I just posted the following article on my home page, www.hodska.com :
As if a blog isn’t narcissistic enough, I thought I’d also give my personal opinions on some great products out there. The following material items are things that I like. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to like them. I mean, come on, I may be posting a very self absorbed write up but I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on what are the best gifts to give or get this holiday season. I do realize that there are quite a few people out there with bad taste. Hopefully they’ll read this post and learn. Keep in mind that these items are by no means necessities. I love tech stuff but I also love seeing the guy with the 15 year old bike fly by those with the latest and greatest. OK, having said that, here are some cool things I like:
Body Glide and/or Assos Chamois Cream; I am still amazed at the amount of triathletes that still don’t use any creams that are designed to lessen friction while they train. If you take a shower after a long run or ride and need something to bite down on as the water hits your nether regions, you are way over due. Every person I know that uses chamois cream for the first time cant believe it took them this long to try it.
Deda or Fizik Bar Tape; Treat your ride with some love. Not only does new bar tape make your bike look that much better, it feels better. I prefer either Deda or Fizik because it feels nice, looks great, and lasts long.
Oakley Thump Pro’s: http://www.oakley.com/pd/4685/15318 I cant say enough great things about these glasses w/ a built in mp3 player. It’s great having no wires, the battery life is excellent, they are light and don’t bounce around when running with them, the sound is great, and they look cool. You don’t want the O Roark which is the mp3 with the built in blue tooth also. Well, maybe you do, but I like to escape from those trying to reach me when I’m out running and riding in these. And I know that you shouldn’t be riding with headphones so save the lecture. What’s great about these is that you can leave the headphones off of your ears so that you can hear what’s going on around you.
Custom Nike Free 5.0: http://nikeid.nike.com/nikeid/?sitesrc=uslp#launchBuilder,running.7081.0,_667265653530303830392e2e31,INSPI_34095_v9_0_20080825 These are for just kicking around in. You won’t have them in time for Christmas or Chanukah but the wait is worth it. These look great with anything. Remember that jeans + your regular running shoes = dork.
Garmin Forerunner 310 XT: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=142&pID=27335
You get heart rate, pace and it’s water proof! You want to know if you are gaining fitness; map out a course and run it at a specific heart rate and see what pace you average. Then retest six weeks later at the same heart rate and see if you are faster. You want to run a specific pace in your next race? You need to know that pace while doing tempo runs in training. For brick sessions, this watch is key.
A session with a personal trainer: I am constantly amazed and appalled by the form I see in most doing strength training. Learning proper technique and form are crucial to not only make sure you are benefiting from what you are trying to do but for avoiding injury and maximizing your time. A session or two with a good trainer is worth more than the $$$ you may spend on another toy and can actually save you a bunch of cash you may end up spending in orthopedic and chiropractic bills.
Big Ticket items:
I have had my same ct since 97’. Every time I ride a regular trainer be it wind, mag, fluid resistance, it reminds me just how great the ct is. And no, a regular trainer with a power tap on the bike is not even close to being the same.
Cannondale Supersix: www.cannondale.com I have been riding competitively since the late 80’s and I’ve had the chance to ride a ton of different bikes and also build up a valuable opinion (at least to me) on how a bike should ride. Forget the fact that most should be on a Slice (which rides way better than a Felt or Cervelo P3 – I’ve ridden both these and the wind tunnel may say different, but these two bikes don’r come close in ride quality to a Slice), more should be training on a road bike. And once you ride the Supersix, you won’t want to ride any other bike.
SRM Power Meter: Training and racing with power is where it is at. It’s time to accept the fact that there are modern day tech items that really can benefit you and help you go faster and get stronger and this is one of them. I’m not saying that you can’t do it without one, it’s just a lot more estimating and less pin pointing.
A Coach!: Sure, this may be the gratuitous self-promotion plug, but a knowledgeable and experienced coach will direct you towards achieving your big goals without you getting in your own way. Do your research because there are plenty of coaches out there. I’m not plugging my business but more just coaching in general. I do feel that the abundance of coaches out there now has made a bit of a mockery out of endurance coaching, however there are still quite a few really good coaches underneath the heaps of “I read a manual and passed a bureaucratic certification” coaches.
A Training Camp: A valuable camp should do more than just take you away from work and family to train for a week. It should allow you to learn about yourself and take away memories and friends for years to come.
Have a great Holiday Season!