Right now I’m wearing a 2009 De Soto Liftfoil Triathlon Speedsuit. I mean that literally, I am literally wearing it right now, as I type this, because I’m about to go do my last brick before the Boise half-Ironman this Saturday and I am checking out all my equipment, doing a dress-rehearsal, as it were.
I started out doing triathlons with the standard two piece triathlon outfit. That is, a tri jersey, and a pair of tri shorts. Te Koi kept telling me a one piece was super comfy, so I finally indulged and got a tri suit last August, and have now raced in it twice (one sprint, one olympic) and will, this Saturday, do a half-Ironman in it. I’ve found that tri-suits have their pros and cons:
- Nothing around the waist. No string, no waistline, nothing but smoothness. This means there’s no chance of waistline chafing.
- They look pretty cool.
- Many of them are made for swimming faster, in case you have a triathlon where you’re not using a wetsuit.
- It’s hard to go to the bathroom quickly, since you have to unzip the top and pull it down off your shoulders, vs. just pulling your shorts down.
- Tri suits seem to lack pockets, so if you’re used to carrying Gu or Chomps or something in the pockets of your tri jersey, don’t expect that with a triathlon suit.
- They can be a bit pricey.
Generally, I don’t train in a tri suit. The only reason I’m doing it today is that, like I said, it’s a dress rehearsal for the race, plus I have a new tri-bike and I’m trying to get a feel for whether or not I can use the tri suit for the whole 56-mile bike ride, or if I should wear a pair of bike shorts with a heavier pad over my tri suit (I tried riding with the bike shorts already, just to make sure that would work, and it seemed fine).
A triathlon wetsuit is thick neoprene material primarily designed to keep you warm, although buoyancy and hydrodynamics are huge added benefits.
A tri suit or triathlon suit is an outfit made of thin polyester-like material (I’m actually wearing one right now, coincidentally, as I’m writing this just before going to do a workout). While a tri suit may provide some buoyancy and warmth, it’s very, very, minimal compared to a wet suit. The primary benefits of a tri suit are:
1. Hydrodynamics (if you’re swimming in a triathlon where you’re not wearing a wetsuit)
2. Aerodynamics on the bike and run (not a huge benefit on the run, but some potential benefit on the bike)
3. Comfort – When people say “tri-suit” they’re generally talking about a one-piece suit. This means you don’t have to deal with any chafing or rubbing around your waist, if that’s a problem for you with a normal tri jersey and pair of tri shorts.
4. They look pretty cool.
If you’re doing a non-wetsuit race, then yes, I’d say a tri suit is a must-have. If you’re going to have a wetsuit on (which you would definitely want to wear if they allow it–you would never opt for a tri suit in place of a wetsuit given the option), then you’ll wear your tri suit under your wetsuit, so it’s not going to do anything for you on the swim. Therefore, the primary benefit for a beginner triathlete would be comfort, but if you don’t suffer from discomfort when wearing normal two-piece triathlon clothing then a tri suit at this point is probably overkill.
One downside to a one-piece tri suit over two piece triathlon wear–it’s harder to go to the bathroom, and this is no small matter if you need to go in a hurry. For this reason you may see triathletes walking around the transition area with their tri suit unzipped and the top part hanging from their waist prior to the event starting.
The week or two leading up to a race can cause anxiety, not just because you wonder if you’ve trained enough, or trained correctly enough, but because little things that go wrong can ruin it all. Things like your car being diagnosed as being unsafe to drive from Salt Lake City to Boise, meaning you have a few days to engage in expensive repairs or buy a new car (false alarm, apparently, although the real test will be whether we’re alive after driving there and back). Then there is the much-feared injury that could either hamper your race or take you out of it entirely. It doesn’t take much–a stubbed toe, a twisted ankle, a sore knee–any of these could make that $300+ in non-refundable entry fees worthless, not to mention missing out on the culmination of those 10-20 hours per week of training.
In my case, it’s doubtful the injury I sustained last night will keep me from doing the Boise half-Ironman, but it does have the potential to slow me down.
Last night, we had some family over for dinner. My two-year old daughter gets pretty excited when the cousins are over, and she was in her normal bubbly, giggly, silly mood. It’s cute as all get-out, and so we indulge her screaming and yelling and running around with the digital camera…wait, we should probably get that digital camera from her or she’s going to break it or hurt someone with it as she swings it around. I asked her to give the digital camera to me, and while sometimes she’s obedient, ofttimes it becomes a game of keep-away with her running, and me chasing. Of course I can catch her, but she has her last resort in this game, which is to throw whatever it is that she’s trying to keep me from getting. Our digital camera is one of the clunkier, older types, and there were smaller children around (although an adult could easily be seriously injured by a blow to the head from this camera), so I rushed to get it before she could chuck it in a random direction that might be in line with someone’s nose or eye.
As I reached for the camera, she wound up to throw it, and I just missed getting a firm grip on it. I knocked it out of her hand just as she had it over her head. It fell, striking a glancing blow to my daughter’s head, but not hard enough to make her cry or even pause in her laughter, and then the camera fell on the top of my bare foot. Of course, rather than the flat side of the camera hitting the flat top of my foot, the camera impacted on my foot with all its weight on one corner, driving it into the top of my right foot towards the front and outside.
If this happened a month ago, or a month from now, I wouldn’t be writing about it. But given that I’ve got an important race in three days, what would otherwise be a very minor foot injury is now causing me some slight worry. It doesn’t hurt that much, but it did leave a pretty good little bruise, and it does still hurt 12 hours later. And it feels like it could hurt even more after a long bike ride. I can definitely see myself six miles into the half-marathon and having to walk or drop out if it flares up. Then again, I could see the pain fading away in the next three days and being completely unnoticeable by race morning. I’ve never injured the top of my foot like this, so I don’t really know. All I know is that at the moment it hurts when I move it, and it hurts enough that it seems like it could get worse with use.
So what’s the point of me writing about all this? Just to show that while everyone thinks those who do Ironman races are determined, steely, tough individuals, in reality we’re turned into total wimps who can’t sustain the smallest injury without it turning our worlds upside down.
Boise half-Ironman, this Saturday. There’s only a 20% chance of rain–I kind of wish it was just slightly higher. I don’t want it to rain, but I wouldn’t mind some good cloud cover. If only it were on Friday, when the high is forecast to be 65 degrees (Saturday the high is going to be 74). But since the race starts at 2 pm, that means I’ll be swimming and biking during the hottest part of the day, and of course it’s easier to stay cool during those two events. The run is where the heat really saps your energy, but I won’t be starting my run until around 6 pm.
The goal is to do it all in less than six hours, or an hour faster than my last half-Ironman a little over two years ago. That will require cutting about a half hour off the bike and another half hour off the run. I don’t think I can shave more than a few minutes off the swim, but we’ll see.
Yesterday I went on a two-hour bike ride. I left two sports bottles of Heed overnight in the freezer, and I was biking in the early morning so that I didn’t have to deal with the heat, and yet within one hour both bottles were completely melted and most of the way towards being warm. Now, imagine you’re three hours into a five-hour bike ride in the middle of nowhere. Wouldn’t it be nice to reach down, grab your drink bottle, and find it filled with ice-cold water or sports drink or whatever you put in there? Not only would it be more refreshing, but how much more would you get out of your workout if you could maintain a slightly lower body temperature?
That’s why you need the Polar Bottle. I started out with two, and they are WONDERFUL. Unfortunately, one fell off my bike without me knowing it, so then one was gone. Then I left the other one on top of my car and drove off and it got ran over and cracked. Since last August I’ve been using a standard bottle and while that was fine and dandy during the winter, now that it’s getting warm again getting new Polar bottles has become a high priority, so I shelled out $12 apiece for two of them today, and I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow’s ride as a result.
Trust me, if you’ve never used one, you should try one. You’ll never be able to go back. I’d rate it one of the most important accessories for bikers, and unlike most everything else we bikers have to buy, the Polar bottle is relatively inexpensive.
Man oh man, what a difference having the right equipment makes. Last week I went for my first ride on my new tri-bike and it was horrible. I thought it was the bike, and in part it was, because the front derailleur wasn’t tuned right and the seat wasn’t adjusted correctly, but the other part was that I was using a normal bike helmet and a pair of non-biking sunglasses. For my 2nd and 3rd rides, I wore my new Louis Garneau Superleggera Aero-Helmet, for which I also bought the optional visor (tinted), and ohhhh baby, it’s like being in heaven compared to that first ride.
First of all, with the visor attached to the helmet I don’t have to wear glasses at all, which means I don’t have to deal with them slipping down my nose, getting dirty, obscuring my vision, etc. I have a huge field of vision, and the tinted visor seems to keep the sun easy on my eyes just as well as a good pair of sunglasses. It’s sooo nice. If you get the helmet, definitely get the visor, and yes, get the tinted one. It’s dark enough to work on a sunny day, but not so dark as to cause problems on a cloudy day. I’m not sure about night riding because I don’t do that. Note: The visor is screwed on and the only way to adjust it is to loosen the screws. No, you cannot have it down and then just push it up if you don’t want it there. You would actually have to stop and loosen four screws. I plan on just leaving it down all the time. I don’t see any reason to remove it–ever.
I know some people complain about aero helmets not being cool enough. The ride I just did was relatively sunny, and it’s about 80 degrees out. While I was moving I felt just fine, or if there was a good breeze, but if I slowed down to climb a hill and I didn’t have a headwind then yes, I started feeling a little warm. I have fairly short hair, not buzzed, but short, and I can imagine that someone with longer hair could get quite warm climbing a hill in 80 degree weather with this helmet on.
I already mentioned it has a great field of vision, but I want to re-emphasize that point. My non aero-helmet kept slipping down when I tried it on my first ride on my new tri-bike, which made my crane my neck more to try and see. With this helmet I don’t have to crane my neck any more than I would without a helmet on, because the helmet doesn’t obscure to top of my field of vision at all.
Everything else about the helmet was great as well. It’s comfortable, I like how easy it is to adjust the fit while you’re wearing it by using the wheel thingy in the back, and it’s super, super lightweight. I don’t have any recommendations about how it could be improved, other than maybe some sort of cooling system that weighs nothing but has the equivalent cooling power of an ice pack sitting on your head. That’d be nice.
In Spring 2011 Joanna Hall will be holding their very first overseas break at Club La Santa, Lanzarote in The Canary Islands.
Yes, block out your diaries from March 3-10, it’s a perfect time of year to visit this beautiful country alone, with friends, or as a family, with an average temperature of 22C.
Club La Santa is a perfect holiday destination and place to unwind with activities available on site to keep everyone entertained.
During our “Spring Into Shape” week, you will enjoy a relaxing break with friends or your family whilst spending time learning more about your body and how to make the most of it.
Together, we will enjoy the sunshine and explore the countryside using my Walkactive walking technique which can help you walk off weight, walk firm and help change your body shape whilst increasing your fitness levels and overall health. This, combined with a series of motivational seminars, helpful tips and guidance on how to maintain a healthy body and one on one consultations on diet, nutrition, movement and of course any specific questions that you might have will ensure that you return from your break with all the tools you need to start or kick start a healthy lifestyle routine that can be worked easily into your busy life.
I am a strong believer in relaxation as well as in integrating exercise into your daily regime. The week together is not a boot camp as I want to provide you with information, skills and the confidence to be able to continue what we teach long after our time together – and to enjoy time to yourself to top up your tan, enjoy the delicious food and wine or to unwind in your own way. We will teach you a new approach to diet and movement that you really can adopt for life and enjoy the results of your efforts not just that week, but constantly!
If you are interested in knowing more about our week together and what’s involved, please click download it as a PDF filehere to view a pdf of the sample agenda for the week (all subject to change).
All sessions are optional and are in addition to Club La Santa’s huge range of all-inclusive activities, there is something to suit everyone, so you can really make the most of your holiday. It’s perfectly equipped for all the family with a Kid’s Club and variety of sporting activity for all ages.
Booking and Prices
We will be taking “Spring Into Shape” course bookings from JHHQ via phone and online, however accommodation must be booked directly with Club La Santa. Club La Santa can also book your flights or you are welcome to book them independently, making your travel totally flexible.
Please note that course bookings will be on a first come-first served basis. Our Early Bird booking will be working in conjunction with Club La Santa, so you will be able to purchase your “Spring Into Shape” week, AND your accommodation at discounted early-bird rates.
EARLYBIRDBOOKINGDISCOUNTWILLEND ON 30th September 2010.
A non-redeemable deposit of £105 will secure your course booking. Members or Early Birds can take advantage of our discount, which will be given once full payment is made.
Members – Price – £185, Early Bird – £165 Non Members – Price £210, Early Bird – £190
If you have any queries at all please do not hesitate to contactJoanna Hall HQand we will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Event weeks are restricted to guests staying at Club La Santa.
Accommodation has to be booked separately with Club La Santa UK on +44 (0) 161-790-9890
One of the most important tips for race day is to not try out new equipment on race day. This doesn’t just mean you shouldn’t try something out that you’ve never tried before. It also means you shouldn’t use new equipment even if you’ve used the same type of equipment before (i.e. a new pair of shoes that is the same model as your last pair of shoes–this still qualifies as “new equipment” even if you’re familiar with it), and as I found out in my first marathon, this also means not using equipment or a set up that you haven’t used recently (i.e. running with ankle socks after five months of training in long socks = really bad blisters in the achilles region).
My second half-Ironman (does half-Ironman + half-Ironman = full-Ironman? Answer: No) is on June 12th, in 10 days. This will be my first race with a tri-bike and an aero-helmet, and I’ve only used the former once and the latter not at all (about to go try it right now). I should have been training with both of these at least two months ago, but that’s how it goes sometimes. But in an effort to minimize race-day complications, I am going out right now to do a 1-hour ride with my race day gear. That is, my one-piece race suit, my aero helmet, my tri-bike, and a pair of heavily padded bike shorts over my race suit, since I’m adjusting to this new bike/new position/new saddle and still will be come race day.
This gives me the opportunity to test everything and find out if something doesn’t work. For example, I have no idea how wearing bike shorts over my one-piece race suit is going to work out. I’ve worn the bike shorts plenty–by themselves, and I’ve also worn the race suit in two races, but I’ve never worn them together. Maybe it will be just fine, but maybe I’ll find out that I’ve got too much material down there and it causes skin to chafe against other skin, or that some of the seams line up and rub in the wrong place, or something else I haven’t thought of. At least I’ll have time to correct the problem and try other solutions, which you can’t exactly do on race day without ruining your triathlon experience to one degree or another.
You come out of the water moving fast and see the boat ramp that you have to climb up to the transition area. You start running, and as you do you unzip your wetsuit and pull the top down to your waist. You get to your spot, and start trying to get the wetsuit off, stomping and stepping and pulling your legs up to try and get them out of the wetsuit legs. You finally get it off, with your legs a little tired, and possibly with a hip flexor strain. This might not sound bad, per se, but how could it be improved? I’ve got three simple tips:
1. Take your wetsuit all the way off as soon as possible. This is probably more important than anything else. The wetter your wetsuit is, the easier it is to get off. If you wait until the transition area to get it off, then it’s going to be drier than it was right after you got out of the water, and that much harder to remove. Granted, depending on your race it might not be possible to take your wetsuit off right at the water’s edge because you might be in the way of everyone else, but often it is quite easy to do without inconveniencing anyone else. If you’re lucky, the event will have wetsuit strippers (people at the water’s edge who strip off your wetsuit as you lay on your back on the ground) which is ideal. Also, you’re often really out of breath as you exit the intense swim. Pausing to take off your wetsuit at this point will help you catch your breath and lower your heart rate so that you can run up that boat ramp that much faster, whereas getting that break in the transition area doesn’t give you much of a benefit at all.
2. Use a lubricant on your wrists and ankles. Put Body Glide or a comparable product on the parts of your body where the wetsuit typically gets stuck, that is, the wrists and ankles. DO NOT use Vaseline or other petroleum based product, unless you want to ruin your wetsuit.
3. Don’t wear a watch. Your wetsuit can easily get stuck on your watch, especially if it’s a larger one. So just leave it off until after the swim. Ok, ok, if you really want the watch and it will help you swim faster, then fine. But I personally don’t have time to be looking at my wrist while I’m swimming, nor do I think knowing my time would help me much, but that’s just me. I’m just sayin’ that it will be that much easier to get your wetsuit off without one on.
Do you have any other tips for getting that triathlon wetsuit off as fast as possible? Do share.
On the topic of staying motivated, it helps to measure your progress. If I weren’t measuring my progress, I don’t think I would realize how far I’ve come. Here are a few bits of data that have made me feel like “Hey! You’re not doing all that bad!”
1. Three years ago, I had never run over a mile in my life. A month ago, I finished a marathon.
2. A few months ago, my average time for a 100 meter swim, while in the middle of a long, paced swim, was about 2:10. Now it’s around 1:50.
3. A year ago, I ran a half marathon in 2:10 and felt pretty worn out. That was with aid stations. Now I run a half marathon every week, with nothing more than one Gu, and it’s just another normal training day. Oh, and I do it in under 2:00, and that’s on a course with a decent headwind and some good hills.
4. Nine months ago I weighed in at 215-220 lbs. Now I’m at 200 lbs, and a lot more of that weight is muscle than it was before.
5. A few months ago I felt like I was accomplishing something when I swam 1500 meters. Now a 2000 meter swim feels like a light workout, and a 3000 meter swim today feels easier than a 1500 meter swim felt 6 months ago.
The one area I haven’t been measuring myself very well is on the bike. I don’t really know what I can do today that I couldn’t do six months ago. I just don’t pay much attention to it, so that’s where I can improve.
Oh, and all my pants and other clothes are a lot looser than they were. I also can’t wear my wedding ring because it keeps falling off.
Perhaps it’s not fair for me to review a bike that I’ve only ridden once, especially when it’s my first tri-bike. If I weren’t aware that there is some adjustment that needs to happen, I’d be saying this thing is a piece of junk and I don’t know how anyone can ride one, because man, a tri-bike is quite different than a road bike. But I’m aware that it takes a few weeks to adjust to riding a tri-bike as your shoulders, back, and neck get used to being contorted at the angles they need to be in order for your body to be in a more aerodynamic position.
That said, my thoughts on the bike, which happens to be a Quintana Roo Seduza. This is not a low-end triathlon bike by any stretch, but it is the lowest priced of Quintana Roo’s carbon-frame tri-bikes, which is why I chose it. I put some Shimano Ultegra pedals on it, an XLab Deluxe Carbon Wing system, a Cobb V-Flow Plus saddle, and…I think that’s it. Here are my initial thoughts, which may change somewhat as I get used to the bike:
1. The bike comes with Vision Clip On J-Bars for the aero bars…and I must say I’m not a fan of clip-ons because they can slip, and somehow I always tend to put weight on them in such a way as to make them slip. I’d like to get something that is all one piece so that when I put too much weight on them they just break. But actually I’m not sure any aero bars are made to be all one piece, since people generally want to be able to adjust the bars to be closer together or farther apart.
2. The front chain has been slipping, although apparently that’s just a tuning issue I need to get fixed.
3. The wheels aren’t bad, but they’re not great either. It’s probably the next upgrade I’ll make to the bike, that is, to some carbon race wheels.
4. I’ve had a hard time adjusting the seat. I don’t read instructions, and maybe that’s why, but the screws for tightening/adjusting the seat tilt don’t seem straightforward to me, and I had problems with the seat getting loose during my first ride.
It’s hard for me to come up with positives, because I’ve never ridden another tri-bike, and maybe this bike is perfect, other than for the four items I mentioned above, and that’s why I’m not noticing more things. Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting used to it, because I can definitely see how it will be an advantage to be in that aero position during my next triathlon.
Update: You wouldn’t think having the right helmet would make such a difference, but MAN, it sure did. Read my aero-helmet review here. The two other major improvements were that we got my seat adjusted to the right angle, and the front derailleur tuned right so that the chain wasn’t slipping off, and it’s like riding an entirely different bike (a much better one). I just got back from a three-hour ride on it and I’m loving it.
I got my tri-bike last week, a Quintana Roo Seduza. The same as on that page except that mine is a 2009…wait, no, it must be a 2010 because I paid the same price as what’s on that webpage…either that, or they were charging the same price for a 2009 as a 2010, or they discounted the price of the 2009 model over the weekend right after I bought mine…hmm, will have to look into that.
Anyway, I took it out for the first time on Saturday. Ok, that sentence doesn’t quite explain things. When I say “I took it out” what I mean is that I took it out four times. The first three times, I felt something wasn’t right and turned around and went back home to make adjustments to the seat height, position, etc. Finally it felt pretty good, so I kept on riding.
A few observations for those who are used to road bikes and who are transitioning to a tri-bike for the first time:
1. Tri-bikes are unstable, compared to a road bike. On my road bike I’m very comfortable riding without hands while I get my drink from the cage behind my behind, drinking, and putting the bottle back. Not so on this tri-bike. I never felt confident enough to take more than one hand off the handlebars.
2. I couldn’t see! When in the aero position, I could life my head high enough to get a complete look at the road, but only for a few seconds before my neck couldn’t take it anymore. Plus my non-aero helmet was getting in the way of my vision, and my non-biking sunglasses were slipping down on my nose and also obscuring my vision. I was never comfortable, but there was a position I could at least hold for a while, but it only allowed me to see 15-20 feet in front of me, which is kind of scary when you’re going 40 mph down a hill. In other words, the right helmet and the right glasses make a difference.
3. The shifters are in the middle. This hasn’t been too bad to get used to, but it is hard to use the shifters if you’re not in the aero position.
4. Your shoulders are going to hurt. The aero position on a tri-bike is very different from the aero position on a road bike with clip-ons. It felt completely wrong to me, and I had to call Te Koi to get verification that I was indeed not riding a bike that was completely improperly fit to to me.
5. The saddle. Being in the aero position means you’re on the saddle in a different way than on a road bike, and I felt it. Whew.
I’ve got less than two weeks before the Boise half-Ironman in which to get used to the bike and make sure everything is in working order. Should be fun times.
I have create a basic mobile-friendly version of TRIResults.com. Now, even if you don’t have a smart phone, you can access TRIResults.com historical triathlon results. All you need to do is to navigate to http://triresults.com/m.
I’m a big fan of the iPod shuffle. I would go so far as to say that if it weren’t for the iPod shuffle, I might not be doing triathlons at all. The only way I’ve found to endure 1-hour swims, 2-hour runs, and 3-hour bike rides (which are about to get longer as I start my full Ironman training in a month) is to listen to audiobooks, and the iPod shuffle is the ideal device due to its small size and ease of use. For the past 2-3 years I’ve been using the 2nd generation product, but recently my wife got me a 3rd generation model, which wouldn’t have been necessary except that my waterproof iPod case broke and H2O Audio offered to replace it with their newest waterproof headphone system, which only fits the 3rd and 4th generation iPod shuffles.
In the past week I’ve used it for swimming, biking, and running, and here’s my overall takeaway; there are some things that are better, and some things that aren’t.
1. Smaller. It’s thinner/slimmer than the 2G in two dimensions, and only slightly longer. Overall it’s perhaps 60% as large.
2. Clip. The clip is much stronger, it would appear. I had issues occasionally with the earphone cord getting caught on something, or the iPod being jolted too hard when clipped to the bottom of my t-shirt, and it would fly off. With the 3G that doesn’t seem to be an issue, which I assume is partly to do to it’s smaller size, but the clip does seem to be quite a bit stronger.
3. Dock/cradle. The cradle, dock, or USB connector, or whatever it’s called, is much, much smaller. It’s just a USB plug with a two-inch cord and a plug that goes in the iPod, vs. the 1-foot cord, cradle/base, etc. of the 2G. This makes it easier to transport, since it would go comfortably in your pocket. I guess it makes it easier to lose too, but you can’t have everything.
1. File organization. On the 2G when you plug in your iPod, iTunes shows you all the files. With the 3G you have “options”, such as a music folder or a “books” folder. This means there’s just one more click I have to do in order to see what’s on my iPod through iTunes. For me, I don’t want to organize my files into music and books, I just want all the files like on the 2G, but I don’t see any way to change the settings to allow that.
2. Syncing. With my 2G if I plug it in, it automatically syncs. With the 3G I have to click a “sync” button in iTunes. Why doesn’t it sync automatically when plugged in? I have no idea. But it’s kind of annoying because when I plug in the shuffle the audiobook tracks I’ve listened to aren’t updated in iTunes to show that they’ve been played, so I have to click the sync button once there. Then, after I delete the audiobook tracks I’ve listened to via iTunes, I have to click “sync” again for them to be deleted from the shuffle. Annoying.
Correction: On the shuffle there is a slide-button with three different settings; off, play in order, shuffle. I use play in order, since I’m listening to audiobooks. If this button is left on this setting when plugged in, it will not sync upon being plugged in. However, if you turn it off, then it will auto-sync when plugged in. However, when I delete files from iTunes that are on the iPod, it still does no auto-sync and I have to press the “sync” button within iTunes for those files to be deleted from the iPod. So overall it’s still annoying because I liked how the 2G worked and this is more work.
1. Controls on cord. For a lot of people this has been a big negative because it means you can’t just plug in any old headphones–you either have to use the Apple provided headphones, or you have to buy a Belkin adapter (about $12). I opted to buy the adapter, so I can still use my normal headphones, but what I’m worried about is that if I wear the shuffle on my waist, then the cord sticks out the top of the shuffle and then immediately is bent over since the cord hangs down a ways before it turns around to go up towards my ears. This puts stress on the adapter right where it plugs into the iPod, and I’m worried that might lead to problems with the adapter later on.
However, having the controls on the cord seems to reduce how often the controls are accidentally pushed, which was an issue on my 2G shuffle, so it all sort of seems to balance out.
2. Voiceover. There’s an option where the shuffle will “talk” to you to tell you information about what you’re listening to. Maybe this will grow on me, but at the moment I don’t have any use for it. It doesn’t come on unless I tell it to, so it’s not an annoyance or anything, just something I don’t use, therefore it’s neutral.
If it weren’t for needing to use the 3G for my waterproof case for swimming, I’d stick with the 2G. The things that are better about the 3G aren’t enough to outweigh the negatives. But since the negatives are software-based issues, I’m hopeful they’ll be fixed at a future date.
The official name of the product is the H2O Audio Interval 3G Waterproof Headphone System for iPod shuffle (3rd/4th Gen), but that’s the only bad thing about it. I reviewed the waterproof iPod case for the 2nd generation iPod that H2O Audio makes several months ago, but they don’t make that product any more (although you may still be able to find it on shelves here and there). I also love that device, but I had one problem with it–it broke. That is, the latch that holds the case shut broke. Luckily, H2O Audio has awesome customer service, so they sent me a new one. That one also broke after a few months, in the exact same place–the latch. So they gave me the option of having them send me another 2nd generation case, or a waterproof case for the new iPod shuffle, and since my wife got me a 3rd gen iPod shuffle for my birthday and I wasn’t keen on trying a third time with the first type of case, I accepted their offer to send me the 3G case.
I’ve used it a few times now and I love it just as much as the first case, and perhaps even more because from what I can see it’s not going to break. The latch on the 2G case was under stress when it was closed, which I’m pretty sure is what led to the breakage, but the latch on the 3G is different, and I don’t think it’s likely to suffer the same fate. In addition, the buttons on the 3G are easier to use. There are three buttons on the top of the case that conform to the three options you have with the 3rd gen iPod shuffle, and if you use the 3rd gen iPod shuffle for other things then using the buttons on the 3G is completely intuitive.
The case is certainly larger than the 2G, and it seems to me like they could slim it down, but it doesn’t bother me at all. One thing I have noticed is that whereas on the 2G the earphone cords never bothered me, on the 3G I’ve had issues with them getting caught on my face or ears as I turn my head to breathe, and so I’ve followed their recommendation to wind the cords once around my goggle straps and that completely solves that issue, and is no bother to do, so no harm no foul.
I did have some issues with volume with my 2G but that seems to have been solved with the 3G. Whereas with the 2G I always maxed out the volume and even then sometimes I couldn’t hear as well as I would have liked (often dependent on the position of the earbuds in my ears), with the 3G there’s no problem at all and I don’t think I’ve ever maxed out the volume because it would be too loud.
The 3G case is certainly a little more money than the 2G ($100 vs. $60), but it is an all-around better-designed and better functioning system. If you’re looking for an easy way to listen to music or audiobooks (my preference) while swimming laps, this is by far the best waterproof headphone system I’ve found (much, MUCH better than the Finis swimp3 system).
When I was a little kid I was on the local swim team. It was something of a family tradition. I don’t remember sharing lanes during practice, but we must have, because there were a lot of kids, many more than there were lanes. But I quit when I was about 10, and my swim team memories are a bit hazy, kind of like my eyes after an hour and a half swim practice without goggles (seriously, I don’t remember wearing goggles at all…did I really not wear goggles or is my memory really that bad?).
The next time I took up swimming was when I was 21, at college. It was just for exercise, and I think it lasted about two times. The swimsuits the college made you wear were about 40 years old, I wore glasses at the time (pre-Lasik) and was totally blind, and then the second time I went swimming I had a head-on collision with a girl who had decided to share my lane–but without telling me so. I’d like to say that our collision led to me asking her out on a date and we ended up getting married and having kids and a minivan, but no, I was so shocked and annoyed that I just mumbled something to her about physics, got out of the pool, and never came back.
Because of that experience I detest sharing a swim lane. I don’t mind sharing a lake with 1,000 other triathlon swimmers, because we’re all headed in the same direction at a relatively similar speed, but swimming in the opposite direction as someone else in a constrained space gives me the willies and totally throws me off-form. This morning I arrived at the gym to find the pool full, and some people already sharing lanes. Normally, I go in the hot tub and stretch while waiting for a lane to open up. But a guy waved at me to share a lane with him, and I was caught off-guard because that’s never happened before, so before I knew what I was doing I was jumping in the pool to voluntarily share a lane with this guy. He stayed on the left and I stayed on the right, and that worked out as well as could be, although I didn’t like it.
Then the lane next to us opened up, so I swam under the lane line and started swimming there. It wasn’t five minutes before I was down at the end turning around, and luckily looked down the lane to see a guy swimming in my lane coming towards me. If I hadn’t looked up, I would have collided with him for sure. I had no idea somebody had jumped into my lane and had started swimming. For the next 20 minutes I had to deal with this guy, who apparently wanted to swim a loop, who was much, much slower than I am (not that I’m very fast at all), and whose feet were flailing all over the place. To add insult to injury, the guy I had just been sharing a lane with left just after this guy got in my lane, but another guy came along and grabbed the lane before I noticed. In other words, if I had just stayed in the original lane I would have been better off.
With all that in mind, here are some suggestions for effective sharing of swim lanes:
1. Most important of all, make sure the person whose lane you are getting into knows you’re getting into the lane, and that you plan on sharing it with them. I’ve had one head-on collision and almost had another today. I don’t know if these people assumed I saw them or what, but in the first case I didn’t and in the second case I almost didn’t.
2. To emphasize point #1, don’t assume they know you’re getting into their lane. I wear a waterproof sound system while I’m swimming, so if someone says something to me I cannot hear a thing they say, even if I’m out of the water and looking at them. I certainly can’t hear them if they say something to me while I’m in the process of swimming. If you and I don’t have a conversation, then chances are I don’t know you’re there.
3. Don’t do loops, just pick the right or left side. This means swimming speed doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t make things any worse for either swimmer. There is no purpose I can see to swimming in a loop, but I can see plenty of reasons not to, like me having to stop and wait for this other guy every second or third lap because otherwise I would have to swim around him.
4. Be sensitive to space while passing. I ran my elbow into the wall at least once today because the second guy I was sharing a lane with today was encroaching on more than half the lane and I was afraid his flailing feet were going to kick me in the face.
5. Oh yeah, when you ask someone if you can share their lane, ask them how much longer they have to swim. If they’ve only got 5 minutes, then maybe it’s better to just give them the courtesy of waiting those few minutes, and then nobody has to share a lane at all, and it doesn’t cost you much. I’d rather have the stress of someone sitting in a chair at the end of my lane waiting for me to get out than the stress of a possible collision with someone in my lane.
Thank you for reading and happy swimming to you…unless you get in my lane.
Due to the success of the 2011 IRONMAN Lanzarote, we sold out in the Age group category within 1 month. For this reason organisers have now decided to create a waiting list (only available in English) in cooperation with online partner Active Europe.
If you are interested in taking part, you need to register via the following link:
It is on a first come, first served basis and you will be contacted if an entry becomes available.
From the moment you receive a notification from Active Europe, you will have 96 hours to pay and secure your entry. If you don’t pay on time, they will automatically contact the next person on the list and allow that person to enter the event.
Any problems with the waiting list, such as registering, payment issues, etc, please contact Active Europe. Email email@example.com
Yes and we’re not ageist here on Lanzarote, so even Arlene Phillips can pop on her dancing shoes and take to the floor as Lone Damberg, Verner Nissen & Anker Tapgaard, host our ”Come – Lets Dance” weeks.
They are for both beginners and intermediate dancers, but anyone who wants to dance is welcome. The love of dance is the most important thing and you don’t have to sign up with a partner.
There will be 2 events in 2010. The first one is for all adults and the second is for everyone over the age of 50 years.
28th January – 03rd February 2011 (All adults) and 8th-15th April 2011 (50).
Each day there will be around 4 hours dancing plus many other activities.
The week will start with a short presentation and end with a dinner in the restaurant La Casa.
The week will consists of Latin, Standard and other dances
During the week, you will get to try out lots of different dance styles such as English waltz, Cha-chacha, Jive, Wiener waltz, Tango, Quickstep, Lancers and so on.
The sessions will be in English/Danish, so everybody is welcome as long as you like dancing.
Anker Tarpgaard is a very experienced instructor who has produced a wealth of descriptive and instructional material about modern couples dancing, including DVD productions. He is in the DGI Sønderjyllands instructor team and also works for the Sports Institute of higher education (Idrætshøjskolen) in Sønderborg, Denmark, where he has been running dancing weeks for several years.
Lone Damberg and Verner Nissen
Lone Damberg and Verner Nissen have been working at University College Syd in Denmark for several years. They are in the DGI (Danish Gymnastics and Athletics Union) instructor team and have held short courses around Denmark They have also taught couples dancing for many years during the winter season. They have been teaching at Club La Santa on a regular basis since
Accommodation and flights have to be booked separately with Club La Santa UK on +44 (0) 161-790-9890
Event weeks are restricted to guests staying at Club La Santa.
A few months ago, in preparation for my first marathon, I strained my soleus muscle. Amongst other things, I started out running when my body was completely cold. Normally I walk a bit because I’m waiting for my Garmin to sync up with the satellites (do you realize how amazing that would be to someone from 100 years ago, and how casually we talk today about a watch that communicates with something flying around in space?!), so I’ve at least had a little bit of warm up before I start running. But on this day my Garmin was already synced up, so I stepped out the front door and just started running, and I immediately felt something that an hour later became an injury that almost kept me out of my marathon.
Since then, I’ve taken warming up more seriously. Before I run, I always ride my bike on my trainer for 10 minutes. I ride hard enough that I’m sweating by the end, even though it’s still winter here in Utah and I ride in the garage with the door open. I’m sure it won’t take 10 minutes to get me good and sweaty during the summer, although I’ll probably still do the 10 minutes just to be safe. Plus since I’ve generally done a bike ride the day before each run day, I figure it gives me a chance to work any soreness out of my bike muscles before I start running. It’s just 10 minutes, but I feel like it makes a big difference in terms of preventing running injuries. Then again, what do I know? So don’t take it from me, take it from my world-famous triathlon coach who also says it’s a good idea.
I need recommendations. I had a pair of Scott glasses I bought for about $200 when I first started triathlons three years ago, and I like them a lot, especially the interchangeable lenses, but I sold them to buy milkshakes. I’ve heard people rave about Rudy Project, but I’ve never tried any on and I think they look kind of funny. Yeah, I know, I look kind of funny too, but why exacerbate the situation?
One particular problem I have that most guys can’t relate to, and which most women will be envious of, is that I have really long eyelashes, and so I require glasses that don’t sit really close to my eyes. That was the primary reason I chose the glasses I did the first time around–every other pair I tried on subjected me to the annoyance of my eyelashes brushing the lenses whenever I blinked.
Since my glorious comeback to triathlon, I’ve just been wearing a pair of normal, non-sports, wrap around sunglasses. They’re ok, but I miss the interchangeable lenses, and while they haven’t fallen off yet, they are not made to stick to you when you’re all sweaty so I figure it’s only a matter of time before they fall off and break.
So if you have some glasses you use for triathlon that you absolutely love, and that come with interchangeable lenses, I’d love to know what they are and where you got them.
I remember when my parents bought our first VCR. Before we had one, I never missed it. Once we got it, I couldn’t imagine living without it. The same goes for the microwave, air conditioning in the car, audiobooks while training, and now…Chamois Butt’r.
I defer to experts in most things, but my friend, the world-famous triathlon coach, told me he’s never used Chamois Butt’r. He said he doesn’t need it. Well, I never used it either, and I never had any chafing problems. I never used any sort of anti-chafing stuff all the way through my first half-Ironman. But I figured hey, what the heck, and I got a tube of the stuff and went out biking with it. And now, it’s an addiction. Whereas I never knew I needed the stuff before, now if I forget to put it on I’m thinking “Oh man, that hair is getting pulled out…oh, I’m getting a bit sore there…” the whole time I’m riding. Somehow I never noticed this stuff happening before I got Chamois Butt’r, and now I can’t go back.
Maybe I’m not doing a good job of selling it. After all, I’m telling you that if you never try it, you’ll never know what you’re missing. But that’s kind of like telling someone to never fly first class because then they’ll hate flying coach, whereas they never minded it much before. And in this case, it’s just a couple bucks to elevate your biking experience to new levels of comfort.
In case you’re still wondering what it is, it’s just a white cream that you slather on the pad of your bike shorts and amongst your privates–anywhere you think you might have an issue. If you want even shorter and simpler instructions then take it from my two year old who, every time she sees the tube, says “This goes on daddy’s bum.”
It feels weird the first time, but aren’t there all sorts of things about triathlon that make you feel weird at first? Heck, spandex made me feel pretty darn weird the first time. But trust me, once you use this stuff, you’ll keep on using it. The other good news is that a tube lasts quite a while. I’ve had mine for six months and plenty of biking and I’m not anywhere close to halfway through it.
Is the 2010 Panama City Florida Ironman going to be canceled due to the oil spill in the gulf? That’s the big question on my mind, since I’m signed up for it, it’s my first full Ironman event, and if they cancel it what do I do about an Ironman this year, when all my training is geared towards this one event? It’s way too late to sign up for another event this year, and would they give out full refunds? Probably not. They’d probably skip the swim and have the rest of the race, but that would just stink. I’m sorry, but in my mind I’m not an Ironman if I do the bike and run but skip the swim.
But I think I have a solution to keep everyone happy. If they have to cancel the Florida Ironman, or even just cancel the swim, give all the participants in the Florida Ironman the option to switch to the Kona Ironman Championships in Hawaii. It’s just a month earlier, so most people could modify their training plans if informed of the change in the next month or two. How about it Ironman Corp?
It didn’t take me long after getting into triathlon to realize I had chosen an expensive hobby. I was amazed when I first looked at triathlon wetsuits and saw them going for well over $600. I mean, it’s just a bunch of foam rubber glued together, right? Plus they weren’t exactly flattering to my body shape. I looked like I was well prepared for swimming around the Arctic ocean and catching krill in my mouth, but not so much for gliding quickly through the water, although I guess penguins move pretty fast, and my shape wasn’t all that different than that of a very large penguin…anyway, at first I was kept away from buying a triathlon wetsuit because they were so expensive. But now it’s not so much a matter of cost as it is cost-benefit.
Wetsuit rental generally runs about $30, but let’s say it’s $40 after tax, just to be conservative. If it costs you $40 to rent a wetsuit each time, then in order to break even on a $600 triathlon wetsuit you’d have to wear the wetsuit to 15 triathlons. In the past three years I’ve done exactly 5 triathlons. At that rate, it’s going to take me three years to break even, or if I step it up, maybe two years. And what if I lose a lot of weight (which I am in the process of doing), then my wetsuit won’t fit right in two years!
Now, this is assuming that I never use a wetsuit in my training but only for events. If you are going to use a wetsuit for training then that changes everything, because if you did an open water swim once each week, then you’d break even on the cost in one season, plus you wouldn’t have to keep driving back and forth to wherever you rented the thing from.
For me, given my evolving body shape, my lack of open water training, and the number of triathlons I do per year, buying a triathlon wetsuit doesn’t seem to make sense. If you have a different perspective, let me know. On the other hand, once I get down to my target weight, and if I start doing more open water swims, then buying a triathlon wetsuit is going to start making a lot more sense.
Normally I review products I’ve tried out, but in this case I’m asking for your help, because when it comes to triathlon wetsuits I don’t have much experience. I’ve always rented in the past, and it seems like when I rent a triathlon wetsuit it’s always a Zoot wetsuit for some reason, and most places don’t rent out the higher-end wetsuits. I’ve heard that Orca wetsuits fit “thinner” people better, and I am certainly not one of those thinner people since I currently weigh in at 200 lbs for my 6 ft. stature. I’ve also looked at De Soto and 2XU.
So if you’ve got some good triathlon wetsuit experience, please share your thoughts on what you like, don’t like, etc., because the last thing I or anyone else wants to do is spend $600 on a wetsuit that I realize after one use isn’t the right one.
Ah, the joy of injuries. And of course they’re always running injuries. Well, except for that time I pulled a muscle in my arm swimming. Have I had a biking injury? I don’t think so…although I have almost been killed once or twice by cars, perhaps.
The latest running injury is to the outside of my right foot. It happened during my recent marathon. I didn’t notice it at all during the race, but immediately afterwards the right side of my right foot, or the outside of my right foot, started to hurt–a lot. So much so that although I had plenty of things hurting below my waist, what caused me to limp more than anything as I walked to our car to drive home was the pain in the outside of my right foot. When I say “outside” let me get more specific.
It doesn’t hurt on the bottom, it hurts more on the top. You could think of it as the exact opposite side of the foot from the arch. It’s on the top, maybe a little bit on the side, but definitely not on the bottom. It’s not right below the ankle, but a little ways forward of the ankle. And sometimes it sort of runs from that area of the top-outside of my foot to my ankle. Sometimes it feels as though the pain is going through my ankle, or like my ankle is crushing something.
There has been no swelling, no bruising, and there is zero pain when the foot is not in use. That is, I only feel pain if I get up and walk around, but if I’m sitting there is no pain, even if I put weight on my foot or toes. I’ve had enough broken bones to believe this isn’t a stress fracture. I’m pretty sure it’s just a strained tendon/ligament/muscle.
A long distance runner friend of mine asked me if I ran the marathon on the side of the road. I told him yes, since the marathon was almost entirely run on the right sides of roads. He told me this was the issue that had caused the injury, since the right side of the road tends to slope downwards, making your running uneven and forcing your right foot to the right each time you step.
Just think of your foot stepping on the ground as you’re running. Imagine you’re looking at your foot from the rear of it. Each time you step, you would ideally land on your toes, more or less flat on the ball of your foot, or slightly on the inside. But if the ground slopes to the right, then each time your right foot comes down, it touches down on the inside, but as your full weight is applied it falls to the right side, or outside of your right foot, putting extra strain on outside of your right foot as it sort of “rolls” that way. This would also put extra strain on the connection between that part of your foot and your ankle, should something be there to connect the two.
If that’s what happened, then fair enough, I know what cause the problem. But if it hasn’t gone away after a week and a half of rest, then how do I get it to heal, can I keep running and have it heal at the same time, and how do I make sure this doesn’t happen again? Sounds like it’s time to call my physical therapist.
Ok, Jonathan said he couldn’t tell me exactly what it was without examining it, but this was his advice:
1. Stretch that area of the foot by lifting the foot off the floor/ground, pointing the toe, and moving your toes in a circle or “roll” your foot around. It’s true that I do feel something there when I do this.
2. Ease into running again. He didn’t say to stay away from running, but to avoid overdoing it. He said it might take a few runs and a bit of stretching to get rid of the pain.
3. If it’s still hurting a week from now, make an appointment and come get it worked on.
If I were rich, I’d move #3 to the top of the list, but since I’m not I’ll follow his advice and hope for the best.