It’s very rare that I use a product for the first time and just click with it. That is, however, exactly what has happened with the ‘STRIP’ range by Secret Training. I guess that by being designed ‘by athletes for athletes’ I should not have been surprised at how effective the STRIP System was going to be.
For the purpose of this review I have used the product as part of my general training over a period of 14 days and also as part of my race day at the Grendon Triathlon (race report here).
Secret Training describes the STRIP System as a range of secret weapons created especially for cyclists, runners and triathletes. Established by European Champion track cyclist, Tim Lawson, the Secret Training brand has some heritage and also some significant clout behind it, as Tim Lawson is also the brainchild behind the nutrition brand, Science in Sport (SIS). Tim Lawson was inspired to create STRIP as a result of his own need for a range of quality, trustworthy and dependable personal-care products that could assist with both training and race conditions. The STRIP System is the result.
Pictured below is the ‘Race Kit” which contains the full range of products.
You will see that it is a well presented range including Start Oil, Anti-Chafing Cream, Hand Sanitiser, Post-Race Wash, Hygiene Wipes, Lip Balm, and Sunscreen. You can purchase all of the items as a kit or any product individually.
I’ve now used each of the items and will give you a little run through of what to expect.
I have started here as this is my favourite product. Lets just say I’ve used this coconut oil based cream around the neck area of my wetsuit (for open water swimming) and also the obvious areas needed when cycling. All I can say is… it just works!
I’ve known many triathletes who have complained of pain from chafing behind the back of the neck where the wetsuit fastening area rubs when turning the head sideways to breathe (during swimming front-crawl). I used the Anti-Chafing cream in this area and it performed flawlessly to protect my skin with a barrier that lasted an entire 750m swim and beyond. I’m confident it would have lasted a longer swim as it was still in place an hour later at the end my triathlon.
Without going into too much detail of the cycling ‘areas’ it really was a revelation! Not only does the cream prevent chafing of vital parts but I have found that it actually increases comfort in the saddle, even during even a short ride. I have used it for longer rides as well as the triathlon and it is now an essential part of my warm-up routine. As it stayed on throughout the swim leg, it can easily be worn for a full triathlon.
It’s pretty cool stuff.
Again, I am a fan of this product. Designed to assist blood flow, I used it at the start of the triathlon and it gave a pleasant and warming feeling at cold temperatures. It’s kinda like an oil based ‘Deep Heat’ (but milder) contained in a bottle rather than a spray. I’ve also found it has uses as a recovery tool for the after effects of both training and races. Readers of the blog may know that I’ve been completing this season so far through the recovery of a knee/leg injury and have found this product helpful in that respect. Like the anti-chafing cream, the effects could still be felt after the swim and in into the cycle leg of the triathlon. This was a welcome benefit in transition and at the start of the 40k cycle.
Sunscreen & Lip Balm
Whilst I haven’t tested the sunscreen in race conditions (it was 9 degrees!), I have used it subsequently and I am impressed with how it rubs into the skin without residue. It’s SPF 30 so will provide maximum protection against harmful UV Rays. In training there has been no irritation or eye stinging from run-off perspiration. I’m definitely saving this one for the summer.
The lip is balm is packaged to appeal to both male and female athletes. From a male perspective, it works very well at keeping the lips hydrated during a workout. I like the consistency, being slightly less viscous than your standard stick/tub.
With both of these products being handily sized, they could easily be stashed in the pocket of a cycling jersey or even a small saddle bag, without adding unnecessary weight.
Post Race Wash & Hand Sanitiser
Lets face it, most race start areas and transition zones are either fields or car parks. This is a great little invention to allow you to freshen up after the race, when there are simply no showers in sight. A little spray and rub on the face removed the grime and sweat leaving me much fresher to speak with other competitors and face the journey home. You can combine this product with the micro-fibre cloth in the race kit which is premium cloth for your face. I like the fact that it is a pump spray and therefore unlikely to spill or leak on to other precious kit.
The hand sanitiser is not one of those annoying alcohol gels that takes ages dry. This one actually foams and then drys in seconds, leaving a non-greasy barrier. Pretty handy in transition or when collecting your kit afterwards.
These do exactly as you would expect. The discreet packaging, however, allows you to make use of them and not feel embarrassed when pulling them out of the race kit or bag with other people in view. These wipes are also useful to freshen up and/or remove any of the other products you may have been using during a race/workout.
How could I forget to mention the pins! That’s the point…right? What a great idea to include the item you always forget (see the tin in the feature image above).
The Secret Training STRIP System is a fantastic race kit. I’m hooked on mine and will be keeping it stocked up for all future race days. The products all have that ‘premium feel’ which (uniquely) will apply equally to both male and female athletes. Being so conveniently packaged it’s easy to use as a full kit or as individual items. I believe that the race kit will have particular appeal to those travelling to away races or those with a full race program ahead. Competitors of longer distance races (IronMan etc) could also really make use. Dedicated cyclists would certainly benefit from the many of the products and especially the anti-chafing cream, which I am now using for all of my longer rides and races.
The target market is specific to athletes and I’m pretty sure Secret Training have got it right. The prices aren’t too bad either!
The individual items are priced between £2.50 & £7.99. The full Race Kit (all 9 items) will set you back £49.99.
I have had opportunity to put these products on test just as they are about to make their official launch. They are available now direct from the Secret Training website.