by Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic Triathlete
The first thing to know about shoes: picking shoes is a very personal decision. What your friend or brother likes does not mean it will work for you. SwimOutlet.com sent me 4 pairs of shoes to compare for a 2015 Spring Show Review – the Saucony Kinvara 5, the Mizuno Wave Rider 18, the Asics Gel Cumulus 16 and the Altra The One. The first three are cushioned shoes for daily training, and the last one is a tempo or racing shoe.
It is important to check the soles of your shoes and see when they become worn down, an old pair of shoes can actually cause injuries. One way to check is to put your hand into your shoe and press on the midfoot and forefoot and see if there is any cushion left. If the shoe is dead you will feel that the cushioning has been compressed and it will feel hard. Once you have pressed into a new shoe and an old shoe, it is pretty easy to tell the difference between the two.
Most shoes should last 300-400 miles. So let’s say you run 3-4 miles per day – that means your shoes would last 100 days, or about 3-4 months. But each person wears shoes differently depending on how they land. Make sure that you are not wearing your shoes too long, or even better is to find two pairs of shoes you like and alternate days running in them. This will make the shoes last a bit longer, as it will allow the cushioning to rebound a bit before you run in them again.
One piece of advice is to look at the bottom of your old shoes and see where you are landing. Heel? Midfoot? Forefoot? It is good to check this out on each pair of shoes you wear through. People don’t do that enough. The wear on your shoe tells you a lot about your gait and how your foot lands.
Onto the specific shoes and remember that picking shoes is personal. These shoes are all well-built shoes and your feet will enjoy any of them.Read More
By Zach Kent, @iSwimWithIssues
Hey swimmers, Zach Kent here from @iSwimWithIssues! This is my very first review and I have the pleasure of reviewing some of my favorite items—Waterproof MP3 players. It’s often difficult to mindlessly swim for hours on end listening solely to the “swoosh” of the water. Don’t get me wrong, I love that sound, but sometimes a little music can help you go a long way. Oh, and it’s also useful for those times when you want tune out your coach. (I’m not suggesting doing that—it will only end with a long butterfly set.)
Below are the MP3’s that I have had the pleasure of testing out, with my favorite Waterproof MP3’s towards the top. Understand that a waterproof MP3 might vary based on your stroke and what preference you may have towards placement of the MP3, so I recommend reading all of the reviews to see which one is the best pick for you. All of these are great options but there might be some things in particular that suit your needs.Read More
By Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic Triathlete
One of the newest innovations in swim training are swim watches. A few years ago, Garmin was the leading swim watch to track your open water swimming, but now there are several swim watches that will record data, while you swim in a pool.
SwimOutlet.com’s sister company Swim.com launched earlier this year with a training platform that is geared entirely towards using swim data to help athletes improve. The other training sites on the market are built towards multisport and are not efficient at analyzing data from swim watches. It is easy to tally distances, but nothing beyond that.
Swim.com has a few other great assets including local pool and club databases and social media connections. The site has been built to not only help swimmers improve, but also to allow swimmers to compare against other swimmers at their pools and in their circle of friends. This kind of social sharing has become especially popular in sports like running and cycling. These attributes are great to help motivate, improve and even create new training groups.Read More
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
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.
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: swimming, running, cycling 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!
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.
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.
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
By Mark Gangloff, Olympic Gold Medalist
For quite some time “land” athletes have benefitted from technology. Between watches, GPS devices, computers, and even shoes that provide key metrics, land athletes have been able to track their training, compare results, and set goals rather easily. In the pool, we are often left to our own devices (no pun intended): counting.
Recently, there has been a transition to swimmer-friendly technology. Among them, Swim.com has launched in beta this summer, providing a swim tracking and workout platform that is compatible across multiple wearables, including some tech watches that I have reviewed here.
Tech watches – some people call them smart watches – for swimmers provide key feedback and relieve the athlete of counting, tracking, and roping an innocent bystander into keep your pace.
Over the last several weeks, I have tried many tech watches for swimmers. I am thrilled about these innovations and what they could do for our sport and our athletes so a brief overview follows.
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.
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).
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.
The latest installment of our series about training features Arena athlete Laura Sogar.
Leave a question or comment for Laura below by May 5 11:59PM, and you will be entered to win a pair of the Arena COBRA goggles.
1) We all know getting in the pool can be a struggle some days, what keeps you motivated on days like this?
I will be the first to admit how hard getting up for those 5:30 morning workouts can be but thinking about my competition and if they are working hard that morning always gets me motivated to make sure I am not losing out on any training time. It helps that I always end up having fun with my teammates once I am at workout and any of that initial desire not to go is quickly forgotten when we are laughing during warmup.
2) What does the inside of your swim bag look like- do you have a favorite practice suit, type of goggle, or training accessory?Read More
I really really love my arena challenge back suit, I wear them every single day at workout and they’re super comfortable and flattering. As far as equipment goes I cannot do without my kickboard. Kicking is a huge part of my stroke so I spend a lot of quality time with my board doing kick sets. I also am getting really into yoga so at a meet you can often see me with my yoga block stretching out before warmup.
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.
By Rob Penner
Spring will be out in full-force in just a matter of days or weeks depending on where you live, so it’s high-time to consider that next pair of running shoes for warm weather.
But this year perhaps more than ever, you have a big decision to make: light vs. traditional cushion. Building off the increased popularity of minimalist running shoes over the past few years, all the top brands now feature excellent lightweight running shoes – many with their own technical attributes. It’s clear they are coming up with better fabrics and improved construction techniques with each passing year.
By Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 OlympianRead More
As the weather slowly turns warmer in much of the country, the summer triathlon season is quickly approaching! For those of you still new to triathlons, it’s best to start planning out some of the gear that you may need on race day.
TOP 2014 TECH SUITS REVIEWED:
2014 Men's High End Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
Arena Carbon Pro - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Blueseventy Nero 14 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Engine Armour Wingskin - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Nike NG-1 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
FINIS Vapor - Gangloff Review | Product Page
TYR Tracer Light - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Arena Carbon Flex - Gangloff Review | Product Page
2014 Women's High End Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category PageRead More
Arena Carbon Pro - Stupp Review | Product Page
Blueseventy Nero 14 - Stupp Review | Product Page
Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 - Stupp Review | Product Page
Engine Armour Wingskin - Stupp Review | Product Page
Nike NG-1 - Stupp Review | Product Page
FINIS Vapor - Stupp Review | Product Page
TYR Tracer Light - Stupp Review | Product Page
Arena Carbon Flex - Stupp Review | Product Page
Hey SwimOutlet.com Fans,
Spring is just around the corner and to celebrate warmer weather ahead (we hope!), we are giving away this awesome women’s TomTom Runner GPS Watch with extra large, high-resolution display.
by Jarrod ShoemakerRead More
Until just a few years ago compression socks were confined to hospitals and rehab units for use in post-surgery, diabetes and people who needed to stimulate blood flow. The few athletes who used compression socks used them to combat dreaded “cankles” (pooling of blood in the feet and ankles during prolonged periods of sitting) on long-haul flights. Then suddenly, athletes were wearing compression socks in racing, from 5Ks to marathons to triathlons.
Since the increase in popularity of compression garments began, there have been numerous studies to determine how effective compression socks and sleeves are. Generally, the majority of the studies have come to the conclusion that they do not increase performance. But just because they don’t directly impact performance, doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of other good reasons to use or try compression clothing.
By Jarrod Shoemaker
For most triathletes buying a wetsuit is an afterthought, coming up in the list of priorities after bikes, shoes, nutrition, race suit and goggles. Depending on where you live, you could use a wetsuit once a season or use one every single race. Thus, deciding on what wetsuit to buy is a choice that should take some time.
The latest installment of our series about training features Arena athlete Claire Donahue, who is also a regular on the Fitter & Faster Tour Presented by SwimOutlet.com and appears in the Swim Like a Champion DVD series.
Leave a question or comment for Claire below, and you will be entered to win the Swim Like a Champion – Butterfly DVD featuring Claire.
The first thing to know about running shoes: picking running shoes is a very personal decision! What your friend or brother likes, does not mean it will work for you.Read More
Happy New Years to all and hopefully everyone rang in the New Year with good times! Now that it’s 2014, it’s time to set your sights on the upcoming year and set some goals for yourself – no matter how small, large, personal or professional they might be.
Here’s our 10 New Year’s Swimolutions for 2014!
Here is our monthly SwimOutlet.com blog featuring a Q&A with an Arena athlete talking about all things training! November's edition features 22-year-old Caitlin Leverenz, a 2012 Olympic Medalist and NCAA athlete at University of California Berkeley. Leave a question or comment for Caitlin to answer at the bottom by November 29 and you’ll be entered to win an Arena towel and goggles!Read More
Avenue of Giants Half Marathon and Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon
Tomahawk Tri (NC) and the Chicago Marathon in October!
Training to run the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon, Black Hill...
Huntsman World Senior Games Championships, Bloomington, MN
I just joined the YWCA and look forward to wearing my new shoes ...