Gear: Cycle of Life

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This is an informative post for all my athlete peeps. Most of the information obtained comes from my experience working in a running/triathlon shop for the last 5 years <--- have I mentioned I totally LOVE my job!? I do. More of the information comes from personal experience doing what I do. Plus, I read, I research, I learn.

Gear: the cycle of life!!

A good pair of running/training shoes will last you 300-500 miles. This depends on how much you run, wear them, your weight, and how hard you run on them. If you are in the RIGHT pair of shoes, your wear pattern should be even. If you run a little bit, you're likely to hit the 500 mile mark. If you run a lot of bit, you're probably going to need new ones around 300. Here's what will happen when you know it's time <--- no, it's not when your toes are busting through or sides are busting over or the inside is deteriorated. It's when you start to feel something a little "off". Like, are my knees hurting? This has never happened! Or the ankles feel a little sore, unstable? Or maybe the palm of your feet or toes feels discomfort? If you don't actually track your mileage on the shoes, SOMETHING will tell you it's time. Hips. Back. Knees. Joints or bones or muscles will tell you.

Cycling shoes can be worn until broken. I recommend switching out your cleats after a season or two (especially if you run through transition on them) and switch out the support insert inside. Your local bike shop will probably have some comfy replacement inserts.

Sports bra - change them out with your shoes! TRUE STORY! Sports bras lose their supportness (the real word would be elasticity) with every wash and dry. You should be fitted properly for a good sports bra (I recommend Moving Comfort) and 3 months to a year is good for wear.

Sweat wicking/dry fit clothes - this is another one that depends on your wash and wear. If you wash AND dry, the material is gonna break down faster. I recommend washing and hanging to dry to get a few more weeks out of each piece. A lot of sweat wicking material seems to collect odor, doesn't it? I know mine do. I have found that bamboo material is quite lasting. AND, hate to say it, but the better the stuff (often the more expensive stuff) lasts longer without the odor build up.

Compression - don't dry your compression stuff! The heat breaks them down QUICK. Hang to dry. You can expect to get about 1 year of wear out of compression (a little longer for recovery gear - stuff you're only wearing after the race).

Tri suit / Lycra / Swim wear - more about the wash and wear. I don't dry any of tri clothes and they have lasted forever! I think I've thrown away ONE pair of tri shorts. The rest have lasted through 4 years of training and racing (I have special kits for race only). You'll notice the pad of tri shorts or bike shorts will start to wear out first. Once that starts happening you'll be more prone to chafing and saddle sores <--- time to toss them!! The material also wears very thin with washes. You don't know it, but those riding behind you know it!! Hee hee, we can see your booty!! Friends tell their friends their cycle shorts are done. Test: put em on and bend over in front of a mirror. If you see skin, so do we!!

Other gear (like water bottles, flip belts, goggles, etc...) - use it til it breaks, stains, or stinks!

Any other gear life questions, please feel free to ask!! If I don't know, I'll find someone who does. There is no question to small or silly in triathlon/fitness life. I just had an out of town friend call me yesterday while getting fitted for shoes to chat about which were the best for her (in my moderately professional opinion). ASK ASK ASK!!