Funny how rearranged my goals have become. For 95% of this training season the goal was to go under 4 hours - something I've never done (4:02:xx in 2008) but have felt capable of. In the last 2 weeks my goal has shifted to 3:50 - and my confidence is sky high, provided I can stay out of anything unexpected for the rest of this week. So, let's get to details, much of it mostly for my benefit (and with the warning that these are a lot of mundane details, but such is race day preparation...):
Two things I've learned about racing kit preferences through all my traithlon-specific gear: I love compression, and I don't care for floppy fabrics. The latter of which makes little sense because I train in the usual running shorts that we all do, but there you go. These shorts offer some compression through the quads and hamstrings, and I've found (mental or no) that for long distances the compression really helps with muscle fatigue. Plus, the more spandex the better, I always say. It's flattering, practical, and attractive on anyone, particularly me.
See above about compression. And spandex.
"Really?" You say, "Are we really now covering which friggin' socks you're going to wear?" Aha, but these are no ordinary socks, for they are magic socks. Actually mine are slightly different than what's pictured, and they're black, but they're awesome. See all those colors and swoops and stuff - they're all different thicknesses of material, or different elasticities, or different sewing angles, or something - but they're thin enough where they don't add bulk under my shoes, and they offer some really nice arch support/compression and blister protection. Which isn't to say I might not get a blister, but I really came to love these socks in training. They're awesome.
After experiencing one too many foot issues with my otherwise beloved Newtons, I decided it was time for a new racing flat and spent some time earlier this summer on the hunt. I tried several - and these are my new favorite shoe ever. They're light and responsive, the soles are cushiony without feeling sloggy, and they provide a little bit of spring and feedback. Love 'em. The toebox is just a shade narrow, so I may deal with a pinky toe blister late in the game - hopefully the fancy socks do their part.