The following is a summary of the gear necessary (so far) for my ultra training and for managing nutrition:
Clothes – Running, Cycling, Crossfit
- Bike shorts – I am biking in week 3 and my bottom still hurts! My athletic girlfriend says use triathlon shorts and do not wear underwear….My friend recommended buying tri shorts vs. bike shorts
- Compression tights – I am a fan of Athleta and having tights with an easily accessible pocket to pull your phone in and out of during runs (NOT the zippers). BEST TIGHTS EVER = ALL IN TIGHT (Sculptek material) by Athleta. Side pockets for phone, zip pockets, great compression, lasts forever.
- If you get tights going just below knee, make sure the lowest band is 2″ wide or it can cut into your leg/back of your knee.
- If under 25F, I’ll wear my pair with fleece inside else these are good for normal winter days in New England.
- The Athleta Salutation tight with stash pocket made from Powervita material is similar with good side open phone pocket but not as thick material and not as compressive.
- A good sports bra – nothing moves in this thing! I get this “Anita” bra – no underwire WHICH WILL CHAFE AND HURT YOU! at Copley Mall at a store called Rigby and Peller. If you have underwire, use body butter or something or you will get a burn eventually.
- I’ll wear cotton shirts for crossfit workouts but if running or hiking, I’ll wear wicking shirts. I’ve found that one long sleeved shirt plus one medium weight fleece is all you need down to 10F with hat and gloves.
- I’m in love with smartwool shirts although they have to be the lightest weight to wear to crossfit and you don’t want to get too hot running.
- I don’t wear gloves unless its below 32F.
- Good socks – I love Thorlos and also just bought some smartwool and balega socks to try out. Thorlos have the most cushion so are good for walking around the house and seem to be the least tight as well.
- Shoes – I like minimalist, zero drop shoes and use inov8 (I am now smarter and have a separate blog on just trail shoes) and Altra trail shoes
- Night visibility equipment: hand torch (don’t like anymore) with front and rear lights, clip on lights (my favorite are the smiley faces), a high vis vest I also wear in the daytime on every run, a light “harness” ( Noxgear- see pic below) which blinks and changes colors, headlamp (Petzl Arctic Core)
- I now own Trekking poles – got Leki that breaks down
- Microspikes for snow/ice during hiking – Just got kahtoola
- Dion racing snowshoes
- Hydration Vest with ~5L of water (3L bladder in back and 2 18 oz bottles in front) with zipped pockets and open pockets for food and electrolytes and first aid, etc. Love my inov8 2:1 vest as you can attach an additional “bag” to it for longer mountainous hikes where you want extra clothes, etc. This vest is great in all weather and is used for Ultra races.
- Workout tracking: now use Garmin F935 because I needed the GPS tracking and battery life to last >12 hours. Anything based on iphone won’t work when its cold as iphone will die within a few minutes left in cold. For tracking of heart rate, running foot cadence (pace in foot strikes/minute) I am using a Wahoo TICKR chest heart rate monitor that feeds data to my Garmin or the Wahoo Runfit App on iphone (I like this app because it reads out your mile splits). Results for Runt app in first pic and results for fitbit in next three. RUNFIT is better because fitbit heart rate doesn’t seem accurate once it is high. The results below are for the same run –
HR issue: RUNFIT says avg HR 127 with max 154, FITBIT says avg 145 with max 164.
RUNFIT also gives you minutes/mile by mile, cadence and a map of your run. I LOVE that RUNFIT will talk to me and tell me every time I hit a mile and my HR and last mile time in additional to overall time.
FITBIT has a better map showing each mile point.
The problem with using your phone GPS (either with Fitbit or Runfit) is that it runs the battery down fast – I have an iphone and before a 70 min run today, it was at 60% and barely lasted the run. This will be what forces me to switch over to a Garmin device with longer battery life when workouts get longer!
- You don’t need this specific trainer but I got a KICKR Core Smart trainer that I bought with the appropriate cassette (rear gears) for my bike.
- My Specialized Ruby bike (without rear tire)
- Got some sleeves to be able to wear short sleeves and then remove the arm sleeves if hot.
- Application I use to do runs and be with other humans vs. alone in my basement is Zwift.
- Using the Zwift application on my phone, I mirror results to the tv through Apple tv.
- The Zwift phone app (or on your computer) will find any sensors you are using and your smart trainer.
- Wahoo TICKR heart rate monitor- if it isn’t picking up your heart rate, move the sensor down on your body. My bra was blocking it for awhile before I figured this out.
- Wahoo cadence sensor (for pedal turns/minute). The RPM shown in the application without this sensor is not your pedal turns.
- Sweat Towel
- Extension Cord to charge your phone and a phone holder to put onto the bicycle handlebars
Overall Setup (we also have a Concept2 Rower):
From the left, a Wahoo cadence sensor (this is one piece only, no mating piece needed to determine cadence), iphone charger and handlebar holder (one below is horrible – get a Quadlock system), appletv, wahoo TICKR heart rate monitor.
Other miscellaneous Gear
- quadlock system to attach phone to bicycle handle bars. you can get extra components and sandwich a large battery in between as phone, in airplane, using screen and gps will only last an hour.
- A good journal is indispensable – there doesn’t seem to be one answer to recording all that you do…cycling is in wahoo app (which uploads to strava), crossfit is nowhere I like, running is runfit (which uploads to Strava). I use a journal to document things I am learning and all I do day to day along with my wall calendar for high level.
- Jump rope for warmups
- Fitibit Charge to stay connected with my family – we have weekly step challenges I love plus I was using it for running when I just cared about distance and mile pace which it does a great job at. Fitbit also give you cool, uplifting messages in the morning when you put it back on after a shower! It is NOT waterproof
- A weight bench, 45 lb bar when I have to do a strength or crossfit type workout at home
- Pullup bars upstairs on a bedroom door
- Ring rows next to the weight bench
- Last but not least, a good bed! We just spent a ridiculous amount on a Sleep Number bed with adjustable base so we can go into zero gravity position. Got it yesterday and you can see us with cat below trying it out. Sleep Number can have adjustable hardness by side. We returned a Tempurpedic memory foam mattress we had just gotten. A good night sleep is so important!
Meal planning stuff
- Food scale and for travel, a portable food scale and collapsible measuring cup
- Protein powder and shaker bottle with ball or something to help powder mix (i do it with just water)
- LEAK PROOF containers – I use Six Pack Fitness Containers shown above
- Good olive oil – I recommend my neighbors’ who imports it (and I know good olive oil from living in Italy) – Johnny Madge
- Bathroom scale
Hope this helps as I’ve been struggling to accumulate all this stuff over the last year!
and BTW unrelated to OCR, but this is the best camp chair ever that is foldable and super lightweight:
There are no excuses – no hurt shoulder – no lack of equipment – it is just me and the 250 days until the race…