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The 34-year-old Maine native did her first triathlon when, after a few too many drinks, she bet her friend that she could beat him in a triathlon with no training. Piampiano not only won the bet but also found a new career path—one that inspired her to ditch her high-pressure investment banking career and partying lifestyle. A lifelong athlete, she found early success in amateur racing (including a top American amateur finish at the Ironman World Championship) then turned pro in late 2011. She won Ironman 70.3 New Orleans in 2012—her third race as a pro—and has been working her way up the triathlon ranks. She fractured her femur last year, which sidelined her for six months, but the strong cyclist and runner bounced back with another 70.3 New Orleans victory this year and an impressive seventh-place finish at this month’s Ironman World Championship. Piampiano, who lives near San Francisco and is coached by Matt Dixon of Purplepatch Fitness, recently created Thehabitproject.net, aimed at helping other people break unhealthy patterns in their own lives through a daily challenge.
1 ROKA Women’s SIM Pro Shorts ($119, Rokasports.com) “A great way to get added buoyancy.”
2 FINIS Tempo Trainer Pro ($50, Finisinc.com)
3 Shimano SH-R321 road shoes ($380, Shimano.com) “My absolute favorite pair of cycling shoes—I use them in all my races now.”
4 Rudy Project Airstorm helmet ($175, E-rudy.com)
5 Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix ($5.99, Traderjoes.com)
6 Saucony Apparel (Bullet Tight Short, $48; Daybreak Tank, $42; Breeze Vest, $75, Saucony.com) “The Breeze Vest is the perfect extra layer for cool mornings.”
7 Trader Joe’s Raw Almond Butter Crunchy ($7.99, Traderjoes.com) “I always travel with at least one jar.”
8 CLIF products (Shot Bloks Energy Chews, $2.29; Electrolyte Hydration Drink Mix single-serve packets, $1.99; Shot Energy Gel, $1.29; Builder’s Protein Bar Chocolate Mint, $1.99; Kit’s Organic Fruit + Nut Bar, $1.59, Clifbar.com) “I use the electrolyte drink, Bloks and gels in training, and the Builder Bar is a must for
post-training! I eat the Kit’s Organic Bars as an on-the-go snack.”
9 Rudy Project Zyon ($225, E-rudy.com) “My go-to race glasses, these are amazing on the bike and for running.”
10 Saucony Women’s Type A6 ($100, Saucony.com) “The best for racing!”
11 Rudy Project Spinhawks ($150, E-rudy.com)
12 Polar V800 run computer ($450, Polar.com)
13 TicTac Mints ($1.17, Target.com) “I can’t help it—I’m a sucker for the orange ones.”