Gear and Stuff

Hello everyone!

My training plan this week has been pretty well derailed thanks to the less than awesome weather this week. I was hoping to take advantage of the opportunity to work from home a few days this week to do some outdoor workouts (in daylight hours) but so far, not so good. Hopefully the weather will improve before Sunday!

Since that’s not terribly interesting blog content, I wanted to go into some of the gear I’ve been buying over the last few weeks to outfit myself more properly for triathlons.  This stuff is expensive, and I have to buy it all myself, so I’ve been shopping the sales as much as possible. Hopefully, this will be helpful if you’re looking for some discounts as well!

First, swim gear:

PicMonkey Collage2I’ve already shown the wetsuit: the XTERRA Vortex sleeveless. sent out an email advertising these for 60% off, which is a pretty damn good deal!  They pretty commonly offer discounts for run/tri gear, but also will periodically send out emails for race fee discounts, so I think it’s worth your while to sign up (it’s free). I think they also have a paid membership that gives you discounts on race fees, so if you sign up for a lot of Active events, it may be beneficial.

For most of my swimming, I wear the Dolfin Uglies brand practice suits. They’re not too expensive, but they don’t last the longest. I also have some Speedo Endurance+ suits here; they cost more, but last FOREVER. Honestly. I have some from high school that are still in good shape. They’re not very stretchy though, so it helps to know your size before your order online – a lot of big box athletic stores will carry this brand.  I know my size so I buy almost all my swim gear on They generally have discounts on most items, plus the clearance section is good. I buy my goggles there too:


These are the Speedo Vanquisher goggles. I love them, but they don’t fit everyone’s face, so try the suction test before you buy a pair, as I am modeling in my stupid selfie here.

The two-piece suit pictured up there is from Athleta. I’d been looking at their swimwear for a while because I wanted a nice two-piece competition suit. I’ve not had good experiences with the more common brands with two-piece, so I decided to dish out for the more expensive Athleta suit. It’s really, really nice. It fits like they actually designed it to be 2 separates, rather than just removing the middle portion of a competition suit. Worth the money.

Onto the bike! I’ve broken out of the norm a bit here…I don’t really need fancy bike/tri shorts because I have a padded bike seat.

IMG_20130703_130309Go ahead and judge. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t have one of these. If I’m going to be on the bike for hours on end, why should my butt hurt? There’s probably some good reason why I should have a fancy saddle, but I haven’t found anything compelling yet, and until I do, this seat stays.

As I said above, padded seat means no fancy shorts necessary. I have a few pairs of cheap compression shorts from Target that are ok, but they’re not quite long enough, so sometimes (especially in spin class) I’ll get some chafing. So I went looking for something else. I searched and searched, and really couldn’t find anything except the Lululemon Reverse Groove Shorts, which are pricey. On a whim, I checked Athleta’s website and found what I was looking for!

IMG_20130703_130431These are Athleta’s Presto short. They’re meant for running, but they’re exactly what I needed. They’re still a little expensive ($40), but they were $10 less than the Lulu shorts and definitely closer to a pair of tri shorts.  They’re made of Lycra/Polyester (swimsuit material), so they’re quick dry and they’re fitted like a pair of bike shorts, minus the uncomfortable chamois.  I wore these at the Caine Halter Tri and they worked great. I put them on after the swim, but they were great for the bike and the run, and they’re actually somewhat flattering on my larger thighs. I haven’t tried to swim in them yet, but it seems possible.

I talked about my new shoes and pedals a few posts ago. I bought them from REI. The shoes were on clearance,  50% off, and I had a members-only coupons for 20% off that I used on the pedals. The REI membership I got last year has definitely been worth the money! They have members-only sales fairly often, plus you get the end-of-year dividend, so it’s a pretty good deal.

Onto running! Luckily, I don’t really need anything extra for the run. I did buy this tank from Old Navy for $10.

IMG_20130703_131409It’s very loose-fitting and lightweight – perfect for summer running in South Carolina!

I also dished out for a tri-suit top:



This Blue Seventy top was on clearance on for a pretty good price, so I figured I’d try it and if I didn’t like it, I’d return it. I was surprised by how well it fit, so I decided to keep it. I took it with me to the pool this morning to try it out. It drags more water than my normal suit, but it’s a good fit.

So, my plan for this weekend is to wear my two-piece suit with my tri top over it.  Then I can throw on my shorts during T1, hopefully quickly!

Any tips for this idiot who won’t wear tri shorts?







About Steph

Hey there, I'm Steph
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