Saving Space – What is Truly Essential?

By Debbie
July 9, 2013 on 10:28 pm | In Product Information, Random Musings, Training | 2 Comments

This blog brought to you by TriSports Team athlete Scott Bradley. Check out his blog at www.scottbradleytriathlon.blogspot.com and follow him on Twitter – scottbradley11.

When I walk into transition on race day, I am amazed at some of the things I see. I’m pretty sure that there are several people who come into transition with a tent in their backpack as if they are going to hang out for a few days. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but seriously, I do see lots of people bring in huge, plastic buckets of gear and I think to myself “What am I forgetting?” No…really what I’m thinking is “How could one person actually use all of that stuff in one day?” What it boils down to is this: by bringing all that stuff that you don’t need into transition, you are cluttering the area and actually slowing yourself down during the race as you try to sort through all your gear.

Saving space comes with practice and growing accustomed to what you actually need during a race. As you race more you become more confident in your practices by finding out what works and what doesn’t work for you. These are things you can practice on your own though, to find out what your essential items are. It may seem silly, but you can solve this problem with a few dress rehearsals at your house or a park. Set up a little transition area with the items you think you’ll need in the driveway or in your trunk. Run in as if coming from the swim (you can pretend here or put your wetsuit on if you want to practice getting out of it), practice T1, and head out on your bike. Then ride for a bit, come back and do the same thing for T2 before heading out for a short run. What items did you bring that you didn’t use? Don’t bring them to transition for your next race and give it a go without them. I would bet you’ll make it through the race just fine, your transitions will be faster, and you’ll be happy at the end of the day when you aren’t lugging as much stuff back to your car.

Space saving transition area layout

If you think about it, what do you really need? A wetsuit, goggles, a helmet, your bike, sunglasses, your race bib, bike shoes, running shoes, some nutrition (depending on the length of the race), and maybe some socks and a hat. You probably won’t need extra socks, an extra top or bottom, three sets of goggles, an infinite amount of nutrition, towels, extra shirts, four spare tubes and tires, etc. That stuff will just get in the way and slow you down.

This brings me to the other place for saving space…your bike. I always find it ironic that people will spend literally thousands of dollars on expensive bikes and race wheels to make their bikes are super aero and to shed a few hundred grams. Then on race day, they put gels and nutrition all over the frame, creating tons of drag, and then carry enough stuff to stock a small local bike shop. Again, ask yourself the question “What do I really need?” You can help yourself out here by finding out what is available on the course and using that if it is something you are comfortable with. If not and you want to use your own, that’s completely fine, but how much extra do you need? Practice your nutrition plan and carry what you’ll use and not the extra 1500 calories your stomach couldn’t process anyway. How much fluid will you actually need? Carrying that extra bottle or two adds a lot of unnecessary weight if you can grab something at an aid station on the course or if it’s a shorter race and you won’t need more than a bottle or two. How many extra tubes, CO2, and tires do you really need hanging off the back of your seat?

Bike in transition (see, no gels taped to the top tube)

As triathletes I think we are paranoid by nature. We imagine the worst will happen on race day and prepare for it by stocking enough nutrition for a six hour ride, four flat tires, one of our hats not working properly, and our tri shorts needing to be replaced half way through the race. I always try to take the minimalist approach to setting up my bike and transition area. Only items that I absolutely need and know I will use get brought in on race day. I’ve learned the essentials through practice and thinking back to what I really need to get me through as fast as possible and to set myself up for the best race I can manage.

TriSports Tempe Store Update #3

By Seton
June 8, 2012 on 1:11 pm | In Announcements, Life at TriSports.com, Random Musings | 1 Comment

Construction for the new TriSports Tempe store is on the home stretch.  With just a couple weeks to go, all final preparations are coming into play.  It is funny, today I was reminded that TriSports was in fact the first triathlon store to ever enter the Phoenix area way back in 2003 with the launch of our first expo at a race that would eventually move on to be the now popular Soma Triathlon.  I remember seeing the store manager of one of the local bike shops (the now defunct Bicycle Showcase) looking quite shocked at the lines outside of our expo setup while no one was at his booth.  Soon after he quit his job and eventually started Tribe Multisport (he sold this operation about a year ago).  So, coming back full circle, we are opening up our store across the street from the location of our first full blown expo at the Tempe Mission Palms.  It is good to be bringing TriSports back into the valley in a more permanent fashion.  See everyone soon!

TriSports Tempe Panorama PictureTriSports Tempe Panorama- A look inside the new store as construction starts to wrap up.

TriSports Tempe Store Update #1

By Seton
May 9, 2012 on 1:53 pm | In Announcements, Life at TriSports.com, Random Musings | No Comments

Construction is moving along rapidly up in Tempe on the new store. We took what we have learned at our Tucson location and teamed up with Architekton to accomplish one small task – take the greatest triathlon retail store on the face of the planet and make it even better in Tempe, and oh, yeah, keep sustainability at the forefront of the project.  Our general contractor, Caliente Construction , is now well on the way to getting us moved in by the end of June, 2012.  Here are some pictures of the progress.

Empty Shell, November 2011A walk through the empty shell just after the lease was signed (and the day after Ironman Arizona).


Early store mock upHere is an early mock up of the store layout, most of the actual build will look this way.

A look in the store April 13, 2012A look in the store April 13, 2012

Battle of Words: A Conversation Between Two Endurance Geeks

By Seton
April 23, 2012 on 10:46 am | In Fat Tires, Life at TriSports.com, Random Musings | No Comments

This past summer I did quite a bit of crazy riding to get ready for the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race.  One of the guys that I trained with was Paul “PT” Thomas.  This conversation took place about 16 hours after the finish of the Leadville 100 Mtb  Race (August 13, 2011) between me and PT (who subsequently went 7:13, a blazing time especially at the young age of 41).

Thesaurus:

Vangina – the name of Paul’s VW Euro Van
Noreen – Paul’s wife
Debbie – Seton’s wife
Molino – A basin about 5.5 miles up the famous Mt. Lemmon climb in Tucson.
Sabino – A popular walking/running/cycling canyon in Tucson.

Seton and PT at the finish of Leadville 100 MTBSeton and Paul at the finish of the Leadville 100 MTB Race.

(7:00 PM)

PT: How do the pistons feel?

SC: Feeling good, I just got back from an easy ride up to Molino Basin.  It was a bit warm.

(7:57 PM)

PT: I am actually motor pacing behind the Vangina as I write.  I told Noreen to keep it between 45-48 mph.

(8:49 PM)

SC: Just got back from my run.  Kept it easy, just two repeats up Sabino.  I had to run on the road because it was getting dark.

PT: Interesting….I don’t want to make it seem like I am one upping you, but Noreen ran outa gas after 3 hours of motor pacing.  We are fixing up a cabled harness and I am going to ride the Specialized, pulling the Vangina 30 miles to Deming.

(9:07 PM)

SC: That sounds similar to my experience earlier today.  Our plane ran out of fuel right after we landed so I volunteered to hop our and pull that bitch to the gate.

PT: I am way too familiar with runways.  I once had to tow a plane up to speed that needed help as it was carting the space shuttle Challenger back to Florida….not to “one up” you though.

SC: Yeah, I remember that, they had me on that mission hooked up to a power bike to provide aux power for the shuttle.

PT: Sorry for the delay in responding…I was pre occupied with taking the lug nuts off with my bare hands.  Noreen thought I should rotate the wheels as the Vangina was pulling to the left a bit.

PT: F#*c….after all of that manual labor, we figured out it was not the wheels, as now it is pulling to the right.  I switched my one legged drills from left to right leg.

(10:00 PM)

SC: Damn, I am spent.  There was a creaking under the house so I had to lift it off the foundation so Debbie could have a look underneath.  Turns out it was just noise from my one-arm clap push ups I was doing.

(2:26 PM next day)

PT: Just read this one. You are the winner as I am laughing hard!!!!!

A welcome home hug at the finishAfter many hard hours of training, it was good to see PT at the finish line.

TriSports Introduces Patented Hybrid Shave Technology

By Seton
April 1, 2012 on 10:13 am | In Announcements, Random Musings, Tech Tips | No Comments

Tucson, AZ  (April, 1, 2012): TriSports.com, the world’s premiere triathlon store, announces its patented new leg shaving technology known as Hybrid Shave Technology.  After 2-years of research and development using wind tunnel, CFD and real world data, the engineers at TriSports.com have released their findings.  Seton Claggett, who earned his Master’s in Hydrology from the College of Engineering at the University of Arizona, says “we have been using this proprietary shave method with our athletes for years but as we have grown as a company we know that for the betterment of the sport and in light of great customer service that we should reveal our research to the world.”

TriSports Hybrid Shave Technology ResultsThe final results comparing 1) Hairy leading edge, 2) Fully shaved leg, 3) TriSports.com’s Patented Hybrid Shave Technology

The Hybrid Shave Technology uses a scientific approach to removing leg hair on cyclists and triathletes to improve aerodynamics and speed.  “The experiment,” says Tom Demerly, one of the chief investigators on the project, “was performed over many conditions and using many different shave patterns and what we found was that using basic aerodynamic principals of laminar boundary conditions coupled with muscle formation resulted in the ideal real-world power conversion on the bike.”

The partial differential equations for the continuity and Navier–Stokes for a two-dimensional steady incompressible flow with Cartesian coordinates.

The final testing came down to analyzing the real world results of 1) Hairy Leading Edge Legs, 2) Full Shaved Legs, and 3) Short Stubble Leading Edge Legs (the Hybrid Shave Technology).  Full hairy legs performed exponentially worse than the three chosen tests.  The results are shown in the diagram above.  “It was amazing how superior the performance was using the Hybrid Shave Technology”, said Claggett, “the power savings were staggering. It is amazing how basic aerodynamic principles such as using the Navier-Stokes equation and Reynolds numbers  to estimate the boundary layer conditions of a hairy legs work in wind tunnel and real world testing.”

The results have shown an actual average power savings of 10 Watts over distances greater than 30k (compared to a full hairy leg and almost 6 Watts over a fully shaved leg).  Over a 112 mile relatively flat course with little wind the TriSports Hybrid Shave Technology will save you about 6 minutes.  “6 minutes”, says Claggett who used the Hybrid Shave Technology at the 2011 Ironman Arizona, “is a ton of free time, especially if you are trying to get to the finish line as fast as possible.”  Claggett consequently won his age-group by a mere 45 seconds.  “You can spend hundreds of dollars on an aero helmet, thousands of dollars on aero wheels and an aero bike, or you can use the TriSports Hybrid Shave Technology and get the same benefits – do everything and you are all-in.”

A video showing actual footage of the TriSports Hybrid Shave Technology


A full hairy legThe aerodynamics of a full hairy leg are so bad that we did not use this model in our final testing.


Careful muscle measurementCareful muscle measurement ensures proper shave pattern.


Marker Muscle MeasurementPrecise marking during the measurement process.


Clippers for the thick hairClippers are used to remove the Sasquatch hair.


Final Clipper ShaveFinal clipper shave.


Using the razor to clean up the hair.Using a new blade to clean up the remaining stubble on the back of the leg.


Hybrid Hariy LegThe final hairy leading edge leg.


Hybrid lLeg ShaveShaving down to the stubble for the Hybrid Shave Technology.


Final Hybrid Shave Technology LegThe final version of the Hybrid Shave Technology.

Conclusion: Hold off as long as you can during the season to get the training benefit of hairy legs and then shave them just before your “A” race. The results of the TirSports Hybrid Shave Technology speak for themselves, so when you do shave, use this method if you want to optimize aerodynamics.

The Boy in the Red Tri Suit

By Tom D.
February 15, 2012 on 12:14 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

The Emerald Health Triathlon, Ohio, 1985 or ’86. A half Ironman. That’s what they called them before “70.3’s”.

Time has distorted the memory in some ways, sharpened it in others.

The race unfolded across open farmland on smooth roads. Even though it was a major event there were only about 200 competitors. The “pro” field was three men. A lithe foreigner with a vaguely Anglo accent, favored to win. A tan man from California and a boy with a red tri suit from whom we expected little.

The sun was out. Dust from farm fields blew on breeze that gathered early. The swim was inconsequential. Empfield wasn’t around yet. We didn’t have wetsuits yet. I had been racing every weekend and had good form. We spread out quickly among the top athletes on the bike course. After the first twenty minutes I didn’t see anyone on the bike course. “Volunteers” stood at corners to direct us. They were spectators really, local farmers whose plots butted up against the roads. They watched more out of curiosity than concern for competitive outcome.

The race unfolded, the wind picked up, it got warmer. I recall being about twentieth out of the bike to run transition, that’s what we used to call “T2”.

The run was out and back, 6.5 miles each way. Good. We could get a look at who was in front of us. A mile and a half before the turnaround the kid in the red trisuit was coming back toward me. He had about eighteen minutes on me. Hmm. There was a big gap, then the foreign pro. He was fit but he looked in distress on the run, his face twisted like a forgotten fig bar. The third pro followed at a more reasonable interval.

How did that kid in the red trisuit get so far out in front?

The race ended. I don’t remember how I did. I got a plaque with green writing on it at the awards ceremony. Hanging out at the little host hotel a debate was raging between officials, race directors and the kid in the red tri suit. He had an older man with him too. Apparently the boy had won the race, but been relegated for missing a turn on the course. The other pros were adamant since there was an unprecedented $500 prize purse on the line. There was no way this kid could have won. He was only 15 I think.

A jury of sorts was assembled. An inquisition was held. Questions and accusations flew. The boy was fiery and determined to argue his case. The others were dismissive of his performance. Finally it was determined that if each of the marshals could confirm the boy completed the course his win would be bona-fide. If any volunteer did not see the boy in the red tri suit pass, he would be relegated. The survey began.

“Yeah, well… I seen him comin’. He went through here first.” The first farmer said. The survey continued. The final farmer told the officials, “Well, that boy came along before we was set up. Just puttin’ up our table to watch. He came tearin’ through here in that red suit. It was a long time ‘fore we saw anyone else.”

The other pros were deflated. The result stood. The boy in the red tri suit was awarded the check. He left in a businesslike manner.

When the results were mailed to us I saw the boy’s name at the top: Lance Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong circa 1985/87

For the love of Saucony

By Jaclyn A.
February 10, 2012 on 11:18 am | In Employee Adventures, Product Information, Random Musings, Tech Tips | 2 Comments

There aren’t many products that I gush about, but I have found myself more than once in the past few months on the sales floor gushing to a customer about the Saucony Kinvara. I had been a long time Mizuno Wave Rider wearer, but after my last 70.3, the first thing I did was take off my shoes. My heels were once again blistered, my feet ached, my shoes were soaking wet and seemed 5 pounds heavier. It was time to find a new pair of running shoes.

The TriSports Shoe Wall

I headed to the TriSports shoe wall and consulted with one of our expert shoe fitters. I wanted a light weight shoe with good drainage, enough cushion to run an Ironman marathon, and a lower heel-to-toe drop (around 4-6mm). I tried on the Brooks T7, the K-Swiss Blade Light, and the Saucony Kinvara. Right away the Saucony’s were noticeably different. The shoe’s upper was soft and flexible, free of unnecessary decorations, and allowed for good ventilation. The heel cup was also very pliable and securely wrapped around my narrow heel. With 4 mm of drop between the heel and toe it was the perfect shoe for transitioning to a more minimalist style of shoe.

Saucony Kinvara

Fast forward 5 months and I still love my Kinvaras. I am well over the “300 mile limit” and the shoes still feel like they did when they came out of the box.  If you are in the market for a light weight trainer/racer with a low profile, try out the Saucony Kinvaras, and if you need a stability shoe, try the Fastwitch. Happy running!

Learn more about Saucony shoes at TriSports University!

Raising the Bar, or Seat

By Seton
November 30, 2011 on 12:16 pm | In Announcements, Community, Giving Back, Random Musings | No Comments

We are once again raising the bar on what we feel a true triathlon store should offer in the way of amenities.  You must have an indoor pool (check), you must have a dedicated bike fit studio (check), and you must have a treadmill to do foot strike analysis (check).  Our newest addition – Port ‘o Potties.

Only at TriSports!

Seriously, how many of us practice using these things?  You really need to know the ins and outs of these giant plastic stink tanks. Sit or squat?  Use TP or run it a bit dirty?  Share or wait in line? These are all decisions we have to make when racing and we think it is important to practice every aspect of racing.  So, next time you are at a store that says they are a triathlon store you know what to ask them – Where is the pool, fit studio, treadmill AND Port o’ Pottie.  See you in line at the races!

Happy Thanksgiving!

By Jaclyn A.
November 24, 2011 on 6:00 am | In Community, Random Musings | No Comments

We are thankful for :

Our wetsuits that keep us warm.

Our super aero bikes.

Our running shoes that help us go fast.

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook on Monday for Cyber Monday deals!

A Visit from the Voice

By Seton
November 23, 2011 on 6:00 am | In Employee Adventures, Random Musings | No Comments

If you have ever done an Ironman, or ever been to see one, there are two things that are most certainly consistent – the M-dot logo and the voice of Mike Reilly. Mike has announced over 100 Ironman races over the years and has said the words, “You are an Ironman,” tens of thousands of times. His voice is the welcome home committee for many of us that cross the line. I have been racing Ironman races for over 12 years and am about to do my 8th race; in all but one of them Mike has been there to welcome me across the finish line. Mike and I are on the board of Triathlon America together and have gotten to know each other a bit better over the last year. On his way to Ironman Arizona I persuaded him to make a right hand turn off of I-8 onto I-10 (he lives in southern CA) to come and visit our operation.

Mike Reilly with some of the TriSports.com retail staff!

I have to say it was a pleasure to have him in the building, as I think almost everyone one had a life story that involved him. He is pretty much like Kevin Bacon, except in triathlon you are only 2 degrees or less away from him. If you haven’t met Mike Reilly, I will tell you that he is the real deal; he cares about this sport and more importantly cares about the people that are fortunate enough to have found this sport as part of their lives.

Seton Claggett, Mike Reilly, and Pam Kallio

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