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What We’re Loving This Week: Swim Paddles, Training Apps, Fancy Glasses

Our favorite triathlon-related things—old, new, and random—right now.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Every week, our editors, writers, and staff spend a lot of time getting outside, testing out gear, and doing their own training. Here’s what we’re using in our regular lives right now.

Finis Agility Paddles

When I cautiously stepped onto a pool deck for the first time in four months a few weeks back, it marked the longest stretch of time I’d spent without a lap swim in TWENTY YEARS (this includes a near-fatal car crash and two pregnancies!). My first few laps were a bit floppy, but thanks to my Finis Agility paddles, I was able to get a feel for the water again relatively quickly. The unique thumb-hole design of these is the key—if your stroke is even slightly uneven you get instant feedback because they simply slip right off. (Don’t worry, they float for easy retrieval.) I’m currently afforded two swims per week in a reserved lane, and while many things about the lap-swimming experience are now different, as soon as I slap on my paddles and dive beneath the surface, I feel free.

– Susan Legacki, contributing writer and content director at TrainingPeaks

Nike Training Club App

I’ve never been a person to use apps for strength training, but given that I’m relegated to working out in my home I decided to give it a try. After researching several apps for this article back in April, I decided to do one of the complete programs in the Nike Training Club. I chose the Breakthrough Challenge and finished it up this last week. I loved the combo of strength training, HIIT, and yoga. The instructors are engaging and the workouts are a totally manageable 40 minutes (about). Each week is formatted like this (with two rest days where you choose).

Day 1: Lower body strength
Day 2: HIIT and core
Day 3: Upper body strength
Day 4: Yoga
Day 5: HIIT and flow

On the days without HIIT it’s pretty easy to include other swimming, biking, and running. 
When the pandemic hit, Nike made the premium features (including this program) free. Since finishing the breakthrough program, I’ve gone back and repeated some of my favorites. I’ve also started incorporating several of the yoga classes into my recovery days.

– Liz Hichens, senior digital editor

Rapha Classic Glasses

Yes, Rapha sent me these as part of their eyewear re-launch and, yes, I always feel slightly extra when in Rapha gear. But I had been looking for a pair of casual glasses that I could also casually go for a run in if I just happened to feel inspired. I had the perfect Rudy Project pair forever and lost them during a race back when races were a thing. (Sara, pretty sure they’re still at your house, kthx.) And so I’d been on the lookout for new sunglasses to replace those. I can’t quite handle the uber-sporty face mask glasses everyone seems to be rocking on the bike and run these days. For me, it’s all about a pair I can wear around town without looking crazy, but that will stay on my face without glare or sweat build-up if I happen to get active while out on the town. This “classic” model seems to do just the trick. They stay snug on my face, hold up for all kinds of activities, and I look super fly. And, for Rapha, they’re only kind of expensive. I might even buy an extra pair.

– Kelly O’Mara, editor-in-chief