Professional triathelete Liz Lyles has quite an impressive resume. Not only did she win Ironman Australia last year, she was also the top American female finisher at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, where she took 7th place overall. We recently caught up with this mother of two to find out what she is training for next, what gear she trains with, and what special techniques she uses when packing for a major event.
Gear Institute: Hi Liz! Thanks for taking some time to chat with us. Can you tell us what’s next on your agenda? Anything you’re preparing for?
Liz Lyles: I am currently recovering from Ironman Brasil, where I placed 2nd, but was the first place female American. Next, I will begin training for Ironman Whistler at the end of July, among entertaining my two children for summer break! Then I will take short rest, and start to prepare for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI.
GI: Wow! That sounds intense. Kona is always a big deal. Are there any special gear items that you are using in your preparation?
LL: I always bring water, sunblock, and a few snacks with me so I don’t find myself needing to eat fast food. I think It’s always very important to have sunblock along since 90% of my training takes place outside.
I also always have a large backpack, filled with various training clothes, towels, goggles, run shoes, etc. so I can save time during the day between dropping off and picking up kids, while still getting in all of my important training sessions.
Lastly, I also always have a way to charge my iPhone. It is my lifeline incase anything happens to my children, and it is where I look up my training sessions for the day.
GI: That is some good advice for any outdoor athlete. Are there any particular pieces of gear from your sponsors that you really love?
LL: I normally start my day in whatever I will be wearing for my first workout, so if its a run, then my favorite are my Sugoi Verve women’s running shorts and Verve fitness bra top. Then I’ll pack my swim gear, and a change of clothes, normally my Sugoi Verve Capri’s and Jackie tank and maybe the Verve Hoodie jacket, so that I am already prepared after my run and swim for a strength or core session later in the day.
On days where I have a long bike ride scheduled, I dress in layers since the weather where I live can start at 45 degrees and warm up to 75. I wear socks, my RS training shorts, RS jersey, and a light jacket, like the RS 120 convertible, plus gloves, and maybe arm and leg warmers in my back pockets depending on the forecast.
GI: That sounds like a lot of excellent kit from the team at Sugoi. When you pack all of it up for a race, are there any special techniques that you use to get all of that gear into your luggage?
LL: Yes, in fact I just recently traveled to Brazil for the Ironman Latin American Championship race, and I was worried about my essential race items making it there in the checked baggage. In order to relieve that stress, I packed a large backpack as my carry-on, with everything I would need for race day, including my wetsuit, goggles, Sugoi RSE race kit, run shoes, bike shoes and helmet.
GI: Wise advice indeed! Thanks Liz for sharing your tips to help us pack like a pro.
(Photo courtesy of ©Kaori Photo 2015)