The Girl’s 2018 Swim/Bike/Run Gear I Use List

Hey there, this is The Girl writing to you today. As promised, I have put together an updated Gear I Use Post for you. So, if you are interested, take a moment to scan the lists of all of the things I love and keep on my team to keep me training and fit!

Many of you have shown interest in what gear I’m using these days, as I am now (finally) back on the road to logging miles, pushing weights, and trying to throw down on two wheels.

Please note, many things have changed since my last “Gear I use Post”. Mainly, as it’s been 3 years since I took a stab at this, I’ve been pregnant twice, and now I spend my days chasing a toddler and a baby around.

So, I apologize if this is a bit of step down for some of you who have followed me since the Great Triathlon Adventures of Ray and “The Girl”. I hope to get back to that level someday. But for the moment, this is an honest list of what is keeping me movin’ and groovin’!

If instead you find it more interesting to see the list of what’s keeping my household together, you can check out the “Gear I Use: Kids Post”. I’ve tried to keep that one updated as the kiddos grow, and keep it narrowed down to the more critical pieces! I’m aiming to have a sort of “Santa’s Wish List” done before the start of the holiday season in case anyone out there is looking for ideas for their tiny hoomans too!

Back to this list, it is broken down into Running, Cycling, Swimming, and Weight Room/ Gym Accessories. So you can scroll past sections as they may or may not pertain to you. I’ll do my best to keep an eye on the comment section as well in case anyone has questions or of course better suggestions!



Shoes: Asics Gel-DS Trainer 23 – These have been my go to running shoes for years. I have a pesky metatarsal that likes to pop in and out of joint thanks to my good old NCAA Soccer days. Somehow these shoes are the only ones I’ve discovered that doesn’t irritate the injury.

GPS Watch: Garmin Fenix 5S – This has been hands down my favorite watch to date. I am certainly not the tech guru in our house, so some of my likes include the look along with the functions. Being able to switch the watch straps out depending on work or play, no longer needing to wear a HR Strap, and all day activity monitoring are just a few of the selling points for me.

Running Shorts – These are the latest update to my favorite New Balance split shorts. I have found these shorts to be the best all-around shorts for both long distance and track workouts. I think it has to do with the wider elastic waistband not letting them slide and bunch, but I don’t over think it! No wedgies and no chafing for the win! If you prefer a longer short, but same concept, they come in 4” & 5” as well.

Running Shirts- Honestly, I’m still schlepping around in old race dry fits? Or, sometimes I find good buys at TJ Maxx!

Running Socks– Feetures brand socks are the only thing you’ll see me in for everyday training. I LOVE these socks. Santa can stick them in my stocking and Cupid can attach them to a box of chocolates any day. These are my jam! I love both the really thin ones and the thicker cushion ones depending on the season; both varieties have amazing arch support!

Compression Socks– These are the only exception to my love for Feetures running socks- CEP compression socks. I used to get calf cramps and tightness that would last days and these were the best thing for both training and recovery. I raced in them. Recovered in them. I wore them all day long. And, they also proved SOOOO good during the last few weeks of both pregnancies!

Sports Bra – Undoubtedly this is too much information for some of you, sorry about that. I’m a huge fan of not spending $80 on a sports bra. Some of the prices I see on the Nike and Lululemon brands are insane, and that does not guarantee you they are “good” bras, nor will they make you magically faster. I’m the first to admit that I am also not super wealthy in the chest department either, so I don’t need the extreme support others might. Anyways, I have two absolute favorites, with about 3-4 of each! Ooops. First is this Champion bra, you can also find them at Target! Second is this Nike one! For Comfort, support, and price these are no-brainers.

Anti-Chafing Products– So, even with the best-found shorts, there are days that for whatever reason I’ll still get some inner thigh chafing. I like and own both of these products, so you choose what’s best for you. Skin Strong is my preference hands down, but since it’s a liquid in a plastic spray bottle I prefer not to put it in my gym bag. So, if my run is starting from anywhere other than at home I’ll use Glide. I have a small stick of Glide that has been kicking around for YEARS!!! Both products realistically last you forever and are inexpensive. When considering the prospect of having to shower post run with open wounds on wherever it is you might chafe, I’m happy to have several of these products handy!

Hair Restraint System – Oh the things nobody told me about being a mom. Or, I guess more specifically postpartum. All your freaking hair falls out!?!?! Now I have these tiny fine regrowth hairs coming back and it looks like I have horns growing from my head!! This is my current hair strategy, and best of all no hairband headaches!

Cold Weather Running Gear:

As I am writing this post, it is not yet cold, and I can only hope that Ray will take us away for the winter again this year! Somewhere warm with a beach, please!!!! However, if staying in Europe for this winter is what we must do, then these three pieces are my go-to products. And they are OLD! Or a nicer way of saying it, these three products have been a fantastic investment and have lasted way beyond their life expectancy!

Gore Mythos Windstopper Running Vest – I like layers, and I don’t like to overheat. So this vest is the perfect piece! Keeps my chest and back toasty as it is windproof and has a very light microfleece lining. I have seriously been wearing this vest for over 6 years! (Doubles for on the bike too!)

Sugoi Midzero Running Tights – This must be the most “up to date” version Sugoi has out now as mine are just plain black. Like I said, my stuff is old. And not that it’s from a lack of use. I have had these tights since 2010 for sure, and I still love them! They have held up over the years, and live up to the price tag. You might be best going to your local running store once the weather starts to change to try on (and purchase), as the sizes for running tights can be tricky!

Ice and Snow insurance: Finally, the last piece of winter running gear that I have on the shelf is the all mighty YakTraks. I have used these puppies during the Snow-Zilla winter running season in Virginia in 2010, in the Zermatt, Switzerland ski village, and even at the North Pole (well almost) while on a trip chasing the northern lights. This one pair has hundreds of miles on them. The gift that keeps on giving!


Wow. This section has changed a lot from back in the day!! Honestly, I haven’t ridden my triathlon bike in what seems like a lifetime. Poor girl is sitting there all loyal wondering when she’ll hit the pavement again. Adding insult to injury, I just purchased my first “real” road bike (opposed to my first Walmart-esq road bike from 10 years ago). So if you want to know what I USED to ride with, you can check out my last “Gear I Use” post… updated 2015. If you want to know what I’m using now, it’s basically just the bones of the operation as we haven’t built up the new bike yet. You can keep checking back as I fill in the blanks.

Road Bike – Isaac Graviton We have a great local bike shop nearby our house, and the owner helped me pick it out. He knew my budget wasn’t huge, and that I didn’t NEED a carbon frame. So we checked out several different frame sizes, and finally decided this was a great bike to get me back on the road again. I definitely don’t know a lot about bike frame comparisons, so all I can say is for me personally, this was a great choice!

Indoor Smart Trainer – Wahoo KICKR Core and KICKR Climb. Let’s be honest, I’m going to ride on whatever Ray sets up for me. But at the moment I have just started using Zwift, and I like the combo of these two, and the “realness” of the ride.

Pedals – Much like any bike technology you will see here, these were chosen by Ray. I like them, they connect with everything they are supposed to. Better said, these pedals “Just Work”!

Power meter – The power meter and the pedals are one and the same. So see above for info.

Bike Computer – I’ve always been a Garmin girl. The Edge 520 Plus just does the job. I like that it has some mapping features, so when Ray drops me on a ride I’ll know how to get home again!

Lights – Still researching. On my commuter bike it’s just whatever the bike shop man put on there, but for my road bike…I haven’t decided yet. Does that mean I have to ride at night?

Helmet – I’ve been using this Giro Atmos helmet for many years now. Maybe I should check if it expires? I like it because I apparently have a knobby head and most helmets give me headaches or sore spots. But I think helmets are much like other items (shoes, bras, socks), you have to try a bunch to see what fits your body best. This one just happens to work for me.

Cycling Shoes- These girls are OAF!!! But what an investment! I officially purchased these Shimano triathlon shoes on the same day I bought my original TT Bike. I believe that was 10 years ago now. Admittedly, I need new shoes. But I’ll be sticking to this same brand/style if it still exists! Maybe Santa can make a note of it!

Cycling Kit – How could I wear anything else?

Bike shorts –If I’m feeling like an indoor training ride and not wanting to don an entire kit, or am feeling nostalgic of my triathlon days, these are my go-to bike short.

Jersey – Like I said above, if I’m just knocking out a trainer ride, I’m likely just sporting a dry fit, sports bra, or whatever t-shirt is handy at the DCR Cave. I’m not super fancy!

Cold Weather Top- Currently doing some research on this. Everything from Washington, DC was likely donated by now!

Cold Weather Bottom– I purchased these pants a long long time ago, and just dug them out of the closet the other day! I thought they were expensive as a 20-something-year-old, new to cycling. But had I known they would last this long, I wouldn’t have hesitated.


This section is even more super abbreviated than the last. Most of my swimming activities these days involve baby floaties, helping blow bubbles, and trying to fully comprehend the fear of all the child water safety measures. I swam a few times while pregnant and it felt so gooooood, but I haven’t found/ looked for a pool here in Amsterdam yet. So, the swim gear that is mostly gathering dust in my closet goes like this:

Swim Suit – TYR brand just fits really well for me. Great quality, the suits survive the abuse of time spent in the chlorine and saltwater pools. While I currently wear the diamond back suits, if I actually dragged my butt to warrant the purchase of a new one, I would likely go with this new ValleyFit suit. It looks super cool!

Goggles – The last pair I had, according to Amazon purchase history, are these Speedo Woman’s Vanquisher Mirrored googles.

Swim cap – Mostly I wear old race swim caps. Sadly, it’s been so long since my last triathlon, a lot of those swim caps are now deteriorating? So, I’m back to wearing the fishy classic from the photo above! Made by Water Gear, the silicone they use in these caps is awesome. Doesn’t pull your hair out, and after 7+ years this cap is still going strong!

Swim Watch – Because the Shark died, or the batteries died? Either way, I’m now just making use of Fenix 5s.

Pull Buoy – This is the only piece of swim training equipment I have left in the arsenal. If I was to hit the pool today, this would be the only piece of equipment that I’d drag along with me. So if you wanted to see what gear I used to use as a competitive triathlete, you can check it out here.

Weight Room / Gym Equipment

I am finally back on the wagon of strength training. I am secretly a bit of a lifting fanatic. Cough, as you can probably tell by the size of my absent biceps! I have been away from it for far too long, likely five or six years now, and thus it’s time to get back at it. So here’s the few things that I’m using each trip to the gym to keep me motivated.

Wireless headphones – The problem is, my brain knows what to do, but my muscles are not up to speed! Thus, I am currently a bit self-conscious at the gym and need to block out the rest of the world to get it done! I love these headphones. Period. They just do their thing, they don’t get in the way, fall out, or impede my workout in any way. They are wireless so they aren’t even a consideration during the workout. I put them in and forget about them and the rest of the world. ***Edit*** I was just informed Ray killed my headphones on Friday. If you don’t hear from Ray for a while, I returned the favor to him…

Lacrosse Balls for Micro-facial release – No strength workout starts without a warm-up and 10+ minutes of IT Band and Glute Medius torture. I want something I can stick in my gym bag and forget about. I’m not a big fan of sharing foam rollers with the rest of the gym population… So this is my go to.

That’s it. I’m out of money to spend on stuff. Now, just get out there and “GET SHIT DONE”! Good luck with whatever your exercise goals might be!

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  1. Christian

    What is not on the list is where I can buy this “get shit done” wallpaper. Do you have a link?

  2. I got a great Lightweight Bicycle Water Bottle Cage

  3. gingerneil

    Big thumbs up for the lacrosse ball. I’ve carry one in my bag all the time, and use it for releasing my temperamental calves and rolling the soles of my feet while I’m sat on dull conference calls at work!

  4. andre

    To take up swimming again in Amsterdam you may want to checkout swimgym:
    link to swimgym.nl

  5. Plop

    Hey, nice list. Is it me or are you talking about pedals without mentioning their name/brand?

    • The Girl

      Doh! Sorry, that was just a busy mind assuming you could read mine! Or I guess if you clicked the link “pedals” it would have brought you to the brand? Anyways, sorry about that, I’m currently hooked up with the Favero Assioma pedals.

  6. Alistair Jordan

    How do I do the $20 support.

    I was watching your recent keynote speech and commented to my wife about supporting your wife. She said go on then your always talking about the latest reviews.

    • Hi Alistair!

      Just getting fully caught-up on the day, but it looks like you got it all sorted out by the look of the Supporter icon. Thanks for the support!

      – Ray and The Girl

  7. Anne

    Thank you for your list! I love your part of the newsletter and your take on the world.

  8. not yoda

    Love this update of the gear I use of both of you. Just one thing, the links in the desktop blog still go to the old 2015ish lists..

  9. Su-Chong Lim

    Love your updates. Who would have thought that Ray’s posts would/could be matched in readability and chattiness and just good old “feelgood” qualities? But you did it. Partly biased by feelings of fellow-Canadianism (I live in Calgary) and by the fact that my daughter has a 2 year old boy and a 19 month old girl, but the parenting updates ring true even to this older grandad. Long may you roll!

  10. David Coyte

    hey Girl
    If you really want good tops and below the waist gear that lasts, is comfortable and doesn’t soak up the sweat try some Icebreaker gear. its fantastic stuff.
    I use it for multi sport / skiing / sailing & just hanging around in.

    David C

  11. Andrea Levario

    YEAH!!! Updated gear list from The Girl!!!!

  12. Alanna Woods

    Just got my first pairs of Feetures socks- they feel amazing! I’ve been searching for the perfect socks so thanks for the recommendation :)

  13. Bill

    My wife(age mid 60’s) is just trying to get back into shape, after 30+ years of inactivity.
    She is a former college swimmer and wants a simple tracker that will count laps at the YMCA for her.
    She has a small wrist size and won’t wear a big watch.
    She won’t need a Fenix or Suunto, as this is 3 times a week swimming, not triathlon training.
    Any suggestions?
    Bill w.rossmd@gmail.com

  14. Gary

    You say the Fenix 5 is your preferred good watch. Personally I would agree as I’ve got the F5X but my wife works out in a gym that supports polar heart rate monitors. In your opinion which polar would suit a lady. Small wrist etc. I’m considering the M430

  15. Lisa

    Hoping for some more in-depth sizing feedback. I’m looking at upgrading to the Fenix 5 Plus but am concerned I can’t fit the 5 band and can barely fit the 5S. I wear a 920XT today on the 4th smallest setting (think that’s the same for the girl).

    • Correct, the 5/5X/5s band sizes are all slightly different widths. If that’s what you mean?

      Or do you mean length? In which case – The (Real) Girl will have to double-back for ya. :)

    • Chris


      I know that it’s been a year since you posted this, but I read your post and wanted to share a band I found that might work for you.

      It’s a silicone material, doesn’t chafe, adjusts to fit wrists from a child’s to a large adult and (probably my favorite part) the tail tucks inside of the band so your wrist doesn’t get bothered by the metal clasp and there’s no flappy piece to worry about. It has spots to fasten it at every 1/4 inch or so (or 3/4 of a centimeter if my metric conversion knowledge holds true), and at least based on the 30-40 miles I’ve run/swam with it so far, it’s also quite durable.

      And it’s $12 (or less) on Amazon.

      Here’s a link for a 5s-sized one. (I have the same product in the 22mm 5-sized)

      link to amazon.com

  16. Abby

    I’d love to know what sunglasses yall are wearing on the bike… I am in a struggle. I used to love my tifosi glasses (going on 6 years with them, but they just broke, and i had to get replacements and now on my second pair and both are fogging up, and uncomfortable with my helmet and aren’t working. I don’t know what to try next… Surely this is a regular gear item? right?!

    • Chris

      I’m not the Girl (or a girl) but as someone who’s had more than one surgical eye repair (don’t get blown up!) I do know my way around sunglasses. The injury and surgery resulted in severe sensitivity to light, so I have to wear sunglasses from sunup to sundown.

      Right now, in front of me – I have a pair of Tifosi Camrocks with the AC lens (great frame, not my favorite lens, but they came with it) a pair of Tifosi Jets (blue AC lenses, these were free from a race), a pair of Tifosi Dolomite 2.0’s with the fototech lenses (great driving glasses, the orange tinge really helps with contrast, and they do darken/lighten, a bit, they’re my go to trail running glasses because of the enhanced contrast) and a pair of Tifosi Crits with the Nightlight fototec lenses. This is probably my favorite road running/cycling lens/frame combination. Good transition from dark to light, good breathability (they don’t fog, even in freezing cold weather) and good durability. I also have a pair of ESS CDI matte grey with smoke grey lenses (these are safety glasses for when I’m on the range or the like) and a pair of Oakley Tailpins (aviator glasses) with Prizm lenses. These are casual everyday glasses, and serve no purpose in this discussion. Except that I would gladly trade them for 2-3 pairs of Tifosi glasses given the opportunity.

      To me, Tifosi are pretty much the perfect glasses for both training and everyday life. They’re durable, they’re good optically, they fit well (they don’t move when you run) and, if you damage them or lose them (or someone decides that they’re so cool that they have to have yours too, and walk off with them from your transition zone (GRRR! Let that be a lesson kids, don’t hang your cool sunglasses from your handlebars during a triathalon, they might not be there by the time you’re done with the swim! ), they’re not that expensive to replace. I don’t think I paid $50 for a single pair or more. I paid double that for the Oakley’s and ESS glasses. Once you find the pair that works for you by either going to your local bike shop or running store, I write down the model, and order them via Amazon or Ebay. Most pairs can be had for $30 and under.

      Hope that helps.

  17. Virginia

    Hi! Appreciate you posting your gear reviews along with Ray. I have a travel and gear related question that didn’t seem to fit with the other posts. Any favorite travel plug adapter? I suppose that since you and Ray have been living in Europe fulltime for awhile now it’s less of an issue for you guys, but since you do quite bit of travel (bringing plenty of devices that need charging) I thought I’d ask. I’ll be travelling to Zermatt soon with my husband, it looked like you and Ray really enjoyed you stay there.

    Also, have you been sticking with the 5s or switched to 6s?

    Really enjoy the newsletter!

  18. Dina Adams

    Welcome back to posting! Hoping we get a 2020 list soon :)

  19. Mariana E Bernui

    Is there a The Girl’s 2020 Swim/Bike/Run Gear I Use List? This 2018 is a bit old. I am looking for a good triathlon smartwatch for smaller wrists!

  20. Scott Mickelsen