Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Best Training Tools I Know

I want to share the best training tools I have for just about every athletic thing I do. I'm going to try to make this useful and information without giving too much detail.

Pace Calculator -
This pace calculator thing is amazing. It can help you prepare for target pace workouts or give you a great breakdown of race performance.

Course Map -
 MapMyRun - Works great and is very accurate. Very few glitches.

Self Therapy -
My wife got me a Trigger Point Cool Roller last Christmas and it has quickly become an invaluable tool. Rolling is a great way to speed up recovery after a hard set or a really long workout. You can roll-out more areas of your body with a traditional foam roller  (cold stainless steel doesn't feel good on my hips and it's too small for my back), but the cold really helps large muscles in the legs.

Music -
I just have a regular iPod shuffle, but a waterproof one might be a good idea if you want to use it in the pool (Triathletes).

Running Headphones - I use iRun earphones and they work perfectly. I love the short cord. I hear great things about JayBird's and YurBuds.

Here's a tip -Combine the iPod shuffle and iRun earbuds (or something similar) and attach them to a thin, elastic hairband (like some soccer players wear) to hold the combo onto the back of your head. It works great for times when you don't want to wear a hat and it works MUCH better than attaching it to your shirt collar.

Protein -
I tend not to like products with 50 mystery ingredients, each consisting of 10-15 syllables, that were all created in a dark lab somewhere (call me crazy), so I steer clear of the typical protein powders. Raw Meal tastes great and is holistically good for you. If you have the wallet, Vega Sport products are supreme.

Diet -
If you have a smartphone, the My Fitness Pal app is a great tool. It has virtually any food you can think of in its database. You should still check the numbers out if you think something is way off. I found a few numbers that were wrong on a kind of pasta sauce I used and corrected my sodium intake by 500 mg.

Note - My Fitness Pal will let you input exercise to measure calories burned, but strength training and such will show up as 0 calories burned  no matter how of long of a session you input. You have to put that time in the Cardiovascular section under Circuit Training. I simply estimate the amount of time I spent "in" activity (not resting) and use that. This gets you "pretty close" and I tend to find it showing fewer calories burned off than seems logical.

I'll try to follow this post up with another installment in a few months.

Please post your favorite gear in the comments so I can try it out.