Gear, Gadgets, Clubs, Events, and all that….

I do a mix of racing – from 5K’s to 100k’s, and everything in between. I’m hoping to do my first 100 miler in 2016. All my triathlons to date have been sprint distance – I hope to go longer eventually, but distance running is my focus at the moment. I’m not fast – quite the opposite – I compete because I love sport, and can’t resist a challenge, not because there is ever any danger of me winning anything.

Gear

I have a separate Gear Review page you might like to take a look at.

This is a list of the basic gear I use:

  • Shoes:
    The vast majority of my mileage is done on tarmac – Irish tarmac can be hard on both shoes and legs! I’ve tried various brands, but have pretty much settled on Mizunos. Currently use a mix of Wave Inspire 10 and Wave Inspire 12 – I prefer the 12’s – I think they fit better, and the insole has more grip – I find my feet slip around a bit in the 10’s.
    I began to use Vibrams last year after tearing an achilles, and I’ve found them useful on shorter runs for building up the lower leg muscles.
    I’ve written a post about running shoes for new runners.
  • GPS Watch:
    I want a watch that gives me the basic info I need, is rugged, has a long battery life, and can be used for running, swimming, and cycling. I use the Garmin 310xt. A great balance of performance and price. The big advantages to this watch are the 20 hour battery life, and the fact that it can be used for all 3 events in the triathlon.
    I wrote a post on Garmin tips and tricks that may be useful.
    I would love the Garmin 920xt, and am planning on testing it out this year to see if the extra cost is justified.
  • Bikes
    I am sponsored by Ribble BikesHave a look at my bike fitting advice for tips on, well, bike fitting!

    Race Bike
    Ribble Aero883
    Shimano Ultegra 6800 groupset
    Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon Wheelset

    Training Bike
    Ribble Evo Carbon Pro.
    Shimano 105 groupset.
    Shimano RS21 Wheelset.

  • Wetsuit:
    Check out my triathlon wetsuit care tips.
  • Most of my swimming is done outdoors, in the Atlantic – it gets very cold in the winter, and slightly less cold in the summer! I’m a pretty bad swimmer, so buoyancy is important in my wetsuit.
    Zone3 Vanquish
  • Swim Goggles:
    I’ve tried a LOT of different types of goggles – I’m not sure why, but many of them leak when I use them (maybe I’ve an oddly shaped face!), I’ve finally settled on these:
    Aqua Sphere Kaiman.
  • Water Belt (Hydration Belt, Race Belt, Whatever…)
    This is another item I’ve tried lots and lots of – and I’m still looking for the perfect one! The biggest problems I’ve encountered with water belts are poor fit, and poor hold on the bottle. The fit problem drives me nuts – you’ve finally gotten the belt at exactly the right tension (somewhere around mile 15) and then you take an energy bar out, and the belt is suddenly too loose again…. I found one belt that overcame this problem – the Kalenji Bottle Carrier Belt which is very cheap, and available in Decathlon stores. This belt has a continuous line of velcro around the belt, so it can be endlessly adjusted on the move.
    I’m still not happy though – I’ve found the belt chafes me on long runs, and one bottle just isn’t enough for 20+ miles, especially in summer. I’ve been experimenting with carrying bottles in my hands (annoying – especially the sloshing sound when the bottle is half empty), and may try a hydration backpack, though the thought of hauling that around isn’t attractive. I quite like the look of this: UltraSpire Spry – might give it a go.

Check out my post on Things that work and things that don’t for more gear info.

Clubs

I’m a member of the following clubs:

Born To Run – Tralee Marathon Club 

A brilliant bunch of people who get together to train and run in various events, from 5K’s to Ultramarathons. Friendly, welcoming, and great fun. Founded by the great Marcus Howlett, runner extraordinaire, and the guy who brought me from plodder to runner. Check out his company Run The Kingdom for great events, and tours to various countries for running holidays.

Tralee Triathlon Club

Another friendly club, where everyone is made welcome, whatever their abilities. Swim training in Fenit during the summer. The club’s annual triathlon in August is well worth doing if you are in the area.

For 2016, I am the Junior Club Chairman, so I will be hoping to get lots of young people involved in triathlon locally.

Marathon Club Ireland

A club for people who love to run marathons, it also administers medals to those who run 25, 50, or 100 marathons. When you hit the 100 mark, you become a member of the 100 Marathon club, and are entitled to wear the coveted 100 club gear. Hopefully some day!

Very friendly and welcoming, whatever your level or abilities – the MCI marathons are wonderful events.

Events

The following is a list of events I have enjoyed doing, for one reason or another:

Tralee 100K Ultra Marathon

Rose of Tralee 10K

Tralee Triathlon

Tralee International Marathon

Keith Whyte Ultra Marathon

Dublin City Marathon

Tullaroan

Any MCI Marathon – they are all great.

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