The Gear I Use

If you have any questions about any of these items, don’t hesitate to ask.


  • Spirit XT285 Treadmill. I’ve never been a big fan of running on a treadmill, but it looks like Zwift can do for treadmill running what it did for indoor cycling. I’m definitely finding the convenience of getting in a quick run whenever the opportunity presents itself is a big benefit.
  • TreadTracker. In my ongoing quest to determine the accuracy of my treadmill, I added the TreadTracker to my kit. From my preliminary tests, it looks like the belt speed is about 0.1 mph slower than what is displayed when “unloaded” (not actually running on the belt).  Once loaded, it drops anywhere from 0.2 mph to 0.3 mph.  The Stryd footpod, with no calibration offset, seems to be about 0.1 mph slower than the TreadTracker.  Based on this, I’m using a calibration of “065:064” in Zwift’s prefs.xml and “101.50” in my Garmin fenix 5 for the Stryd footpod.  You’d think that a piece of machinery as expensive and simple as a treadmill could manage to keep the belt speed (whether loaded or unloaded) within a percent or two of the displayed speed.
  • Garmin fēnix 5. In addition to running, it’s my daily watch and fitness tracker.
  • Garmin VivoActive 3 Music. For those times when I want music but just don’t feel like bothering with the phone. Other than the few quirks noted in my earlier post, I’m pretty happy with the device.
  • Polar Vantage V.  It’s been quite a few years since I’ve had a Polar device (other than the H7 HRM) so I thought I’d give their latest-and-greatest a try.  Can’t say I’m overly impressed at this point.
  • Footpods: Garmin Foot Pod, MilestonePod, Stryd Footpod. Being a data geek, the power measurement by the Stryd is pretty interesting. My primary reason for purchasing the Stryd, however, is it’s accuracy on the treadmill when varying speed (ie: doing intervals.)  Like the MilestonePod, it’s Bluetooth Smart and works very well with Zwift.
  • Garmin Running Dynamics Pod (RD-Pod).  Mo’ data, mo’ data, mo’ data…
  • Scosche Rhythym 24. Been very reliable for running and cycling but still no luck getting anything to work with swim mode.
  • Wahoo Tickr. It’s always nice to have a ANT+/BLE non-optical strap in the kit.
  • Garmin HRM-Run heart rate monitor. Not getting much use now that I have the fēnix 5 with Optical HR. However, with the recent release of Garmin’s Running Power App, I may pull this back out just for some geeky data collection.
  • Hoka One One Clifton 4. This is my primary running shoe, especially for longer outdoor runs.  For shorter runs, I may go with the Cloudflow or an older pair of Newtons.
  • On Cloudflow. They’ve been getting good reviews so I thought I’d try something new. Mostly being on treadmill for the time-being.


  • Cervélo RS
  • Specialized Camber Elite 29er
  • Surly Disc Trucker (touring)
  • Cannondale T-700 (commuter, errands, quick run to the beach, etc.)
  • Arkel GT-54 and GT-18 Touring Panniers
  • Redshift Sports Aero System (on the Cervélo RS, of course)
  • Favero Assioma DUO dual-sided power meter pedals
  • Garmin Edge 1000, 810, 520 cycle computers
  • Garmin Varia RTL510 Radar Tail Light. Probably one of the best investments I’ve made as far as safety is concerned. Definitely worth the money. Check out GPLama’s video for a ringing endorsement.
  • Numerous Garmin Speed/Cadence sensors
  • Specialized Comp Road Shoes
  • Specialized Comp MTB Shoes
  • Wahoo Kicker 2017 Trainer
  • Thule Helium Aero 2 hitch rack


  • Garmin fēnix 5. Very pleased with its pool swimming functions. Other than the occasional missed lap and stroke-detection errors (most likely caused by my pathetic freestyle stroke), it’s practically perfect. I will say, however, compared to modes like running and cycling, it takes some effort to figure out how to use the various swim features.
  • Garmin HRM-Tri, and HRM-Swim heart rate monitors. Most of my swimming is fairly low intensity but it’s nice to occasionally see what the heart-rate hits during intervals.
  • Blue Seventy Reaction wetsuit. Hopefully 2018 will be the year that I conquer my open-water anxiety.
  • Roka SIM Elite neoprene shorts.  Gives the feel of wearing a wetsuit without all the added warmth. Plus, sometimes it’s just nice to use when I’m just wanting to take it a bit easier.
  • FINIS Freestyler and Iso hand paddles
  • FINIS Edge fins
  • Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 goggles
  • AMEO Powerbreather. Still haven’t quite gotten comfortable with this thing.


  • Garmin Connect – I’m obviously firmly entrenched in the Garmin ecosystem so it only makes sense to use Garmin Connect for my primary data collection hub.  It’s also my primary reporting tool to look at long-term (year over year) results.
  • TrainingPeaks – I primarily use TrainingPeaks for scheduling and for building structured workouts.
  • Strava – Strava is, at least for me, the “Facebook for Athletes”.  Nice way to keep up with what your friends are doing and offer motivation through “Kudos” – but without all the political chatter.
  • Smashrun – If you’re a runner, a true data junkie, and have a bunch of data sitting around in your Garmin, TomTom, or some other repository, give Smashrun a look.  Very nice interface and some features you just won’t find anywhere else.
  • Zwift. This application has totally changed indoor cycling for me (and many others.)  Between the convenience, safety, and immersive nature of the experience, indoor cycling is no longer the drudgery that it was. And with the running module coming along nicely, it has a chance of doing the same for the treadmill.
  • Rouvy. Primarily for use during my Virtual Lake Superior project since it allows custom routes to be easily imported and the satellite view provides the “real world” immersion I’m looking for.
  • TrainerRoad. Where Zwift focuses primarily on immersion, racing, as well as a social aspect to indoor cycling, TrainerRoad is all about providing a structured approach to your training. I’m not ready to give up my Zwift subscription, but I have to admit, TrainerRoad is a lot more engaging than I expected.
  • Road Grand Tours. Although still in an open-beta state, RGT is shaping up to be a strong competitor in the virtual cycling market. From my perspective, they don’t seem to be simply trying to copy Zwift but possibly offer those features that Zwift either chooses not to offer or just hasn’t gotten around to doing. In any case, even in beta, RGT seems very solid. Those features are courses that are available seem reliable and bug-free.
  • VirtuGO. Also in beta, VirtuGO is not quite as far along in development as RGT but does have a few interesting features. Certainly worth checking out.
  • GoldenCheetah. Probably the most comprehensive application for power-based activity analysis available. Opensource, free, and available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • FitnessSyncer. Although it can sync fitness data and metrics from and to quite a few sources, I just use it to get my Garmin Index Scale data over to TrainingPeaks.
  • myfitnesspal. Just trying to get a handle on the daily calories.

Stuff just sitting on the shelf…

  • Numerous Garmin sensors
  • A handful of heart rate monitors
  • PowerTap PowerCal HRM/powermeter.  Was mainly curious if it could be used as a power source for Zwift when using something like a stationary bike at a hotel. Turns out that it fluctuates way too much for Zwift. It might, however, give some reasonable data on real-world rides but, as you’d expect, it’s definitely not a replacement for a real power meter/source.
  • Garmin Edge 500 cycle computer
  • Kinetic Road Machine Trainer (for sale)
  • Some old Performance rollers.

One thought on “The Gear I Use

  1. My former boss at work runs and sites. I saw his link and mention of your site and checked it out. Very nice! I do a little kayaking around Va Beach, as well as hiking on trails, biking and so forth. I don’t have gear as nice as yours but I make do. Anyhow, great site!

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