Review: Secret Training Race Day Personal Care Kit

Secret Training
Considering cyclists tend to be gear fanatics, we are surprisingly often a bunch that are hard to find good gifts for. We only want the latest, the greatest, that saddle, that frame; if it's not the right one, then it's probably not going to make your best bike. For that reason, it's always great to find products that really are great gift ideas for cyclists; products which you could give to any two-wheeled enthusiast, and it would bring a smile to their face. I reckon that the Secret Training Race Day Personal Care Kit is one of those...

Secret Training might seem an odd name for a company that currently provides predominately care products, but it has an interesting background. Founded by Tim Lawson, a European Track Cycling Champ and highly accomplished cyclocross racer, it is designed to give you the edge in tough race conditions.

Secret Training

Tim Lawson explains the ethos behind 'Secret Training' very well on his blog:

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"Tips and advice (from coaches) would ensure that (mostly) we would not have to learn the hard way, that when it comes to racing there won't be sufficient pins for your number (or any at all if racing in Belgium), the bathrooms are likely to run out of toilet paper and there probably won't be showers at the Village Hall head quarters.

For the modern newcomer into cycling, anti-chafing or chamois cream can be a "secret" that is only discovered after an uncomfortable experience that can needlessly reduce cycling enjoyment and sometimes develop into something more serious.  

Secret Training
Even when you see the guys that are organised and know about the possibility of a no-shower clean up after the races, vast quantities of baby wipes seem to be the chosen method - better than nothing but not really the best tool for the job. 

When I started racing the "old boys" would have sourced some kind of plant sprayer and made a concoction of Eau de Cologne, soap and water that would efficiently clean off embrocation, sweat and road grime. This practice seems to have been forgotten as the professional riders finish races and climb aboard their 5 star team buses equipped with showers and washing machines. 

Surely it would be possible to revisit this system, design a spray specifically for this purpose with modern micro fibre cloths thus combining best practice with modern technology for a really practical solution. The strategy of learning from the past and applying modern technology to create effective practical solutions to race day personal care is something we have tried to do across the Secret Training Race Informed Products (STRIP) range. We hope you like it!"
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When I read the above, it brought to light a very real situation that I have noticed at races. In fact, I have been the culprit of some of these mistakes as well; such as staying in riding shorts for too long after a race, or staying sticky and dusty for too long on the drive home and feeling uncomfortable as a result. Proper preparation and clean-up is key to both performance and enjoyment.

Onto the products...

Secret Training
The Secret Training Race Day kit bag contains ten thoroughly thought-out products, which will make your race day less stressful and far more enjoyable.

Secret Training1) Lip Balm - Cycling is hard on your lips; the wind and rain, oil and energy drink, dry them out and irritate them far more than usual. Chapped lips and sun-burnt lips are uncomfortable at best, and a very unwelcome distraction during a hard race. This mix of coconut, almond and beeswax seems to be highly effective at rehydrating and nourishing your lips, to avoid any discomfort even on long rides.

2) Anti-Bacterial Hand Spray - Cycling puts a real strain on your immune system, as does any intense sports effort. Avoiding bacterial infection is key to maintaining your form, so it's very handy to have some high quality anti-bacterial sanitiser in your bag.

Secret Training3) Sun Cream - We all know the importance of protecting our skin from UV rays, and this SPF30 cream seems effective at staying put and avoiding Rudolph nose syndrome whilst you're out on the bike. Definitely something for every kit bag.

4) Anti-chafing Cream - Another equally important cream: saddle sores and infections cause discomfort at best, and at worst could halt your riding. Avoid them with a decent application of chamois cream. This one seems to work well; it's thick, stays put and works effectively for several hours in the saddle.

Secret Training5) Pins In A Tin - Flapping race numbers are distracting and inefficient, ensure you avoid them with a good stash of safety pins, and keep them together (and not distributed around your kit bag and washing machine) in this neat little tin.

6) Start (pre-race) Oil - Embrocation can help to add a bit of comfort on colder days, and avoid injury when you launch into an early race effort with cold muscles. This Start Oil provides a long lasting warming effect, and contains a lot of natural ingredients such as ginger.

Secret Training7) Micro-fibre Towels - Once you've finished it's clean-up time. These two micro-fibre towels provide a great option to get dry and clean, without taking up valuable kit-bag room.

8) Post-race Wash - Combine this with the micro-fibre towels to provide a very effective cleaning solution. It smells nice, and it works very well at getting rid of dirt, oil and grime. In short, it's far better than paper towels and soap from the HQ toilet.

9) Hygiene Wipes - Run out of loo roll in the HQ? These are the solution. Always a good back-up to have!

10) Wash Bag - Finally, everything is housed upright in a very neat and tidy bag; so that it is always there and easy to grab, and you don't have to go rummaging around in your kit bag to find that bottle of embrocation that has inevitably leaked everywhere.  

I'm impressed. This is a cool thing to have in any kit bag, whether you are a hard core cross racer or a sportive rider. Make your racing more enjoyable, give yourself a bit of an edge... do a bit of Secret Training.

Check out the range at secret-training.cc (Link)
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