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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

John's Top 5 necessities for IronMan Training

1.  The Internet.  I know it sounds generic but I can’t imagine taking on an IronMan or progressing in the sport of Triathlon without it.  I don’t like bugging folks and I like to do things on my own so it has provided me with countless Triathlon tips and benefits.  The basic things you would expect like bike and run route information is easily accessible, along with anything else you might want to know about your race or any training needs.  The recent benefit for me is that I won’t have the luxury of riding the bike course in Louisville but I can go to several IM Louisville forums and learn about the route and the challenges it possesses.  Forums also allow you to find quick information about questions you may have.  I am currently considering swapping my tires out for Gatorskin tires due to the rough county roads that IM Louisville talks about and for generally training purposes.  I will be doing most of my long rides by myself so I really don’t want to get a flat in Martensdale or Dexter so I’m considering sacrificing a little speed for some peace of mind.  My question was how much speed do you lose (because the tires are heavier and thicker) with them, the quick answer was it varies but it sounds like .5 MPH which I can live with!  Some of my new and long time favorite sites are below, they are great for finding some quick information and getting an opinion or two.

    2.  Tyr. 
    Before Triathlons I’d never heard of this brand.  It’s more of a sport specific brand like Franklin is to Baseball or Spalding is to Basketball, those might not be great 
examples but hopefully you get the picture.  They are best known for their swim wear, but also do running and biking training clothes very well.  I’ve had awesome luck with their goggles and jammers.  Their compression shirts are on par with Under Armour and the shirt I bought three years ago has taken a pounding but still looks new.  I will certainly be buying my tri suit for the race through them.  They don’t have as broad of a selection as Pearl iZumi or maybe even Zoot but what they have seems to be consistent and fit really well.

3.  Amazon.  I like a good bargain, a wide selection, and convenience so Amazon is a real friend of mine when it comes to training needs.  Shirts, shorts, socks, shoes, you name it I’ve probably ordered it.  You can find the top brands and with Amazon Prime’s free two day shipping (and free returns) its tough not to go through them.  Obviously I go local for the bike and major items that require multiple trips and a proper bike fitting but Amazon works for pretty much everything else.  It’s also great for your nutritional needs as they have several gels, protein bars, and salt tablet options.  
4.  Triathlete Magazine.  I like this magazine for the same reason I like Money Magazine, it breaks things down in easy to understand terms for the average person so if you are not quite an expert in a field you can begin to learn from their articles.  They also have several editorials each month from the Pro’s about their training plans and/or challenges.  My favorite part is the middle section each month where devote about 8-10 pages to swimming, then biking, and finally running.  These articles focus individually on each discipline and gives great training ideas and also displays some of the new products/accessories available (with reviews) for each discipline.  

5.  iTunes. I of course was the person that didn’t need an iPod or iTunes because todays music is mainly bad (last 15+ years for that matter) and iTunes seems like it would just suck money out of you.  I held strong to  for about a decade but doing long runs for training can get pretty boring so I finally broke down.  I probably only download a song per month but I can’t run without it now especially during the winter when I am cranking out 5-6 miles on the oh so exciting treadmill.  My list is mainly country music and ’80’s rock.  There’s a lot of Montgomery Gentry and Eric Church on the country side, but I certainly saved room for some Poison, Journey, and Mike & the Mechanics to balance my listening out.  If I ever move over to the smart phone world I am sure my running music will change over to podcast listening of yesterday’s Dave Ramsey show or something I can get some family or financial benefit from listening to but for now it helps pass the time.  Runs will peak at 3+ hours this summer so I am sure my list will grow.  The bad news is USAT restricts the use of music during triathlons and its an automatic DQ!  I’d be remised if I didn’t call out one final thing, if you are just starting to ride or are an experienced rider never wear head phones while on a bike!  I think its dangerous and stupid, but that’s just my opinion, and it gives all the bike haters more reason to have an issue with us.

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