As a triathlete, I am concerned about my safety on a daily basis...specifically when I train. Since I am training for an Ironman, that means a lot of weekly hours outdoors. So when I choose gear for training, I always look for the added bonus of the product keeping me safe. I think athletes often overlook sunglasses because of the price. Why buy a $200 pair of sunglasses when you can buy a $60 pair. I was the same way until Karel introduced me to Oakley while training for my second Ironman (Kona) and suddenly my headaches went away when I trained, my sunglasses stopped slipping off my face and I felt as if I could see more clearly without feeling like I was wearing anything heavy on my face. Sunglasses are one of the most important products to keeping you safe (next to your helmet when riding your bike) while riding and running. My dad, who is an optometrist, would be very upset at me if I didn't tell you all to wear your sunglasses when training.
I have several pairs of Oakley sunglasses but as a woman, I am glad that Oakley has a Women-specific site just for us active females. Just like with my bike (which is designed specifically for a woman - THANK you Trek for thinking of our smaller frames and Q-angles) I find it extremely important for women to not to feel pressure to buy "men" products but in pretty colors targeted toward women.
I am absolutely in love with the Oakley COMMIT SQ sunglasses. Here is a bit about them, found on the Oakley Women Sunglasses site
We have the honor of serving countless female athletes who commit themselves to the highest standards of personal achievement. For them we made COMMIT®, a performance design that helps sports professionals find their limits and just as easily exceed them. Made exclusively for women, COMMIT reinvents everything the world knows about comfort, fit and style with the kind of bold beauty that celebrates the power and grace of the female form.
COMMIT has an interchangeable lens design that lets you adapt to changing light and optimize performance in virtually any environment. Choose the subtly squared (SQ) lens shape or the aviator inspired (AV) lens shape. All lenses are made with HIGH DEFINITION OPTICS® (HDO®); for clarity and impact resistance that meets ANSI Z87.1 standards. The contours of 8.75 base lens curvature extend peripheral vision and improve side protection, and our PLUTONITE® lens material stops all UV cold. We enhance every lens with a permanent coating called Oakley HYDROPHOBIC™, a marvel of science that repels dust while maintaining a smudge-resistant barrier against skin oils, finger prints, lotions and sunscreens and even repels water to prevent streaks and sheens from corrupting your vision.
If you manage to get hold of this coveted design, the first thing you’ll notice is the low weight. Our stress-resistant O MATTER® frame material makes it possible. Slide the sunglass on and you’ll feel a Three-Point Fit that touches only the sides of your head and the bridge of your nose, and does so with UNOBTAINIUM® components that increase grip with perspiration. The geometry is optimized for women, so don’t be surprised if COMMIT fits and feels better than any sunglass you’ve ever worn.
•Optimized peripheral vision and side protection of 8.75 base lens curvature
•Comes standard with Oakley HYDROPHOBIC™/OLEOPHOBIC anti-smudge lens coating on all lens options
•Comfort and performance of Three-Point Fit that holds lenses in precise optical alignment
•Optical precision, performance and impact resistance that meets ANSI Z87.1 standards
•UV protection of PLUTONITE® lens that filters out 100% of UVA/ UVB/ UVC & harmful blue light up to 400nm
•Glare reduction and tuned light transmission of IRIDIUM® lens coating
•Interchangeable lenses to optimize performance in any environment
•Available with Oakley prescription lenses (+2.00 -3.00 combined power)
•Durability and all-day comfort of lightweight, stress-resistant O MATTER® frame material
•Patented hydrophilic UNOBTAINIUM® earsocks and nosepads ensure a snug, secure fit, and increase grip with perspiration
•True sports performance frame optimized for Women’s fit
•Metal icon accents
•Protective sports-specific Oakley Soft Vault included with capacity for extra lenses
Come May, I don't leave for a running workout without my Fuel Belt
. Even if I am only doing 2 miles off the bike, I still bring along my fuel belt. 4 years ago when I started training with a fuel belt, I found it a bit uncomfortable to wear. It wasn't the 8 ounces of fluid that I was carrying but rather that the belt was moving while I was running. I recommend trying on a few belts while running (borrow some from your friends) because you will likely have a different waist circumference while running compared to standing still. For me, I typically put on my fuel belt and have to adjust it and get it a bit tighter when running. Because all of my runs are off the bike (Tues, Thurs, Sat and Sun) I have lots of flasks and 2 main fuel belts. If you are new to fuel belts, I recommend starting with 2 flasks and putting bottles out on your course (or at home/car) for refueling. Get use to an empty belt and then add fluid (equal amounts) in both bottles. For the summer months, I also recommend fueling with a sport drink if your run is off the bike, in the afternoon/evening/midmorning and if it is more than 45-60 minutes. You will lose more in your fitness by not adequately fueling during a workout than not drinking enough. Also, by drinking a sport drink, you can increase the chance that you are meeting your calorie and electrolyte needs. To simplify your life, always mix your sport drink in a 20-24 ounce bottle prior to pouring into your flask so that you don't over/underconcentrate your drink.
Lastly, if you are planning on wearing a fuel belt during a race, practice ahead of time so that you don't get frustrated with running and trying to remove and place your flasks into your belt. Also, if your fuel belt is old, I recommend getting a new fuel belt prior to a race to reduce the chance that the velcro will not securely keep your fuel belt in place.
Since becoming a triathlete, I have tried many nutrition products. I personally have never experienced a nutrition related problem during training or racing since choosing Hammer as my primary source of nutrition for training and racing. As a coach and dietitian, I realize that every athlete is different so I avoid telling athletes what nutrition product to consume during training but rather look at the big picture. After working with many athletes on both training and nutrition, I find that sports nutrition (what you consume during training) is a very small component of how you perform during racing. I believe in looking at the big picture, specifically the daily diet, what you are consuming before/after training as well as how you are training. Training intensity and volume is likely a determining factor of whether or not your body will properly tolerate your training fuels for no amount of nutrition will make you run and hold 7:30 min/miles off the bike for 26.2 miles if you didn't train it to do so.
Once my training volume begins to increase while training for an endurance event (12 weeks out from Kona) I switched from only Heed (1 - 1 1/2 scoops depending on the workout) to Heed + Sustained Energy. Some people have asked me why I don't use perpetuem but I find this mixture very easy for me to take in and I enjoy the plain flavor of Sustained Energy. I believe in working my way up in calories (rather than down) so that I can listen to my body and understand what it needs during training. While doing this, I am very careful to not push too hard while experimenting for it can be easy to overtrain (following a painful "Bonk") if I don't properly fuel during a long workout.
My racing nutrition for an Ironman has always been 1 heaping scoop heed + 1 scoop sugstained energy. This works very well for me with a lot of practicing prior to race day. I also do this in a half ironman. I bring along 3 bottles with me and space them out throughout the course of my Ironman race, while relying on the aid stations to provide me with extra calories. I avoid hydrating with water unless I am consuming some gel from my gel flask and mostly rely on water and ice for cooling and to rinse my mouth. I believe in the 2 for 1 when it comes to long distance fueling so I find it beneficial to meet both my calorie and hydration needs with a liquid calories. I space out my gel calories by using a gel flask so that I am constantly fueling during the course of an Ironman, careful not to let more than 15-20 min go by without getting in fluids and calories. As for my athletes who like gummies, chews and bars during long distance races, I call those "stomach satisfiers" and not "energy givers". 30-60 calories an hour from "extras" may make your tummy happy and if practiced, shouldn't hurt your race day performance.
Sustained energy has been a great addition to my sports nutrition fueling strategy for my Ironman racing and after a great 80 mile bike ride this am, it makes me happy to know that my quality training is being fueled by quality products.
Check out the website for more info/articles about Sustained Energy and don't forget to use my Discount Code. during your checkout. Feel free to email me with any questions if you are considering certain products or want me to review the products in your current fueling plan as you figure out what may work best to become a more efficient athlete.