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RECENT COMMENTS

Four Tips for Your First Triathlon of the Season (213)

To complete a triathlon along with my twin sons!

Four Tips for Your First Triathlon of the Season (213)

Open water swim (Alcatraz)

Four Tips for Your First Triathlon of the Season (213)

I am going to complete my first sprint triathlon this year.

Four Tips for Your First Triathlon of the Season (213)

My goal is to win!

Four Tips for Your First Triathlon of the Season (213)

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The Official Blog of SwimOutlet.com!

  • Apr

    Four Tips for Your First Triathlon of the Season

    The arrival of spring marks the kickoff for many triathletes to start racing after a few months of down time. If you’re preparing for your first triathlon of the year, here are a few tips to consider before toeing the line of your first race.

    Come Prepared

    Hopefully you’ve done enough training to ensure you’re fit enough to finish your race. While your physical condition is the most important component to performing well on race day, it’s also important to make sure you’re comfortable using all the gear you’ll need on race day. If you do most of your swim training in a pool, try to work in a few open water swims wearing your wetsuit to get used to the sensation. Practice cycling and running in whatever you plan to wear on race day. The idea here is to be as comfortable and confident as possible with your gear. And remember, never use anything new on race day.

    Read More
  • Mar

    Top 2016 Tech Suits Compared - The Expert Review

    TOP 2016 TECH SUITS REVIEWED (all prices subject to change at any time)

    2016 Men's Elite Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
    Arena Carbon Ultra - Gangloff Review | *Available Soon
    FINIS Onyx - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    A3 Perfomance Legend - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    Funky Trunks Apex Stealth - Gangloff Review | *Available Late March 2016
    Jaked JKeel - Gangloff Review | Product Page
    FINIS Fuse - Gangloff Review | Product Page

    2016 Women's Elite Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
    Arena Carbon Ultra - Stupp Review | *Available Soon
    FINIS Onyx - Stupp Review | Product Page
    A3 Perfomance Legend - Stupp Review | Product Page
    Funkita Apex Stealth - Stupp Review | *Available Late March 2016
    Jaked JKeel - Stupp Review | Product Page
    FINIS Fuse - Stupp Review | Product Page

    Read More
  • 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
  • Nov

    My Holiday Wish List: Jarrod Shoemaker

    It is that time of year again, when you scratch your head and think “what can I buy for ______! They already have everything they need!” Well look no further, I have a few great suggestions from small gifts to pretty awesome, expensive ones. Want more gift ideas? Check out SwimOutlet.com's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

    Read More
  • Nov

    Brand Q&A: Catching Up With MP Michael Phelps

    The new MP Michael Phelps brand launched in early 2015 with a line of performance goggles and continued with the much-awaited debut of the XPRESSO tech suit, worn in competition by the most decorated Olympian of all-time himself. This fall featured the debut of the MP line of training suits and the brand continues to expand its offerings. We caught up with representatives from Aqua Sphere responsible for the MP Michael Phelps brand to get the latest scoop on swimming’s newest performance line.

    SwimOutlet.com Blog: It’s been just over a year since the MP brand was announced, we’re guessing it’s been a busy year. Tell us some of the biggest things that were needed to get the brand up and running!

    MP Michael Phelps: We engaged our global team, from top management through Marketing, Product Development and Sales. It was critical to set-up a way to seamlessly feed ideas from Michael and Bob (Bowman) to our Marketing and Product Development teams. As we identified new product opportunities, we integrated Michael and Bob in the proof of concept and prototype testing to verify that we were meeting their expectations. When launching a new brand, it’s critical that it stands for something different and that the products clearly represent that; Michael Phelps has a vision to change the sport of swimming and the MP brand is one way to help accomplish this vision.

    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
  • Aug

    Connor Jaegar: What's in Your Arena Bag?


    Photo Credit: Mike Lewis

    Over the past month, top swimmers are competing across the globe in events like the 2015 Pan Am Games, 2015 World Championships and 2015 U.S. Nationals. We asked some of the world’s best swimmers to tell us what they keep in their bags for any important meet!

    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
  • Mar

    SwimOutlet.com Renews with USA Synchro

     

    San Jose, CA (March 3, 2015) - SwimOutlet.com, the web’s most popular swim shop, has renewed its partnership with USA Synchro for 2015, the fourth consecutive year it has sponsored the governing body for synchronized swimming in the U.S. and supported America’s synchro national team.

    The continuing partnership between USA Synchro and SwimOutlet.com will feature SwimOutlet.com as the "Online Aquatic Retailer of USA Synchro" and as the presenting sponsor of the organization's SwimOutlet.com Swimmer of the Month Award. 

    Read More
  • Feb

    Top Running Shoes Compared - The Shoemaker Review

    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
  • Jan

    Top Waterproof MP3 Players Compared by Zach Kent of @iSwimWithIssues

    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
  • Dec

    Testing Swim.com with the Pebble Watch

    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
  • 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
  • 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 Gangloff Review: Mark Gangloff & Julie Stupp Break Down the Latest Swim Watches

    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.

     

     

    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 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

    The Training Arena - Q&A with Laura Sogar

     

    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?

    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.

    Read More
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