Karena’s Favorite Triathlon Race Day & Training Gear!

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in determination.”

With just three weeks to go until race day, I have to be honest… my nerves are starting to set in!

On Monday, I went for my first open water swim training session with Bobby. It was a cloudy, windy evening and the water was very choppy. It felt amazing to swim in open water, but it was somewhat scary at first. It was just Bobby and I in the middle of the wide open ocean… not to mention it’s Shark Week too! It’s been a few years since I’ve swam beyond the break with no surf or paddle board and I definitely had to overcome some fears. Once I let go and just focused on my stroke and breath, I remembered why I love to race: it’s all about the challenge!

Once you let go, you can finally enjoy the moment.

Many of you have asked about my favorite gear for training and race day so I filmed this video just for you.

These are just a few must-have items of mine and some tips I’ve learned along the way!

Here you can find more info on some of my fave products ~

Speedo Vanquisher Goggles ~ These are my favorite because they’re low profile and fit easily around your eyes. They also have anti-fog and UV protection!

Zoot SWIMfit Silicone Cap ~ I like silicone caps because they’re thicker and slightly less elastic than latex. This means they’re more durable. They’re also designed to hold in longer hair ;) Speedo also has some fun designs if you are feeling frisky!

Oakley swimwear ~ Super comfortable and stylish for a training suit!

Zoot Prophet ~ Triathlon wetsuits help you stay insulated and make you more buoyant during your swim. This one is easy to get on and off, uses flexible paneling in the shoulders and back, giving you maximum shoulder range-of-motion without breathing restriction. It’s one of the most buoyant suits I’ve worn, allowing me to focus on the stroke rather than staying balanced in the water. Some other great and reliable brands are Blue Seventy, Aqua, Xterra, DeSoto & 2XU.

Scott Foil ~ When you’re ready to upgrade for your race, road bikes are the way to go. They’re lightweight with slick tires to give you speed and agility. Look for clipless pedals and shoes to give you more power throughout your entire pedal stroke. TIP: Choose a shoe with velcro for a speedier transition! Other great bikes I’ve tried are Jamis, Trek and Cannondale. There are a lot of options out there with several different price points. Find what works best for you!

Trek Helmet ~ Safety first!! Never, EVER go on a road bike without a helmet. There are so many options. For road biking, find one that’s light weight, has generous ventilation and an aerodynamic design. This reduces drag to ensure you keep your speed.

Asics GEL-KayanoZoot Ultra Tempo 5.0 ~ To find the perfect running shoe, I suggest going to a local running shop to get properly fitted. A professional will measure your feet, determine your arch shape and if you pronate or supinate. From there they will find the perfect shoe for you!! Asics Kayanos have been both mine and Kat’s go-to running shoe for years. Zoot also makes a great triathlon specific race day shoe that’s lightweight and laceless so you save time in transition.

Zoot Trisuit & Zoot Jersey ~ I prefer triathlon specific race day and training gear because it’s designed to work well for all 3 stages of the race. They dry quickly and wick away moisture. Many also have UV protection and the shorts have thinner pads to give you more comfort for the running stage! It’s also more breathable, flexible and there’s room in the tops for easy access to your gels :).

Oakley Compression Capris – I LOVE training in compression capris. They add extra support, reduce muscle fatigue, have ventilation and reduce post exercise muscle soreness. Oakley has some pretty cool fashionable designs too!

Oakley MissConductsTwentySix.2 sunglasses ~ It’s important to protect your eyes! These are my current favorite Oakley sunglasses. They’re stylish, come in a variety of great colors and they’re functional for both cycling and running. I love the no slip nose pad so you won’t have to worry about adjusting your sunglasses during the race.

Trigger Point Foam Roller ~ This is the perfect travel friendly foam roller.

As promised right click HERE and select “save as…” to download your Race Day Checklist!

Be sure to print out your training calendar below, if you haven’t already!

Also, perform this strengthening routine at least two to three times a week for increased endurance and improved coordination for biking, running and swimming!

Along with strength training, stretching is a vital part of a successful fitness routine. It’s especially important during your triathlon training! Not only does it help prevent injury, but a limber body will make sure you do amazing come race day. I created this stretching routine just for you.

The more flexible you are, the more elasticity your muscles have and the better you’ll perform! Be sure to also add other stretching routines into your workouts like yoga and foam rolling ~ try this one! Finding the perfect yoga class is easy to do even if you’re at home. When I can’t make it to a studio, I use the Yogify app on my iPhone or choose a class at Yogalglo.com.

#TIUTri is in full effect! We love seeing all your check ins… Keep them coming!


I created two downloadable training programs just for you ~ an 8 week Sprint and 12 week Olympic distance calendar. Keep checking in with me with all your training sessions on Instagram and Twitter too. If you are training for a race with me, make sure you hashtag #TIUTri. I’m really excited… let’s do this together!!

**Remember to stretch after each session and use a foam roller to prevent injury. It’s your new best friend :) Along with R.I.C.E. ~ Rest, Ice, Compression & Elevation!

Right click HERE and select “save as…” to download your 8 Week Sprint distance training calendar!

Right click HERE and select “save as…” to download your 12 week Olympic distance training calendar!

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE):

You will see numbers in parenthesis on your calendar. These numbers will help determine the intensity of your training session.

1 – 2 = Easy, Comfortable, Conversational Pace (50-55% effort)
3 – 4 = Aerobic/Endurance Pace (60-70% effort)
5 – 6 = Moderate Pace (75-80% effort)
7  = Uncomfortably Comfortable/Sub -Threshold Pace (85% effort)
8  = Threshold/Hard Pace (90% effort)
9  = Challenging/Very Hard Pace (95% effort)
10 = All Out Sprint (100% effort)

Intervals: These workouts help increase speed. They include moderate, sub-threshold, and threshold intervals interspersed with recovery. I encourage you to add interval sprints into at least one swim, bike and run per week.

Example: Go hard for 1 minute, then 1 minute low intensity followed by 1 minute off and repeat. Spin class is great for bike intervals and a local high school track is great for run intervals.

*Brick Workout: Complete your run immediately following your bike workout. This workout will help improve your bike-to-run efficiency!

Swim, Bike, Run… Lift!

In addition to cardio, strength training is imperative when preparing for a triathlon. Building strong, lean muscles will prevent injury, increase performance and endurance while also improving stability. Strength training should be done 2-3 times per week. This video is a full body, functional strength training workout for triathletes ~ it works all the muscles you use for your run, bike and swim along with improving coordination. You can do any other full body Tone It Up routines, including your fave from your Beach Babe DVD.

Success in triathlon depends on several factors and proper nutrition is imperative when training for any race. If you’re on the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan you are fueling your body with all the delicious nutrients it needs to power through training and stay strong on race day!

Want to join the Tone It Up team?

Join today ~ Tone It Up Team!

You already know the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan is amazing and effective – and NOW it’s even better than ever! See amazing success stories HERE!


We want YOU to be our next success story! Join the team here!!



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