Buy All the Gear When Training for Triathlons

Triathlon training gearWho Keeps Signing Me Up for These Events?

Well, the Sloth is back at it. After retiring from racing at the end of 2011, I’ve decided to get back into doing a few swim, bike, run events for the 2018 season. I’m currently signed up for St. Anthony’s International distance triathlon that takes place in St. Petersburg, Florida the end of April. I’m doing that event event to help raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I even wrote up a blog post about how I got wrangled into doing the race with my Team in Training friends: Sloth Athletica Training for St. Anthony’s Triathlon.

One of the main reasons why I “retired” in 2011 was that I was going through a divorce. Not sure of my financial situation, or what my living situation was going to be, I decided it made sense to temporarily step away from racing. I’m not sure how that turned into 6 years of not racing, oh well, best not to dwell on that. Multisport events, such as duathlons and triathlons, can be a bit pricey. Besides the high race entry fees, the more sports you participate in, the more gear you need.

Although I did have a few sponsors back in the day, that provided free or discounted clothing and equipment, I was still responsible for the cost of entry fees and travel expenses (gas, hotel, meals, etc.). So, fast forward to 2018, and although I still don’t have anyone paying me to race (don’t give up your day job), I remember having a blast back when I used to train for races. Race day always made me a bit nervous, especially the swim portion of triathlons, but I always felt a sense of great accomplishment once I crossed the finish line. Although I’m very slow I cross the same finish line and complete the same distance as everyone else. TURTLE POWER RULES!

Since I haven’t done any events in more than 5 years, I knew I was going to have to spend a little bit of $ to get setup with the proper training and racing gear. This blog post is just a general overview of some of the athletic equipment I’ve gotten in the past few months. I plan on doing detailed reports of some of the gear, including my new Rudy Project cycling helmet and sunglasses. I’ve already written a detailed review, with lots of photos, of my Isle Peak iSUP if you happen to be in the market for an inflatable standup paddleboard.

swim clinic Intracoastal waterway
Sloth Athletica (on the right) getting some swim tips from Coach Micki.

The Fear of Racing

I’m not sure if I’m 100% confident getting back into triathlon racing. Why?

  • I’m older
  • I’ve gained a few pounds since my former race days
  • I still have exercise induced asthma
  • I was never a speed racer to begin with

I’ve never been a strong swimmer, and haven’t been doing a lot of cycling, so now it’s time to ‘suck it up buttercup’ and get back to training. The more time I spend in the water, the more confident I’ll get. To help me achieve that goal I’ve joined 24 Hour Fitness – there’s one less than half a mile from my apartment and they have a small, 3-lane pool. I’m not really a get up early and get your workout in kind of gal, but my new rescue cats have been getting me up between 3 and 4 am to say “FEED ME!” So, I have actually managed to get in a few early morning swims – jog across the street to the gym, get a short swim in, then jog back home – all before I’m even awake – HA-HA!

And for the bike – well – I’m slowly getting back into cycling too. I gave my daughter my Trek Madone 6.5 carbon fiber road bike when she left to attend school in Gainesville (GO GATORS!) I never thought I’d see the bike again, but when I decided to start racing I asked her if she was still using the bike. The answer is, nope, it’s really too much bike to use to get back and forth to UF. Her bf was a member of the UF cycling team, and worked part-time for the Gainesville Trek store when he was an undergrad, so they ended up with tons of bikes in their tiny, 3rd floor apartment.

She didn’t really need the Trek anymore and said she would bring it down when they visited for Christmas. So, now I have 3 bikes in my tiny, 2nd floor apartment. I’ve done a few rides on my heavy, aluminum frame hybrid bike with flat bar and disc brakes. I LOVE that bike but it’s REALLY heavy, so I guess I’ll have to eventually start doing a few rides on the Trek, but it’s a race horse, very light weight and speed fast so it kind of intimidates me right now (I know, I know – SUCK IT UP…..).

My Recent Sporting Goods Purchases

I popped over to my local Dick’s Sporting Goods store to get a few items that I needed so I could get back to training ASAP. Take a look at the main photo in this article to see some of this gear:

  • Feetures – 2 pairs lightly padded run socks
  • Aqua Sphere – swim goggles
  • TYR – swim clothing and training gear
  • Nuun – hydration tablets
  • Sports Beans – nutrition

I’m an Amazon Prime member and I love that I get free 2-day shipping and other great deals. Whenever I’m in the market for new gear, I check the prices on Amazon. I absolutely love my new Feetures socks I found at Dick’s, they are going to be my go-to running sock so I decided to get a few more pairs. While I love supporting local stores, because I don’t have to wait for my items to be shipped out, I knew I could find a better deal on Amazon.

My recent athletic gear purchases through include:

  • Feetures – 6 pairs of their lightly padded socks
  • Garmin Quick Release Kit – for my old Garmin Forerunner 310XT
  • Replacement strap for my old Garmin Forerunner 310XT
  • Isle Peak – inflatable standup paddleboard package
  • New Wave swim buoy – for added visibility during open water (ocean or intracoastal) swims
  • SBD Vebe cycling gloves
  • Zoot Sports – womens triathlon racing suit
  • 3 lycra swim caps – latex caps tear my hair out
  • Earth Pak waterproof dry bag – to store my gear and keep it dry during my paddleboard trips
Trek Madone 6.5 Road Bike
Sloth Athletica’s Trek Madone road bike.

Rudy Project VIP Pricing

I’m a HUGE fan of Rudy Project – they make amazing cycling helmets and sunglasses. Back when I was doing a bit of racing, Rudy Project was one of my first sponsors. I’m not sure if they offer VIP pricing to everyone, but when I went to purchase a new bike helmet I discovered that I am still registered as a VIP member. That’s great news because high quality helmets can be a bit pricey. I’m not sure if cycling helmets have an expiration date, but my helmet is from 2009 so I decided it was time to upgrade to a new model.

Here’s the fantastic deal I got from Rudy Project:

  • Racemaster helmet
  • Raydon sunglasses – frames, 6 pairs of lenses, microfiber pouch all packaged in a hardshell case
  • FREE water bottle
  • FREE universal helmet case

Wow, that’s a lot of gear when you list it all out. I guess I need to get up off my arse and ‘get back to training girl!’ Do you have a favorite brand of athletic gear or piece of sporting equipment that you use all the time? I’d love to hear your recommendations on your favorite swim, bike or run gear. Drop me (the Sloth AKA Lynn Smythe) a line at:

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