Run (Update 2016/2017)
I’ve migrated over to Neutral Shoes, I use the Triumph ISO 2 for long runs, Ride 9 for races, and I have the Peregrine 6 for dry trail running, and Xodus ISO Runshield for muddy trails. Here are the details of each pair:
Triumph ISO 2 – really comfortable for long runs, but a little bulky. I’ve also found that the sole on the lateral side (outside edge) irritates the middle of my for on the edge, I can see additional wear on the insole there, must be due to my unbalanced landing form I guess. Very solid, over 500kms on them and still have lots of cushion.
Ride 9 – even though these are mid-level shoes they feel quite light and fast. Pretty comfortable, but the fit is a little off compared to my old faithful Guides. Highly recommended, but be sure to try them on first.
Peregrine 6 – Having done a couple of trail runs in old Guides, I decided I needed some real ones, unfortunately the blue green colorway had sold out so I ended up with the somewhat boring grey version. However, nothing boring about the way these grip. They were a complete revelation into how much better proper trail shoes are for running off road. I’ve worn them for two half marathon trail races, and quite a few trail training runs. The midsole is a little thin, but the rock plate and the layer of Everun give you just enough protection, but keep them nimble. For harder gravel trails I would recommend the Xodus. Speaking of which:
Saucony Xodus ISO Runshield – I bought the Runshield version primarily for my walks to and from the bus stops in typical Seattle winter weather. Ironically, they don’t grip very well on icy tarmac (well the very steep downhills over on the Bellevue side), so you have to be a little careful, but for waterproofness, and trail grip they are fantastic. The upper is a single piece and very comfortable, but can get hot on warmer days as you would expect. Great shoes for keeping your feed dry on trails and paths.
After not being completely happy with the performance of the Futura Biofuse from Speedo – they seemed to fog up easily and leak eventually. I’ve had good success with the Speedo Opal. No fogs or leaking on the 1500m swim for a Standard Distance race – my longest swim so far.
I’ve recent changed to use the custom Tri Suit from my triathlon club. It is made by Australian sportswear manufacturer Cannibal. The suit is made in Australia from imported fabrics. I’ve found it to be extremely comfortable, more so that the (admittedly less expensive) Orca Core Tri Suit I was using previously, which itself was quite good. The Orca Core is their entry level suit, but it has quite a good chamois and the suit is really comfortable. I’ve been pretty hapy with this so far. It has handy pockets on the back for gels/etc.
I bough in a Orca Wet Suit at the beginning of the 2014/15 season, know that I would use it for Bussellton 70.3 at the end of the season, and given myself a full season to get used to it. It’s really comfortable and really helps with my swimming. So far I have been able to use it in 3 out of 6 races, with 1 of those converting to a duathlon, and the other 2 not being wet suit legal due to water temperatures. Unfortunately the 1500m Standard Distance race was one of the non-wetsuit swims so I didn’t get a chance to test it in a long swim. With any luck the Standard Distance race in April will be wetsuit legal.
My current bike is my first road bike that I’ve invested in. It is a Merida Scultura 905-e I was lent a Cannondale CAAD8 Alu road bike, which was great, but I decided to go carbon. I also opted for the Ultegra Di2 group set, so that I could add TT shifters to the clip on bars.
It’s not the most aero bike out there, but it is comfortable, high quality, and extremely cost competitive. The Di2 bike was cheaper than several larger name brand bikes with a 105 groupset.
I was fortunate to win a local triathlon series random prize draw and recieved a Specialized S-Works Evade helment and S-Works Trivent shoes. The shoes are really easy to slip on during the ‘flying leap’ bike mount out of T2. The stiff carbon soles feel really efficient and help your feet not get fatigued, but the Boa system wires around the back of your ankle does start to wear on you after 40 or 50 km. For a half ironman I would recommend cycling socks, but to be fair they are made as short course shoes (sprint/olympic). Both these items are far beyond the level of my capability – but it’s great to have some high-end gear.
My current shoes are from Saucony. Having been tested a local running store, I was recommended the Guide model to support moderate over pronation. I’m onto my second pair of Saucony Guide 6 – this is my distance and easy run shoe.
For racing I’ve got the Saucony Mirage 4 – their stability distance racing shoe (not quite as extreme as the Fastwitch – their stability racing flat). The version 4 is particularly comfortable and less firm than the Mirage 2.