Triathlon gadgets – are they an expensive (and in some cases, intimidating) waste of money or a game-changer in your triathlon training?
Let’s look at arguments for and against and how gadgets can help – and hinder – your triathlon experience.
As a triathlete and triathlon coach, I’ve found over the years that men tend to get more into the triathlon gadgets and the data they provide than the women I coach and train with. Are we doing ourselves a disservice?
First of all, what counts as a triathlon ‘gadget’?
For the purposes of this blog, anything that involves technology and is a bit of an “extra” is a gadget. For example, a bike isn’t a gadget, but a power metre is. Over our next few blogs, we’re going to look at three different pieces of triathlon gadgetry to help you decide whether to splurge or save and which pieces of tech are right for you and your training style.
Triathlon Gadgets – The Fancy Watch
Last year I bought a Garmin Forerunner 735XT for an ultra-running race. I wanted mapping and timing functionalities that my super-cheap watch couldn’t provide.
Yes, it took the fact that I was running farther than a marathon to make me feel that I deserved to spend the money. But I’m (mostly) glad that I did. I struggle with heart rate monitor straps. My skin is prone to chafing and my lungs are prone to freaking out when a strap is squeezing them. So today’s watches with built-in heart rate offer more comfort with less faff.
With a bit of online research, I figured out functionalities that allowed me to download a route map. I also used the run-walk function to help pace me from the start. Even as someone fairly disinterested in stats, I like looking back and seeing how my pace and heart rate changes through races and training sessions.
In everyday life, the watch looks pretty cool. It is way less clunky than previous Garmin models and it counts my steps, so I’m inspired to get a lot of walking in.
It’s easy to rely on watches too much. I once had a coach say that they wanted to send me out on my first Ironman without a watch. Whaaaat? At the time I didn’t have a fancy watch, but I did love my simple watch that could tell me EXACTLY how I was doing AT ALL TIMES. And that was the problem for my coach. He feared that if my watch showed that I was doing better than expected, I would push too hard and blow up. If the watch showed that I wasn’t on target, he feared that I would panic and my race would suffer.
Watches can provide a crutch in that we never learn to run (or swim or bike) by feel. In addition the constant glancing at a watch can detract from the pure race experience.
Garmins in particular are infamous for requiring a fair share of googling to actually figure out how to use their full range of functions. Once you play with it a bit, they are actually very easy to operate.
However, if you tend to have a fear of all things tech-y, a basic watch with a timer and splits functionality may be the best bet for you.
Stay tuned for our upcoming blogs about other triathlon gadgets… are they friends or foes?
For more training advice from our in-house coach Kristin, visit her blog here.
Trigirl launched a new brand video earlier this year. We weren’t quite sure how the end product would turn out when we embarked on our mission. However, as it turned out, we are actually quite chuffed with the result. We love what the video says about us and about our values as a company. Please let us know what you think.
The Trigirl video crew
We just love our first-time model, Felicity. Felicity is a “real” woman (not a professional model) with a passion for the outdoors and for physical activity. She shares Trigirl’s mission to encourage women to discover physical outdoor activity as a means to a happier and more balanced life. Her zest for life really shows from the inside out!
We also worked with an amazing female cameraperson and editor, Amber of Rose Morgan Films. Both Felicity and Amber did an amazing job in really showing off our wonderful Trigirl triathlon outfits.
Trigirl brand mission and values
As a small company we can honestly say that we are here for YOU, our customers. Our founder, designers and coach advisor can all be reached directly by email.
We are always happy to offer help and advice. Whether it’s about how our kit fits, what you need for your next race or where to begin with your training. We are here to help.
The Trigirl website is full of advice on training, racing, nutrition, women’s-only races and much more. We aim to help you feel confident in your racing and training.
Our team races the races and we wear the product. We have had your race day nerves and your finish line frustrations. And, of course, your joy – oh so much triathlon joy! 🙂
The team at Trigirl value the world we live in, in which triathlon is just a part. We use recycled fabrics for our trisuits to make our product sustainable. However, we ensure no corners are cut in garment quality or fabric performance.
The (literal) irritation of triathlon chafing
When you thought about doing a triathlon, you considered whether you had time in your life to train, whether you were fit enough for the challenge, or if you could make it to the finish line. Something you probably didn’t think about was chafing- ouch!
We pride ourselves at designing our triathlon clothing to minimise the risk of chafing. We flatlock our kit so there are no bulky seams to deal with. Our suits are made of high-performance, quick-dry fabrics. We cut arm and leg holes so that they hit in the most comfortable spots.
However, even with all of that, when you combine moisture and friction over time, there’s still a chance of chafing. In fact, you may find similar in the form of hot spots or blisters on your feet when running.
Race Across America (RAAM) cycling race starting 15th of June
Trigirl is thrilled to announce that we are sponsoring the Serpentine Golden Girls in their second time racing as a four-woman team in the Race Across America (RAAM) cycling race.
RAAM, a.k.a. The Toughest Bike Race in the World, is a 3,000 mile race across the US, riding through 12 states, starting on the West Coast in California and finishing on the East Coast in Maryland. Taking in the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, Monument Valley as well as the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.
The race also has 170,000 feet worth of vertical climbs! Sounds tough for even the most ‘typical’ lycra-clad road warriors… but the Golden Girls aren’t your typical cyclists! At a combined age of 280, the women were the eldest four-person team ever to complete the race when they did it at an average age of 60, 11 years ago. They are now looking to beat their own record.
Neoprene warmth vest review by Jemima Cooper
Loving Open Water Swimming – Warmth in the Water!
I hate being cold. My lips go blue and I shake like crazy. I lose feeling in my feet, not to mention, I get incredibly grumpy. So when my coach said “why don’t you go open water swimming?” last week (this is British May!) I obviously wasn’t so chuffed!
Luckily for me, Trigirl stepped in with a snazzy under-wetsuit top, Zone3’s neoprene warmth vest, and it saved the day!!
My thoughts on this little addition to your swim wardrobe:
The idea behind the Zone3 neoprene warmth vest is to add a bit of extra warmth for open water or pool-based swimming.
Trigirl Training Favourite HITT: High-Intensity Triathlon Training
Last year, Trigirl introduced a series of high-intensity workouts we called HITT (High Intensity Triathlon Training). Based on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), these sessions incorporate high to very high levels of effort, mixed with short rest or easy recovery intervals.
We still love these sessions as a way to get your training done in less time- and with more results!
As written in an article in Shape magazine, ‘When it comes to HIIT, less might actually be more. Squat jumps for joy.’
If time is of the essence (as it is for most people) and injury is a concern (as it is for most triathletes), could HITT (High Intensity Triathlon Training!) be for you?
YES. Studies (and anecdotal evidence) are proving that shorter workouts, performed at greater intensity, could equal faster race times and less injury. Save time and achieve your goals with HITT!
Want to know more?
We are excited to announce that our new Trigirl kit for 2019 is now available for pre-order online.
We’re continuing our partnership with ECONYL® to bring you gorgeous triathlon kit that’s also high-performance and environmentally sustainable.
In addition to our amazing fabrics, functional details, and flattering women’s-specific fits, here are some highlights coming up for spring that you’re sure to love:
- Extra-special details, including matte gold and hot pink trim and reflective transfers.
- Stunning prints! Following on from the success of our favourite prints, we can’t wait to see you racing in our new ones. We especially love the cheerful glitched floral!
- Exciting styling and colours – including our new, limited edition hi-viz pink Flow swimsuit!
- New soft leg hem – we’re using power mesh instead of gripper tape in our hems to keep them snugly in place without digging or chafing!
- Easy on/easy off back clasp detail for our tri tops and swim bras.
Due to popular demand there are now more options of our favourite swimsuit/ triathlon-capri combo! We love the versatility that this combo offers. Wear the super-supportive swimsuit on its own for swimming or aquathlon.
The Trigirl triathlon capris feature our female-specific triathlon cycling chamois for maximum comfort both cycling and running. And the matching set looks great together- especially in our new prints!
Click here to see the full collection and to pre-order.
Happy shopping, happy training.
Swim. Bike. Run. Trigirl!
Trigirl is proud to announce that we are once again partnering with Deva Divas triathlon and quadrathlon. Held in Chester on 14th of July, Deva Divas is a short distance ladies-only race, providing fantastic support for beginner and improver triathletes. They offer beginner’s seminars (one this year already attracted 55 fledgling triathletes!), training days, bike workshops and more.
Registrants to Deva Divas triathlon not only receive a Trigirl discount code, but have the opportunity to compete for Trigirl prizes and vouchers, as well.
Beginning in 2006, Deva Divas is now a very popular event- so popular, in fact, that the quadrathon (swim, bike, run, kayak) has now sold out for the third year and the triathlon is selling quickly, too. Part of the race’s popularity comes from its winning the coveted British Triathlon “Event of the Year”, Triathlon England Club Event of the Year and also North West Regional Race of the Year in 2016. Deva Divas is also the only race to have ever won the British Triathlon award twice, after winning it for the first time in 2009.
Why do we do what we do at Trigirl?
It’s not just about triathlon clothing here at Trigirl. We have a passion for the mental and physical well-being that sports, especially outdoor sports, can provide. And we love the sense of achievement that completing a race can being, whether it’s your first sprint triathlon, or your 100th parkrun, or your PB half-marathon. We want others to have that feeling, too.
By encouraging women to enter the world of triathlon and supporting them as they go, we hope to share the positive effects that sport has had on us with a wide range of women- women of all sizes, shapes, ages and abilities.
At Trigirl, we love seeing the sense of confidence that participating in our sport can bring. You don’t have to be the fastest or the fittest to experience the joy of crossing a finish line or the happiness of lacing up your trainers when heading out for a run.
So why clothing and why women-only?
Pat, Trigirl founder, has a background in clothing and it seemed to make good sense to combine her love of triathlon with that background. When she met me (Kristin), a former fashion designer who also happened to be a writer and triathlon coach, it was obvious that we would be the perfect team!
We feel that women often do triathlon for different reasons than men, including the mental and physical benefits already mentioned. In my coaching, my favourite part is supporting women who worry that they can’t, only to find that they absolutely can! I love seeing a beginner go from the tentative stages of “maybe I’ll sign up for a triathlon” to the big moment of being able to say proudly, “I’m a triathlete”.
Ultimately, at Trigirl, we want to help women get more out of the lives they lead, so while our business is triathlon kit, it’s not just about the trisuit!
Trigirl uses ECONYL® for a truly sustainable triathlon clothing collection.
Starting with our 2017 collection, Trigirl began using a new, high-performance fabric, made from ECONYL® regenerated nylon yarn. ECONYL® is an innovative fibre produced with discarded nylon consumer products such as carpets and fishing nets.
“Eco-friendly” or “recycled” are big buzzwords these days, but prior to introducing ECONYL® into our line, we did our research. We wanted to ensure that our eco-friendly fabric would truly have a reduced impact on the environment, and, very importantly, still maintain the high-performance qualities our customers have grown to expect.
Excitingly, this fabric achieves both!
According to the ECONYL® website: ‘… [ECONYL®] want to rewrite the rules for producing man-made fibres. The goal is to manufacture products that are not only entirely made of regenerated material, but are fully and endlessly regenerable.’ Which sounds pretty good to us!
Our new eco-friendly fabric comes from our most trusted fabric manufacturer, the number-one supplier of technical performance fabrics in Italy. They have supplied high-quality performance fabrics for our trisuits for years. They have now worked with ECONYL® yarns to create an equally amazing and environmentally-friendly fabric.
A win-win that enables us to bring you truly eco-friendly triathlon clothing!!
For more information about ECONYL® yarns, click here.
Team Trigirl has always been proud to develop triathlon clothing for women, by women. Our kit is exclusive to Trigirl and we carefully curate the items within our small collection to bring you the best triathlon kit out there. But what inspires us, what is important to us in our designs and how do we come up with ideas for the trisuits that you love?
As athletes, we are always thinking about the kit that we want to wear.
Performance-wise, we want it all – the fabric has to dry quickly to avoid being cold and wet and a comfortable pad for the cycling leg is MANDATORY. That same pad has to feel like it magically disappears when it’s time to run.
Of course, we also like to look good wearing it! We design triathlon clothing that is made just for women, so it fits well, isn’t some shrunken-down version of what someone designed for a guy and looks great. We firmly believe that we’re faster when we feel confident!
What inspires us?
In developing our new designs each year, we start by looking at what has worked in the past. We want a fresh look, but the main objectives are still what works technically and what our customers loved/ what’s worked for them.
That said, when designing, it’s always exciting to see what’s “next”. Design trends and inspiration can come from fitness and ready-to-wear markets, art, a fantastic print or our new favourite fabric colours for the season!
Of course, we are also inspired by our Trigirl customer. We listen to your feedback and implement it in our designs. Items like our triathlon capris and larger cup-size tops have come directly from what we’ve heard from you!
What’s next for Trigirl?
We’re still loving the prints-in-athletic-wear trend, so you’ll see some beautiful (and trend-right) prints in our upcoming season. Plus we’re excited to be adding in a couple of swimsuits with a Trigirl twist.
In our entire collection, you’ll get the same well-fitting, gorgeous and high-performing pieces that you expect from us. And, of course, in our trisuits, you can expect our ongoing commitment to fit, form and function- triathlon clothing that performs.
Want to show your triathlon pride, even when you’re not racing or training? Looking for an extra layer to wear pre- and post-race? How about one (or more!) of our new Trigirl Triathlon T-shirts?
Our new T-shirts are soft, stylish and feature a female triathlete swimming, cycling and running. The perfect way to show your triathlon love and your tri-girl power!
In two styles and three colour choices, Trigirl Triathlon T-shirts are 100% cotton or a super-soft cotton-poly blend, depending on style. Great for when you’re recovering– or just relaxing! Each T-shirt coordinates with Trigirl capris and tri shorts, too, so putting together the perfect outfit is a snap!
A beginner’s guide to open water swimming
One of the questions that I hear most, both working at Trigirl and as a triathlon coach, is some form of, ‘How do I transition from the pool into the open water? How do I escape the pool?!’
It’s a valid question: many triathletes already feel that swimming is their worst sport, then add the stress of jumping into a strange lake or sea, wearing a wetsuit… guidance is needed!
At Trigirl, we’ve published some great articles and blogs on open water swimming. We have coached swimmers and have done a fair share of open water swimming ourselves. But even we can’t claim to be at the expert level of Outdoor Swimmer Magazine.
Outdoor Swimmer Magazine is a great place to catch up on tips and techniques for the new and experienced swimmer alike. They offer training and nutrition tips, suggestions on great places to travel to enjoy outdoor swimming, and a glimpse into the open water swimming community.
And for those of you who are wondering how to make the transition from the pool to the open water, Outdoor Swimmer Magazine have released their FREE Escape the Pool guide. It is packed with tips on gear, how to become more confident and wetsuit advice. The Escape the Pool Guide provides tons of answers to your open water swimming questions, written by the open water experts!
Outdoor Swimmer say, ‘For many people, swimming outside is incredibly daunting. It induces panic rather than exhilaration and joy. Or you just don’t know where to start. We’ve therefore produced this short guide to help you start on your own outdoor swimming journey which will take you to places and give you experiences that you never imagined.’ Sounds great!
For your free copy of Escape the Pool, click here.
Happy Training (and open water swimming!)
Coach Kristin x
To the Finish Line – A World Champion’s Guide to Your Perfect Race by Chrissie Wellington
Chances are if you’re a triathlete, thinking about trying triathlon or have followed sports news in the slightest, you have heard of Chrissie Wellington. Well, four-time Ironman World Champion, Chrissie, has released her second book!
This time, she draws on her own experiences to help YOU navigate, and excel at, your first (or 100th) triathlon. Lucky you!!!
And now, you’re even luckier! We have three copies of To the Finish Line to give away!! To enter, just like our Facebook page (@Trigirl.UK) then let us know why you want/really want/absolutely NEED a copy.
To the Finish Line covers a plethora of topics, ranging from fitting triathlon into your busy life to nutrition advice, all in a relaxed, readable way.
Hopefully everyone is in full swing with training now that the weather is improving, but even the most committed triathlete could use some tips from Chrissie. We can especially recommend some of the less-covered-by-other-triathlon-books topics, such as strength and conditioning tips by six-time World Champion, Dave Scott. Or check out actual recipes that Chrissie has used during training and in everyday life.
Of course, there are also easy-to-read training plans and advice on how to get the most out of your swim, bike and run training and how to be your fastest on race day.
Want to know more? We’ve read To the Finish Line and share our thoughts in our latest book review.
To read our review of To the Finish Line, click here.
To let us know why you are one of the three lucky people who gets a FREE copy, like us on Facebook @Trigirl.UK and comment in the post! Entries close on 12th June 2018.
Arm Warmers Review – Trigirl blogger Jemima tests out this essential piece of spring cycling kit
Trigirl Arm Warmers: “a MUST HAVE piece of kit”
Whoever came up with the idea for arm warmers must have lived in a topsy-turvy climate like the UK and was a genius! They are such a versatile bit of cycle kit.
Arm warmers act as an extra layer for freezing winter days and are great for those ‘too cold to start off, boiling hot midway through’ rides. Easy on/ easy off arm warmers have been a lifesaver for me so many times! They are also a great way to extend use of your summer kit- making fave summer jerseys long-sleeved in a snap!
Unfortunately, for such a simple piece of clothing, arm warmers seem to be pretty tricky to get right. Too tight, too baggy, too cool, too warm, not long enough…
This week I had the chance to try out Tri Girl’s Cosy Cycling Arm Warmers in Black/ Hi- Viz Pink.
I really liked the style and look of them (the reflective logo is also a bonus!)
These warmers use gripper bonding at the top to hold them up comfortably and securely. They’re also easy to take off (even whilst moving!) and they will fit neatly into your back-jersey pocket. They stayed up well and didn’t rub or chafe at any point.
Trigirl warmers are toasty and warm. The soft insides feel nice on the skin and help to keep the heat in… important for British spring time!
Trigirl arm warmers come in two sizes. I chose small and they were a tiny bit big for my titchy arms, but when my other cycling buddies wanted to give them a try they fit perfectly. For most, sizing shouldn’t be a problem as the stretchy material helps them fit a range of sizes (and makes them comfortable to wear). I do have fairly long arms- these were the first pair of arm warmers that I have found that can actually give me full-length coverage (another bonus!)
Trigirl arm warmers are a definite MUST HAVE piece of kit for your year-round activewear wardrobe!
Buy your set of Trigirl arm warmers in our online shop here.
Read more from university student and ambitious age group triathlete Jemima Cooper here.