On the road…

By Seton
August 29, 2008 on 11:12 pm | In Life at TriSports.com | No Comments

Over the last 8 years we have travelled all over this great country with our expo setup. I have to say it is great to get out and see all of the beautiful places out there and I am lucky to be involved with a company that gives me these opportunities. Here are some great photos that we have taken on some of our trips.

Kansas City, MO
This is one of our shop dogs hanging out at the Ultramax Expo in Kansas City, MO. This was actually our first expo outside of AZ back in 2004.
Bridal Falls, UT
Bridal Falls, UT – Just outside of Midway, UT – home of the BAM triathlon.
Monument Valley, AZ
Monument Valley, AZ – one of the most scenic and most photgraphed places in Arizona, if not the entire planet.

Product Review: Skirt Sports 8/28/2008

By Sarah
August 29, 2008 on 12:15 am | In Product Information | No Comments

Skirts Are Fun!
OK, I’ll admit it – when running skirts came on the market, I cringed.  I mean please, running in a skirt?  Why not just get out the high heels while you’re at it?  You see, I’m a “give me my split run shorts and tech tee” kind of runner – clearly when I run it isn’t about fashion.  But something this morning changed my mind a bit about this – I was introduced to the world of Skirt Sports.  We’ve been carrying Skirt Sports products for a while now; they’re certainly not a new brand for us.  But I never fully understood what their goal as a company was.  I just didn’t get how a cute little pink skirt could compete with all the high tech, “built for speed”, hard-core triathlon clothing out there.  Well guess what?  It doesn’t.  And that’s OK. 
The mindset of the Skirt Sports, created in 2004 by pro triathlete Nicole DeBoom, is having fun with fitness.  Imagine that – having fun!  Their products reach out to those who may otherwise be uninterested in getting out and running, cycling or swimming, by making them look and feel good in the hopes they will come back for more.  More exercise that is.  Health and fitness through style and fashion is the goal here.  And while many may scoff at the idea, thinking that the two don’t go together, they may not realize the power of making a woman feel good about her appearance. The power of a wearing a “cute outfit” can be as motivating to go workout as the promise of improved weight loss or fitness – even more so in some cases!
The foundation of their product line is the Skirt.  The initial Skirt was sewn by Nicole herself and worn in debut at the 2004 Ironman Wisconsin.  I must also admit that several of us from the store raced that year and her skirt certainly stood out!  Or maybe it was because she was running so fast…..  The basic Skirt has evolved into various styles:
The Marathon Girl Ultra with Spankies (briefs for you laymen):  This skirt has a single pocket in the back for a gel or other small item.
The Cruiser Bike Girl: This Skirt has mesh cycling shorts underneath with 2 pockets and a headphone port for your mp3 player.  It’s also cut a bit higher in the rear for modesty.
The Race Belt Skirt: This Skirt does not have an under layer as it is designed to be worn over your race outfit.  There is a special place for your race number to attach on this Skirt.  
Skirt Sports also has 3 pieces of triathlon specific clothing – a TRIK-ini Bra Top, TRIK-ini Tank and TRIK-ini Shorts.  Again, built for fun and fitness, these pieces are designed to mix and match with the Skirts to achieve your own fun and flattering look.  All of their products are made with moisture wicking performance fabrics.
If you’re still not convinced skirts are cool to run in, you obviously missed one of the most recent issues of Runner’s World, where the cover and feature was dedicated to running skirts.  How’s that for a Skirt endorsement?  Nicole and her company appear to have lead the way in the skirt revolution as many of the large athletic companies now offer skirts in their apparel line ups.  As a company, Skirt Sports has grown its line to include all types of clothing including cycling skirts, running dresses, capri Skirts and more.  Check out their Skirt Chaser events and you may even score something special for the guys! 
In closing I will say that even if my skirt doesn’t make it into my normal running short rotation, it still looks absolutely adorable with a pair of flip flops when I head out to the market.  It screams “I’m sporty, yet stylin’” and gives me just a little extra spring in my step.  So if you have that sister you’ve been nagging to get out and train for a 5K with you or a friend who shudders at the thought of running around in spandex, tell her to step out of the box and give a Skirt a try!  Skirt Sports has some really cute apparel updates available for spring ’09, so stay tuned!

Who are we really?

By Sarah
August 25, 2008 on 11:47 pm | In Life at TriSports.com | No Comments

Who are we?

We are triathletes. 

racing fun

We are friends. 

Chelsea's Baby Shower

We are beer drinkers…….ok, well some of us are more than others. 

Big Beer Billy

What we really are though is a small company serving a worldwide audience.  It is a dichotomy that is hard for many people to grasp.  They see the big building and warehouse, shop with us from thousands of miles away and often think we are a 24/7 operation.  In reality, we are a small group of people all working towards a common goal – to make our company the top triathlon retailer in the world.  Yes, in the world.  And we think we’re doing a pretty good job. 

Our small staff is divided amongst 5 departments, each with its own unique responsibilities.  Our website serves the world, while our retail store serves the Southern Arizona community and visitors in Tucson, Arizona.  We’re 20,000 square feet of triathlon gadget heaven.  We of course highly suggest coming out and meeting us the next time you’re in the neighborhood!  But in the mean time, we hope you get to know us a bit more personally here.  I think as a culture we often get wrapped up in the roles we play (in our case us being the merchant and our customers being the consumer) and we’d like to break down that barrier a bit so you know us not just as “TriSports.com customer service guy”, but as “Matt, top amateur triathlete, math-geek extraordinaire and inventor of the popular hobgard training regimen., or “Shelley, mother to two adorable children and unassuming car singing diva”.  Stick around and maybe sometime we’ll share with you about that one time we ran out of fuel……..

Outta Fuel  

~Sarah

The Greatest Day in Sports – 8/16/08

By Seton
August 18, 2008 on 10:22 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

On Saturday, August 16, 2008 many of us were witness to what I feel was one of the greatest days in sports history.  Michael Phelps finished up his 8th gold medal of the ’08 games. 

I was fortunate enough to have swam on the Las Vegas Gold Swim Team – our coaches were incredible.  The team’s first head coach was Rowdy Gaines, then David Marsh, and later one of the coaches was Bob Bowman.  I’m not sure when Bob left the Gold, but I think it was around 1993.  Deep thoughts – what did Bob learn from coaching us at the Gold that made it’s way to Phelps?  It’s very special to have a tie to such a great athlete.  I was very proud to watch him swim in 2000, 2004 and 2008.  He is a gifted athlete that walks with a lot of dignity and respect. 

When my kids are older and everyone still talks about Phelps I hope I can pull out my camera phone picture and show them one of the greatest athletes that has walked our planet.

In Store Event: CTS Training Seminar 9/10/2008

By Sarah
August 12, 2008 on 11:15 pm | In Announcements | No Comments

Jason Tullous, the Tucson regional head coach and manager for Carmichael training systems will be presenting a 90 minute training seminar on Wednesday evening, September 10th at 6:30pm in our multipurpose room.  He’ll be covering topics related to Training for the worldwide attended El Tour de Tucson cycling event.  Included in his talk he’ll present a 12 week training program and address nutritional needs for century riding.  Jason works under the legendary Chris Carmichael so you’ve got to think he’ll know what he’s talking about!

 ~Sarah

Product Review: Karhu Running Shoes 7/29/2008

By Sarah
August 12, 2008 on 11:07 pm | In Product Information | No Comments

“Every Runner’s Right.”  This is the idea that Karhu running shoes are built upon.  Borrowed from the Finnish national concept that grants the right of free access to all land and water regardless of ownership, Karhu believes every runner has the “right” to feel land, strengthen their body and enjoy a pure running experience.  This sounds like a tall order from a pair of running shoes!  But once you understand where their concepts come from and the simple technology employed within their shoes, you may begin to understand the passion that lies within the brand.    
There are many running shoes on the market today.  New materials, technology, fit ideas and other bells and whistles come out season after season.  If you’re a seasoned runner, you probably have your brand/model loyalty, you know what works for you – why fix what isn’t broken?  Interestingly, the “why fix what isn’t broken” idea is exactly the thinking behind the simplicity of Karhu’s technology.  Your running shoe should act as an extension of your natural foot strike and only correct it in extreme circumstances.  Therefore, Karhu shoes let your body’s natural pronation act as your shock absorber rather than relying on (sometimes unnecessarily) your shoes to put your foot in the position it “should” be in.  Their philosophy is to allow the foot to do a little more work, thereby strengthening it, developing the natural, correct way for your body to run.  This isn’t to say they are a completely support-free shoe, but getting back to the simple, key ideas of your body’s biomechanics is what Karhu has used as a platform for their design.    
For 2008, Karhu has four running shoe models available in the United States.  Created in bright, bold colors, these shoes make a statement that says, “Yes, I am a runner.”  Each model differs only slightly, all employing Fulcrum Technology that guides your foot naturally from heel to toe – just the way nature intended distance runners to run.
Karhu M1 Men’s / M1 Women’s:  The M1 is categorized as a support shoe, although we feel this shoe best fits someone who is between neutral and mild pronation.  Torsional structure is provided from a carbon fiber plate, inserted between 2 layers of EVA.  
Karhu M2 Men’s / M2 Women’s:  The M2 is categorized as a true neutral running shoe, offering little to no support, beyond the small amount of cushioning inherent to the shoe. 
Karhu M3 Men’s / M3 Women’s:  The M3 is also a support shoe, with its stability offered through a high-engineered plastic insert, rather than the carbon insert in the M1.  Again, not the best choice for severe pronators, but good for those with mild pronation.
Karhu M10:  The M10 is best described as a lightweight trainer, though it can be viewed as a racing shoe for those who desire a bit more shoe than a traditional racing flat has to offer.  The shoe is a bit closer to the ground offering better response and performance, though in turn has a bit less cushioning.  This shoe is only available in a unisex version based on men’s sizing.
Across the board with a Karhu shoe you will find they are built for narrow feet, thanks to their European heritage.  They also tend to run a half size smaller than the standard American shoe brands and offer a firmer feeling and fit.  Watch out for 2009 product, though, as they will be making some changes to the shoes to better fit the American foot.  Men’s and women’s styles are built on different lasts, offering a true gender specific fit.  If you’re a fan of the initial soft, cushy feeling you get when you put your new shoes on for the first time, don’t expect that in a Karhu shoe.  But if you are a neutral or mild pronating runner interested in exploring options outside the standard realm, I’d suggest giving them a try.  Wildly popular in Europe, they have been available in the states only for a few years, and for a bit of time exclusively at TriSports.com.
Karhu’s company story is a long and storied one dating back to 1916.  From selling their once 3-stripe logo to Adidas years ago for the equivalent of 2 bottles of really good scotch, to allowing a small little division of their company branch off on its own (only to become leading sandal brand Merrell) to gracing the feet of the “Flying Finns,” champion runners Paavo Nurmi and Olavi Suomalainen.   Still handmade in Finland, the word Karhu itself means bear in Finnish, and the sole of each running shoe includes the Karhu bear symbol – a symbol of strength and nature. 
If you are new to running, I will remind you that getting assessed by a running shoe professional should be your first step in selecting a pair of running shoes.  The most common running injuries can usually be attributed to having too much or too little support in your shoes.  Take care in selecting your shoe or any other piece of equipment!
~ Sarah

Product Review: Introduction

By Sarah
August 12, 2008 on 6:43 pm | In Product Information | No Comments

If you work at a florist, there’s a good chance you know quite a bit about flowers.  This would be considered an accurate assumption, no?  Well, what if you work at a specialty retailer, carrying over 10,000 different products?  How on earth can you learn about all that “stuff”?  Our answer – weekly product training of course!  Wednesday mornings are one of the coolest times to be here as each week we invite a manufacturer (or at times their reps) to present detailed information about their products.  Our staff gets a first hand look at our products in an environment that allows us to ask the questions that our customers are going to ask us.  “How is it fitting – running large or small?” “How is this saddle different than that one?” “Why would I want to pay more for your product when I can get something similar less expensive?”  We try to cover it all so our staff can be as helpful to our customers as possible.  Each week I’ll be posting a summary of the products covered at our training, passing the information along for you to use as you see fit.  Hopefully you’ll learn something new!  Look for the posts that are titled “Product Review” starting with our latest training session on Karhu Running Shoes.

~Sarah 

The Decision to Blog 8/8/8

By Seton
August 8, 2008 on 7:18 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

Today is a wonderful day, it’s 8/8/08.  It’s also the starting day of the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing.  It’s also the day that TriSports.com made the decision to start using a blog.  Yes, I know, what took so long?  Hey, we are moving forward.  This is also a great day because I remember 8/8/88 – I was in the pool in Vegas swimming for the Las Vegas Gold swim team.  One of the coaches of our team (I don’t think he arrived until 1990 or so) was Bob Bowman – he is Michael Phelps’ coach.  I just remember kicking on my kickboard thinking dang, it’s 8/8/88 – what a cool day; I was 12 years old. 

 Back to the topic at hand….we are moving forward with this blog.

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