I have spent the past few weeks learning to manage my back injury. I say “manage” since despite being discharged from physical therapy, pain persists. Fortunately it is not at the level it was at before. So I am getting back to training and rebuilding my volume. More on that in my next post. Today I want to talk about some gear upgrades!
Triathlon is an expensive sport in case you’re not aware. As such, I’ve always tried to develop a policy of using gear until it is no longer usable. The past few months have found me with the need to replace several key items, and I am absolutely stoked debut some new gear.
The first item I replaced was my old Garmin Forerunner 305. This thing has gotten me through a lot and I have forced it to limp along well past its lifetime. I knew it was time to say goodbye when the screen refused to display anything. After 5 years of use I upgraded to the latest watch from Garmin, the Forerunner 920XT. This is a great watch. In addition to synching well with Garmin Connect, the biggest change for me is the ability to track swim data, which has been helpful. I am not sure that I am loving the feature that lets you see alerts and messages on the watch, because when I am training I like to focus solely on training. Finding out my clan castle has been attacked, I have been invited to a Facebook event, or my dry cleaning is ready is not really urgent when I am cranking out intervals! Still, cool to have and I look forward to experimenting with other data collection and training features.
Next to go was my wetsuit. When I entered triathlon I bought a starter kit that came with a Tyr Hurricane Cat 1. This is a good enough wetsuit for beginners, but 3-4 years of racing have worn this thing down. I had patched it repeatedly, but that was becoming a futile effort, so I decided to retire it. I considered several wetsuits, including the Blueseventy Helix and Tyr Hurricane Cat 5. In the end I chose the HUUB Archimedes 3:5. The Archimedes is a high-end wet suit and has a neoprene distribution that is intended to help correct sinking legs. Having not yet mastered technique, this sounded like a great fit. I did a LOT of research on these wetsuits and found the Helix and Archimedes to be similar in terms of performance, but in the end HUUB won out. I was not a fan of this year’s Helix style. I have already taken the Archimedes out once in open water and was very impressed. I could definitely see the difference between a $150 wetsuit and a $800 wetsuit! I can’t wait to put some more miles in open water wearing it.
Lastly, I have begun to upgrade my triathlon clothes. My tri kit was a bit worn so I picked up a new one from 2XU. Not much to say about the kit at the moment. It looks good, matches the bike, and felt good on a 50-mile ride. I am eager to see if it chafes or does well after 80 or 100 miles. If so, this could be what I wear at IM Louisville.
Thanks for reading. I’m in the middle of a training boot camp this week to get some of the fitness back I lost while injured. Look for an update on that soon.