First, I'm doing the December Challenge again on my EH Training and Coaching Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=279447542288 - I post an exercise or two for you to do each day in December. Check it out.
It's holiday season - most trigeeks have more than they need already but are all about the gear, so I thought I'd share my two cents on what is, again, in my opinion, a good gift to add to your wish list. The following are five very cool items:
* compression socks compression gear is all the rage and believe it or not, it actually works - to a degree. The idea behind compression clothing is to compress (duh) the surrounding musculature and keep your vascular system circulating. The best compression products are the socks since circulation tends to decrease and pool in lower extremities. Compression socks assist at keeping that blood circulating back upwards. I do have some rules though w/ compression socks - they are great for travel, yet only with pants, not shorts. There is no need to sit in an airport, decked out in your Harlem 5K race t-shirt, Desoto running shorts, zoot racing shoes, and compression socks, awaiting your flight. Please... Compression socks are great for after hard training and races. Many wear them to train and race in. Call me old school, but this just screams geek. Save them for recovery. If they cost you fifteen seconds during a race (which is the biggest time advantage they are going to gain you if wearing them in a long race), then run a bit faster.
* Oakley Jawbones and Thump Pro's Let's face it, Oakley's really are the best shades. they are extremely functional, and they have the cool factor. You can try some other glasses which may offer a better deal, but Oakley is the top of the food chain and there is no close second. The Jawbones are extremely versatile and look great - while training! For casual use, please pick up a fitting pair of Oakley's like the Felon or the Oil Drum. The Thump Pro's have the built in mp3. I don't want the blue tooth capability - I don't want to be contacted while out training and I also want things simple. The Thump Pro's are probably my favorite training item. Ever.
* Lululemon Run Response Shorts Lululemon is not just girls clothes and it's not just yoga clothes. These run shorts may be a bit pricey, but they are second to none. For years, all shorts chafed me if I didn't apply lots of bodyglide. No need with these shorts. They are unbelievably comfortable that you will want to wear them all the time, and they look great.
* Zoot Running Shoes I prefer a low profile shoe without much support or extra crap built up in the heels. In my opinion, most shoes are overbuilt and create more problems then they help. Yet, I do feel we need a bit of cushioning since we tend to run mainly on pavement, and on tired legs. Zoot has figured out just the right balance. A tie is Nike Free's.
* TRX Let me preface this by saying I am in no way associated with TRX. I have been using this device for over a year now on myself and with my personal training clientel and I am really making a hard push for all my athletes to purchase one. I have been in the exercise physiology, coaching, and training field for 20 years now and this simple little device is the best individual training tool I've come across for functional strength conditioning. Quite simple, this device is just awesome, and I love coming up with new torturous exercises and routines for it. If you get one thing this holiday season, a TRX should be it.
More to come...