Run/Tri-Bike – The single most useful piece of kit is ….. ?

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The Humble GPS Watch

In order to comply with race rules and avoid being arrested, your most important piece of kit will be something which also protects your modesty.

Let’s ask, instead, ask a more interesting questions along the lines of  “what is the single most piece of useful kit?” but in gadget terms. It doesn’t have to be electronic but to make the potential debate interesting it has to be a bit more than ‘a bike’ or ‘a pair of training shoes’. Maybe there needs to have been a modicum of intellect behind the invention or design?

Here are my starters for 10, which you can vote on:

  1. FTP – whilst FTP has restrictions in terms of how many of us interpret it. FTP is super-useful as the basis for determining training zones for power-based activities…and more besides.
  2. HRM – But then again, a heart rate monitor is cheaper and also useful at producing training zones. That too has drawbacks but it’s probably the easiest way to get zones/intensity metrics for all 3 tri disciplines.
  3. CP-CURVE – Sticking to a similar theme my favourite would be my critical power curve. Assuming you’ve got a power meter and you are not afraid to use it then you can easily get a CP curve for free plus some hard work.
  4. TRI-SUIT – we all love a bit of lycra, despite pretending we don’t. Whoever invented the ‘padded one piece wonder” did a great job for all-things-tri, making transitions less like a visit to the changing rooms at your local clothes store.
  5. AEROBARS (aerodynamic racing position) – we all like a bit of free speed and a bad back.
  6. WETSUIT – Again, free speed for me and a bit of warmth thrown in for free.
  7. DERAILLEURS – an age-old invention but most of us would struggle without them.
  8. GPS WATCH – I’m not sure about this one. I started out with a watch, moved to a watch that did just heart rate via a chest strap and then soon added a footpod. I’ve now gone full circle through GPS and GLONASS innovation and come back to the same starting place. So maybe a footpod is more useful?
  9. MOTION CONTROL RUNNING SHOES – If you heel strike and pronate then you may very well get injured a lot were it not for the invention of running shoes to correct your gait
  10. ENERGY DRINKS – I personally like the dual-fuel carbs of some of High5’s products (other vendors do the same thing) but generic energy drinks have helped many of us through those longer training sessions or races. Perhaps jelly beans, bananas and water would have sufficed.

Maybe you could argue for timing chips? or cycle helmets? or number belts/safety pins?  Now is your chance. Add your own vote. I’ll change the poll if two other people agree with your further suggestions.

My vote is for the cost-effectiveness of the free CP Curve. That has given me many hours of analytical pleasure in more recent years.

Here is what you all think:

What is your most useful piece of tri-related kit (run or bike or swim)

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