The 2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide magazine is out on newsstands now (and check out the digital version), and we’re giving you a sneak peek right here. Check out the swim accessories from the guide below and check back to Triathlete.com for more Buyer’s Guide content.
X-1 Audio Interval 4G Waterproof Headphone System
The draw: Boredom killer
If you find swimming laps boring, this X-1 (formerly H2O Audio) waterproof headphone system may be the ticket. Submersible to 12 feet, the waterproof case is designed for the fourth generation iPod Shuffle, but will accommodate the current fifth generation Shuffle. Five sets of different-sized earplugs ensure a tight fit while buttons on the case allow fast changes of volume and playlist. Best for long, slow swims as the rush of water during fast freestyle sets can muffle the music.
Aqua Sphere ErgoFlex Handpaddles
The draw: Feel for the water
These flexible hand paddles provide a more natural grip on the water than hard, flat paddles. As a result, the stroke and strength benefits transition more directly to a normal stroke after removing the paddles. The rubber frame flexes to help maintain feel for the water while the interconnected “bones” provide structure. The paddles come in small and regular sizes.
TYR Flex Fins
The draw: Selectable resistance
Color-coded with eight different sizes, these flexible fins are designed to increase swim-specific leg strength and enhance foot flexibility—two skills that former runners typically need to improve. The fins are particularly wide at the tips, which can make flutter kicking without hitting the tips difficult, but butterfly kicking is a breeze.
Finis Dryland Cord
The draw: Practical strength training
Improve your freestyle strength and technique using resistance tubing in three resistance levels—yellow for light resistance, green for medium (best for most people) and red for heavy—with foam-coated handles for comfort. The compact and lightweight cords fit easily into a gym bag and can help build swim-specific strength in your triceps, chest, biceps, shoulders and abdominal muscles. They are also useful to warm up swim muscles for races that don’t allow pre-swims.
Swim Speed Workouts for Triathletes
The draw: Workout ideas
This packet of waterproof cards contains drills, swim and gym workouts in a 16-week training plan developed by four-time Olympian, gold medalist and triathlon world champion Sheila Taormina to improve your freestyle stroke and swimming speed. Leave them on the pool deck during your swim and refer to them as needed.
Speedo Color Block Silicone Cap
The draw: No hair pulling
This soft silicone cap is latex-free and durable and is useful for open-water as well as pool swimming. It comes in three different color patterns and its slick material doesn’t yank out hair when the cap comes off.
Speedo Sports Towel
The draw: Compact size
This absorbent swimmer’s towel is made of watershed chamois. It is lightweight, quick drying and easy to travel with. Keep one rolled up and slightly damp within the plastic case in your swim locker or bag if you don’t want to deal with a wet cotton towel after a swim.