Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New Gear

The solution to undertraining?  Buy new gear!  Here are some of my new training faves and first impressions.  Full reviews will be written after more rigorous testing.

Shimano Tri Shoes
These aren't actually a new purchase, but rather a result of lazy unmotivation.  They have been sitting in the box in our spin room since December.  So stupid, because after a few rides, I really like them.  Roomy, airy, and most importantly, they smell 1000% better than the old ones (which have often been banned from the house).  I hate the color (shiny white/green, ick) and my feet slide forward when standing to climb.  But since they don't stink, and buying a new pair may take me another 7 months of procrastination, I'll make do.

Cobb Saddles
Saddle #3 just hasn't been doing it for me lately.  Actually, it's been heading towards the junk pile since last November when I ended up with a 2-inch saddle sore after Ironman.  I keep hoping it will become comfortable again, but no.  If a saddle causes pain and injury so severe, that scars are still present 8 months later, it's time to try something else.  After seeing some posts on triathlon forums, adverts in race packets, and mounted on the bikes of pros at a couple of races, I decided to call Cobb Cycling and see if they had something they could recommend.  Oh my, they are AWESOME!  I'll save details for a full review, but I wish I could fly down to Texas and hug them.

I actually received two saddles in the mail: the V-Flow Plus and V-Flow Max.  Each saddle comes with a tool kit, helpful tips, and a DIY video.  Within 5 minutes the Plus was perfectly adjusted on the Cervelo.  My first test ride was a quick hop on the trainer at 9:30pm after a long day at work.  I climbed on, fully expecting to hate it.  After 30 minutes in aero position without any adjustments, it felt like I was riding on a cloud.  I seriously could barely feel where my body met the saddle.  I tried not to get too happy until I was able to take it out on the road, but really, I was about to burst with excitement!

The following night I jumped on the trainer for a measly 20 minutes, just to verify that I wasn't imagining things from the previous night.  Awwww, pure comfort.  But the real test was the 7:30am hangover ride (courtesy of Laura's Ironman party, thanks girlfriend!) this past Saturday morning.  Three days in a row of riding, raging nausea, piss-poor attitude, and a bit more mileage.   The end result = love!  After Vineman 70.3 this coming weekend, I'll swap out and give the Max a test ride and see which one I'm going to end up with.

Luna Sandals
My Luna sandals finally arrived in the mail!  I've been alternating between racing flats, vibram five fingers, and totally barefoot since last December.  I have been eyeing the do-it-yourself sandal kits from Barefoot Ted, which are modeled after the traditional Raramuri huaraches.  But he recently came out with the Luna Sandal company, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on the production model as soon as they started shipping.  They arrive in the mail like this:
Less than five minutes after watching a quick video on different tying techniques, voila:
I couldn't help but take them for a test run immediately.  The plan was to go for a short 1-2 mile run.  Almost 6 miles later, I reluctantly returned home.  Aside from a small blister between my right toes and a little heat on the balls of my feet, I had no pain.  I think these can be resolved with a little body glide.  If the blister is healed by Sunday, there is a good chance that these will be sitting in T2 waiting for a 13-mile trial run.