SaltStick Review

With all the nutritional products on the market, we as triathletes are often left confused with what we really need. Between balancing carbohydrate consumption, calorie counting and protein intake, it’s easy to see why sodium can be an tricky monster. Not enough and you’re cramping, too much and you can easily end up in the medical tent.

Let’s look at when you really need additional salt and why SaltStick is clearly genious. Any time you’re racing or training longer than an hour you’re sending your body into some kind of (larger or smaller, depending) salt depletion. Longer than three hours, you’re at a definite depletion. So what’s in a SaltStick Capsule? Isn’t it just table salt? NO. Per Salt Stick’s webpage, it’s the combination of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride which all aide in assisting with crucial roles in muscle contraction, relaxation, and performance. Without them, our muscle function will be inhibited to function properly. So how much salt are you actually losing? A whopping 400-1,000 mg per hour (heat, humidity and body size considering). Salt Stick notes to take 1 capsule every 30-60 minutes. This is very dependent upon how much you sweat. If you find a white residue that seems to be dried on a lot on your training clothing you’re most likely a heavier sweater. Training in harsher weather conditions will most times often warrant needing a higher salt and sodium intake particularly due to heat stress.

I myself was having a very difficult time with fatigue and nausea, and found out I was a heavy sweater and was losing large amounts of salt during my long rides. Once you get up to the half ironman and full distance, SaltSticks are going to become a staple in your nutrition. Please be sure to follow all of their advice with consumption.

Nutrition Facts

De Soto Carrera Tri Short

Other than the obvious of the aesthetics of triathlon apparel, it all ends up coming down to how comfortable we are. Females in particular tend to be far more concerned with this, and when talking about a tri short, the Carrera Tri Short tends to be the favorite. Maybe I’m a little bit partial to the short, seeing as how it’s the only short I demand to wear for racing and training (even for the Ironman), but when it comes to the fit, it’s designed like no other short.

The primary feature of the short that separates itself is the wide-banded waist, which can either fit as low rise or right above the hip, depending on which model you choose. What makes this so important? The last thing you want with your triathlon short is for the waist band to be leaving awfully pretty indents in your stomach that dig into your waist. This isn’t an issue with the Carrera. The band is soft and wide enough to sit comfortably around your hips.

The actual fabric of the short (Carrera™ Skin ) is made up of a nylon/spandex make-up which is breathable, moisture-wicking, and lightweight. There aren’t any surprise seams that you’ll find in the short 30 or 40 miles into your ride, either. The pad (although thin) is seamless, and makes for a comfortable run when off the bike. The shorts come in various shades and lengths (inseams varying from about 5” to 8”). The Carrera is feminine, comfortable, and affordable…and to reiterate, my personal favorite.

Orca S3 Wetsuit Review

Out of any entry-level wetsuit that I help fit customers into in our shop, the Orca S3 tends to be the top choice. With the price alone drawing customers in at a low $198, the fit of the suit becomes a larger deciding factor. Many suits out there on the market come with a “performance-type fit”. Ask any woman (or man for that matter) that don’t seem to fall into one of the charted categories, or with a simply curvier figure, and they’ll tell you that most suits just don’t fit right. Orca, however, tends to fit varying body types.

Beginners, or those newly stepping into the neoprene as a swimmer, will benefit from the quality of materials found in the S3, of which often only found in mid-range wetsuits. The suit features 5mm in the core which aids in additional buoyancy as well as balance. It’s also designed with a 2mm Quadrastretch shoulder panel as well as 2mm QuadraFlex underarm panel help to aid in maximizing your range of motion while leaving your upper body feeling not too constrained (which tends to be a much heard complaint from triathletes).

Additional reasons this suit is a top seller:

• Full Smoothskin neoprene coverage across shoulders
• Excellent levels of buoyancy, flexibility and thermal protection
• [Lining] [Rest of body] Powerstretch
• Hydrolift Body Panel
• Hydrostroke Forearm Panels (Increases power in catch phase of stroke)
• Speed Transition Panels
• Flexiseal Neck (Tight enough to keep water out and not feel suffocating)

If you’re new to triathlon wetsuit world, and looking at your options, this is a suit that’s certainly worth another look. Price, fit, and flexibility. All three things that triathletes are concerned with. The Orca S3 boasts all three, and at first glance, would never appear in a class of entry-level.

Fuel Belt R2O Revenge Hydration Belt Review

Fuel Belt has become more innovative with their newly designed hydration belt. With new features taking after the Helium Belt, the R20 Revenge offers molded holsters to take your bottles in and out of with ease with one hand. As compared to the elastic-band holsters of the alternative, this new design is going to make our lives as a triathlete much easier. Nothing’s more irritating than your nutrition not being easily accessible, and these easy-to-grab holsters will take that problem away. These belts are key when you’re putting in the long miles out there on the run and need the hydration. The belt also comes with a convenient pouch to hold your gels and nutrition (about 4 gels to be exact). This belt is a one-size fits all, so not to worry on guessing which belt size you are. The Revenge also conveniently comes in a multitude of electric colors to match all of your swag. The belt is a necessary addition to your plethora of training accessories.

Triathlon Short vs Bike Short

“What’s the difference between a tri short and a bike short?” Working for a triathlon company, I get asked this question more often than not. Three distinct items differentiate a tri and bike short: function, make-up (how the short is designed), and price.

Function: Whether or not you’re really going to need that diaper of a pad….

Bike shorts often come with the notion of having a “diaper-like” pad. This is based upon the fact that the padding (chamois) in a bike short is much thicker as well as covers a wider surface area of the short (the pad reaches higher in the front, as well as the back for more cushion support). So why would you need a thicker pad as a triathlete? Simple. If you plan on logging in some serious miles (let’s say beyond 20 or 30 mile rides) a thicker pad will eventually become a necessity. However, a biking short is just that: made for biking. A short with such a cushion would not be functional to bike and swim in.  Thus, is designed for longer training rides.

Make-up: Different design features of a tri and bike short

As previously mentioned, there’s the distinct difference of a thinner chamois in a cycling short but what else separates the two? A tri short tends to be shorter in length (a good 2-3 inches depending). Tri shorts generally range around 6” to 10”. A tri short is also designed to wick moisture, meaning they’re going to keep much drier and won’t absorb nearly as much water as a bike short. The actual shape of the chamois is designed with running in mind. Its shape moves with you while running, and doesn’t span quite as wide. The cushioning is slight, and light enough to become unnoticeable while out on the run.

Pricing: Cost differences

On average, you’re going to be looking at a slightly steeper cost for a cycling short. More material and a thicker padding usually translates to a little bit more of a cost. So when should you spend the extra cash? When a thicker chamois and longer short can’t be compromised. For the most part, you’re probably going to want to stick to tri shorts for race day, but on longer training days, it’s not worth the saddle pains.

If you’re looking for a best seller as far as cycling short for comfort reasons, check out the De Soto 400 Mile Bike Short.

Need an all around great tri short? Check out the 2XU Comp Tri Short. Get both shorts at OneTri.com

Happy Training.

TYR Cat 5 Hurricane Wetsuit Review

TYR has arguably put themselves in a class of their own with the Cat 5 Hurricane Wetsuit. The technology and science behind this suit is simply genius. Let’s begin with what I noticed the instant I tried it on, which I’ve never felt in any other suit: The 360° Core Stabilization System. What is this and why does it matter? This is a panel on the wetsuit which surrounds the abdominals, providing what feels like a tightening affect. This system allows for two things. One, optimal body position in the water and two, the conservation of precious energy due to not having to constrict your abdominals nearly as much. The ability to not feel constricted around the neck as well as the arms comes paramount to most triathletes when looking into wetsuits. This goes to say, the flexibility and Free Range of Motion in this suit are unreal. This can be attributed to the use of Yamamoto SCS Rubber which happens to be the lightest and most flexible on the market. The Form Fitting Wrist Cuffs keep the water out around the writs and the Quick Release Ankle Cuffs allow for the suit to slide right off your feet (which we all know is a real pain in transition).

To sum it up, this suit is going to move with you, not against you.  This isn’t your every day wetsuit to train in. But, if you’re looking for the highest end best performance race wetsuit, here it is.