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THE REVIEW

Top Swim Products Tested and Reviewed by Gold Medalist Mark Gangloff

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The Official Blog of SwimOutlet.com!

  • 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.

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  • Jul

    The Gangloff Review: 2014 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.

     

     

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  • Jul

    U.S. Masters Swimming Club of the Month - July

    SwimOutlet.com is proud of its partnership with U.S. Masters Swimming and carries a full line of U.S. Masters Swimming products from training accessories to swim gear. Each month, we look forward to highlighting some of the great swimming clubs across the U.S. that feature Masters teams for all types of swimmers. This months’ team comes from sunny California with the Mountain View Masters Swim & Social Club. 

    SwimOutlet.com features a full-service team division that offers customization and bulk order discounts. We also have a team affiliate program that allows teams to set up their own online store to earn cash back for their team or club.

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    Tagged with: #USMS #MVM #mastersteam #mastersswimming #swimoutlet
  • 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?). 

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    Tagged with: #triathlon #training #70.3 #half-ironman #barbsrace2014 #swimoutlet
  • Jul

    July Interscholastic Coach of the Month Award

         

    Coaches are the backbone of any swim team. They offer motivation, support, advice, praise and criticism.

    Without a swim coach, many swimmers might not have the self-discipline and determination necessary to achieve success.

    For that reason, SwimOutlet.com has teamed up with the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) – the organization of high school swim coaches – to celebrate a monthly SwimOutlet.com Interscholastic Coach of the Month Award.

    For July, we would like to acknowledge coach Howard Schein from Urbana, Illinois who has been a dedicated coach for 14 years!

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  • 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. 

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    Tagged with: #triathlon #checklist #trikit #triathlonforbeginners #triforfun #swimoutlet
  • Jul

    Beginner's Swim Kit

    So, you've decided to take the plunge in the pool—literally! When you jump in head first to the world of swimming, you will want to build your “swim kit,” as we like to call it. In addition to the obvious, your swimsuit, you might be curious about what swim gear you will need. Thankfully, we’re here to help the beginners and the advanced swimmers alike. Below is a list of the equipment you will want to consider before diving into the sport for the first time.

    First and foremost, swim goggles are essentially a must-have for a swimmer at any level. Nobody wants to swim with water flooding their eyes, trust us! Generally, a beginning swimmer will want superior suction around the eye with a comfortable, soft seal. We recommend checking out the Speedo Vanquisher Goggle. The Vanquisher has come to be one of the most well-known goggles in the swimming world because of its durability and comfortable design.

     
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  • Jul

    U.S. Masters Swimming Club of the Month - June

    SwimOutlet.com is proud to renew its partnership with U.S. Masters Swimming and carry a full line of U.S. Masters Swimming products from training accessories to swim gear. Each month, we look forward to highlighting some of the great swimming clubs across the U.S. that feature Masters teams for all types of swimmers. This months’ team comes from sunny California with the Manatee Aquatic Masters. 

    SwimOutlet.com features a full-service team division that offers customization and bulk order discounts. We also have a team affiliate program that allows teams to set up their own online store to earn cash back for their team or club.

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    Tagged with: #USMS #CluboftheMonth #Oakland #ManateeAquaticsMasters #Masters #Swim #SwimOutlet
  • Jul

    Get to Know Connor Jaeger

     

    A 2012 Olympian in the 1500m freestyle, Connor Jaeger shares his thoughts of the recent Santa Clara Grand Prix, his approach to setting goals, maintaining swim-life balance and even some recent workouts done in the pool with our exclusive Fitter & Faster Swim Tour presented by SwimOutlet.com Q&A!

    And don’t forget to enter the contest to win a “Swim Like a Champion” DVD by telling us your favorite dryland training exercise in the comments below by July 11.

    Q: You recently competed at the Arena Santa Clara Grand Prix, can you give us a recap of how the meet went for you, your best races and any good stories?

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    Tagged with: #connorjaegar #olympian #swimlikeachampion #DVDseries #fitterandfaster #swimtour #swimoutlet
  • Jul

    About Rip Currents

    By United States Lifesaving Association

    The July 4th holiday is near and with many people taking a beach vacation this weekend, we thought we’d get our partners at the U.S. Lifesaving Association to give us another one of their monthly beach safety tips. This month: the dangers of rip currents. Be safe out there!

    What are Rip Currents

    Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves, including the Great Lakes.

    Rip currents can be killers. The United States Lifesaving Association estimates that the annual number of deaths due to rip currents on our nation's beaches exceeds 100. Rip currents account for over 80% of rescues performed by surf beach lifeguards.

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    Tagged with: #USLA #ripcurrents #beachsafety #4thofjuly #swim #swimoutlet
  • Jun

    Swim Like a Champion Video Series Wins National Award

    The Telly Awards has named the “Swim Like a Champion” DVD series – available online exclusively at SwimOutlet.com – as a Silver Winner in the 35th Annual Telly Awards. “Swim Like a Champion” was produced by The Fitter & Faster Swim Tour presented by SwimOutlet.com together with Championship Productions and has been the best-selling training video on SwimOutlet.com since its launch last December.

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    Tagged with: #fitterandfaster #swimtour #swimlikeachampion #DVDseries #tellyawards #swimoutlet
  • Jun

    Yoga for Flexibility Training: Win 1 Free Year!

    More and more swimmers are turning to yoga for flexibility training as part of their dryland practice regimen. Here at SwimOutlet.com HQ, we have launched our sister site YogaOutlet.com and our friends over at MyYogaWorks.com have offered us a special prize to a lucky reader to celebrate and a one-month trial for everyone!

    Simply tell us if you practice yoga for flexibility training by 11:59pm PT on July 15 - or have you thought about it? Let us know in the comments below and you’ll be enter to win an incredible 1-year free subscription to MyYogaWorks online classes!

    And everyone can try MyYogaWorks free for 1 month! Enter the promo code MYWSWIM during the registration process. (Offer expires 9/30/14. Valid on monthly plans only. Credit card required to register. Credit card is not charged until free trial period has ended. Cancel anytime.)

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  • Jun

    Quick Nutrition Tips for Summer Swimming

    by Elle Penner, MPH, Registered Dietitian

    When it comes to swimming, deciding what to eat before a rigorous training session or a big meet is a common dilemma.

    Dive right into the pool without eating or drinking beforehand and you may not have enough fuel in the tank to perform your best. On the other hand, eating too much, or the wrong types of foods, could lead to stomach cramping, indigestion–or worse.

    The good news is, it’s possible to be properly fueled for a morning workout without the unpleasant side effects. It’s all about what you eat, and when you eat it.

     
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  • Jun

    Summer Beach Safety Tips

    By United States Lifesaving Association

    Summer is just around the corner and millions of Americans will hit the beaches for relaxation, recreation and exercise. But don’t forget to brush up on your beach safety tips to keep it a fun and safe summer! We asked our partners at the United States Lifesaving Association to give us their Top 10 beach safety tips to keep in mind this summer! Be safe out there!

    1. Learn To Swim: Learning to swim is the best defense against drowning. Teach children to swim at an early age. Children who are not taught when they are very young tend to avoid swim instruction as they age, probably due to embarrassment. Swimming instruction is a crucial step to protecting children from injury or death.

     

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    Tagged with: #beachsafety #lifeguard #USLA #lifesavingassociation #beach #summer #swimoutlet
  • Jun

    2014 Fashion Swimwear Trends

    The five-day countdown to summer has officially begun. With that in mind, we’ve tucked away our parkas (for now) and we’re packing up our beach bags. Although we love our tech suits and goggles, we can’t help but share the fashion forecast for the 2014 summer season. Here are the styles that you can expect to see under the sun this year…

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    Tagged with: #fashion #2014trends #fashionswim #summer2014 #swimoutlet
  • Jun

    June Interscholastic Coach of the Month Award

        

    Coaches are the backbone of any swim team. They offer motivation, support, advice, praise and criticism.

    Without a swim coach, many swimmers might not have the self-discipline and determination necessary to achieve success.

    For that reason, SwimOutlet.com has teamed up with the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) – the organization of high school swim coaches – to celebrate a monthly SwimOutlet.com Interscholastic Coach of the Month Award.

    For June, we would like to acknowledge coach William Brubaker from Wheeling, West Virgina who has been a dedicated coach for 35 years!

     
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  • 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. 

     

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  • 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).

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    Tagged with: #triathlon #training #progress #70.3 #barbsrace #swimoutlet
  • 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. 

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    Tagged with: #shoemakerreview #traveltips #jarrodshoemaker #swimoutlet #triathlons
  • May

    5 Things You Didn't Know About Jimmy Feigen

    Behind every swim champion is a normal person, just like the rest of us. They have a sense of humor, friends and family that inspire them to do better, hobbies (other than swimming-- believe it or not), favorite foods, and places that they call home. Olympic swimmer and TYR Athlete, Jimmy Feigen, gives us a glimpse into his world and shares 5 random facts about himself.

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  • May

    The Shoemaker Tri Review: Using Stretch Cords

    By Jarrod Shoemaker

    As athletes we are constantly bombarded with information about the next best gadget that can measure this or help us do that. However, there is one accessory that is cheap, useful, and every athlete should have in his or her bag of tricks. That gadget is a stretch cord.

    Stretch cords are a useful tool for every athlete. The list of uses for stretch cords are long, but I will focus on some of the important uses and some recommendations for buying stretch cords.

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    Tagged with: #shoemakerreview #triathlon #tri #stretchcords #dryland #training #jarrodshoemaker #swimoutlet
  • May

    The Distance Lane: FINIS Workout of the Week

    Welcome to our FINIS Workout of the Week that you will see every other Thursday right here on the SwimOutlet.com blog! It’s just another one of the ways in which we bring you the latest tips, info and product reviews to help your aquatics training and fitness activities.

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    Tagged with: #FINIS #wotw #thedistancelane #swim #swimoutlet #swimworkout
  • May

    May Interscholastic Coach of the Month Award

       

     

    Coaches are the backbone of any swim team. They offer motivation, support, advice, praise and criticism.

    Without a swim coach, many swimmers might not have the self-discipline and determination necessary to achieve success.

    For that reason, SwimOutlet.com has teamed up with the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) – the organization of high school swim coaches – to celebrate a monthly SwimOutlet.com Interscholastic Coach of the Month Award.

    For May, we would like to acknowledge coach Mick Homan from Muskegon, Michigan who has been a dedicated coach for 26 years!

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  • 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.

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    Tagged with: #trainingarena #laurasogar #arena #q&a #swimmer #swim #swimoutlet
  • Apr

    Top 10 Reasons Why We Love the Michael Phelps Comeback


    Photo Credit | Gold Medal Minute

    #10 Because we don't like losing to the French in relays

    #9 Nothing cooler than seeing Phelps walk out onto the pool deck in pre-race mode with his head phones

    #8 More Subway commercials!

    #7 Because we love the Ryan Lochte-Michael Phelps rivalry

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    Tagged with: #michaelphelps #comeback #phelpsreturns #phelps #swimming #swimoutlet