The Shotgun Approach
If you don’t want to part with a good chunk of dough, consider a combo of these lower-priced options.
A professional bike fit ($150–$300): These two hours may represent your best investment when it comes to pedaling with more power, better aerodynamics and enhanced comfort in the saddle.
An aero helmet ($150–$250): Testing shows that an aero helmet may shave as much as a minute off the bike during an Olympic-distance race, and far more in an Ironman.
Lab testing ($100–$200): While VO2max testing is good for determining how well you’ve chosen your parents, more effective lab time is spent doing a lactate threshold and/or fuel test, either of which will help you define your optimal training and racing zones.
Regular massages ($500+ annually): Recovery is the time when you actually get fitter and faster. Commit to getting at least one sports massage a month, ideally after a hard training block, and you’ll feel fresher and stronger in time for your next big workout or race.
Scott Fliegelman is the owner and head coach of FastForward Sports (Fastforwardsports.net) in Boulder, Colo.