It’s been a long winter and while I (Kristin) have been able to stay active thanks to my fat bike and the Sufferfest videos – but I haven’t been training and with my first race of the season less than one month away, it’s time to get race ready.

But while the impending race – the Rockbuster Offroad Duathlon in Ashland – fills me with fear, I’m struggling a bit with motivation.

Good thing there are always new toys to help “inspire” me to get moving!

GarminNew bike computer
While I have been able to use my iPhone and Map My Ride to plan and follow routes, I found the range to be limited (after 2-3 hours the iPhone battery would be depleted).

With the goal of tackling longer rides this summer, Steve upgraded me to the Garmin Edge Touring Plus which combines the colorful maps I liked from my iPhone with much better battery life.

New sport watch
With the untimely death of my Bia sport watch, I found myself contemplating the many sport watch options. And while I was tempted by the Garmin Vivoactive (so pretty!), Steve and I decided I didn’t need something quite to robust, instead keeping it simple with the Garmin Forerunner 15.

Zombies, Run!New app
As much as I’d like to leave the phone at home, the truth is unless I’m in a race, it will be with me. On the plus side, that means I get to try motivational apps like Zombies, Run! which combines fitness with a video game.

Running along my usual route through the neighborhood took on new excitement as I listened, and responded, to the story – picking up supplies and fleeing from zombies (I didn’t always get away).

ipod shuffleNew/old music player
When I want to leave the phone at home, but still want my tunes, I have a 3rd generation iPod shuffle (2009) my parents just gave me, on which I’ve loaded my favorite mixes from Rock My Run.

New races
I’ve been doing my research and am working to fill my season with familiar favorites as well as new adventures. Using Pinterest lets me keep track of the races I’m considering for this year (and beyond).

What new toys or tactics are you using to get motivated and ready to race?

Need something new? Stop by the Velo Studio for the parts, accessories and technologies you want.

The Bike Guy’s wife, Kristin Brandt, is a full-time working mother, local business owner, and amateur multi-sport athlete, and most recently, cyclocross racer.