Product Review: Elite Tri Box

By Bill Plock

The Elite Tri Box certainly keeps things organized and makes for a neat and tidy transition area. Like many people, I am not so great at reading instructions or seeking the latest You Tube video on how to assemble or use just about anything. My girlfriend Shannon has used the Tri Box for two races so I have seen it in action–and it’s pretty slick! She is brand new to triathlon and it seemed the box helped her feel organized and lower the stress level of transitions–which if a product can lower stress levels in a triathlon, that is worth a lot right there!

As a more seasoned triathlete I decided to take a closer look at the Tri Box. The video shows me working through using it for a possible upcoming race. I have a couple of different tri bags that I have used over the years and until now I pretty much looked at them as a nifty way to hold my gear in a sort of organized fashion and make carrying my gear from the parking lot to the transition area as easy as possible while pushing a bike and holding a cup of coffee.

I will say, the Tri Box can help someone, including myself, have a smoother and hopefully faster transition. The way the box compartmentalizes items, lays out a transition area with a solid box to toss used gear in and with its fold out T1 and T2 system, the transition is simply easier.

I think the box also acts as a good “tool chest” for everyday use and is great travel bag if you want to do some training on road trips. About my only knock on it is the serendiptious elastic rope on the top that is supposed to secure the helmet–I think. It’s kind of tricky to use. See the video for more details and/or go to Elites product page HERE

Take the Guess Work Out of Bike Maintenance with Ikeono

by Khem Suthiwan

From Tribella’s very own Brett Lang and IOs developer Dru Lang, comes Ikeono , the check engine light for your bike.

As manager of the Tribella Sports Group , Brett spends his days interpreting people’s qualitative description to what is effectively a quantitative problem. In his experience, people do not willfully neglect their bike, it is simply a lack of knowledge and awareness. With this realization, Brett and his brother came up with the idea of Ikeono, the check engine light for your bike.

Ikeono takes Strava ride data and attributes mileage to each of your components, sending notifications when service might need to be completed.  The service intervals are all based on industry standards, however are fully customizable for those with a better handle on their individual needs. With flexible notification settings, you can either sit back and utilize their Automatic Component Notification System™, or take full control and create custom notification intervals.

While the initial goal was to expand knowledge regarding bike maintenance, they realized there was another void which needed to be filled.  Phase two of Ikeono will allow you to schedule bike maintenance through your local shop, track the status of your bike as it is being worked on, and know exactly when it is finished.

Current Features:
– Seamless integration with Strava to track mileage on core component groups.
– Default service intervals, and notification when components might be due for service.
– Ability to track multiple bikes and wheel sets.
– Detailed maintenance record.

Features Coming Soon:
– Ability to schedule maintenance via the app.
– Real time updates as your bike is being serviced.
– Integration with tracking platforms Garmin, TrainingPeaks, and Wahoo

As competitive triathletes and avid cyclists with busy schedules, we demand a lot from our bikes, and with Ikeono, you can rest assured that you will extend the life of your bike, prevent breakdowns, and stay at the top of your game.

New Year. New Product. New You. Alison Freeman reviews Footbeat

By Alison Freeman

We’ve all been there: It’s Friday, you’ve just finished a tough bike ride, your legs feel like lead, and your coach / training plan has two more daunting workouts on your calendar before you get a recovery day. My prior solution to this problem was to stare longingly at TrainingPeaks, in hopes that if I blinked my eyes quickly enough the recovery day would magically move up and I could breathe a sigh of relief. Shockingly, despite dozens of attempts, it has never worked.

This is exactly the situation I found myself in when my favorite person ever – the UPS delivery lady – rang my doorbell to deliver my Footbeats. I had high hopes that some quality Footbeat time would help me survive until the long-awaited recovery day, and I’m happy to say that Footbeat did not disappoint.

WHAT IS IT?

Footbeat is a pair of moccasins that house insoles that house a little engine-driven bubble, which compresses your arch which then increases circulation and therefore removes metabolic waste – including lactate, which is also known as: the reason your legs feel like crap. Tiny little engine, big freakin’ deal.

Another way to think about Footbeat is that they’ve taken the recovery benefits associated with sequential compression devices (a.k.a., recovery boots) and stuffed those benefits into a smaller, more portable product. Cool, right?

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

If you’re like me – getting older but convinced you can get faster and beat the pants off your younger self – then you know how important recovery is to your training. Recovery is what allows you to execute your workouts day in and day out and to handle continued increases in weekly training volume and intensity.

As far as recovery products go, Footbeat is your best bet for a cost effective, easy to use, portable recovery solution. You can pop ‘em on for 30 minutes pre-workout, while you drink coffee and catch up on email. And then you can pop ‘em on for 30-60 minutes post-workout, while you download and review your workout details, drink a recovery shake, and answer some more emails. Even more exciting, you can pop ‘em on as soon as you board your flight for your “A” race, wear them the entire time (depending on how long the flight is), and minimize the fatiguing impact of air travel on your legs.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Let me tackle this question in three different ways …

First Question: How does the concept work? As in, how does a little engine-driven bubble in a moccasin promote recovery?

Start with the idea that your circulatory system drives your ability to rebound from tough training days because it delivers products to your muscles that promote repair and recovery. So: increase circulation, speed up recovery.

The question then is, how do you increase circulation? One option is walking – apparently there’s a pump in your foot that stimulates circulation in your legs as you walk. OR you can replicate this exact same foot pump and the corresponding circulatory increase by sitting around and wearing your Footbeats. Hence: sit around and eat bon bons (or maybe a kale salad), speed up recovery.

So, yeah, that’s how the concept works.

Second Question: How does the product work? As in, what buttons do you push to make it go?

It’s actually super simple. You pull out the insoles to charge them using the provided charging cord – a full charge takes about an hour, and you can just leave the insoles on the charger any time you’re not wearing them so they’re always ready to go. When you’re ready for a little Footbeat pre-workout warm up or post-workout recovery, slide the insoles into the moc’s, open up the Footbeat app, (yup, there’s an app for that), and hit “Start.” (You do need to pair the app to your Footbeat before your first use, but that’s just a matter of hitting “Pair” and waiting a few seconds.)

Once you’re going, the bubbles in your arches will inflate every 20 seconds, and all you gotta do is let it happen. They work best when seated, as there’s a little counter-pressure from the floor that helps really stimulate your foot pump. You can get up and walk around if you want to refill your water bottle or grab a snack, and your insoles will note the change in pressure and (usually) stop inflating until you sit back down. (I have noticed that sometimes one foot or the other will think I’m standing when I’m not, and removing all pressure from the bottom of that foot will get it going again.) I’ve even worn my Footbeat while driving to/from workouts, although I’m not sure if that’s totally above board or not.

So, yeah, that’s how the product works.

Final Question: How *well* does the product work?

Often assessing the benefits of a recovery product are tricky, especially if you don’t have sophisticated lab equipment or – even better – a time machine, so you can test your recovery from a given workout both with and without using the product. Footbeat actually has a pretty nifty protocol for testing their product, which both my uber-skeptical husband and I tried out during a 4-hour flight a few days after getting our Footbeats. We each put on only one Footbeat for 30 minutes, then got up and walked around. I’ll be darned if the Footbeat leg didn’t feel noticeably different for both of us – lighter and lacking the obvious fatigue in the non-Footbeat leg.

So, yeah, I’m going to say the product works pretty well.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

You can set yourself up with a pair of Footbeat direct from the company. They offer a 30-day risk-free purchase option, so what’s stopping you?

Holiday Gift Guide: LumaGlo

by Khem Suthiwan

 

The LumaGlo Crossbelt is the next generation of wearable safety gear. Its multi-colored, moving patterns hold the ultimate attention-grabbing power in even the heaviest traffic and most inclement weather conditions.

Whether you commute on your bike or just looking for a simple way to make yourself visible during low-light conditions, the LumaGlo Crossbelt is a great solution. You can wear it as a belt or a sash. Lights illuminate in different colors, moving patterns, and its speed sensors even sync the lights to turn bright red when you stop, in order to alert others around you.

The LumaGlo Crossbelt is flexible, lightweight (135g) yet durable (rugged polyester blend), folds up easily for storage when not in use, and has a USB rechargeable battery. It is also available in two sizes (S/M and L/XL), giving users the flexibility to wear as a belt or while wearing a backpack.

As more and more cyclists take to the roads, and visibility to motorists and other cyclists becomes more important, the LumaGlo Crossbelt is a definite must-have for anyone trying to keep the rubber side down.

Holiday Gift Guide: Four Pillars of Triathlon

by Khem Suthiwan


Written by Colorado triathlon coaches Will Murray and Craig Howie, The Four Pillars of Triathlon features 26 specific, step-by-step techniques for mental conditioning to enhance your triathlon performance and enjoyment.

The Four Pillars include Imagination, Motivation, Discipline, and Recovery. All important facets to create optimal emotional states on demand, end limiting behaviors, and enhance your ability to recover from workouts and setbacks. Basically training the one thing that is a neglected weapon in every athlete’s arsenal – their minds.

 

According to Murray and Howie, “Succeeding at and enjoying triathlon takes four things: the imagination to picture your desires. The motivation to pursue them. The discipline to stick to it. And recovery, to make the most of your training efforts.”

Now is a great time to start the New Year and new racing season with another valuable tool in your shed – The Four Pillars of Triathlon!

 

Available on Amazon here

Holiday Gift Guide: OTTOLock

by Khem Suthiwan

Cable locks, U-locks, chains. So many ways to lock up a bike and thieves always manage to figure out how to get through them…until now.

Weighing in at 120g, the OTTOLock is an amazing lightweight and strong lock to compliment your current “bike security system.” Their patent-pending multi-layered steel and Kevlar® band design will keep your ride secured and safe from potential bike thieves. It is cut-resistant, even from bolt cutters!

 

 

Setting up the combination was super easy, no problem with fitting in your jersey pocket or saddle bag, and available in three different sizes (18”, 30”, and 60”) for various uses outside of bike security (think kayaks, coolers, and anything else you want to lock up!).

 

The OTTOLock is definitely worth the investment, giving you peace of mind that your ride doesn’t end up in someone else’s hands.

Holiday Gift Guide: Footbeat, A New Way to Recover

by Alison Freeman

 

If you’re like most of us – getting older but convinced you can get faster and beat the pants off your younger self – then you know how important recovery is to your training. Meet Footbeat: a pair of moccasins that house an insole that houses a little engine-driven bubble, which compresses your arch which then increases circulation and therefore removes metabolic waste – including lactate, which is also known as: the reason your legs feel like crap. Tiny little engine, big freakin’ deal.

 

The best part about Footbeat is how darn convenient the moccasins are to use. Finish up a run or a bike, shower (optional), and pop those things on while you eat a recovery meal, answer emails, do a little work, or analyze the data file from your workout. Plus they’re easy to tuck into a backpack and bring on a plane or long road trips – keep your legs fresh while you’re sitting for hours, and ensure your legs are ready the next day for a major bike ride or the big race of the season.

Holiday Gift Guide: The Last Gym Bag You’ll Ever Buy

by 303 Ambassador, Erin Trail

 

 

First and foremost, this bag does it ALL. I’m a triathlete and often, I do two gym workouts a day (before and after work. Before I got the Orange Mud Modular Gym Bag I had to cart my gear around in a few bags to haul all of my wet, bulky gear (and my work clothes) around. Now that I’ve found the Modular Gym Bag, my gear hauling system has been simplified down to just this one bag.

 

 

The Modular Gym Bag features 2 zippered storage bags that Velcro to the inside of the bag for easy organization. I use one to store my make-up/lotion/hair stuff. The storage bag makes it so I don’t have to hunt for things – the REAL benefit is that the bag is super easy to remove and then put in my bathroom vanity drawer. This means I don’t need multiple sets of expensive facial care and makeup. The other bag is smaller and I use it to hold snacks and other odds and ends. I like to use the shoe compartment to store my swimsuits and shower necessities – it’s nice and water resistant so the rest of my gear doesn’t get wet. And the main compartment is generous enough to store my work clothes/shoes and another full change of clothes + shoes for my evening workout. You could even purchase additional storage bags to further organize your gear. There’s also 4 smaller pockets on the outside of the bag (2 on each side) which make for handy storage of snacks, gym access cards, keys, and other smaller items.

Orange Mud’s mission is to create the “most efficient, well crafted, and super strong gear”. The Modular Gym Bag is the physical manifestation of this mission. From using super tough ballistic-grade nylon as the bag material, the clever use of removable storage bags for easy organization, to having the shoe compartment convert into a changing mat, they really have made this the last gym bag you’ll need purchase.

Holiday Gift Guide: Ravemen CR900 Front Light and TR20 Rear Light

 

By Alison Freeman

One light – every possible scenario covered. Need a daytime running light for really, really long rides on country roads? Check. Need a super bright flood light for nighttime bike commuting? Check. Need to change the brightness of your light on the fly as the sun rises? CHECK! The CR900 Front Light by Ravemen has you covered for every biking option out there. Standard brightness modes range from 100 to 900 lumens, and you can get up to 24 hours worth of blinking in the “rapid flashing” mode. The provided mount easily attaches the light to your handlebars, the touch pad allows you to change the brightness mode and also displays remaining battery life, and if that weren’t enough already, there’s a provided remote control that you can mount near the hoods so you don’t even have to change hand position in order to change the light’s brightness. I mean, how’s that for convenient?

Pair the CR900 with the TR20 and you’ve got the perfect set of lights for your bike. The quick release clamp of the TR20 can be mounted to your seat tube … or your saddle bag, or your backpack, or the back of your helmet. With a battery life of up to 10 hours and a light designed for visibility from the back and the side, you’re sure to be noticed.

The SALT in your Sweat: The Nitty Gritty of Sodium Testing

By Dana Willett

As multi-sport athletes, we’ve pretty much all heard about the importance of salt – sodium – electrolytes – during endurance activities, especially in hot weather.

But how much? And what kind? And how often?

The go-to “test” most athletes are familiar with is a sweat rate test – weigh yourself before exercise, go hard for an hour, weigh yourself again, and do the math on how much fluid you lose (details below). Then load up with any of the many sports drinks out on the market, and try to consume close to the amount you normally sweat out.

BUT. So many different products. And they all affect our guts in different ways.

Salts and minerals that can conduct electrical impulses in the body. Common human electrolytes are sodium chloride, potassium, calcium, and sodium bicarbonate. Electrolytes control the fluid balance of the body and are important in muscle contraction, energy generation, and almost every major biochemical reaction in the body. –From Medical Dictionary

And, perhaps more importantly, the concentration of sodium in your sweat is as important to understand and utilize as your sweat rate.

My coach has recommended I use the current off season to tackle any testing and nutrition questions, so I have plenty of time over the winter and spring to integrate any changes and trial-and-error any new products. I’ve had year-over-year trouble with gut issues and muscle cramping, so salt intake is at the top of my list.

I checked in with resident expert Ryan Ignatz at Colorado Multisport, who agreed, saying, “Now is a good time to consider Sodium Composition Testing since people have more time and can start implementing their new knowledge with their bigger indoor workouts. Often we see people just drink water when they ride inside through the winter, which can actually create a bit of issue in their sodium balance after a few workouts.”

I booked an appointment at CMS for the sweat test and was surprised to learn no workout was involved. This test can be done any time, with no exercise-induced sweat necessary.

I sat comfortably in a chair, and Ryan applied a small disk to my forearm, secured with a strap.

The disk is equipped with a type of electrode that promotes a sweat reaction on the skin just below the disk.

The sweat is collected in a tiny coil of tubing inside another disk called a macroduct; once enough sweat has been collected, Ryan withdraws the fluid using a syringe and analyzes it with the Precision Hydration machine.

And just like that it’s confirmed – I am a salty sweater!

I’m in the “high” category, bordering on “very high.”

I need 1331mg of sodium for every liter of sweat that I lose.

Levels of sodium loss fall anywhere between 200mg or 2200 mg  – but the proportion each individual loses stays the same (except for hyponutremia, a condition caused by overhydrating with plain water – without sodium – and water diluting the blood stream). Thus, each athlete’s sodium concentration level is individual, similar to a blood type or VO2 max… it’s yours for life, and it does not change.

When I do a traditional sweat test (see below), I lose two pounds over an hour – so I basically need at least a full liter of fluid and 1200-1300mg of sodium for every hour of racing. Plus 200-300 calories an hour.

The immediacy, and accuracy of this data is quite reassuring, especially given my history.

During my last full Ironman, I suffered kidney trouble. I was using a well-respected endurance formula (“exclusive blend… all the electrolytes an endurance athlete needs… no need to supplement with salt tablets...”). I consumed 24 oz an hour, 240 calories, 334mg of sodium – not nearly enough sodium for me.

Unknowingly, hour after hour, I was about 1000mg shy of meeting my sodium needs, compounding every 60 minutes. Plus I supplemented with some extra water – which only further diluted my blood sodium level. No wonder mid-way through the day my kidneys weren’t working well, and after the event I experienced mild rhabdomyolysis .

The key is the sodium concentration in your sweat, and your sports drink.

Ryan reassures me, underlining the importance of ratios over quantity: “Its more about the concentration of sodium in the fluid you drink – it’s not only about how many milligrams per hour, because that varies depending upon different conditions, such as intensity, temperature, etc.; both your sodium concentration, and sweat rate are important. You need to drink to thirst, and make sure your drink contains the correct sodium concentration – that is what is important.”

Determining those formulas ahead of time is the key to solid hydration: Ryan says to look at packages, and really read the labels. “If Gatorade Endurance is on course, look at those sodium levels ahead of time and consider how much you’ll need.” Another thing to consider is everyday nutrition, and sodium intake during training sessions. “Athletes who train regularly and eat ‘clean’ tend to not add salt, and may not get enough in their everyday diet,” Ryan adds – another reason to dial in sodium levels to ensure training fluids are the proper concentration.

The next part of the sweat test included reviewing the leading products on the market, factoring the sodium levels, and taking into account past gut-checks, calories, delivery method (salt capsules, stick-licks, powders, etc.).

When you study the variety of offerings, you might be surprised. For example,  Endurolytes by Hammer – whose name indicates a product appropriate for endurance events (“Electrolyte replenishment done right“) – has only 40mg of sodium per capsule.

Do the math… for me, needing 1300mg of sodium per hour, I would need 32.5 capsules every hour. Thirty-two+ pills. Every hour.

There are different types of salt… Sodium Citrate is not as strong tasting… and Sodium chloride is table salt.

Ryan suggests drinking to thirst, and then separating your carbohydrates/calories from your fueling. He recommends dialing in your hydration: “Make sure everything that you drink has a certain concentration of electrolyte – that way, no matter what amount you drink, you always have the best ratio of sodium to fluid for your personal body chemistry. ”

Base salt… Boulder salt… Salt Stick… what’s the difference? “Mostly method of delivery,” Ryan says. “From a salt shaker kind of delivery, where you lick the dispenser, to capsules, under the tongue delivery (bypassing the stomach), to a canister with a scoop for mixing with fluid.” Other things to consider are packaging (key when you’re trying to ingest while in the aerobars or carrying on the run), and cost. Some offer better ability to measure intake-specific doses.

What if you find yourself on a course, you’re unsure of your sodium needs, and salt is being offered? Ryan says, if in doubt, take it. “Most of the time it’s probably a benefit because most people aren’t doing enough.”

“When we exercise, the number one job the body has is to cool itself – through sweat,” Ryan points out. “It will do that above just about anything else. Sodium concentration is key to this process.”

One final point from Ryan: “Drinking to schedule can work against you – drinking to thirst, with proper ratio of electrolyte to fluid, is the best practice.” And, “Always, always, check the math!”

Contact Colorado Multisport to book your Sodium Composition Test. The cost us normally $129 – mention this article and 303Triathlon for a 10% discount plus 10% back through December 31, 2017!

A certificate for the test can make a great gift for the triathlete in your life.

RELATED:

Tri Hearter: Science In Your Life?

 

Your standard sweat check procedure is:

  1. Check your weight before and after training, and calculate weight loss.
  2. Convert any weight loss to ounces or ml of fluid.
  3. Check/measure the amount of fluid consumed during training.
  4. Add the amount of fluid lost to the amount of fluid consumed to get total fluid losses.
  5. Divide the total amount of fluid lost by the number of hours of training to get fluid losses per hour.
Originally from Ironman