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Favorite Gear: Margie Shapiro

An elite triathlete shares her most-loved gear for success

Margie Shapiro has been a professional triathlete since 2006, after an undefeated amateur year before that. Currently, she’s ranked among the eight best U.S. triathletes on the Olympic track circuit, and she was on the U.S. Project 2012 team for Olympic hopefuls from 2009 to 2010. She won the Amateur World Championship in 2005 by more than three minutes. Shapiro is also one of the owners of Potomac River Running and has been a coach with PR Training Programs for ten years.

“I race against the best,” she says. “And often the difference between winning and finishing middle of the pack is a fraction of a minute.” Her athletic philosophy is simple: “The athletes who can recover fastest are the ones who perform best.” As someone who trains six days a week, for 18 to 24 hours total, Shapiro knows what she’s talking about. Below, she shares some of her favorite gear to improve training and the speed up recovery.

Shapiro swears by the Endurasoak recovery system. The bath formula is a combination of mineral salts and essential oils that penetrate the skin and are absorbed by achy muscles. A yummier option for a quick bounce-back is the reGen recovery drink. It has the correct ratio of carbohydrates to protein needed to rebuild muscles after a long, difficult workout, plus lots of vitamins and minerals. And most importantly, Shapiro likes the “rich chocolaty taste.”

Shapiro also looks to massage and other wellness treatments to keep her body in top shape. She sees Jette Hansen at Old Town Massage Center (312 S. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-518-8484) once a week for a sports massage to help stave off injury. Also on her calandar is a weekly visit to Dr. Aleck Wong, a chiropractor at United Wellness Center (905-B Herndon Pkwy; 703-437-8195) in Herndon for a soft-tissue treatment.

Of course, no athlete can function without the proper shoes. Shapiro likes the Nike Free, which she wears for strength training and plyometrics—exercises designed to improve speed and power.

For two-wheeled transportation, Shapiro likes bikes made by Elite Bicycles. “My two bikes are custom built and fit specifically to me, so I’m as comfortable and powerful as possible,” she says. For non-drafting triathalons, she rides a time-trial bike, and for international-elite races, a road bike. Plum Grove Cyclery (16286 Rockland La.; 703-777-2252) in Leesburg is the nearest dealer of Elite Bicycles.

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