The 17 Days Of Swimming. Thirteen - JLab, the Ultimate Tech Accessory

Image001How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the beat and verse and chorus
My stroke can reach, when racing against the pace clock
For the ends of the beginning doesn't start till I'm on that block.

Okay, I'm no poet!  But music does propel me in swimming.  From being on deck before practice our on deck countless hours before a race I like to listen to music.  Get me pumped up.  If you don't believe me you must have noticed the swimmers at this past Olympics all wearing one form of headset or another.  My personal choice is the line of products from JLab.

My day to day ear buds are the JBuds J5M.  The sound quality is amazing.  I can hear the bass and boom of all my favorite music.  I've been using them for about a month now and they are my go to pair.  I think I have about 6 different type of earbuds and I don't think I've used any other pair since getting the J5M. Image005  Of course they are PINK!  I mean what other color would I wear?

These are really comfortable.  I had to change out the rubber plastic to smaller tips that came with them but after that I hardly even noticed them.    Well besides hearing the clean clear sound of music.  I've also used them on my iPad watching a full movie one day and didn't feel any discomfort at all.  As for how they look I like the color and overall design.  I'm sick of seeing white earbuds lying all over my desk.  Maybe it's the color that makes me grab them more then my other earbuds.  They are on sale right at JLab for $34.95 which makes them a great deal!

The J5M's titanium micro drivers deliver an incredibly smooth and consistent response across the entire frequency curve, from deep, rich bass to full, luscious mids and crisp, vibrant highs.

The all new 45° angle jack leverages the strength of pure metal with the durability of firm flexing rubber. The Y joint features the rugged exoskeleton pioneered on the J4, but lighter and more compact. The lightweight cable is reinforced with Kevlar for optimum flexibility and strength.

Crafted from solid aluminum and polished with a silky, scratch-resistant anodized finish, the J5M is available in an array of sinful color pairings. 24 karat gold plated 3.5 mm jacks for premium, lossless connection. Includes 4 pairs of soft, silicone cushions in XS, S, M, L, as well as a detachable clip for securing the cable. Compatible with our soft double flange Pro tips for even greater range of custom fit, and with JLab's removable ear hooks.

Of course you can't swim with them but when on deck these are great.  Plus at the price you do get a really good sound!  I also like the earbud type of earphones cuz' I can easily stash them away.  I know people really like those big earphone thingies but my swim bag is full enough with stuff.  But if you do want those big earphone thingies don't worry JLab has those also.

Image006Bombora.  The Bombora's sophisticated retro design was inspired by classic lines of early headphones and the eclectic style of today's globe stomping DJs.  The Bombora is available in a variety of colors including: Midnight Black/Gunmetal, Passionfruit Pink/Grigio Gray, Baja Blue/Grigio Gray, Prism Purple/Grigio Gray, DeVille Brown/Gold and limited edition collaboration with San Diego artist TEKSTartist.

For coaches who spend hours behind a desk JLab has you cover with The Crasher.  Crashing the party with style, The Crasher portable Bluetooth speaker dominates the competition in every way:  Bluetooth:  Free your music from cumbersome wires with the magic of Bluetooth. Stream your music from up to 30ft away or plug in with the included aux flat cable. The Crasher is ready to party with your favorite portable devices, anytime, anywhere.  Phone Calls:  A built-in mic and speaker phone makes taking calls easier than ever, creating the perfect portable conference experience of your white-collar dreams!

So from swimmer to coach JLab has all your dryland audio listening covered.  All at reasonable prices making them great stocking stuffers.

The 17 Days Of Swimming. Twelve - Speedo Pro Backpack & Wheelie Bag

Yes, I use two different Speedo bags.  I mean I don't use them both at the same time but I use them both for different reasons.  One is my swim gear bag and daily workout bag while the other is my gym gear and swim meet bag. 

Let's start with the Team Speedo USA Pro Backpack (Rocker).  First of all this bag is huge!  Whatever you need to bring to the gym it'll fit in.  Yes, I'm saying gym bag.  On day's when I teach several classes I pack gym clothes, street clothes for later and lots of water and drinks.  It all fits in the bag.  It's also great for swim meets to lug your gear around.  It'll fit a full days worth of swim meet clothes and some food.  It even has a wet area to keep wet suits away from the rest of your clothes.  The best feature is it's inside lining.  The lining is bright green which makes it easy to find Speedoitems when your looking for them.  Most bags are black inside which makes finding things like your in a dark tunnel.  This is my favorite bag.  Now I don't use it for my daily swim practice bag since I use the Speedo Wheelie Bag.  More on that after.  But first more on the Team Speedo USA Pro Backpack:

Perfect for athletes who want a cool, durable, and organized way to transport their gear, the Speedo® Pro Backpack is designed with Speedo's signature high-quality construction.

• Part of the Team Speedo Rocker collection.
• Adjustable, ergonomic straps.
• Large main compartment with U-shaped zipper opening.
• Side pockets are ventilated for wet item storage.
• Media pocket.
• Front zipper pocket with organizer.
• Cell phone and goggle pouch.
• Rubberized, water-resistant bottom.
• Top loop for easy hanging.

Available at

Really good deal right now at I might buy another one for the future!

On the 17th Day I'm going to include a list of things I want and one of those things is a Mesh Equipment Bag.  Since I don't have one I keep my swimming gear (fins, paddles, pull buoy, goggles, Wheelieetc) in the Speedo Small Wheelie Bag.  I have the old model but the new Wheelie Bag is even more versatile then the one I have!  Since I keep my gear in the bag for the most part I just unzip the bag and let everything air out.  Since the opening is bigger then a traditional bag it's also easier to pack and jam more stuff in it like fins and a kickboard.  Now we all know how heavy backpacks are so the fact that one can just wheel this around makes it a perfect bag for us tired and sore swimmers.  It's wheels being it's strength of the bag is also it's weakness as it is hard to jam in some lockers.  A soft back back you can stuff in but the wheel area is hard plastic so it can be a challenge fitting in tight spaces.  Keep that in mind but remember WHEELS make is so much easier then carrying a bag around.

• Wheelie speedo bag.
    - Hand is retractable for easy stowage.
    - Inline wheels for smooth rolling.
    - Front exterior wet pockets are ideal for storage your wet gear.
• Measures: 12" x 11.5" x 19.5".
• Imported.

Available at

Also at

No matter which bag you give as a gift your swimmer will be very happy!  Hey, they may even swim faster!

The 17 Days Of Swimming. Day Eleven - Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel

600429_10152292443160472_1844145228_nI have the iBook on my iPad and whenever I'm having a blue moment I open it up and just look at these cute pups.  Cute pups in water!  The perfect swimmer gift book! 

More about "UNDERWATER DOGS" - The Book!

"Underwater Dogs" by Seth Casteel is a New York Times Best Seller 4 weeks in a row! The book features dozens of never-before-seen photos starring new "underwater models". A pug. 12 week-old puppies. A wolf. And that's just the beginning!
About Seth Casteel:  Our pets are our friends --- our Little Friends! And they mean the world to us! Each of them has a unique and awesome personality, but it can be difficult to capture in a photograph.

Based in Los Angeles and Chicago and available nation-wide, Little Friends Photo specializes in lifestyle pet photography, embracing the at-ease mentality of pets on-location in their natural surroundings. The results are spontaneous, priceless moments of your pet's unique personality captured in photographs that will last forever. -

Buy on iTunes

The 17 Days Of Swimming. Day Ten - D-BAND

Growing up swimming in the 70's/80's we used an inner tube around our feet while pulling.  On my team (Little Rhody Aquatic Team) these inner tube pulling thingies were pretty much standard issue.  Fast forward to the mid-2,000's I started searching for these inner tubes again.  But I never did find 8958218them.    One day in a Masters swim practice a lane mate had one so I asked him about it and it turned out he took the inner tube out of a wheel barrel and was using that.  Pretty damn smart if you ask me!  Now I never did go get an inner tube but recently I stumbled upon the next best thing, the D-Band

The what band?  The D-Band!

D-BAND simple and innovative.
The D-BAND is worn around the ankles, holding the feet and legs together while swimming, to eliminate kicking.  Training with the D-BAND is effective in all four swimming strokes when used with, or without, a pull buoy. 

D-BAND allows coaches and swimmers to focus on what matters most...proper angles, balance, and strength in proper technique.

The D-BAND™ is made from long-lasting 100% virgin silicone and is to be used by advanced swimmers with, or without, a pull buoy.

Utilizing the D-BAND™ allows the swimmer to focus on pulling, rather than having to worry about holding their legs together.  Easy to put on and take off, the silicone provides a firm, comfortable feel, and does not fall off.  This hot new piece of equipment is quickly becoming the newest "go to" item for coaches and swimmers. 

4362951Since I just got mine in the mail I had to hit the pool today to do a test drive or swim with it!

So I only did two short pulling sets half without paddles and half with paddles.  The D-Band is so easy to slip right on.  The D-Band seems pretty damn strong and it's made of 100% virgin silicone.  Hmm…I guess as opposed to 100% tramp silicone.  Anywho!  As I said the D-Band is easy to slide on and off for quick trips to the restroom or changes in between sets..  So for Fit and Durability the D-Band gets an A!

Now as for pulling with it I gotta say I love it!  LOVE IT!  Yes, I love pulling.  Since I do like to pull on my own and during warm ups I've noticed that my legs fish tail behind me.  Which as we know is not a good thing!  But while wearing the D-Band I really noticed it.  After a few 50's I was then able to fix my fish tailing and work on my body rotation a bit more.  So for Easy of Use the D-Band gets an A!

Now the look?  It's Yellow.  I'm not a fan of yellow but my Strokemaker Paddles are yellow and the fins I currently use but will replace in the New Year are yellow.  So I guess Yellow if the new Black!  Fashionably in the pool lane!

You can purchase the D-Band and read more about it at

The 17 Days Of Swimming. Day Nine - Goggles

Purchasing goggles for a gift is like buying underwear for a gift.  It's a personal thing that no matter what you buy it will be the wrong thing!  There are many different type of goggles. The differences include such as size and shape, lens color, fog-free or anti-fog coatings, nose bridge, and the eye piece.  And then of course practice goggles, open water googles, race day goggles and goggles that are just cool!  Some of us swimmers have more goggles then there are days in a month.  But with that said we all need more goggles!  Like shoes, one can never have enough pairs of goggles.

I rated the goggles by 5 categories giving up to 35 points.  The categories I selected were:

Ease of Use - 5 possible points
Comfort - 10 possible points
Visibility - 10 possible points
Aesthetics - 5 possible points
Value - 5 possible points

The Good - TYR Racetech

My daily go to goggle in the past were the TYR Racetech.  Actually that TYR Racetech Metallized Goggle.  The can be purchased for under 15 USD so they are reasonably priced for an every day 1129-33419-Tgoggle.  In my experience they were snug and actually lasted up for a considerable amount of time with my rough usage.  I'm constantly taking off the goggles in between sets, tossing them on deck while I go take a men's room break and these survived my abuse.  They do what a google should do and hold up.

Metallized finish with the same great features as the Racetech plus anti-glare and added UV protection.

• Low profile, wide angle anti-fog lenses
• Leak proof TPR gaskets
• Easy, adjustable side clips
• Split TPR headstrap
• UV protection

Back in 2009 Men's Journal Magazine rated them "Best Overall Goggle" LINK.  Purchase TYR Racetech Goggles at

Ease of Use - 5
Comfort - 9
Visibility - 7
Aesthetics - 3
Value -4
TOTAL - 28

The Cheap And Good - Swedish Goggles

Cheap is good, VERY good!  I've been a big fan of the Swedes for along time manly cuz' they are so 6a00d8341c6c5753ef0120a7621001970b-320wicheap that one can have a bunch of them on hand and in our swim bag at all times.  Since we all fall victim to the goggle monster from time to time having extra goggles is a must.  The goggle monster is that swim mate that hides under the swim bleachers and reaches up to take your goggles right before you leave the pool.  But at 3.95 USD you just won't mind so much when the goggle monster strikes.  As for Swedes they are snug to the face although some people think that they are too snug.  I like them for dialy swim practice wear.  I actually spring for a bungie cord and toss out the elastic straps so they'll last a little big longer.  The elastic straps seem to be the first part that fails with these goggles.  Now assembly can be a bit tricky and I've posted a How2 before LINK

Purchase Swedish Goggles at

Ease of Use - 1
Comfort - 3
Visibility - 3
Aesthetics - 1
Value - 5
TOTAL - 13

The Whole Crap They Are Expensive But Good - Fastskin3 Super Elite

If money is no object and you need to have the latest and the greatest in tech then the Fastskin3 SpeedoSuper Elite is the goggle for you.  At 100 USD they are pricey!  But if they are good enough for Michael Phelps then they are good enough for you.  Of course these should be used for swim meet duty and not for day to day swim practice.  Unless you are the 1% then hell buy a new pair every week.  But for the 99% these are a very expensive but fast pair of goggles.

Available at

Ease of Use - 3
Comfort - 8
Visibility - 7
Aesthetics - 10
Value - 0
TOTAL - 28

The Not So Good - Barracuda HydroBat Racing Goggle

Now I love everything about the Barracuda HydroBat Racing Goggle except for it's quality.  Previously before switching to the Barracuda Hydrobat I was wearing sort of a knockoff version of 17184-27302-Tthem from Ministry of Swimming, the Zombie.  I wore the Zombie on and off for two years before they finally broke.  That is a very long time for a pair of goggles for me.  Once the Zombies became no more I decided to buy the original Barracuda Hydrobat.   The Hydrobat lasted less then a month before the rubber seal around the eyes broke apart.  That is NO GOOD in my book.  So the Barracuda Hydrobat gets The Not So Good title.

Purchase Zombies at Ministry of Swimming or Barracuda's if you must at

Ease of Use - 4
Comfort - 8
Visibility - 8
Aesthetics - 9
Value - 0
TOTAL - 29

So, what about you?  What is your favorite goggle and why?

The 17 Days Of Swimming. Day Eight - The Swim Parka's cold outside!  That mean it's time to cover up and stay warm on deck with a swim parka.  I got my swim parka about four or five years ago and it was the best present anyone could have given 26575-9343-Tto me.  I know I've lived in warm climates of Los Angeles and now umm…somewhere in Central Florida.  But still 40F mornings are cold on deck. has the Sporti Solid Park for only $64.95.  That's a great deal on a jacket!  More about the jacket:

This hard-working Solid Parka from Sporti provides the protection you need to stay warm and stay focused during extended sessions of training and competition. Features include a water-resistant Nylon shell, a cozy fleece lining and an abundance of pockets. 

• Water resistant, 100% Nylon shell with fully taped seams.
• 100% Polyester fleece lining.
• Large front and back Velcro flaps for easy customization.
• Front and back ventilation for air circulation.
• Exterior cell phone/PDA sleeve pocket with Velcro closure.
• Interior fleece-lined zipper pocket with headphone slit for MP3 players.
• Interior fleece-lined zipper pocket for accessories.
• "Hidden" interior fleece-lined chest pocket.
• Fleece-lined hood with toggle draw cord.
• Double zipper front:
    - Two zipper heads with woven pull.
    - Unzip from top or bottom for freedom of movement.
• Zippered, fleece-lined front slit exterior pockets.

It's a must for all swimmers no matter how cold the cold can get!

Buy at

The 17 Days Of Swimming. Day Seven - Betty Designs

I love Pink and Loud Swim Suits!  So of course I love Betty Designs!

6a00d8341c6c5753ef017ee4015348970d-320wi"I like to keep people on their toes. I spend a lot of time at masters swimming and, quite frankly, find it boring to keep looking at the black line. I check out what people are wearing and wonder why swimsuits can’t be more fun. I also don’t like to wear exactly what everyone else is wearing.

The folks at Splish were happy to indulge me by letting me design my own suit. Every year I design one training bikini just to see what people will think. It’s especially fun to put a bold motif  “down there”. Don’t tell me you don’t check people out at the pool. I know better. And while we can all pretend we don’t, I create suits to make sure you do. I’ve been known to put skulls, butterflies and peacock feathers on the crotch of suits.

Because swimming gets boring after a while." - betty designs

Even more then swimming laps Betty has great tri kits!  The Boring Runner seems to found his style with Betty Designs also. Photo 1 (1)Here is what The Boring Runner (who isn't so boring) had to say "As it were, Betty Designs caught wind of my cross training habit and thought that I needed a bad ass Tri kit that made me look as bad ass as I feel in my head. If you either are run only, or haven't heard of Betty Designs, they offer unique, edgy and custom kit designs for swim, cycling and triathlon, in addition to a bunch of Men's and Women's cycling, triathlon and swim apparel. I honestly thought that they only made girl stuff (which, 80% of their stuff is girl stuff read: booty shorts) but they do have a few sweet guy things as well.  Betty has designed race kits for triathlon champions and teams such as Michellie Jones, Heather Jackson, the Zoot Sports Ultra Triathlon Team and the Nytro Women's Triathlon Team. (None of which are hard on the eyes....)  They also are one of the leading companies in custom kits as well." Tumblr_m7oci8KmBI1rbvyaio1_400
see more all at bettydesigns online

The 17 Days Of Swimming. Day Six - Ian Thorpe: Cook For Your Life Book & App

I have this book on my iPad and although I've yet to cook from it I've been reading it recipe by recipe and the little tid bits in between.  Here is more on the book...

"Known for his incredible swimming achievements, Ian Thorpe shares the delicious meals he crafts PhpThumb.phpthat keep him trim and healthy
In his first cookbook, Ian Thorpe shares the recipes that keep him fit, as well as his philosophy on diet gathered from nutrition experts throughout his years of sporting success. As a competitive swimmer, he has learned that he can't just eat anything and achieve elite level success—healthy eating is something that he has always to keep in mind to perform at his peak. A lifetime love of cooking teamed with a refusal to give up the flavors of his favorite meals led him to develop this plan that allows him to eat the delicious foods he loves and to maintain a healthy, strong body. The recipes he shares here include Roasted Pumpkin and Hazelnut Salad, Braised Celery Hearts with Bacon, Green Chicken Curry, and Mango and Berry Soup." - amazon


Buy the book for your iPad on iTunes     Buy the app for your iPhone/iPad on iTunes

The 17 Days Of Swimming. Day Five - Jeah! Ryan Lochte Hard-CORE Fitness (workout DVD)

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte takes you through his legendary work-out program that helped him win five Olympic medals – including two golds – at the 2012 London Games. Get 46758-2Tmotivated, get fit and have some fun with Lochte’s Hard-CORE DVD that focuses specifically on dry land training for your core.

 Sculpt your core like Ryan Lochte with the workout training video you can do at home.

  •     The video stars Ryan Lochte, eleven-time Olympic Medalist and his trainer Matt DeLancey.
  •     Hard-CORE focuses on strengthening the core, an important part of a swimmer's body.
  •     Lochte felt it was necessary to strengthen the core and allow the rest of the body to follow.
  •     Every exercise in Hard-CORE allows you to achieve your desired physique.
  •     You can do the workouts in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
  •     No weights to buy.
  •     "If you keep doing this, you are going to have abs of steel." - Lochte.

Go to

The 17 Days Of Swimming. Day Five - Nuun Hydration

I love this stuff and in fact gave some to friends and swim mates and they also love Nuun! 
Nuun All Day Hydration
( delivers the same high quality, self dissolving and easy to carry hydration that you are already familiar with, but formulated more to help you and your family drink more water throughout the day, the healthy way.  In other words, it's the perfect substitute for soda, juice and caffeinated beverages to keep your mind and body going from post workout to the office to even school pick-up. 
Nuun All Day Hydration is:
  • All Natural
  • Contains Zero Sugar (Sweetened with Stevia)
  • Under 8 Calories
  • Enhanced with 17 vitamins and Minerals
  • Available in Four Refreshing and Delicious Flavors:  Blueberry Pomegranate, Grape Raspberry, Grapefruit Orange and Tangerine Lime.
A few months ago the folks at Nuun sent me a few tubes of Nuun All Day Hydration to try out.  When the package came in the mail I looked at the tubes and thought to myself "this stuff can't be any good.  look how small the tubes are."  Well I was pleasantly surprised not only by how well Nuun_alldayNuun seemed to work but I was marveled by the small packaging.

Here are some basic facts on Nuun All Day Hydration -

Nuun All Day Hydration helps you drink more water every day with crisp and refreshing flavors and is enhanced with an all-natural blend of vitamins and minerals making it perfect for your daily routine.

Add More Water to Your Daily Routine with Nuun All Day

Rethink your drink with Nuun All Day, your family’s perfect substitute for soda, juice and caffeine beverages.

  • Hydration plays an elemental role in staying healthy, energized and focused. Did you know dehydration is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue?
  • Sugary and caffeinated drinks take you on a roller coaster ride during the day, but with zero sugar, under 8 calories per tab, and an all-natural blend of 17 vitamins and minerals, Nuun All Day keeps you going.
  • Nuun All Day comes in 4 flavors: Grapefruit Orange, Tangerine Lime, Blueberry Pomegranate, and Grape Raspberry

How does it taste?  Well I like it.  Mind you if you like the super sugary sweet taste of sport drinks and fruit juices you may not like Nuun.  It's has more of a subtle taste to it.  Remember Nuun has zero sugar and is under 8 calories per tab.

To sum it up…


  •     Electrolyte replacement drink mix tablets
  •     Mixes fast with water
  •     No mess, tastes great
  •     No carbs, no artificial sweeteners, no calories
  •     Light refreshing lemon lime flavor, non-carbonated


  •     It's not an energy drink.
  •     You need to provide your own bottle and if you are like me you are always misplacing your bottles.

disclaimer:  Nuun All Day Hydration has provided me with samples to try. - joel