Hi GHCKRT parents - Four last minute holiday ideas for your athlete - 

1) jump rope - Jump rope will soon be a required piece of equipment in group 1 and likely group 2.  It turns out that the quality of them matters.   Also, if they have their own then we can size it just for them.   I prefer the models from rogue fitness.   They cost about 20 bucks.
2) GPS watch - I have been getting lots of questions lately from parent about watches.  I put up a FAQ about watches on our website under the “equipment tab”.  
3) life jacket - Having a PFD that is comfortable is key.  I think the ones that are made for whitewater or some sea kayaking are fine.  Lots of athletes use the PFD by Mocke, in bright orange.  Also, I have seen some of the PFDs that inflate on some of the athletes lately… that is appealing since they are way more comfortable.
4) Personalized stickers - hey… things get lost.  I like the idea of having labels and or stickers on boats, paddles, water bottles etc.  Here are some that I bought for the OHR athletes last summer.  If you follow the directions here…. then they will match and we can have a team vibe to our stickers.  These are water proof and made to stick to bicycles so they should be tough enough.
go to velo ink.  
from the “stickers” tab, choose stacked.  
it should be a black sticker with yellow writing and a flag.  
put “GHCKRT’ in the field that shows name
then put the first initial and the last name of your athlete
choose the USA flag.  
choose your size.  
Here is a screenshot of how it should look 

FAQ:  Watches

1) Why do I need a watch?  In our training, for both groups, we utilize training sets that include both distance and time.  Thus the minimum requirement for group 1 and 2 is that they have a watch that has a timer.  

2) Do I need a GPS watch?  As long as you have a watch with a timer, you can do our workouts.  As you get older and more into group 1, GPS becomes more of a necessity.  When you have GPS, you can compare your performance from month to month as we repeat benchmark workouts.  For example - we might complete a 10k for time or something like 45 minute paddle where the athlete reports how many meters they travelled in the time alotted.  

3) What watch should I get?  All watches should be waterproof and made to take a beating.  I prefer the Garmin line of GPS watches.  They come in multiple generations and the thing that is really important is that you get one with a second generation GPS.  The earliest models that have this are the forerunner 220 and forerunner 620, and 920xt.  Other models include 225, 230, 235, 630, 735, and 935.  The differences in each of these watches has to do with their features.... are they made for triathlons, do they have wrist HR included etc.  All of them would be perfectly serviceable for any group 1 athlete.  You can go really crazy with these watches, some of them costing 500 or more.  These are not necessary.  200-250 gets you a great watch to train with.  

4) do I need heart rate monitor?  Not required, but kind of nice.  The wrist HR monitors downside is that the watch needs to be mounted on the boat for the athlete to use it....thus negating the wrist HR part.  HR chest straps are useful but many athletes find them uncomfortable.  

5) What would you recommend?  Cheapest option that has all the functions is Garmin forerunner 220.  Then FR 235.  These are the watches I use.   FR 35 is also fine, and at 150 at REI right now, its a great buy.  

6) Where do you buy one?  I buy at REI because of the awesome return policy.  I have heard there are deals on ebay... though with something like this I worry about getting ripped off...though I have athletes who swear by the deals they get on ebay.  

7) Do I need anything else? Consider getting a bike mount for their watch that they can use on their boat.  Otherwise they can just duct tape it in place.  


I have found the most detailed place on the web to get more information is