Q: "Have you ever heard of 2XU? If so, what is your opinion on their gear?" Christine S., Franklin, MA
A: Yes, I have and, in fact, the private Australian sporting apparel company, which is known for its compression garments as well as triathlon, cycling running and open water swimming gear, is my go-to brand for cycling shorts.
But, as with any apparel item, be it everyday clothes, professional dress or workout gear, the decision on what to buy usually comes down to fit, comfort, quality and price - variables that differ for each individual. Once I find an item that works for me, I tend to stick with it.
For swimming, I rely on Speedo Air Seal XR Mirrored Swim Goggles. After years of struggling with the popular all-plastic Swedish goggles, with no gasket or seal around the eye cup, which leaked and pinched my face, I discovered the Air Seal XRs and my comfort level in the water increased immediately. I always wear a two-piece Speedo for swim workouts, and when it's time to take the plunge into frigid open water, my dinosaur of a wetsuit, a 15-year-old sleeveless Quintana Roo, gets the job done.
Bontrager makes my favorite cycling shoes, Pearl Izumi my favorite cycling socks. I wear 2XU cycling shorts, a Pearl Izumi Elite Tri Sleeveless jersey, and all of my sports bras are from Title 9. Both my training and aero racing helmet are Giro and my perfect fitting, no-slip, red-framed sunglasses are Boston Bill. But the most important part of the cycling gear is the cycle itself; mine is a Felt S22.
Before my battle with plantar fasciitis, I wore Brooks running shoes exclusively. But adopting a Chi Running style necessitated a switch to minimalist footwear, so I now favor Saucony Kinvaras, a seven ounce shoe with a four millimeter midsole differential. Paired with Zulu running socks, my feet have never been happier, though I still rely on Brooks for running shorts, the Epiphany Stretch being my favorite. Under Armour makes the best-fitting running shirts and tanks for me, and I especially like the silky, scoop-neck, cap-sleeve shirts I've received in my swag bags at the Baltimore Running Festival. I now have the same shirt in blue, green and orange, and a long-sleeve version of the same shirt in a traffic-stopping greenish-yellow. For safety I wear a Road ID neoprene and Velcro ankle band, and to log all the miles I rely on my Garmin Forerunner GPS watch, a birthday gift from my parents. To top it all off, I never leave home for a run without a Headsweats visor, my iPod shuffle, and a thick coating of Neutrogena or Coppertone Sport sunscreen.
Please email your fitness and health questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to:
As I See Fit
201 Railroad Ave.
Westminster, Md. 21157