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Iron Cowboy Conquer 100 Gear Review

last updated: May 21, 2021
If you've been around the Tri circuit, chances are you've heard of the Iron Cowboy. If not, he's worth reading about. Jame Lawrence is nearing the final stretch of his Conquer 100 challenge, which is literally 100 triathlons in 100 days. If you were going to attempt 100 long-distance triathlons in 100 consecutive days, you had better be sure the gear you pick is going to make it.

For fun, we put together a small list of some stuff that James and his team bring along throughout his challenge. The stuff on our list is quite literally going through a torture test as we put this guide together, so if it all survives this, you can trust it will work for you too.

Check Out Our Favorite On The List

Altra Paradigm
Altra Paradigm
Why is it better?

FootShape design allows toes to properly splay, offering better support, function, and comfort.

The responsive cushioned sole is perfect for long distances.

The zero-drop is great for reducing knee strain and allowing your feet to function properly in absorbing the impact in a forefoot strike.

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Altra Paradigm
Test Winner: Altra Paradigm
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Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Shops
#1
Altra Paradigm 5
Altra Paradigm
Zero drop cushiony goodness for long distance runs
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Price Comparison Last Updated (15.06.21)
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#2
Pearl Izumi Pro Air
Pearl Izumi Pro Air
Killer Cycling Shoes
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Price Comparison Last Updated (15.06.21)
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#3
Theragun Prime
Theragun Percussion Massager
To amp up recovery for the next day
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Price Comparison Last Updated (15.06.21)
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#4
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
All of your data right on your wrist
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Price Comparison Last Updated (15.06.21)
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#5
Koo Spectro Sunglasses
Koo Spectro Sunglasses
Available with Zeiss Lenes
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Price Comparison Last Updated (15.06.21)
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#6
Grit Army Socks
Grit Army Socks
Compression socks for better recovery time
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Price Comparison Last Updated (15.06.21)
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#7
JBL Clip portable Bluetooth speaker
JBL Clip
Because it's always better with music
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Price Comparison Last Updated (15.06.21)
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#8
Uncrustables
Uncrustables
Because They're Awesome
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Price Comparison Last Updated (15.06.21)
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8 Things That Go Along With The Iron Cowboy

1. Altra Paradigm

Zero drop cushiony goodness for long distance runs

Altra Paradigm 5
Altra Paradigm 5
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Features

FootShape design allows toes to properly splay, offering better support, function, and comfort.

The responsive cushioned sole is perfect for long distances.

The zero-drop is great for reducing knee strain and allowing your feet to function properly in absorbing the impact in a forefoot strike.

If a responsive and supportive shoe is what you're looking for to get those long distances, Altra's Paradigm 5 is a great shoe to end your search at. If you're not sure about the thicker-soled running shoes, put some some miles under them and see how you feel then.

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Besides the obvious attributes of the Paradigm, such as the cushioned sole and lightweight breathable upper, the part that really makes a ton of difference after a bunch of miles is right up in the front. The forefoot is designed to allow your toes to do their thing, and support your stride.

The more naturally your toes are able to splay, the more stability you'll have. Also, the fact that there is the appropriate amount of room for your feet to function also helps cut down on strain and fatigue.

Some are resistant to zero drop and the duck foot look of the Altra lineup, but those are the two main design features that we love the most.

2. Pearl Izumi Pro Air

Killer Cycling Shoes

Pearl Izumi Pro Air
Pearl Izumi Pro Air
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Developed by some of the world's top racers, the Pearl Izumi PRO Air features their FootShape toe box, similar to the design of the Altra Paradigm, which allows your toes to move freely while keeping your feet protected and supported. The durable microfiber upper is light, stretchy, and carries just enough stretch to mold perfectly to your foot. This shoe also includes their ErgoLogic 3D fit system for a secure fit.

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This lightweight, performance road shoe is made for heavy use. It’s flexible and offers a barefoot-like experience. This is a low-profile shoe if ever there was one. As far as overall fit goes, we mentioned the ErgoLogic 3D fit system above. this basically keeps your heels locked in place for a secure fit no matter who's foot is in the shoe.

The best part about this shoe is really what it doesn't have. Weight. It's a super lightweight cycling shoe with a well-thought-out and developed upper. The materials in the shoe's upper are breathable, stretchable (just the right amount), and durable.

You can see there are some overlays on various parts of the upper to increase overall durability. So if you aren't going to miss the strap closure, this is really a solid shoe. The price tag is a little steep, but worth it if your life revolves around cycling.

3. Theragun Percussion Massager

To amp up recovery for the next day

Theragun Prime
Amazon Link
best offer for today
Amazon Link

If your muscles are tight and tired after your workouts, the Theragun Prime is one of the best percussion massage guns on the market right now. The improvement in recovery and the reduction of recovery time that this helps with is absolutely a game-changer for situations like the Conquer 100. It may cost more than other similar devices, but it is totally worth it.

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There have been quite a few updates to the 4th generation of Theragun Prime. The most notable upgrade is the inclusion of Bluetooth technology that pairs your device with your phone. This compatible app lets you plug in your previous workout, and it offers suggestions of muscle groups to work, as well as the duration spent on each muscle. It even adjusts the speed of the ball so you get the perfect amount of relief.

As this device has evolved over the previous generations, so has the quality of the motor. The 4th generation has developed a motor that is much quieter than previous versions without sacrificing power or effectiveness. One of the biggest functional improvements to the 4th iteration is the duration of the battery life. One battery lasts up to 150 minutes, which is almost double that of the 3rd generation.

Overall, The Theragun is worth every penny. I most likely wouldn’t have come to the same conclusion if this were a review of the first, second, or third generation of this device. The addition of the compatible app is a real game-changer. If you have no experience in muscle therapy, the compatible app does all of the research for you! All you need to do is plug in your workout, and the app not only tells you the muscle groups to target, but it also adjusts the speed of the ball to really work out the kinks.

4. Garmin Fenix 5 Plus

All of your data right on your wrist

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus
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best offer for today
Amazon Link

Welcome to your new training partner. The Fenix 5 Plus multisport watch is packed with everything you need to run, cycle, hike, swim, and more. A high-resolution color display, wrist-based heart rate monitor, swim-proof design, and unbeatable navigation make up one of the best activity trackers out there right now.

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This is more of a training tool rather than simply a GPS watch. Each time Garmin releases a new version on the Fenix, they seem to amaze even more. In addition to the regular running, cycling, and swimming metrics, the Fenix 5 Plus can also track Ski activities.

Now with improved battery life, the watch can run in active GPS mode for at least 50 hours, and even 100 hours, if you have the UltraTra battery saver mode, switched on. This one keeps getting better and better. This is probably one of the best options available right now, for the price, to track triathlon performance. While it might not track every little bit of data that you want, it's great as a stand-alone device.

While this is one of the priciest, it's also one of the best Garmin running watches and you will find it is a great investment. So if you are looking for something you can use in the long run, whether it's to increase your PR's or just to keep you motivated, then this may be great for you - if you don't mind paying a little more.

5. Koo Spectro Sunglasses

Available with Zeiss Lenes

Koo Spectro Sunglasses
Amazon Link
best offer for today
Amazon Link

These are killer cycling glasses. Koo's Spectro sunglasses are funky if you had to put one word on them. These are available in a few different lens/frame combinations, including Zeiss coated lenses. They offer good coverage for windy rides and are built to last.

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in collaboration with some of the best professional riders in the world, with ultimate performance for cyclists in mind, Koo designed the Spectro glasses with a range of high-quality lens colors and materials. This includes photochromatic lenses which adapt to changing light conditions, without the need to change glasses.

These were designed for optimal protection and comfort, but the biggest points go to the clear vision in various lighting situations.

6. Grit Army Socks

Compression socks for better recovery time

Grit Army Socks
Amazon Link
best offer for today
Amazon Link

Grit Army is a family-run brand. And that family, a guy, his wife, and their three sons, are all really into OCR racing. There is a great crossover in the gear that works well for obstacle course racing and Triathlons, as some of the protective properties are needed in both. They started the brand to offer gear that they were missing on the trail.

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While triathlons and obstacle course racing are worlds apart, there are some gear needs that crossover perfectly. Highly durable compression socks are one such item. Grit Army's socks not only offer graduated compression where it's needed but also stand up to rugged and repeated wear.

Compression socks can be an overlooked must-have for distance running. The graduated compression is proven to help reduce muscle fatigue over long distances, which Jame and his team are certainly covering during the Conquer 100.

7. JBL Clip

Because it's always better with music

JBL Clip portable Bluetooth speaker
Amazon Link
best offer for today
Amazon Link

Why would you not bring music along for everyone? The JBL Clip is perfect for attaching to your gear and jam while you ride. Since this is BluTooth compatible, the question is, who gets to control the soundtrack?

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We were told by the team that the JBL Clip is among the various gear that The Iron Cowboy and his team bring along. When James runs and bikes, every day people come out to tag along, which is one of the coolest parts about this whole thing. The only thing that could make it better is some music. We should have asked what's on the daily playlist.

8. Uncrustables

Because They're Awesome

Uncrustables
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best offer for today
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Yep, you're reading this right. Our team recently got screen to screen in some candid interviews with the team surrounds the Iron Cowboy, and there was one thing we heard about several times, and that was Uncrustables. If you think about it, it makes sense.

Well, there isn't too much to say about them, other than you don't have to be a kid with a packed lunch to love some uncrustables.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Who is the Iron Cowboy?

a:

James Lawrence is a Canadian-born resident of Utah, who discovered his competitive edge for running in a local turkey trot race, then went on to compete in triathlons. This is really an over-simplified version, but the meat of the story lies in what he has gone on to accomplish in his 50/50/50 challenge, where he completed 50 triathlons in 50 days through 50 states. The word grit instantly comes to mind...

James Lawrence Conquer 100

Fast forward to 2021. James decided to take it further and complete the Conquer 100 challenge. This challenge consists of 100 full triathlons in 100 consecutive days. As of the date of this guide, James has about 20 days left to go.

q: How Many Miles Does A Triathlon Cover?

a:

There are different levels in triathlon racing, however, the Conquer 100 is a full-distance course.

Run: 26.2 miles
Bike: 112 miles
Swim: 2.4 miles

Now imagine completing this, from start to finish, for 100 days in a row...

q: Does James Lawrence complete the Conquer 100 alone?

a:

Aside from his family, who is behind him all the way, James also has a dedicated team that helps him tackle it all. A big part of that team includes his two wingmen, Aaron and Casey. The two are responsible for helping to keep James pushing through each day as safe as possible. They swim, ride, and run with James, keep the gear stocked and ready, maintain the bikes, help control the pace when necessary, and so much more.

James Lawrence's Wingmen

q: What are the benefits of zero drop running shoes?

a:

With zero drop, your feet are in a better position to function how they are intended. The platform promotes forefoot striking, which allows your feet to do the work of absorbing the shock the right way.

This helps reduce issues with knee pain and impact-related stress injuries. Since introduced and marketed to runners, there has been mixed reception, although a majority of people who tried zero drop shoes tend to stick with them. Altra is one of the brands that is known for zero drop running shoes, both for road and rugged trails, and is also the brand you'll see on the Iron Cowboy as he pushed through the Conquer 100.