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The Girl’s 2012 swim/bike/run gear I use list

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Last week I outlined every piece of gear that I regularly use in my day to day training or racing.  Not the stuff that I review for products, but rather, the goods that I always turn back to once the product review goods go back.

I’ve been updating and answering the questions in your post since – but one that I got a few messages about was if we could get a similar list from The Girl.

Ask, and you shall receive!

Below, is her complete list.  There’s a few minor areas of overlap, but it’s not quite as similar as you’d think.  Plus, her answers are probably funnier than mine.  From here on out, it’s her narration. Enjoy!

The Swim:

Swim

Swimsuit: TYR Sport Women’s Reversible Solid Diamondback Swim Suit Unlike Ray I do not dabble in other swim suits. This is the suit for me.
Goggles: Blue Seventy Element Goggles: These will last me at least 6-9 months depending on how much swimming we are doing. Originally I was not super stoked to buy pink goggles, but since I don’t loose my goggles as often as someone else in the house hold, this was a surefire way to assure that mine didn’t disappear. As you might refer to another post Ray wrote on how I try to keep track of my own training gear.
Swim Cap: Random Race Caps – I have never purchased a swim cap. I borrowed my first one from Ray after having swam for a month without one. Then after a few races they naturally accumulate.
Swim Watch: Freestyle Women’s Shark – Don’t everybody scream, but yes, this is it. This is my favorite watch ever. Unless I am testing something for Ray this is what is on my wrist (in the pool). It does not have any download features or lap saving history. And to the frustration of Ray during a time-trial set, I will pause on every two flip turns, squint at the tiny screen to verify my split before pushing off… losing valuable seconds each time.
Shampoo & Conditioner: Ultra Swim Shampoo & Ultra Swim Conditioner This is mostly for the ladies. We know what the chlorine does to your hair, and usually being super rushed to get out of the pool in the early hours and off to work, we don’t always take good care. Here’s a tip from my hair stylist (who despises my swim hobby), just take a quarter sized glob of conditioner and rub it into the ends of your hair before twisting it back up into your cap. The rest of your hair will still get some conditioner love because the water that gets trapped in the cap spreads it out, and your hair gets a mini conditioning treatment while you workout! Voilà
Drills – Pool buoy: FINIS Foam Pull Buoy- Since I do not have as much “body” to float, I found that the speedo pull buoy that Ray and my coach use was a little over kill for me, so I scaled down to this “Junior” pull buoy and love it.
Drills – Swimmer Snorkel: FINIS Swimmers Snorkel – This is useful for balance drills primarily, allowing me to focus on position (looking at hands, etc…) without having to come up for air
Drills – Paddles: TYR Mentor Hand Paddles – Various drills
Drills – Fins: TYR Split Fins – Note these are longer fins, primarily used for balance drills and not at all used for extensive propulsion.
Openwater – Wetsuit: Blueseventy Women’s Helix – Personally I really like the wetsuit AND opposite to Ray’s preference I like the “Zip-Down” to get it closed and the “Zip UP” to get it off. I don’t find it too hard to convince someone at a race to help me zip closed my wetsuit if I need it, and more importantly it takes less that a second to rip that cord up and ensure your wetsuit is all of the way open and ready for the “Strippers!”
Openwater – Booties: Blueseventy Swim Socks – For 60*F and below water, I use these booties to keep my toes warm.
Openwater – Swim Cap: Bluesventy Skull cap – Again, for super-cold water (Mr. Boise 70.3), I use this swim cap – but like Ray I also cut off the annoying chin strap (as most people do)
Openwater – Anti-chaff: Refer to the running section below “Anti chafing-product”.
Swim bag: I have a great gear bag that was part of the race swag given out at the St. John’s Triathlon (up in my hometown of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada)
Openwater Swim Watch: Errrr, I refer above to my “pool watch”. Don’t be mad.

The Bike:

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The bike: Trek Speed Concept WSD 7.0 You could say this is the bike that I “Have” not necessarily that I “Ride” because Trek built a faulty part on this bike and now due to their unwillingness to make it right I am in the hole a $2700 bike. Yes, molding an aluminum piece into the carbon frame that is too weak to sustain a slight bump now creates the inability to reattach the derailleur and back wheel. You could say I now have a pretty awkward “Unicycle”. I don’t recommend this bike.

Power Meter: Quarq Cinqo – I bought this a few years ago because Ray and my coach told me to. I don’t get super into the technologies of these devices. All I care about is Quarq has provided outstanding customer service and this power meter is reliable! I’m happy.
Race Wheels: Zipp Wheel 404’s– I bought these from a pro 4 years ago, so mine are a different color than the ones in the link. Since my bike is set for 650 wheels rather than the “average person’s” 700 size wheels, they are a hard find but usually discounted when you do! I love them.
Bike Pedals: Shimano PD-6700 Ultegra SPD-SL – These are excellent.
Rear rack system: XLAB – this thing is glorious. No issues with this system from mounting it to racing with it.
Front hydration system: Profile Design Aero Bottle- This link is slightly different than the one I use. I bought mine before “insulated” bottles were available for this system; mine is just a hard plastic, otherwise the same. I really like this system, very straight forward and very easy to refill on the fly at a bottle station during a race. I like to stay in aero position all day long, so having the straw right there is perfect.
CO2 Kit: This little kit from Performance fits right into my bike rack system as well, just like Ray’s rack does.
Regular Helmet: Giro Atmos – I truly hate most helmet designs. Maybe I have a weird head shape, but they ALL give me headaches (no I’m not wearing a size too small). The Atmos + sandpaper customization has be tolerable.
Aero Helmet: Giro Advantage 2 Helmet – If I didn’t look like a fool, I would doing training rides in this helmet…less headaches.
Bike jerseys: Louis Garneau Women’s Jersey I am a creature of habit and really only wear 2-3 different ones. My main go-to is this one because it is so thin and breathable. I’m sure it’s about time for a new one… but since I no longer have a bike, my jerseys are the least of my problems!
Bike shorts/bib: Sugoi Women’s RPM short – all I can say is these shorts changed my world.
Bike Shoes: Shimano SH-WT52 Triathlon Shoes – I nearly croaked when I first saw the price of these shoes. But that was 2008, so 4 years later with no sign of needing new ones it turned out to be a pretty good investment!
Cold Weather Long Sleeve Jersey: Under Armor thermal or Sugoi MidZero Arm Warmers I’m don’t have an extensive bike jersey selection, I’d rather spend my money otherwise. Instead I layer a thermal shirt or arm warmers under a short sleeve jersey; these can then be used for running as well. If it’s super cold I go with the jacket below (or ride on my trainer).
Cold Weather Bike Top: Sugoi Women’s Neo Jacket –This was a gift I received a few years ago; the link is for the “updated” jacket. This jacket runs small on sizing but I love it for cycling.
Cold Weather Bike Tights: Gore Bike Wear Women’s Sportive Tight – These are great. Keep me warm and dry. Beware there is no chamois, so you need to layer bike shorts underneath.
Bike Case: Aerus Biospeed Bike Case – Here’s a bit more in-detail on the case, and how we both use it while travelling.
Bike Trainer: I refer to Ray’s answer. I get what I get on a weekly basis. However, as I have continued to complain about above… I no longer have a functional bike. So our house of a 1,000 trainers is kinda a tease.
Bike Computer/GPS:  Edge 500 This is a Ray hand-me-down. It works. I know how to work it. It talks to all of the other equipment I need it to. I’m not going to change what’s not broken. UNLESS… Garmin happened to send me a one off pink or all white Edge 500, then I would change (color). Ray doesn’t accept free things from companies, but I don’t know why I have been left out this whole time?!?!

The Run:

run

Running Shoes: Asic Women’s Gel DS Trainer – Every runner has super different needs for running shoes, so I would suggest getting a good shoe fitting by a trusted running store or your physical therapist. I switched to the Gel DS Trainer from the Kayano’s because it’s a much lighter shoe that still provides good support. I have tendonitis in one foot from an old dislocated metatarsal and the DS-Trainer has alleviated the flare ups. Fits my foot so well I have zero hesitation taking a pair straight from the box and out on a 18mile run… it has happened!
Running Shorts: Currently I am on the hunt for new shorts. I am very picky.
Race Singlet: For the life of me I cannot find the Nike dry fit singlet that I like to race in. I have it in three colors, black is obviously my favorite as seen in many of posts. Since I can’t find any links for it, I won’t leave you stranded on what to buy (or perhaps what Ray should buy as he still owes me an apology present for NOT letting me get a bunny) . This Oiselle Stripey Running Tank is the next item on my “Wish List”, I have a handful of things from this company and you can tell their gear is designed by actual women who run…fast.  I look forward to running in it soon (Hint, Hint Ray).
Sports Bra: Champion Seamless Cami – I wasn’t going to add the “bra” options to the list because I thought it might be a little too personal, but then I came to terms that this is a pretty important piece for us ladies. I found this bra less than a year ago and now own 4-5 of them. After all of the money I have spent on overpriced and terribly fitting Nike bras, it was refreshing to find one that is really well designed and under $20!! If I ever thought they were going to stop making this bra I would buy 50 of them and keep them for rationing over the next few decades!
Running Socks: Feetures Light Cushion No-Show – I cannot run with anything other than these socks. They are fitted to your arch, cushion where you need it and not where you don’t. They are advertised as men’s but they are unisex. I have tried to talk Ray out of the Balega socks for a while, I get blisters from those socks because they aren’t fitted and allow your foot to slide around, creating blisters (for me) on high intensity long workouts.  I only wear the Balega’s around the house now for comfy socks.
Running Watch: Garmin 310XT. LOVE. Unless this exact same watch with zero changes to functions and data options comes out in a “small” I will not change this watch. You will have to pry it from my cold lifeless fingers before you could make me use a different running watch.
Running Anti-Chafing Product: Skin Strong Silk – This is a fairly new product on the market. I met the makers of Skin Strong at interbike last fall and they gave me a sample bottle. I really like it, does not wear off on long runs, and I prefer it to Glide body sticks. At first I was afraid it might be greasy but it wasn’t at all and didn’t leave any residue on your short/clothes. Super convenient to spray on, and if you’re buddy asks for a bit it isn’t as gross as sharing your body stick… think about it.
Long Run Hydration: CamelBak Women’s Annadel – This has been great, the women’s fit is snug and doesn’t bounce around or rub your armpits. It holds enough water for all but the very hottest and longest training runs. For me, 50oz is a lot to drink. Plus the little pocket on the bottom is positioned that you can reach back and jimmy it open to sneak out another gel without having to break your pace.
Place to stick stuff on runs: Spibelt – I introduced Ray to this specific belt and we both really like it. Because of the material it’s made of it can stretch & form to fit random shaped objects and still doesn’t bounce around. I mentally can’t handle something bouncing against my back throughout a run and this belt doesn’t do that.
Hair Bands: Lishy Bands – As you might have read above, my bike helmets give me headaches, so I’m not a huge fan of putting unnecessary things around my head. But these headbands are great! The inside of the band is a velvet type material so it naturally stays in place without having to be too tight via elastic. The designer is always changing up the materials for new trends. My hands down favorite is the “Black, non-slip Sparkle”. It does the job, I think it is really cute, and is tame all at the same time! She’s on Etsy, check her out.
Cold Weather Running Top: Mizuno Running 1/4 zip & Nike Dryfit Long Sleeve I wear a lot of cold weather gear on top, the legs can handle the cold but I have a hard time if my chest and back get too cold. I layer the crap out of what I have. Ray will sometimes count the layers to tease me. Everyone is different, but the two tops above are my current favorites.
Cold Weather Running Tights: Sugoi Women’s Midzero tights – I have a handful of tights that I have tested out. These are hands down the best for the cold nights! (I also wear these skiing since they are fleecy on the inside and do not have a zipper around your ankle)
Cold Weather Running Gloves: I’m probably going to embarrass my mom here. But I make her go to the dollar store in St. John’s, Newfoundland because we discovered years ago that they have hands down the best fleece mittens! She sends me a new pair or two each year for my Christmas stocking! I don’t like gloves, I like mittens, and the Dollar-Tree hasn’t let me down yet! (These also double as my biking gloves. The double layered fleece is also somehow windproof. Sorta a necessity in Newfoundland!)
Ice Running: Yaktrax – We have had some very entertaining runs with these. Washington D.C’s 2010 Snowzilla had nothing on Yaktraks. We ran the entire week outside on the abandoned roads!

Here’s a few random things that didn’t fit above.

Bike/Run Nutrition: GU Energy Gels – We have used a lot of different products over the last few years, and this is my current go to. I will admit that the EFS Liquid Shot was the best nutrition I have used to date, but I have a seriously wacky stomach and I had taken in so much of this stuff in a two year period that it now immediately sets of a gag reflex. I cannot get it down, I wish I could, but there is such a thing of having too much of a good thing. GU gels are my next preference because they are a known good, I know how my body will react and they do the job. Ray is currently loving these guys: PowerBar Energy Blasts and I have had them a few times before some intensity workouts, they haven’t caused any problems, but I’m going to have to wait on that opinion until we start getting up into the 15+ mile workouts. Btw, I like the Cola and Lemon, Ray eats the Strawberry Banana & Raspberry.
Weight Scale: Withings WiFi Scale – I use this because Ray put it in the bathroom. It is not complicated, I step on it and it tells me my weight and how many cupcakes I’ve been eating lately. Personally I don’t have a lot of weight related goals that I track so I don’t bother with the uploading things aspect of it.
Race belt: Zoot Race Belt – I have this in black. It’s easy to attach your race number, and super easy to don during transition madness. No complaints.
Triathlon suit: Zoot 4” Tri short, & 2XU Women’s Tri Top – You could not force me to wear a onesie. Maybe I just don’t have enough confidence in what I would look like in a full spandex suit, but I have always been a fan of the feel of a tri top and shorts combo. These tri shorts are awesome, I can’t say anymore than that. The 2XU Tri top has gone the distance! It has a built in sports bra and has two small pockets on back for nutrition. Perfect.
Transition Bag: I like to keep it really simple on race day, I don’t like to carry around more than I absolutely need. Therefore I actually use the Blue Seventy mesh bag that came with my wetsuit. It fits everything that I need and “if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t ship”!

With that, hope you enjoyed my little world of sports training.  And like Ray, if you have any questions – just place them as  comment below and I’ll get right to answering them.  Thanks!

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29 Comments

  1. This was such a fun article! Neat to hear what other people have as their go-to's. After 5 years of managing a running retail store, I've ended up with my share of promo gear that vendors wanted me to try.

    If you're looking for running gear, check out New Balance's Minimus singlet and the prism short. I just got the singlet and it'll almost definitely be my marathon top in October. I have an earlier version of the Prism short and they've made some nice upgrades to it. Wide waistband, xstatic liner, rear zip pocket. Nice short, kinda pricey, but mine are two years old and holding strong.

    Reply
  2. Pretty cool thanks for doing that, by the way some of the links there are broken (you put a space in there?) it sucks about the Trek bike! I have a madone and it hasn't let me down yet.

    Reply
  3. I thought I was the only weird-headed person! I ended up with a bruised forehead the last time I raced in my Giro Ionos, so I went out the next day and bought a Specialized S-works helmet (in a smaller size!) and it is actually comfy, even after I really crank down the dial. I hear some brands (Giro) are round and others are oval - keep trying!

    Reply
  4. Have you posted any photos of the problem with the bike? I'd love to see the broken area.

    Reply
  5. This is really excellent useful information. I also have a 310XT. I got it with the intention of having one device across all 3 sports. I'm curious why you only listed it for Running and why you have 3 separate devices for swim (Shark) and bike (Edge 500)? Does this make it hard to track data in a single place? How would you time a triathlon event (including transitions)?

    Reply
  6. I'm a long time silent reader and I enjoy all of you posts but those two posts about the gear you and the girl use are really sweet. It'd be nice to have more posts like those.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Seb

    Reply
  7. Great info on the stuff you really use :) Thanks for tips on what the girl uses. It should give me some ideas for presents for my own girl :)

    Reply
  8. Manuel Cortés

    Very interesting comments as a reference.
    I,m a silent daily reader and I really enjoy all you post.
    Very good job. Thanks

    Reply
  9. So why isn't Trek supporting the busted bike? I've started looking at getting a new bike, should I not look at Trek?

    Reply
  10. Mark J. in Dallas

    Thanks for the tips.

    You may be (?) happy to know that your recommendation - or lack of one really - for the Trek steered me away from buying one. The Trek has some cool features but Ray's brief comment about Trek not standing behind their product greatly influenced my decision.

    So I bought a new Cervelo P2 instead!

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Quiet follower of the site...excellent resource...quick question? What should you look for when purchasing a used SRM power meter? You have great tips on buying power meters, however, I can't find anything on buying used power meters.

    Thanks

    Reply
  12. Boo Trek. If you can't support people who plunk down serious cash for your product, when you know there's a certain percent of likely failures in the carbon to metal interface, then I, for one, will not support you.

    Reply
  13. Thanks! I love the Brooks Glycerin shorts. They are super lightweight, and the waist band doesn't bunch. And they're affordable (link to brooksrunning.com)

    Reply
  14. Hi All-

    (Ray here, The Girl is out running around, but I can answer the questions thus far)

    Hi Chmouel/Michael/Mark
    RE: Trek Bike

    Below is a photo of the bent part. Tiny, we're talking 2mm here. It's the point on the frame where the derailluer hanger attaches, and the rear wheel skewer goes through. During transit, it got bumped - because, per Trek bike shop recommendations, you should remove the derailleur and (which is on the derailleur hanger). The challenge is that tiny little piece molded into the frame isn't carbon, but wimpy alluminum. And it got bent somehow. Now this isn't just an isolated case, as there's a thread on Slowtwitch with plenty of others in the same boat.

    link to sites.google.com

    Right now, the local Paris trek shop is saying full replacement (at a price far higher than what we paid for the bike). We've also tried Trek in the US, but it's a wall of silence. The bike was bought in the US.

    Trek did reach out today to me via Twitter, and I shot over an e-mail to an address. I'm hoping we can get it worked out!

    Hi Gregg-
    RE: Split devices

    She times the full triathlon on her little shark watch, but then only uploads the bike/run segments. Within Training Peaks, you generally upload the segments seperately.

    Hi Anon-
    RE: SRM Power Meter

    Unfortunately, I don't have an SRM - so it would be really tough for me to give guidance in that area. What'd I'd suggest though is head over to the Wattage Forums (groups.google.com/wattage) and ask there. Tons of very deep SRM folks. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  15. Kivisisalik

    Thanks for sharing this information. I was really .... glad is not appropriate word but ... Well, I have the same "all helmets cause headache" problem and I have a Bell helmet from year 2000 that I bought from a friend for 5 euros, and this is the only helmet so far that does not give me headache. It is impossible to get to test a helmet where I live and so I have stopped buying helmets (all my kids now have new ones that did not suit me). I get headaches also from these "one size fits no-one caps" and also sunglasses.

    Reply
  16. Kivisisalik

    Me back again with my wrong shaped head... A question to The Girl: is the helmet's headache causing potential in any way linked to the size regulating system? I am sort of having feeling that helmets that have one round knob/device/regulator/whatever on the back will cause headache for sure and helmets that are regulated from two sides have a slim chance of not causing a headache.

    Reply
  17. Re: photo of Trek problem and "wimpy aluminum"...

    It's really normal to have to have metal components in a carbon fiber assembly. There are places where aluminum is wimpy and places where carbon fiber is wimpy.

    But darts to Trek for this one---there has to be some way for Trek to engineer a repair to that. C'mon Trek---yeah it's rocket science--- but if you want to play with the big boys, you need to stand behind your stuff.

    Reply
  18. Nae

    Love it! So helpful to see what other girls use and recommend. Glad to see someone else who's not a fan of the onesies. Good tip on the bike too... I'm starting to look for a new one and it helps to know what not to get...

    Reply
  19. Lindsey

    Thanks for not shying away from the sports bra recommendation - I have been on the hunt for awhile and your suggestion was worth a shot. It just arrived yesterday and I love it! I anticipate order several more. Thank you!

    Reply
  20. Chrissie

    I just bought a Trek and really hope I don't have the same problems. Wish I could have found the pink one, but ended up with a man's blue. Dealer said there is no difference between a WSD tri and a reg. Thank you for posting some women specific reviews. I would love more. Seems so difficult to find items for women that aren't just repackaged in a different color men's items. And as for the Champion bra..ditto. I bought one at Target last summer and it gets washed almost daily. Love it!

    Reply
  21. Fun to see this (and helpful)! I'm so sad about your bike. Aaron just got me a trek madone 4.6 and i love it but if what happened to you, happened to me, I'd swear them off forever also. That is so crappy!

    Reply
  22. KP

    Got three pairs of Feetures for Christmas - two regular and one compression. I love them! Thanks so much for the recommendation.

    Reply
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  27. I had the same issue with my rear derailleur hanger. It was molded into the P3c frame and broke off. I sent it back to All Three Sports in Atlanta and Cervélo promptly replaced the frame and the detailleur. Shame on Trek for not replacing the frame. Great shot of you flying onto the bike. That takes skill and more than a small amount of courage.

    Reply
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    What about recommendations for ear buds? I am a small person with small ears, and am having trouble finding something that will stay in my ear.

    Reply
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