by Jarrod Shoemaker
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 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 sent me four pairs of shoes to review, the ON Cloudracer, the Mizuno Wave Sayonara, the Asics Gel Noosa Tri 8, and the Pearl Izumi Project EM. These are four very different shoes providing great options for all types of runners.
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!
In preparation for the RCP Tiburon Mile on September 29th, our SwimOutlet team headed up to San Francisco this past weekend to test the waters. We met up with the Water World Swim group to do a short open water course around Aquatic Park in the San Francisco Bay. On the drive up we were a little nervous about how cold the water was going to be, since we would be swimming without wetsuits. Sure enough, upon our arrival we were greeted by several dozen swimmers pulling on their full-sleeve triathlon wetsuits. Thankfully, there were a few others skipping the neoprene. We breathed a sigh of relief…
Less than a week to go to Wildflower, I spent this past weekend getting race ready. Saturday morning I slipped into my On Cloudracers and linked my Garmin Forerunner 210 to the satellite. Heading out on the trails I started at an easy pace and charged the hills like I was racing up San Antonio Drive. I spent the last mile of my run focusing on my form and pacing to dial in the right speed and comfort for race day.
Sunday I was eager to get on my bike and test out my new Giro Air Attack Aero Helmet. I headed out on a flatter course so I could stay in the aerobars as much as possible. The helmet was incredibly comfortable and felt fairly lightweight. My test on a local Strava segment proved it would help my speed on race day. The remainder of the week my workouts will taper down as my excitement grows for Sunday’s race.
Editor’s Note: Along with the broadest inventory of swim gear, SwimOutlet.com has a full selection of gear for all your Triathlon needs (except the bikes!), so we asked if the SwimOutlet.com blog could follow along with our triathlon category manager, Polly Feyereisn, as she prepares for the legendary Wildflower Triathlon in May.
Lake San Antonio… it’s considered hallowed ground in triathlon circles. Maybe it’s the clear sunny sky or the crystal cold water. Maybe it’s 30 years of triathlon history, or my personal history with the race. Maybe it’s the 30-foot triathlete billboards. Whatever it is, this place is special. Where else can you get up at the crack of dawn, roll in for a training day and be treated with the sight of more triathletes than most local races.
As we pull up to the entrance gate, we are greeted by the massive cut out of a runner baking in the sun, a reminder of what is to come. Rolling down to the parking lot – which in four weeks will be one of the largest transition zones I've ever witnessed – I see a stage of swimmers stretching out their wetsuits from a winter of neglect, runners lathering pale winter skin with sunscreen and cyclists pumping up the tires of mountain bikes, road bikes and carbon master pieces. All attracted to this location for their own preparatory reasons, but also for the same reason I'm here: this place is awesome.
Photo: One of Wildflower's famous billboards posted in the park.