8 Products I Loved in 2019… And 4 I’m Excited About for 2020!
2019 was a solid year as far as cool new (or new-to-me) products went, but I have to admit, I spent more of the season actually whittling down my collection of gear, letting go of some of my (older) bikes, handing off some kit to younger riders in the NJ NICA leagues, and while I realize I still have a ton of paring down that can be done, I’m feeling pretty good about what my gear closet has shifted to. One of the big shifts for me has been moving from exclusively lululemon running shorts and random tank tops to really loving Tracksmith’s women’s clothing. Another was finding the right blend of in-run food that works for me. So, here are a few of the things I found this year that I completely fell in love with! (And real talk: while I got to test a couple of the nutrition things free first, I eventually bought all of these things at full price. That is how good they are.)
Tracksmith Session Shorts
I love Tracksmith’s vibe, likely because it’s heavy on neutral colorways. But I am SUPER picky about fit, so I was really hesitant to try any of their stuff. Finally, Peter got me a couple pieces for my birthday and I fell in love. The shorts became my new go-tos after years of running strictly in lululemon’s shorts. These are silky, super comfortable, and the liner is really comfortable. Nothing fancy, all business. (Tip: Size down for racer fit.) (Tracksmith Session Shorts)
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know I struggle to find a henley top that I love in terms of fit, durability and style. Tracksmith actually made that happen, and I now have their henley run top in black and cream, and wear it constantly. Their stuff is expensive, but if you spend a lot of time running, use clothing hard, and want stuff that works on the run and also in casual life, it is 110% worth it. I’ve bought a ton from them at this point, all full price, because it holds up, it fits, and it looks damn good. (Tracksmith Henley)
I won’t bring much by way of fuel with me to Girona, where we’re heading to do winter training and run some camps. But I will be bringing a big bag of unflavored Tailwind, because it’s the only product I’ve found that sits well in my stomach while serving up a ton of calories, which I need for ultra-run training + for surviving coaching cycling camps, where there may be times when I don’t have the chance to actually snack on the bike. (Tailwind Unflavored)
While in a race, I stick to gels and Tailwind, on long runs and rides, I do like having something a little more substantial. Gu Stroopwaffels are super tasty, don’t bug my stomach, and frankly, are really easy to pack because they’re super thin for the calories that they contain. I can eat them running and riding, and haven’t had an issue yet. Would I prefer a real waffle? Definitely. Can I climb a mountain with one? No. So these are a close second. (Gu Stroopwaffels)
Klean Athlete Melatonin
The first melatonin that I’ve found that works well for — and it tastes delicious, which is a silly thing to be excited about but I love. 10/10 recommend if you’re trying to get your sleep on track. I also love Klean Athlete because all their stuff is NSF certified, so I can actually trust it. (Klean Athlete Melatonin)
Gu Roctane Magnesium
I love Calm’s magnesium powder, but when we’re traveling, it’s a hassle to bring the big container with me, so when Gu launched their magnesium capsules, I was so damn happy. I still do Calm powder at home because it’s a good reason to drink more water at night, but it’s super handy to be able to stick to the same supplements when we’re on the road, and I love having a brand that I actually trust. (Gu Roctane Magnesium)
Shimano MTB Shoes
My wide toe box has never been so happy. Since I started running in barefoot shoes / running more, regular cycling shoes tend to be too cramped in the toe box. Wide width ones are too wide in the middle and heels. But the Shimano MTB Shoes actually have room for movement without being way too wide. I know I’m not the only one with this issue, so if you’re in the same boat, check them out. (Shimano MTB Shoes)
Free guided and unguided meditation. Easy to use, not obnoxious. Cannot recommend enough. (Oak App)
And a few that I’m super excited about for 2020…
Champion Systems Custom Apparel
Actually, some big stuff coming with me and Champion Systems in 2020, but for now I’ll just say that I have been SO impressed with the custom design process, from fit kit to actual design choice. More later, but if you’re starting to think about your next round of team gear, I would check them out.
Velocio Recon Vest
I love a vest for riding in shoulder season, and Velocio’s new Recon Vest is something I would wear on and off the bike—which is hard to make work for cycling apparel! Super stoked to try it. (Velocio Women’s Recon Vest)
Factor Vista All-Road Bike
This is coming with me to Spain and could I BE any more excited? Not really. I haven’t seen it with my own eyes yet, but having talked to the people behind the brand and after reading a ton about it, I am so stoked to check it out. Expect more reporting in the new year! (Factor Vista)
Shred Girls: Ali’s Rocky Ride
OK, I had to end on that exciting note. Book 2 of the Shred Girls is out July 21, 2020, so mark your calendars!!