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Archive for the ‘Gear Reviews’ Category

Riding indoors on the bike trainer is a necessary evil in many parts of the world. Anyone who has spent time on an indoor trainer knows just how boring (and most of the time painful) it can be. I’ve tried everything to pass the time, TV shows, DVD’s, books, books on tape and maybe the worst of them all…Spinervals…I really detest Coach Troy and his stopwatch.

Luckily I stumbled across The Sufferfest, these videos combine a kick-ass workout, great race footage, new music and some and some unexpected surprises. Every time I hit the play button I know I’m in for a bike workout that will make my teeth hurt while still being entertained. The latest Sufferfest video “The Hunted” promised to have some longer slightly less intense intervals. Training for triathlons rather than road racing I was looking forward to The Hunted.

I’ll admit it, my first go at The Hunted was a failure. I setup my bike outside on the patio on a day the was 14 degrees, the combination of the cold and going out too hard led to blowing up at about the 30 minute mark.

Last week I jumped on the bike determined to conquer The Hunted. I was able to make it through all 60 minutes sticking to the perceived efforts and outlined cadences (other than the five minutes 110+ cadence at the 40 minute mark). While this workout does focus on longer intervals it finishes up with with a tempo/sprint combination that just about made me vomit (thanks David).

Bottom line…all the Sufferfest videos are great, they have impressive production value and an even better price point $10.99 USD.

(For the record I’ve paid full price for all The Sufferfest videos in my collection, there has been no compensation for this review)

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Recently I heard that Jamba Juice was serving up oatmeal. Not just any oatmeal but slow-cooked, organic, steel cut oats with fruit toppings. This morning I changed my route to work so I could give this stuff a shot. A picture is worth a thousand words…

Full Cup of Jamba Juice Oatmeal

Full Cup of Jamba Juice Oatmeal

This was some of the best oatmeal I’ve ever had. It was obvious the oats were steel cut & not rolled, the quantity was huge and the fruit topping was perfect. If you like the oatmeal from a coffee company that features a mermaid in their logo I suggest tracking down some Jamba Juice Oatmeal…you’ll never go back.

Its a sad sight but...I'm full!

Its a sad sight but...I'm full!

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I’ve been using the TP plantar fasciitis kit long enough now that I can give a full review of the product.

Plantar fasciitis symptoms hit me pretty quick when my long runs got over 15 miles. I had the typical symptoms in the feet & my calfs were really tight. My first attempts at fixing the problem included the standard foam roller, acupuncture, stretching, ibuprofen & a few off days. I was already familiar with the TP products & had read many success stories from amateur age group athletes as well as elite pros.

Locally I was able to find the products at Waking Life Massage & Supply. (Prices lower than I expected) The first week there was a little improvement but nothing drastic. I had an idea I was on the right path though, as I used the balls & roller the flexibility/range of motion in my foot would improve. Week two I cut my long runs way down & continued rolling. Its definitely uncomfortable & feels like its working quite deep in the muscle. In the second week I upped the frequency of use to three times a day. (Normally before/after a run & before bed)

Now I’m in week three of using the TP products & I would say I’m at 95%. Yesterday I covered about 18 miles in 2:10, today my feet feel great. Another thing I’ve noticed is my calf don’t cramp when I swim, this was especially bad when I pushed off the wall.

Why does this stuff work so well? I theory is the depth & intensity of the treatment without having to see a therapist. For most people its not possible to see the Massage Therapist or Physical Therapist three times a day…

Without a doubt I would recommend the TP products to anyone having issues. Eventually I’ll get the quadballer for preventive measures.

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From time to time I post product reviews, these posts seem to be the most visited pages. (Thanks search engines) This latest review is for a new running sock that I’ve been really happy with.

About 6 moths ago I started having problems with blister in strange spots on my toes & sides of my feet. This was happening even on shorter runs. My first approach was to try new shoes without any luck, pretty much I still had the same blisters.

Years ago I used to hike in Wigwam Ultramax socks & stayed blister free so I decided to give there running socks a shot. Purely by chance Wigwam’s line of running socks are licensed by & branded by Ironman.

Link to wigwam socks.

The socks are super thin, run a little on the small side but have worked great for me. I’m 99% blister free running in them without the need of any body lube of anykind.

If your feet tend to be on the sweaty side or you run in wet conditions give these socks a shot.

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Its been a year now that I’ve been riding a triathlon bike. As a whole it took some getting used to, the position was very different & aero bars are challenging at first. Since the original build, it never shifted all that great. (Actually it shifted like crap) I’d have the bike serviced & it would shift ok for a ride or two then it would go to hell again.

Finally my frustration level hit its max. I called around to find out who was the best mechanic in the Seattle area for this particular problem on my specific make & model. Word on the street was Garrick (spelling?) at Speedy Reedy was the man to see.

On a Friday morning I brought my bike into Speedy Reedy’s to have it looked at. In 10 minutes the problem I had been having for over a year was diagnosed. The derailleur cables were twisted inside the frame. Within a couple hours they had the cables rerouted & the bike shifting like it was supposed to. My long weekend ride was like being on a whole new bike.

Bottom line…need a bike mechanic in Seattle (triathlon or road) head to Speedy Reedy.

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Its been said that shopping is the fourth discipline of triathlon. Like it or not this is true for me, competing in a race that includes three different disciplines comes with a ton of gear. This is really good stuff to like carbon fiber, titanium & high-tech fabrics. One issue is how to store, organize & pack all your stuff to races or training sessions. After misplacing & not knowing for sure what was in the bag I set out on the quest for the best triathlon bag to grace the Earth.

For starters I have to say I’ve been a conosur of quality backpacks over the years. (Backpacking, rock climbing, snow boarding…) I have come across what I this is not only the best triathlon pack but possibly the best all-around backpack to date!

Introducing the Rocket Science Sports “Rocket Bag” (Link to web site)

For starters this bag has a specific place for everything, including; swim gear/wet suit, run gear, bike gear, heart rate monitors, sunglasses, nutrition, water bottles, race licenses, mp3 player, cell phone & helmet. Those are ALL well organized individual compartments.

This backpack is comfortable even when fully loaded. The shoulder straps, waist belt & surface that is against your back are all amazing. The ventilation, adjust ability & cushion are impressive.

As if all the above items aren’t enough…the construction quality is some of the best I’ve seen in outdoor gear. Every detail of this backpack amazing. This is an example of smart engineering, thoughtful design & quality construction.

The one & only downfall I can find is an areo helmet may not fit all that well…but I don’t have one so its not an issue for me. But did I mention it even came with a transition mat…

* * * * * out of * * * * * Stars

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#38 I Can Count

I may be part of a very small group of people but I’ll come clean…I can’t count laps while I swim…

Between counting strokes & breaths also counting how many laps I have swam just didn’t happen. Till now that is! Here’s the most useful & least expensive toy thats been added to the training arsenal. This is the sport count lap counter that slips right on your finger…problem is now I know how many laps I’m NOT swimming… www.sportcount.com

Sportcount Lap Counter picture-2.png

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