Every month our editors and staff spend hours and hours doing triathlon-y type things. We test the newest gear—but we also spend a lot of time in our old favorites. And we all spend our free time on our own swim-bike-run adventures too. So we know what works, and what definitely doesn’t. Each month, we share our favorite things getting us through the tri-life right now.
Typically, we give Triathlete and Outside+ members a chance to win one of our favorite items—but this month one of our favorite things is **already free** to all Outside+ members. (Whoa.) Members can get free access to Gaia GPS by clicking on your profile up in the right corner, clicking “My Perks” and then “Discounts.” Then simply activate your Gaia GPS account and get started.
JBL Reflect Mini NC Bluetooth Earbuds
I’m done with Bluetooth earbuds that are uncomfortable or don’t connect easily. I’ll even sacrifice a bit of sound quality in favor of comfort and connection. Lucky for me, the JBL Reflect Mini NC (which stands for “noise canceling”) Bluetooth earbuds have completely fit my must-have features. I’m a big proponent of having one earbud in while doing nearly anything—especially exercising—and these little waterproof ear speakers connect to my phone flawlessly every time, regardless of whether I’m rockin’ one or both. That ease of connectivity isn’t always the case with other Bluetooth earbuds I’ve used. The best part is that they don’t seem to trade audio quality or connectivity for comfort. Charging is easy, playtime is great, the case is sturdy, they’re waterproof, they’re Google- and Alexa-friendly, and the mic (in both earbuds) reportedly has good quality sound allowing you to do those conference calls from, well, not at home. My biggest gripe is that it can be difficult to activate the touch area that activates the play/pause/volume functions—especially while wearing touchscreen-friendly bike gloves. But I can get past that.
– Ryan Dionne, online education producer for our 10 Weeks to Your Best 70.3 course
I explore a lot, which means I also get lost a lot. It’s not always a bad thing—some of my best adventures in trail running have involved not knowing where the hell I am—but when it is a bad thing, it’s really bad. I live and train in the Phoenix desert, and in the summer months it’s critical that I finish my run before the sun comes up and my water runs out. I’ve used a lot of trail apps over the years to pull up during those “Wait, did I miss a turn?” moments, but Gaia GPS has by far been the most useful. In addition to providing accurate, super-detailed, and easy-to-read maps, Gaia recommends trails for me to check out, records my routes so I can file them away under specific categories (like “easy runs” or “epic climbs”), and lets me share my favorite trails with training buddies so they can get in on the fun, too. But my favorite feature? At the premium level, the maps also work offline. If you’ve ever gotten lost on a trail with no cell phone reception, you know why this is a big deal. I’m about to head out for a three-week runcation with my husband, and you can bet this will be in my vest the entire time.
– Susan Lacke, digital editor
Outside+ members get Gaia GPS Premium Access. Click on your profile in the upper right, click on “My Perks” and then “Discounts,” and then redeem your promo code. Not an Outside+ member? Become one (or upgrade your Triathlete membership).
As someone who lives in a super dry climate here in L.A., I find myself more often than not draining my biggest water bottle and searching for more to drink. Rather than buying bottles of water (I hate buying bottles of water) or becoming dehydrated while driving home from workouts, I decided I need to carry more water with me. After researching “prepper-level” water storage solutions, I stumbled upon this popular prepper water container that doesn’t leach chemicals or taste, lays flat in a car, stacks well, and even has a little pour spout accessory.
At the beginning of the week, I’ll fill the brick two-thirds of the way up from a water purifier (I like the Sawyer hose/tap attachment), lay it flat in my car, then every time I head out for a workout, I fill a big widemouth water bottle with ice, drop the ice in the waterbrick, and I’ll have moderately cold water at the end of any workout when I get back to my car. This thing has literally been a game-changer for my post-workout hydration.
– Chris Foster, executive editor
Cutwater Canned Margaritas
I’m not going to lie to you guys. The only thing I’m really loving right now are Cutwater canned margaritas. It may not seem triathlon-related, but hear me out.
After editing one too many stories on overtraining and performance plateaus, a lightbulb finally went off. This was more than just a “rut,” I needed a break. That’s been a little hit-or-miss. I did nothing for a month after Ironman Coeur d’Alene, then I tried to panic-train myself into Escape from Alcatraz in two weeks. (Don’t do this.) Then I realized all I really need isn’t necessarily to not workout at all, it’s to chill out and have some fun. My new rule is only workouts that are fun. And sometimes sitting by the pool with a margarita is way more fun than swimming in it. These are surprisingly excellent for canned margaritas and I’m going to give you a pro tip: stick with the classic margarita flavor and pace yourself. Plus, they’re way easier to carry around. Perfect for a day hike. Which is exactly the kind of unburned-out fun workout I’m down for.
– Kelly O’Mara, editor-in-chief