Category Archives: Gear

How to do a triathlon on a budget

Triathlon surely has to be the ultimate sport for gear junkies? Most sports provide an opportunity for you get gear obsessed and be sucked in by marketing pitches that guarantee to improve your sporting performance but triathlon trumps them all with 3 sports and lots of shiny gear. Which means doing triathlon on a budget can appear, from the outside, to be impossible as you look at the gleaming carbon on display in any transition area.

But it is possible with some sensible decisions and use of second hand sites like eBay so I thought I’d share my top tips for doing a triathlon on a budget.

Clothing

 I wore cycling shorts and a cycling top for both my triathlons, don’t assume you have to have a tri-suit, I did a half ironman like this and worked perfectly fine, just make sure you test out running in it of course. Also as recommended by Cathy Drewbies look out for last seasons kit that has been reduced, you can get some real bargains and let’s be honest this seasons colours aren’t going to make you faster no matter what the company tells you.

The swim

Thankfully not too much kit needed here; googles are cheap and most races provide a swim hat. For a wetsuit I thoroughly recommend taking a look at eBay, there are plenty of good suits on there that have had little use after people do one race and then lose motivation. I picked up my suit for less than £70 and it’s in near perfect condition and retails for almost £200.

Triathlon on a budget

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eGlove Sport review

I run at 6am 5 or 6 days a week all year around which means I spend at least 5 months of the year running in the dark and cold, it also means that 2 of my most essential bits of kit are a head torch and a pair of gloves. If you can see where you are going and keep your hands warm then you’re half way to enjoying a run no matter what the weather.

I’ve always used Petzl head torches and have a Tikka that has served me well for a few years now although I realised doing the Sleepwalker night race in November that there are some much brighter head torches out there and I shall be treating myself to an upgrade before the dark mornings begin again in the autumn.

Gloves are a much simpler bit of kit of course but they do need to fulfill 3 very important criteria and I’ve been putting the eGlove Sport running gloves to the test over the past few weeks to see how they fared when judged against them.

1 – Keep your hands warm – obvious I know but also the raison detre of a running glove. But unless you run in particularly mountainous conditions you also don’t want gloves that make your hands too warm. Having to choose between hot throbbing hands and bare numb ones is not good so the gloves need to be relatively thin and of course good at wicking the moisture away. The eGlove’s have performed well in this beautiful spring weather we’ve been experiencing, it’s made for some glorious sun rises but not so glorious temperatures. Keeping my hands warm in temperatures close to or below zero but not too hot.

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If I had one piece of advice

If I had one piece of advice it would be (as Baz Luhrmann says) wear sun cream. However if I could give a 2nd piece of advice it would most definitely be wear less clothes. When running that is, I’m not telling you to get the gold budgie smugglers out when you pop down to the shops. It’s crazy the amount of people I see out running and wearing far too many layers. If you’re new to running this could potentially be the reason you stop as you just get too hot whenever you go out.beautiful summers morning

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Perfect timing

This was post was going to be a review post about how amazing a trail shoe the Scott Kinabalu is. How it’s light and responsive and is great for long days on the trail. That was the post I had planned in my head until I took a look at them after yesterdays run and noticed a rather nice hole appearing in the side. Not quite what you expect for a months worth of use is it and worse it’s the 2nd pair to do that this year.

Scott Kinabalu with hole

Which is all rather disappointing considering I do actually really like them to run in and have had zero blisters or hot spots from the very first run. Maybe they’re just not up to muddy British trails? Before the Kinabalu’s I had 2 pairs of Scott Grip 2’s which lasted me all of last year with no issue. I only switched to the Kinabalu’s as I was planning on longer races and they seemed better suited. I also quite like wearing Scott’s as they’re a little unusual, something a bit different to the Salomon crowd. Shouldn’t matter what we wear or look like when running but sometimes it’s the little things that give you that confidence you need to take on a challenge isn’t it?

However this does leave me with an issue; I have a race on Saturday and currently no shoes to wear. I’ll of course be returning the Kinabalu’s to the shop and looking to get a refund but that doesn’t put shoes on my feet. I don’t really want another pair of Kinabalu’s but I know they fit and work, is it worth buying something new and risking them causing me problems? Answers on a postcard please.

Longer term I need to choose something new to wear, I’m very much a man of habit so once I find something that works I tend to stick with it. So while it’s always fun choosing new gear I’d prefer having more than a few days to make the decision. How am I going to read all the many internet reviews of each pair of shoes in that time?

If you have recommendations for trail shoes that are lightweight and will stand up to UK weather do send them over. For now I’ve just ordered a pair of Scott Fellraiser’s after asking on Twitter for recommendations, they seem to fit the mould of being lightweight and low to the ground which I’ve enjoyed with the Kinabalu’s to fingers crossed they fit ok and I can get a couple of runs in before Saturday.

Scotland coast to coast – 2 weeks to go

It’s now less than 2 weeks until the Scotland coast to coast, the panic is set in. I’m in that period where it’s too late to do much about any fitness worries but not close enough to say ‘fuck it, let’s do this’.

Checking kit listSo I’m doing what I always do in moments of stress, I’m writing lists and organising my gear. Because you know being organised is worth at least 2 weeks good training. It’s probably not a bad idea though as I have the added complication that we’re having 2 weeks holiday in Scotland at the same time so we need to pack and organise 2 babies and a dog as well.

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