- 10 smart products for triathlon training and racing
- How to choose the best triathlon tech product for you
- Do I need to buy smart products for training and racing?
Triathlon Tech: Smart Products for Training and Racing
Essential triathlon gear like wetsuits, goggles, and bicycles are important items to bring during training and competitions. They are your partner to success. They are the foundational resources you need. But like every foundation, your list of triathlon equipment also needs floors that can elevate your performance and overall success.
If you want to improve your triathlon training and racing, do it with the help of technology today, there are smart products that can help you achieve your goals, eliminate weaknesses, and hone your strengths. Here are ten of the best and must-have smart products for athletes you should check out:
GPS Sports Watch
Advanced GPS sports watches are worthwhile if you’re getting serious about triathlon or other endurance sports. Many fitness trackers or regular sports watches incorporate location-tracking features to accurately record workouts and other activities, but GPS watches offer more features that can provide you with more data regarding what you’re actually doing.
Built-in GPS sensors can also record your pace, time, distance, and calories burned. Other advanced and high-end watches released from 2019 onwards offer even more unique features and allow the user to customize the display and show exactly what they want to see while training or competing. Each device is equipped with a unique combination of different sensors, algorithms, and dedicated mobile apps.
Most GPS sports watches today are marketed towards runners, but you can find brands and models specifically designed for triathletes, golfers, hikers, and other endurance sport athletes.
- Garmin Forerunner 245 Music – $349.99 (5,505.49 EGP)
- Apple Watch Series 7 – starts at $399 (6,276 EGP)
- Fitbit Sense – $199.95 (3,145 EGP)
Smart Brake Systems
Braking systems allow triathletes and cyclists to precisely and accurately control the riding resistance of their gear while cycling outside. It can act like an indoor trainer that can also be used on roads. Further, it gives cyclists full control of their training and riding resistance in any weather condition and location, actively preventing accidents.
Smart braking systems, meanwhile, offer other advanced features aside from the main function of a braking system. The smarter versions have dedicated mobile apps where users can alter the modes: manual, automatic, heart-rate mode, CDA mode, or power mode.
When choosing a smart braking system, look for brands and models that offer strong bearings, tighter tolerances, better heat paths, and responsive mobile apps. At the time of writing, there’s only one smart disk brake that can offer all these and more on the market — the AIRhub Pro Disk, which costs $1,400 USD (22,000 EGP).
Smart paddles are advanced wearable underwater sensors that easily measure and quantify the user’s swim stroke efficiency, biomechanics, and other swimming metrics of both arms in real-time. They are like the water equivalent of sports watches.
As smart paddles measure whether the user is pulling better or more efficiently with one arm than the other, it can help you become a better swimmer by comparing and contrasting your training sessions. You can easily modify your training with the results shown by smart paddles.
Most models of this gadget make use of silicone straps to attach the actual device to the swimmer’s palms; they don’t disrupt the actual movements of the user. Then, the swimmer can use the dedicated mobile app of the device to control the recording.
- Smart Paddles by the Race Club – $1,000 USD (15,730 EGP)
- Smart Paddle by Trainesense – $578 USD (9,092 EGP)
Smart Swimming Goggles
Following the smart paddles are smart swimming goggles, which also offer some of the main features of the previously mentioned smart swimming device through vision. Smart swimming goggles offer real-time metrics (distance, time, and pace) and guided workouts through the actual, transparent pair of goggles or when paired with the dedicated mobile app. Some even display the water temperature and progress update.
Most smart swimming goggles carry the main in-built smart features, while others are marketed as wearables that you can attach and detach to your regular swimming goggles to make them ‘smart’. Some high-end and advanced swim goggles come with an Android operating system, Wi-Fi connectivity, and Bluetooth audio.
- FORM Smart Swim Goggles – $199 USD (3,130. EGP)
- Vuzix Labs Smart Swim® – $199 USD (3,130. EGP)
- Finis Smart Google Kit – $235 USD (3,696.65 EGP)
Hydration monitors for athletes measure hydration levels and inform them when, what, and how much to drink at a specific time. The common method these monitors use is sampling microfluidic sweat, then analyzing the liquid to determine various parameters like plasma makers, urine markers, and total body water content.
There are various types of hydration monitors today, but the most convenient ones are the wearables, which you will only strap on your body—like a wrist or armband—to measure your hydration status in real-time. Wearing them on competitions and training will help you save time as it tracks your hydration and electrolyte balance and notifies you when is the best time to rehydrate.
Other types of hydration monitors are smart mobile applications, which will allow you to input your liquid intake manually, and smart tumblers, which measure your liquid intake and remind you when to rehydrate through its dedicated mobile app.
- Sixty Hydration Monitor – $147 to $220 USD (2,310 EGP to 3,457 EGP)
- LVL Hydration Monitor – $120 USD (1,885. EGP)
- Aura Strap (attachable to smart watches) – $99 USD (1, 555 EGP)
Smart Bike Trainers
Smart bike trainers are a good investment if you live in the city and find it hard to find a place to train and cycle outdoors—like when you’re off-season or in interval training. It’s an even better investment if you’re training during the winter months when it’s best to stay at home due to extreme weather conditions.
Compared to regular or traditional bike trainers, smart bike trainers are high-tech indoor cycling equipment with virtual worlds and training programs you can easily connect to. They also function through a direct connection to the chain to measure your activity. Some smart bike trainers have built-in or third-party interactive apps where you can monitor your activity or use a virtual environment. Three of the most popular third-party indoor cycling apps today are Zwift, TrainerRoad, and RGT Cycling.
- Tacx Neo Bike Smart – $3,199 USD (50, 276 EGP)
- SRM Smart IT – $5,660 USD (88, 954 EGP)
- Peloton Bike – starts at $1,495 (23, 495 EGP)
Smart insoles are technologically-driven accessories that fit right inside your shoes and carry a combination of pressure sensors, motion sensors, and other measuring technologies. Smart insoles are designed to get the most accurate and real-time gait parameters on every step you make to measure your power, accuracy, and precision while running. As such, this technology is best suited for runners and triathletes who wish to improve their running form and speed.
Since smart insoles are detachable, they are mostly invisible and comfortable when worn and come with a wireless charging system that you can bring to training and competitions.
- FeetMe Insoles – $175.54 USD (2,750 EGP)
- DigitSole Smart Insoles – $112 USD (1, 760 EGP)
- NURVV Run Smart Insoles – $299.955 (4,714 EGP)
Smart Running Power Meters
Running power meters offer real-time measurements of the energy output you release from your running form. Your energy output and form also affect your pace and heart rate, so power meters let you determine the best running form, speed, and techniques based on the changes in your performance. In short, running power meters measure your effort and how effective it is.
Smart running power meters today can be attached to your chest, wrist, or shoes. They also have a dedicated application where you can see the results of your running performance and analyze weaknesses and strengths.
- Stryd Running Pod – $279 USD (4,384 EGP)
- RunScribe Plus – $399 USD (6,270 EGP)
- RPM2 – $499 USD (7,842 EGP)
When it comes to measuring performance and health status, smart clothing can probably do it all. These clothes are a new category of sports apparel and equipment. Beyond traditional use, smart clothes are equipped with innovative technologies to provide extra functionality.
Most smart clothes are made with intelligent fabric like smart textiles or e-textiles, which mostly come with sensors and additional hardware. The combined powers of this hardware collect activity metrics, biometrics, and external factors, such as body temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation, hydration levels, distance traveled, and more. Some can even monitor stress levels. The collected data can be viewed through a dedicated mobile app paired with smart clothes.
- Wearable X – starts at $249 USD (3,193 EGP)
- Ambiotex – starts at $94 USD (1,477 EGP)
- Komodo – starts at $99 USD (1,555 EGP)
Smart Sleep Trackers
Rest and recovery are just as important as training and success to athletes. As such, you should also prioritize and invest in better sleeping patterns and habits if you want to get the best performance during training and competitions. Good thing there are also smart devices for that.
Smart sleep trackers can provide data and other information related to your sleeping patterns, habits, and quality. These devices track your brain activity and measure physical factors like heart rate, oxygen levels, body temperature, and body movement, then transfer these data to a dedicated mobile app. These results can offer you an in-depth view of your overall health and sleep quality, so you’ll know how to improve your sleep, rest, and recovery.
Many smart sleep trackers today don’t just offer data. Some of them even come with extra features like alarm clocks, a direct connection to your room lights and room temperature settings, and wearable accessories.
- Go2Sleep by Sleepon – $129 USD (2,027 EGP)
- Biostrap Active Set – $399 USD (6,270 EGP)
- Tempur-Pedic SleepTracker – $299 USD (3,143 EGP)
How to Choose the Best Triathlon Tech Product For You
We can’t deny that one of the best strategies for a good race is to have the right gear, so you must choose the right triathlon equipment for you. If you plan to go the SMARTer way, which involves choosing high-tech, smart, and electronic products for your training and competition, you must choose wisely with budget and functionality in mind.
Here are some of the factors you should consider when choosing a smart triathlon product:
Identify Your Training Needs
Identify the gaps in your training based on the equipment you need. In this way, you’ll know the right products to buy, and how they can help you in the long run. Start with the must-haves instead of buying a product you think is cool.
Weigh the Features
Take a look at the specific features of the smart product you want to buy, and compare it with other products of the same variant or functionality and see if every single feature offered can be beneficial to you. It’s best to look for a smart product, such as a smartwatch, that has it all—instead of buying multiple individual products that offer the same features.
Consider Your Budget
Most of these products aren’t cheap. Due to their advanced technological features, they can be expensive. As such, you should also consider your budget when purchasing a smart product for triathlon. Avoid buying expensive models or items that may hurt your budget for actual triathlon training and competitions.
All the ten smart products for triathlon that we’ve mentioned here are useful. But collectively, they are not. You don’t have to purchase every tech product listed on this page. If you have the budget, just choose a product that can do it all or a product that can surely be beneficial to your long-term athletic journey. It all comes down to what you need for training and competitions.
Remember that these smart triathlon tech products are designed to aid the improvement of your performance, productivity, and physical health. They won’t guarantee your success. Success, after all, is a combination of all your efforts.