March 20, 2022
It’s been a long winter… to say the least. But finally, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel! Tri season is right around the corner. Maybe you’ve been training hard to compete in your first-ever swim, bike, run event, or maybe this isn’t your first rodeo. Either way, you’re ready for some action!
Training is of course your number one priority, your body has to be in tip-top shape to even consider competing. But beyond all of your training efforts, what else do you need to prep for the season ahead? Checking on all of your gear and equipment is right up there at the top of the list, along with researching your upcoming events.
So what exactly should you be looking for in your equipment checks? How should you organize your gear for maximum efficiency? What questions should you ask about your race sites? If your brain is bursting with these questions and you’re slightly (or majorly) overwhelmed with the thought of finding answers, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading and we’ll share all of our secrets, from our very own Speed Hound athletes, on how you can make sure you’re organized and ready to go on race day.
Find the Right Fuel
Race day is NOT the time to try new foods. This is just an all-around no-no. Your body needs the next 30 days to get used to fueling for the big day, so start your meal plan now. Where are you going to get your calories from? Are you accounting for an increase in electrolytes?
Start answering these questions now. Then, adopt a routine and stick with it. Give your digestive system a chance to adjust. These things need time, so the more you give, the better. The right fuel for your body is something only you (and your trainer) can navigate.
There’s a significant amount of science that goes into your pre-race and race day nutrition, so don’t hesitate to reach out to other athletes and ask for help. If you’re not 100% sure of your nutrition game, it’s best to ask questions before it’s too late.
Make Sure Your Bike is Race Ready
This is another area where you might want to enlist the help of a professional. If at all possible, get your bike to a local bike shop for a good once (or twice) over. Surprises are great, but not when it comes to your bike and triathlons.
If your bike’s been in storage for the off-season while you’ve been using a trainer, this step is still important. A bike that hasn’t been used can still sustain wear and tear. But, on the other side of things, there are different kinds of issues that your bike can face if it’s been used regularly.
Regardless of how often your bike’s been used, it needs to be cleaned, lubed, and completely checked from handlebars to chains, the cassette, the tires… and everything in between. The whole shebang has to be race-day-ready.
Just Say No to Brand New Shoes
Race day isn’t the time to try new foods… OR new shoes. If you do need new shoes, give yourself a couple of weeks and plenty of workouts to break them in before the first race of the season. Your race shoes need several miles on them to ensure there’s no hot spots that will inevitably be a huge issue at the worst time… mid-race.
Even the slightest bit of discomfort from your shoes can blow up into a major issue, either during the race or even after. It’s also imperative to make sure you’re practicing and training in the exact shoes you’ll be wearing for the race, so make any adjustments before you train… we’re looking at you, speed laces!
Gather Your Gear
Before you can make your list and check it twice, do a little background check on your race location. If you’re going local, you won’t need to pack nearly as much, of course. But if you're traveling, especially to a region with a big climate difference, you’ll want to plan accordingly.
Check any race reviews from years’ past, and scan social media. Anything you can gather to keep in your back pocket will help you prepare… there’s really no such thing as over preparing, here. And don’t be shy! While you’re scrolling the social feeds, ask questions and leave comments. The race community is such a supportive one, everyone’s willing and ready to help one another get across that finish line.
Here are a few essentials that are often forgotten or neglected, so do yourself a favor and start inspecting these now:
- Goggles: you won’t want a brand new pair for race day, but they should be relatively fresh. Do a swim or two with these to ensure they’re a good fit, and if you can, test them out in an open water swim.
- Flat Tire Kit: things get used, lost, and sometimes just disappear. Especially when you’re focused on the finish line- so comb through your flat kit to make sure it’s all there. It’s entirely possible you used it last season, or lent it out to someone else, and don’t even remember.
- Transition mat: don’t forget to pack this baby! You’ll want to do a few practice runs with your mat, but then go ahead and give it a good wash (along with your race kit) so it’s fresh for race day.
The Wrap Up
These are just a few things that we at Team Speed Hound always do before our season begins. And, even a few times throughout the season. You and your trainer can nail down all the specifics, but in our attempt to help everyone crush tomorrow, we wanted to share some of the things we’ve learned along the way.
Want more race day tips and inspiration for the everyday athlete? Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!
March 08, 2022
March 08, 2022
Menlo Park, CA (March 7, 2022)- Earlier today, Speed Hound announced their collaboration with Dare2Tri, an organization focused on breaking down barriers to make fitness accessible for all, regardless of physical ability. “Our brand’s mission are well aligned and Speed Hound is beyond thrilled to be joining forces with Dare2Tri in the quest to equalize sports and fitness,” said Sam Chi, Founder and CEO of Speed Hound.
Although the official partnership is new, it’s been in the works since Sam met co-founder and director, Dan Tun, of Dare2Tri at the Clash Daytona event. The collaboration is a natural fit, with both Speed Hound and Dare2Tri sharing the vision to provide the resources for everyday athletes to cross the finish line and realize their fitness goals. Some Dare2Tri athletes have already been using Speed Hound’s FREEDOM bike travel case, it’s a perfect travel solution for handcycles.
Much of the mission behind Dare2Tri is founded within the community they’ve created as an adaptive sports organization. Dare2Tri hosts a variety of events, some directly fitness-related like clinics and camps, while others are geared toward strengthening bonds within the community, like the paralympic watch party. And this year, Speed Hound will be available for many of these events.
The partnership is supported by individuals like Robert Anthony, a Speed Hound and Dare2Tri athlete:
"Our community of multi-sport has changed my life, I am a Speed Hound Athlete & Dare2Tri Athlete. To know both of these amazing organizations are partnering to inspire and create a platform for others is exciting!”
With so many Dare2Tri athletes overcoming physical challenges, recovery is a big part of the events. Speed Hound will fund the recovery efforts by donating their Pro Performance Recovery Systems for Dare2Tri athletes to use on-site during their programs. Dare2Tri doesn’t just focus on programs for paratriathletes, they also host events like ambulatory run clinics and even adaptive sports clinics for children.
Dare2Tri does have several programs that are geared towards paratriathletes, just like their name says. These include multisports clinics, the Train2Race camp, and Learn2Tri camp. And we can’t leave out the Kids Tri camp! As you can see, Dare2Tri is zeroed in on adaptive sports and fitness for all, and Speed Hound is ready to join their efforts.
Speed Hound is a leading recovery brand that leveraged dynamic compression technology used in hospital settings and applied it to sports recovery. Its Pro Performance Recovery System is an advancement over prior systems by offering a wider range of adjustable settings such as pressure while striking the right balance with ease of use. With zone toggles that allows more targeted therapy, this recovery system can be tailored to each Dare2Tri athlete’s needs, leading to a more personalized and effective recovery experience.
In addition to financial and product support, Speed Hound will be lending a hand during events for athlete support and supplement fundraising efforts.
Dare2tri is an Illinois-based 501(c)3 non-for-profit organization with the mission to enhance the lives of individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments by building confidence, community, health and wellness through swimming, biking, and running.
Since its 2011 inception, Dare2tri has encouraged recreation, racing, and competition in this trifecta of sports, while also cultivating a sense of community for all athletes, who are not labeled by physical ability, but rather their determination and will to succeed.
Dare2tri empowers athletes of all ability levels from beginner to elite to be physically active, engaged with their community, and set and reach goals. We transform lives by boosting individuals’ self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth.
About Speed Hound
Founded in 2016 by Ironman triathlete and physical therapist Sam Chi, Speed Hound is a California based sports performance company with a mission to unleash the potential of everyday athletes by providing professional quality products at accessible price points. Over 100,000 customers trust the broad categories of the Speed Hound products which includes recovery products, performance apparel, swimming and cycling equipment.
The flagship recovery product is the Pro Performance Recovery System which accelerates muscle recovery through dynamic compression, in a package that is highly customizable and easy to use. This system is used by professional athletes, physical therapists, chiropractors, athletic trainers, coaches, teams, and of course, everyday athletes. Visit the Speed Hound website for more information and be part of our journey by following us on Instagram.
January 23, 2022
Living with muscles soreness, pain, and swelling might seem like it’s inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be. Sure, some of this pain is natural whether you’re recovering from surgery or even your training regimen. But pain doesn’t have to be permanent. In fact, there’s something out there that you can use right now to remedy these issues.
Ice baths, cryotherapy, stretching, massages… what haven’t you tried for recovery? The options are truly endless. And it seems like every day we’re learning a little more about the best recovery methods for those of us living the everyday athlete life. If you’re ready to get serious about your recovery, then dynamic compression, a.k.a intermittent pneumatic compression, is an option worth exploring.
Compression therapy via recovery boots and dynamic compression, is a way to maximize each moment of your recovery, using a specialized system to stimulate both superficial and deep veins in the lower extremities of your body. This increases blood flow and targets areas that otherwise don’t receive a lot of attention. Just 30 minutes of using intermittent pneumatic compression is equivalent to six hours of natural recovery.
Hoping to cut your recovery time in half after you’ve just completed another tri? Compression therapy can help. Living that work from home life, but not loving the side effects of sitting in a chair all day? Yep, a compression system will help boost your recovery, too.
If you’re interested in taking your recovery to the next level, and letting go of those aches and pains, then you’ve come to the right place. Stay tuned for all the details on using dynamic compression, whether or not it’s right for you, and how to integrate it into your life the right way.
What is Dynamic Compression Recovery?
Compression therapy using a pneumatic compression device (i.e. compression boots) is a fantastic recovery option that requires very little effort, but the impact is huge. Blood flow is not only important to your athletic performance, it’s literally what keeps us alive, right? The overall goal here is to get blood flowing back to the heart- while there are multiple ways of doing this, using a compression system is hands down the fastest.
Massage therapy as a means of speeding up recovery through boosting flow has been on the recovery radar for awhile, but we now know there’s something even faster and more efficient… enter dynamic compression recovery.
A compression system, usually worn on the body’s lower extremities, the blood vessels are constrained at just the right frequency to prevent any swelling while sending blood all over the body. Without compression recovery, the body is responsible for doing this all on its own, at its own pace, so using a recovery system to do this for you gives the blood vessels a little encouragement to get the job done faster, and more efficiently.
Gently compressing veins at a controlled rate also prevents them from expanding and contracting on their own, which over time makes the walls more thin, causing future blood flow issues.
Compression therapy has been around for some time, but until recently it’s been mostly in hospitals as a post-surgery means of recovery. Now there are recovery systems available for use in your own home, so you don’t have to be recovering from major surgery in order to reap the benefits.
Here’s just a quick breakdown of what exactly compression recovery can do for you:
- Reduce your pain level from muscle soreness and stiffness.
- Increase overall flexibility.
- Cut your recovery time in half… if not more! That means more time for the good stuff.
- Prevent lactic acid and metabolic waste from building up by promoting circulation- less toxins sitting in the blood is always a good thing.
Basically, you’ll notice a change for the better after adding a recovery system to your daily routine.
Compression Socks vs. Dynamic Compression
It’s worth noting here that there are multiple types of compression therapy out there, one of them being compression socks. This might be one of the most common methods of compression therapy, as it’s so widely available and easy to find.
While compression socks do add an extra level of support by encouraging blood flow, they don’t have the same benefits of compression boots, or a compression system.
Who Should Use Compression Systems
A compression system is really for anyone in need of recovery from something. Whether you’re a triathlete looking to get your body to bounce back after an event or you’re experiencing poor circulation from an illness, dynamic compression recovery can help.
Chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI, happens when the walls of veins become weak. This leads to all kinds of health issues, some of which are very visible (oh, hello, varicose veins) while others are harder to find until they’ve caused other issues. Decreased blood flow to any part of the body is incredibly dangerous, and not worth the risk.
Using a compression system helps prevent this sort of health issue before it becomes a problem. Being proactive with your health is always of the utmost importance.
At any time, 3-11% of adults are experiencing some sort of complication as a result of CVI- sometimes it’s in the form of skin discoloration, other times it’s swelling. But most of the time, these issues are the result of a more superficial CVI issue, not one that’s buried deep in the veins. Therefore using compression therapy is a great remedy, or preventative tactic, for keeping these issues from arising.
Here are just a few folks that might benefit from dynamic compression recovery systems:
By slipping on a specialized boot that targets the legs or hips, a compression system is able to slowly inflate and deflate, encouraging blood flow, and sending anyone wearing it down the path to a faster recovery. Using an external compression system can also help reduce future injuries through increased flexibility and circulation.
How to Integrate Compression Therapy Into Your Recovery Routine
Once you’ve discussed compression therapy with your doctor and decided it’s the right option for you, then you’re ready to get started. Compression therapy is a relatively easy way to recover, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and let your recovery system do the work.
Choose a Pneumatic Compression System
This is the device that will be responsible for all of the work, so choose wisely. While these are a pricey investment upfront, they’re well worth it. The second your blood flow regulates and you reap the benefits, you’ll be happy with your purchase!
Here’s what you should look for in a recovery system:
- Correct sizing: make sure the system you choose comes in sizes that will fit you properly. There’s no one size fits all here. Proper width is extremely important in order to achieve the proper compression. There has to be enough space for the air pockets in the garment to fully inflate, enabling full compression.
- Adjustable settings: the device should have multiple settings, so you can adjust accordingly. You have to be able to adjust the pressure according to the day, your activity, and which muscles are needing attention.
Why the Speed Hound Pro Performance Recovery System is a Great Option
Not all compression therapy devices are created equal, which is exactly why we considered each and every element listed above when coming up with the design for our Pro Performance Recovery System.
We consulted with experts, asked the pros, and considered what you, our everyday athlete, wants and needs from a recovery system. Then we came up with a design that’s inspired by the best compression systems on the market, only better. We weren’t going to settle for a product that did the job, we wanted our recovery system to stand out in the crowd, rise above the trends, and just be all around better. We did our research, and created a highly adjustable, quality system that functions with complexity and accuracy, with a simple, easy to use interface. The system itself should be the only thing doing all the thinking. You already put in enough work, your job from here should be to sit back and recover.
So let’s cut to the chase. We know our recovery system is a fantastic option for anyone interested in a faster road to recovery, from a health perspective as well as an improved athletic performance perspective.
But how do you know it’s worth it for you? Don’t worry, we made a list of all the reasons:
- The boots for our recovery system are offered in multiple sizes- two different lengths and three different widths . Tall, short, wide, or thin, one of these is the best fit for you. Not only are we available to chat and help you navigate your way to a proper fit, we’ll also be happy to exchange your boots for another size, if you find they don’t fit just right.
- Our recovery system has settings that allow you to customize your compression. We feel that it’s important for you to be able to adjust the settings according to your goals for each session, from various speeds to even targeting certain areas of the lower body. The settings can be adjusted for warm-up or recovery, and it’s 100% dependent on what your body is telling you.
- Quality material… check. When we created our system, we considered the fact that not everyone has time to isolate in a room while they recover… i.e. accidents happen. Which is exactly why we used lightweight materials that are super easy to clean, but also materials that are in it for the long haul.
- The Pro Performance Recovery System is FDA approved, after rigorous testing for safety, efficacy, and quality. We approached this testing from every angle to ensure we’re putting out a product that we use ourselves, and we’re proud to share with others.
- We actually care about your recovery, and want to see you love our system. We’re a small company that’s built around people like you. We’re here to help ensure that your hard earned money is well spent, and that you’re satisfied with your purchase. So sure that we’ve slapped a 45 day return policy on this system, without adding a beefy restocking fee that other companies charge.
- Each of our recovery systems comes with a 2 year, IRONCLAD protection policy. See? We really do want this to work for you!
So now you have a pretty good idea of what exactly dynamic compression is, and whether or not it’s right for you (hint, hint, it is). If you’re ready to order, you can check out our Pro Performance Recovery System right here.
If you have additional questions, or you’re still on the fence about committing to a compression system, we’re here to chat. We’re just a few clicks or a phone call away, ready to share all we know with you!
December 30, 2021
Whether you’re traveling for a big race or just excited to explore some new terrain, bringing your bike is a must. Unfortunately, air travel is a little more (fine, a lot more) complicated than strapping your bike into the rack on your car just before you hit the road. Bringing your bike on an airplane requires much more planning on the logistics front, as well as the financial front.
Do all airlines allow bikes? How much will this adventure cost? How do I keep my bike safe on the airplane? These are all some basic considerations to keep in mind when you’re planning your trip. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other things to know… before you go.
But there’s good news ahead! Through our own experience and research, we’ve compiled a complete guide of how to take your bike on an airplane. Up next, we’ll share all the details, so you can avoid any surprises along the way while successfully getting your bike from point A to point B.
Which Airlines are Bike Friendly?
First and foremost, what airlines even allow bikes? While many airlines claim bikes fly free, or that they’re a “bike friendly airline,” there’s often some hidden messages to decode.
For example, there are airlines that say you can check your bike as long as it fits within their size restrictions, but unless your bike is child-sized, or you’re fine taking it completely apart to get it to fit into a suitcase, then checking your bike isn’t an option.
Instead of doing a deep dive into each airline to:
- Determine whether or not bike travel is even an option,
- Figure out how you’re going to get your bike on the plane, and,
- Plan for how much this is going to set you back…
… we’ve put in the legwork to make a list for you. And, what you need to know with bike travel in each airline.
Southwest is a solid option for air travel with your bike, simply for the fact that they make it easy. Southwest will allow you to bring your bag, as long as it’s packed in a hard sided case. However, the bike bag is in place of one of your two luggage items. So you’ll have to pay for any additional checked bags. And, if you’re using a soft-sided case, you’re accepting Southwest’s limited release terms.
As long as your bike doesn’t weigh more than 50 lbs, it’s treated like a checked bag. And, even better, there are no extra fees. You’re simply paying the traditional baggage fees, which is just $30-$40.
Once upon a time, Delta charged upwards of $150 for cyclists to bring their bikes on their aircrafts. Thankfully, Delta recently revamped their bike policies, so air travel is much easier. Similar to AA’s bike policies, Delta charges a $30-$40 fee for bikes, as long as they’re packed in a hard-sided case.
For bikes in soft-sided cases, a limited release form is assessed, so they’re not responsible for any damages.
If your bike is packed properly and fits the standard weight limit (50 lbs. or less), it’s considered just regular baggage. You’ll still have to pay $25-$35 for the checked bag fee, but that’s not too bad. However, if your bike goes over the weight limit, or it’s bigger than 62 linear inches, you’ll be charged a pretty hefty oversized baggage fee. If it’s overweight, then you can expect to pay $100, but if it’s oversized, you’ll have to shell out $200! Insert scared face emoji here.
These are our top three choices for bike-friendly airlines. Each of these airlines is easy to access, as they fly into most airports. These three airlines also make it easy to bring your bike, as long as you follow the rules.
In addition to the airline specific regulations listed above, these are a few other things to keep in mind that apply to all three airlines:
- Bikes weighing over the specific weight limits will be charged a fee for overweight baggage.
- All bike carrying bags must still fit within the specified range of length and width restrictions. Be sure to measure before you bring your bike to make sure it fits.
- Read the fine print. As of now, the above information is accurate, but airlines are notorious for sneaking additional fees into airfare, so it’s always wise to double check.
- Each airline has a specific way to pack your bike, but all require pedals to be removed. Some require handlebars facing a certain way, while others just ask that they’re taken off. Check the specific airline you’re flying to make sure you’re following their rules.
For a quick overview of what you can expect when traveling with your bike on each of these airlines, check out this table:
Other Helpful Hints
The bottom line here is that no matter what airline you’re flying, you’re at their mercy to safely get your bike to your destination. And let’s be honest, what’s more disappointing than booking a trip to explore Moab, or finally realizing your dream of competing in the Malibu Triathlon… only to have your bike get left behind? So once you land on an airline choice, pay close attention to their details.
How to Pack Your Bike for Air Travel
Your ultimate end game here is to get your bike to your final destination, all in one piece. Well, not all in one piece per se, since you’ll be breaking it down into a few pieces before you go. But you get the drift here. You don’t want to leave too much up to the airline, and if you’ve ever seen luggage being tossed into the cargo hold, then you know exactly why it’s important to pack your bag carefully.
Choose Your Bag
While it would be really nice to just roll your bike right down the jet ramp and onto the airplane, clearly that’s just not the case. What you need is a storage bag that protects your bike while en route to your destination. And, a bag that’s already anticipated any potential disasters and prevents them before they even happen.
Here are a few things to consider in choosing the best bag for travel with your bike:
- How easy is it to navigate a busy airport with your bag in tow?
- Does the bag meet guidelines for the airlines you use frequently, or plan to use frequently?
- Is there a separate compartment for the bike chain, to prevent a potentially messy situation when you unpack your bike?
- What kind of bike can you fit in the bike travel bag?
- How sturdy is the material used to make the bag? Again… careful isn’t the main priority for baggage handlers when they’re responsible for getting thousands of pounds of luggage on the plane within a short amount of time.
- Is the bag easy to store when it’s not in use?
Our FREEDOM Bike Travel Bag considers all of the above, and more. Here are a few key features that make this bike travel bag one to the top choices, and best options for your travels:
- When your bike is securely packed in this bag, the dimensions read 53" x 31" x 15,” so it fits right in with most airline restrictions.
- The FREEDOM bag is fabricated with incredibly durable ripstop nylon. And, there’s a zipper closure to keep everything safely tucked away inside the bag during travel.
- This bag is made for mountain bikes and triathlon bikes.
- Everything has a home in this case. There are compartments galore! When you pack your bike, you’ll know exactly where you put everything, making unpacking and assembling a much easier task.
Prep Your Bike
Again, it’s really important that you pay attention to the specs required for the airline your traveling. But, for each of the airlines we’ve mentioned here, you’ll at least need to follow these steps:
- Remove the handlebars, wheels, saddle and pedals.
- Let just a little bit of air out of the tires. There’s a significant change in pressure with air travel, so this is a necessary precaution to help avoid tire damage.
- Carefully wrap parts with bubble wrap. Use tape to secure the ends.
- Label each piece. You’ll know what they are, but this will just help streamline your assembly process later.
- Make sure to keep all necessary tools and screws/bolts with your bike when you’re breaking it down.
Pack It Up
If you’re using our FREEDOM bag, this part is easy peasy! Just put each of the parts in it’s designated home. Include tools and screws/bolts. Again, keeping the chain separate is essential, so you don’t unpack your bike to find everything covered in grease. Yuck!
Label the Bag
Make sure you have an identification tag that’s easily visible on your bike bag. While we all like to think it’s impossible to lose a piece of luggage like a bike, this is one of those better to be safe than sorry situations.
Also, many bags, like our FREEDOM bag, make it known that there’s a bike inside. Other bags do not, so it’s important to label the outside of the bag, to make it easier on those that check the bags, and load them onto the aircraft.
Tips and Tricks for Air Travel with Your Bike
We’ve done this song and dance a time or two, and learned lots of things along the way. So, instead of learning from your own mistakes, we’ll do you a favor and share all the mistakes we’ve made, so you don’t have to learn the hard way!
Here are just a few things that will make your life a little easier when traveling with your bike, from packing to unpacking, and everything in between:
- Before you remove the seat, use a piece of tape to mark the height.
- Remember how they remind you a million times that objects may shift during flight? Take that to heart while packing your bike, and leave as little room for movement as humanly possible. The less wiggle and jiggle inside the bag, the better.
- Keep the tools with the bike, just safely wrapped. Do not, again, do not, put the tools in your carry-on bag. They’ll get taken away at security. Just don’t do it.
- Measure and weigh several times just to make sure your bike really fits the airlines restrictions, no questions asked.
- Even though your bag might have wheels, there are going to be some points along your journey that you have to hoist your bag into place. Be mindful while packing, so you don’t make your bag too heavy.
And there you have it! The ins and outs of air travel with a bike. Not just any bike, your bike. So therefore, it’s important that you get it to your final destination without issue. Luckily, if you follow our guide above, that shouldn’t be a problem.
If you’re planning an upcoming trip and hoping to take your bike on the airplane with you, then a bike bag is a must. Consider our FREEDOM bag to keep your bike safe and secure during travel. Safe travels!
November 26, 2021
Speed Hound ProPerformance Recovery System
The Speed Hound recovery system is the best way to recover between workouts and races. We are currently having our Black Friday Cyber Monday deal, you can purchase the system at this link: Speed Hound ProPerformance Recovery System. Don’t miss out on the lowest price of the year on the Speed Hound recovery system!
Most cyclists know about Strava. If it isn’t on strava, it didn’t happen. Strava is a training tool to help you analyze your post ride data, speed, cadence, power, elevation, and more. Strava is also a social media platform for athletes(Triathletes, cyclists, runners, swimmers, and more). One very popular feature that Strava has is segments. Riders can create segments where you can compete to have the KOM of the segment. You can use strava to track your rides, runs, walks, and more. Strava subscription sign up. Strava also offers a free version that does not have all of the fancy data, but works for most athletes.
Helmets are an essential part of cycling, and can also look pretty cool. Some of the highest end helmets can sense if you crash, and can send notifications to family members. One helmet that is well rated is the Lazer Blade helmet with MIPS. The helmet is currently on sale at Competitive cyclist.
Bike computers are very popular devices among cyclists. Some use it for navigation, some use it to track their rides, and some use it for training. Bike computers can cost around $50-600 depending on which one you get. Most bike computers can upload data to strava and other apps like training peaks. Some very popular bike computers are the Garmin Edge 130 plus(Lower end, but still have tons of features - $200), Garmin edge 530(Mid range - $300), Wahoo Elemnt Bolt(Mid range - $300), Garmin edge 830(High end with touchscreen - $400). Many riders want to know which is better, the Garmin edge 530, or the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. There is no clear answer, it all depends on what you want, features or simplicity/ease of use.
Bike lights are a must have for cyclists, the world is a dangerous place… Bike lights can be anywhere from $20-200. Higher end lights are often smart lights, some can sense when you are stopped based on your data from a bike computer, others can sense whether there are cars behind you, and can notify you via your bike computer or phone. One of the highest end bike lights is the Garmin Varia. The Garmin Varia can pair to your compatible bike computer, and will show a small road with the cars that are approaching. One light for riders who just want a light that will get the job done is the Cygolite Hypershot 250. This light is very bright and has great battery life. I highly recommend looking into this light.
Power MeterPower meters are a very popular investment for serious riders/racers, and amongst recreational riders. Power meters cost around $300-1200+, so it is a pretty big investment. Keep in mind that there are only a few apps that can pair to power meters. The easiest way to use a power meter is with a compatible watch or bike computer. Some of the best power meter pedals are the Favero Assiomas. One of the best crank based power meters are the Stages power meters. These are currently on sale for up to 30% off. The single sided crank costs around $200-300. Head over to the stages site to shop the sale.
August 10, 2020
- 2 eggs (I strongly recommend pasture raised)
- A handful of power greens (or spinach/kale etc.)
- 1 slice Canadian bacon diced
- 1 tablespoon of diced sun dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons black beans
- Sesame Bagel seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 flour tortillas
- Prepared guacamole
Preheat the pan to medium-low heat and add in the olive oil right before you are ready to cook. Briefly heat the oil up and then add in the greens, Canadian bacon, black beans, and sundried tomatoes. Stir it around occasionally to cook evenly. While you are doing this, crack two eggs in a small bowl and mix them up.
Once the greens are wilted enough, add in the eggs. Then, season with the bagel seasoning (or salt and pepper whatever you choose to use). Mix everything around until it is cooked evenly and thoroughly all over.
Remove from heat. Heat up the flour tortillas for about 20 seconds in the microwave. Spoon a tablespoon or so over guacamole in the middle of the each of the tortillas. Split the egg mixture and spoon it into each of the tortillas.
You’ve now got an unbelievably healthy and well balanced lunch. This is my favorite after an intense or long workout. Filling, healthy, and delicious!
May 19, 2020
So you've slipped on a set of Normatec Recovery Boots at race expos and seen ads with pro athletes using them, and probably asked yourself "I wonder what that device can do for me." Well, this May, we are partnering with Scotty Banks, the regional trainer for Orange Theory Fitness in Indiana, to see what the Speed Hound Recovery System can do for him. Scotty and a group of his friends will be putting their bodies, their minds, and the Speed Hound ProPerformance Recovery System to the test by tackling David Goggins' 4x4x48 challenge to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. On May 20th starting at 8pm EST, they will run 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours, totaling 48 miles. In between these runs, the team will be using the Speed Hound ProPerformance Recovery System to help recharge their body in prep for the next 4 mile challenge and taking them to the finish line. This extreme use case for our recovery system will really test the merits of our compression therapy system.
Here's Scotty's Why:
"About a year ago at Orangetheory in Carmel, Indiana, Derek Jones pulled me aside and told me that he had been diagnosed with Stage IV, follicular non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He wanted to thank me for getting him physically and mentally in the best shape of his life, so he could beat cancer’s a$$. It honestly wrecked me. As he was telling me, I was looking at his three beautiful children and wife in the lobby. An immunotherapy drug known as “Rituxan”, originally funded by LLS, currently has Derek’s cancer in remission. However, the battle isn’t over. Derek’s cancer is chronic and will likely return. Rituxan has bought him more time, but the cure is yet to be identified. It may be the dollars you donate that saves Derek’s life or one of millions of others who are forced to step into this fight. As a candidate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Man & Woman of the Year campaign (MWOY), I am raising funds in honor of Derek."
Derek Jones and his family
With this effort, Scotty is looking to raise $48,000 for LLS and patients who suffer from these diseases. Please support him by making tax deductible donations by clicking here.
You can follow Scotty and his journey on Instagram @scotty_banks.
April 01, 2020
STAYING FOCUSED AND MOVING FORWARD DURING UNCERTAIN TIMESBy Elliot Bach
Many uncertainties are present right now amid COVID-19, and many people, athletes just like you, are wondering how to stay motivated and focused during this time. With more races being cancelled or postponed daily, it may seem like there is no reason to stay motivated. While this is a difficult time for many, there are many things that can be done to stay focused. Just because races are getting cancelled or postponed, it does not mean we have to completely forget about goals and why we do what we do. First, it is good to remember that normalcy will return eventually, and that this is a great time to work on some weakness that may be pushed aside during regular training. It is also a great time to remember the value of having an accountability partner. Staying positive, being adaptable, and looking for alternatives, can help us come out on the other side stronger than ever.
The best thing you can do during this time is to work on weaknesses that may have gotten pushed aside during regular season and training. For many, diet is one of those things. How are you doing with this? Is it something with which you continually struggle or find that you lack time to prepare proper meals? This time could be used to learn more about nutrition and how to prepare new things to insure that you are getting the proper nutrients you need as an athlete, so that when you are back to racing you perform even better. In my coaching experience I notice that many athletes get the swim, bike, and run right but easily forgo proper nutrition. Another area may be stretching/injury prevention exercises. This can be a great time to pull up a you-tube video for a new routine, or ask your coach (if you have one) for one that you can follow.
In fact, having a coach or an accountability partner is a great and sometimes essential thing to staying focused and motivated! One of the hardest things when isolated is self-motivation and self-discipline. Accountability keeps one another going, and helps when adjusting training as necessary, such as needing a swimming partner in a lake, as alternatives take the place of regular routines.
While you may not have access to a normal gym or a pool, there are always alternatives and other exercises you can do instead. Besides a lake option, you can use swim cords at home and do short, abbreviated workouts. While these are not as optimal as a lap pool, they are a great way to maintain fitness and to keep from falling behind when pools are re-opened. Maybe you need to adapt your strength training program while your gym is closed. There are several different body weight programs that can be done at home to ensure you keep up a level of strength training. I encourage my athletes to stop what they are doing several times a day and do some sit-ups or push-ups. Instead of becoming stale and stagnant at home, you can add strength exercises, stretches, and other little exercises throughout the day. If you are working from home, try standing at your desk for a few hours instead of sitting, or grab a stability ball instead of your regular chair.
Thinking outside of the box is huge and can be a game changer for you. Despite an imperfect training scenario, this time of being home could actually produce stronger athletes when we are back to normal again. It is possible to use this time to come out of it stronger than ever!
March 01, 2020
How to PR (Personal Record) Your Bike Split
By Elliot Bach
With there being so many ways to improve in cycling, and tips from soo many sources, one of the biggest and most common ones I have experienced in my coaching experience and being involved with the sport is how to improve or PR (known as personal record) one's bike split. While there are several different things to do or change, I will cover some of the top things I feel will have a great affect on your bike split.
+ Proper Bike Fit/The Right Bike
One of the first and in my opinion one of the most important things for any athlete trying to improve their bike performance is to have a professional bike fit done before purchasing a new bike. As an athlete, you want to make sure you are on the right size bike and that the fit is done by a professional. Massive gains can be made from insuring that you are on the correct bike for you. If you already have a bike and want to stay on it, I would suggest you take it in as the variables that can affect your bike fit are quite long. Some of the major ones are flexibility, stem length, crank length, how low your bars are, etc. Sometimes the most aggressive fit is not always the fastest for the individual. Taking the time and money to go see your bike fit specialists will reap huge benefits to your bike PR and overall performance.
+ Base Miles - No wasted bike miles always ride with a purpose
Another excellent one in my opinion is the goal of riding with a purpose - not having useless miles or junk miles as I like to refer to them as. Every time you ride, there can be a purpose and point to the session. One example would be an easy/recovery ride. While ideally you will keep this low stress and lower HR typically, on this ride you can work on proper pedaling dynamics, good posture, and practice working on some higher and lower cadence. Another good one is to use a ride as a time to work on your handling, try riding down a bike path or through neighborhoods that require you to work on different bar handling positions. The before mentioned mixed with long endurance rides will translate to overall better bike experience and handling and in turn help you ride faster on race day or in you harder sessions.
+ Interval Training
Interval training is probably the most painful to do but reaps some of the biggest returns. Doing intervals is great for several things, and they do not have to always be super long or short - you need a good mix of both at the right time during your training cycles to see improvements. Some of the things that benefit and increase from intervals is your V02 max, which deals with the amount of oxygen your body will absorb. When you work on intervals and do bike efforts at close to max heart rates and power, these train and condition your body. Overtime your heart rate and RPE (rate of perceived exertion) is going to come down as you condition your body to doing the harder efforts. You want to train your body to know what that harder efforts feel like so that on race day when you compete, you're more prepared and conditioned for it.
+ Race wheels
Of all the ways to PR your bike split, if you do all of those right and then invest in a great set of carbon race wheels, you are almost guaranteed to PR your next bike race or triathlon. There are so many different types of race wheels out there and I will explain a few different types and what you would use them for. If you are racing somewhere where it is primarily flat and not tons of wind running, a Carbon disk wheel in the rear and a 80m wheel on the front is going to be your fastest set up just about every time. If you were to race somewhere a little hillier or more technical such as in California, using wheels that are closer to a 60m for front and back is going to handle a little better sometimes. When racing on a course that requires you to climb the little less depth will help with climbing and being a little lighter. Race wheels are a way of buying speed in a way, while I still highly suggest you work on all the other forms of faster PR, these are, in a way, the icing on the top and they make all the hard work all the more worth it!
February 12, 2020
February 07, 2020
When I show up to event day, I like to keep things as simple as possible (it’s all relative, I am a triathlete after all). I think when it comes to the equipment you choose, the #1 most important thing is that it has been tested extensively prior to race day. Because I am a total tri gear nerd, I thought this would be a great way to give some insight into what’s essential for your best performance, and maybe you can take away something useful to benefit your race day experience.
Always two pairs of goggles (one clear and one mirrored)
You can never be too sure how bright or cloudy it might be at your given start time. I use the Speed Hound Alcatraz goggles. (Link here) They have plenty of peripheral vision for sighting in open water and I can put them on out of the box with NO leakage. BIG win.
This is going to be a lot of personal preference. Typically some of the higher end suits have a lot of fancy panels and hydrodynamic components, but the biggest difference is in the flexibility. In general, wetsuits can take some time breaking in, so it’s always a good idea to get in the water with it as much as possible before race day. I highly recommend checking out your local tri shop or events where brands have demo opportunities.
An aero helmet does look pretty dorky on almost everyone, but it does help when it comes to performance. Keep in mind the fit, because at the end of the day, it does need to protect your noggin. There are plenty of links to aero testing data these days to make some fairly informed decisions. slowtwitch.com has a lot of great information from both users and published contributors.
I prefer a tri-specific shoe which has closure systems that allow for a quick on-and-off transition. For longer races, a road shoe may be a better option for some in terms of comfort and lockdown feel on foot when transition times aren’t a huge deal.
I always pack my Speed Hound hat or visor. (Link here) It provides cover from the sun which is super important in hot races and keeps the sweat off my eyes and face.
Definitely my favorite piece of gear to geek out on, I have gone back and forth between very cushioned racers to lighter, more responsive type flats. Ultimately, fitness is going to get you to the line in your best time, but there is certainly data out there to support some of the new carbon fiber plate technology. More to come on that in this space…
Hopefully this gives you some ideas on not just the equipment we use, but why we use it and how to go about investing in it. This is a great sport, and it should be fun and not overly stressful or out-of-reach financially. I highly recommend checking out the triathlon race day checklist provided by Training Peaks on their site. (Link here) I use that one literally every time I pack my bags for a race weekend. Best of luck and happy training!