses on which types of caps are good for open water swimming.

    We can rule out a few caps, such as kids fun swim caps and lycra caps (Unless you are racing lifeguard races in which case lycra caps are the norm). Lycra caps allow water to pass through them easily, they are not bad per se, but do not keep your hair dry and are not as fast as latex, silicone or neoprene caps.


    Most races use latex caps as they are cheaper for the races to produce, so if you are racing triathlons or open water swimming event, you most likely have used a latex cap. Most competitive swimmers, like those at the Olympics are using silicone caps, since they are a bit more sturdy, and more hydrodynamic. I have a couple latex caps, silicone caps and neoprene caps that I take with me to open water swims or races so I can use the correct cap depending on water temperature.

     

     

    Read More
  • Oct

    Road Cycling for Beginners

    by Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic Triathlete

    As we head into the fall season it is a great time to start road cycling! As a sport, cycling has very low impact and very low stress on the body compared to running and the two are comparable aerobically. It can be a great way to get outside and check out the changing leaves.

    Cycling also has a lower heart rate compared to running, so overall it can be easier to be outside for longer.

    ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET

    First things first, NEVER ride without a helmet. There is NO reason you should be without one. One slip or fall or car you do not see and a helmet WILL save you from head injury.

    Read More
  • Oct

    Five Tips for Tapering

    by Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic Triathlete

    Tapering, or peaking for performance, is one of the most important aspects of an athlete’s training regardless of what timed sport you compete in: swimmingrunningcycling or all three: triathlon. If you have been training for a race for months you do not want the last week leading into the race to ruin your race. That hard part about tapering is that every athlete reacts differently to drops in volume, quality or an increase in rest.
     

    When I was running in college I averaged 75 miles a week, but had friends running 110 miles a week. For my taper I would drop down to 35-40 miles a week, meanwhile my friends would barely drop down only to 70-80 miles a week. If they had dropped half their mileage or more they would not have performed as well. This leads me to a key point about tapering, you train every week and assuming you are hitting all your workouts, why change things too much?

    I had a high school cross country coach who told me “Anything you do 10 days out from a race can only hurt you.” If you are looking to have a breakthrough performance on race day, just do exactly what you are supposed to do in training. Just because you feel better does not mean you should try to set a mile PR in practice, save it for race day!

     

    Read More
  • Sep

    Michael Phelps’ Swim Brand: Q&A with Aqua Sphere Swim

    In August 2014, the most decorated Olympian of all-time, Michael Phelps, announced he was entering into a partnership with southern California-based Aqua Sphere to create a new global swim brand that will develop innovative products that are inclusive and accessible to a broader range of swimmers and non-swimmers across the full swimming lifecycle beginning in early 2015.

    Aqua Sphere was previously known best for its line of fitness swimsuits, Italian-made swim goggles, open water wetsuits and accessories, but gained instant credibility in the performance tech suit market with the new Phelps relationship.

    We spoke with Aqua Sphere Business Line Manager, Todd Mitchell, about the new deal with Phelps.

    Read More
  • Aug

    Open Water Swim Tips

    by Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic triathlete & SwimOutlet.com expert contributor

     


    The growth in open water swimming in the past decade has been tremendous, whether for fitness, competition or multi-sport events like triathlons. Venues range from lakes to rivers to bays to oceans and each one presents different challenges. Most open water swimmers train for races exclusively in the pool and this can leave them unprepared for open water swimming. There are a few important techniques to think about when swimming open water, so I put them together with my tips: sighting, stroke efficiency, buoy turns and water entries and exits.

    Read More
  • Jul

    The Road to 70.3 - Race Day

    By Jordan Turner, SwimOutlet.com Social Media Coordinator


    “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.” I will be the first to admit that I found a lot of excuses on the road to 70.3, most of which involved avoiding my bike. However eventually, after countless hours of training, endless support, a few meltdowns and some serious soul searching, I also found my way.

    On July 26, I completed my very-first 70.3 distance triathlon, Barb’s Race in Sonoma County. Crossing the finish line after a long 70 miles— a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride, and 13.1-mile run—is not something to be taken lightly. In fact, it was my biggest athletic accomplishment to date.

    I know what you’re thinking, who in their right mind would sign up to race 70 miles in the first place? Well, being that I am young and fairly active (and maybe a little bit crazy), I am constantly finding new ways to challenge myself. At first, after college, it was a 5k fun run here and there—emphasis on fun (often times a tutu and paint were involved). When I got bored with the local 3-mile courses, I graduated to half-marathons. After having a handful of half-marathons under my belt, I decided it was time to test the waters in a triathlon (you see where I am going with this?). A few races later, I found myself standing on the edge of the Russian River in Guerneville, CA anxiously awaiting the 10-second countdown to my first 70.3 triathlon.

    Read More
  • Jul

    The Road to 70.3 - Two Weeks Out

    By Jordan Turner, SwimOutlet.com Social Media Coordinator

    Five weeks, 3615 minutes of training, hundreds of miles, bottomless water, pools of sweat, a few tears, one goal—make it through 70.3 miles.

    I walked away from my first Olympic distance triathlon on June 1 and continued on the road to 70.3 with a few things in tow; shin splints, sore hips, fear, a strategy, and a lot of determination. Unfortunately, the shin splints and sore hips are inevitable— but the fear, strategic training, and determination are what will propel me down the road to 70.3 (fingers crossed).

    At 24, I like to think of myself as bulletproof (naïve, I know). I tend to put minimal effort into my training, and expect maximum results come race day. Sometimes, this logic works (hence bulletproof). However other times—like in a triathlon, for example—this training plan does not get me very far. Contrary to my previous race strategies, or lack thereof, I knew after my first Olympic distance that I needed to dedicate myself to the sport if I expected to hit the 70.3 finish line alive. The problem? I was trying to squeeze what should have been 12 weeks of training into 5 short weeks (bulletproof, right?). 

    Read More
  • Jul

    Must-Have Gear for the First Time Triathlete

    by Evan Rudd, SwimOutlet.com Triathlon Category Manager

    Maybe your best friend talked you into it. Maybe you’re looking for an athletic challenge that takes you outside the confines of a gym. Maybe you lost a bet. Whatever your reason for committing to your first triathlon, your life will never be the same.

    Once you cross that finish line, you’ll be able to call yourself a triathlete, which is a pretty impressive bullet point to add to your résumé of life. But in order to cross that line in a blaze of sweaty glory, you’ll need a few pieces of essential gear to help get you there. You’ll also need to train for whatever event you’re planning to participate in, but this article is focused on the equipment you’ll need for your first triathlon. 

    Read More
  • Jun

    The Expert Review: Open Water Goggles

    By Julie Stupp, Olympic Trials finalist
     

    Tell us in the comments below where you will be doing your open water swimming this summer and you could win a pair of open water swimming goggles featured in our review!

    Competing in the open water can be very intimidating for many swimmers and non-swimmers alike. The conditions in open water can often be a challenge. The water can be cold, choppy, there may be a current and most of the time it is murky so you have no idea what is lurking beneath you. Not to mention in most races there is a high probability of getting hit in the face with an arm or a leg of a competitor.

    One of the few things you do have control of is what you are wearing and how well you react to the obstacles in the race. Having a great pair of open water goggles can relieve a lot of stress by helping you clearly see where you are going and what is going on around you.

    Open water goggles are quite different from pool goggles and unfortunately I learned this the hard way during my first triathlon. I realized there are four main components I need to have in a great open water goggle. 

     

    Read More
  • Jun

    The Road to 70.3 - My First Olympic Triathlon

    By Jordan Turner, SwimOutlet.com Social Media Coordinator


    If you're anything like me, you have thought about "tri-ing" a triathlon because, well, why not? You can swim, you can bike and you can run-- so how hard can it be, right?! 

    A year ago, I registered for my very first triathlon. It was a sprint, which consisted of a 400 yard swim, a 12 mile bike ride, and a 5k run. Being a swimmer, and having a few half-marathons under my belt, I went into this race with a mountain bike, minimal training and oodles of confidence. The race was tougher than I anticipated (especially as I watched everyone zoom past me on the bike course), but fun nonetheless. So naturally, I was already looking for my next race (and a road bike).

    Read More
  • Jun

    Preparing for a Race - Traveling Stress Free

    By Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Beijing Olympian


    A lot of you out there might be traveling to your first triathlons this summer. Traveling to races can be quite stressful; in my last review, I made a list of things to bring while traveling to a local race; however, traveling via plane, domestically or internationally, can be quite different. Here, I have put together some tips and thoughts about how to approach traveling longer distances to races, as you get ready for summer race season.


    Over my years as a pro triathlete, I have flown over 1 million miles and could tell you all sorts of stories from airports from Beijing to Sydney to Frankfurt to Chicago, but there are quite a few tips that I have learned that can make triathlon travel a lot less stressful.

    This year my first big trip was to New Zealand for the New Plymouth World Cup and Auckland World Series Race. I started looking at tickets in December and booked my flight in early January, ensuring that I got the connections that I wanted, and the dates I wanted. As my departure date got closer, I started to go over my list and begin to pre-pack. 

    Read More
  • Apr

    3-Month Triathlon Training Plan

    Preparing for your first triathlon

    by Jarrod Shoemaker

    So, you’ve decided to give triathlons a shot? Or maybe thinking about “tri”ing it out? Well, let me tell you that triathlons are not as crazy of an event as some people make them out to be. Whether you are coming from a single sport background in swimming, biking or running, or coming from another sport entirely, the key is becoming comfortable enough in all three sports.

    The first step towards getting ready for your first triathlon is to pick a race! I would suggest starting with a small local sprint distance race, instead of a larger or longer race. By starting small you will be able to focus on enjoying the experience. I have seen many people pick longer distance races as their first races, not realizing the commitment they need to just complete an event like that. I would suggest a sprint distance race with legs under 750 meter swim, 13 mile bike and 4 mile run.

     

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