Highlight on Volunteers: Karen Underwood

Karen Underwood races and volunteers, sometimes in the same day

The next winner of the High Five Events’ “Nomination Contest” is Karen Underwood. She has a sweet gift headed her way as a token of our appreciation.

Karen Underwood is an outstanding volunteer!

Karen high fiving kids as they return to the Kerrville Tri finish line.

Karen Underwood’s friend, Nancy Edmonds, nominated her and told us that Karen not only volunteers at most of the Texas Tri Series races, but she also races. That’s why you will usually see Karen at the end of events, such as Jack’s Generic Tri, helping the High Five Events crew break down the race sites. She’s even the bike lead for the Kids Fun Run at the Kerrville Triathlon Festival. What a commitment! That’s taking triathlon to the next level!

We had the chance to ask Karen some questions about her volunteerism. Even though she describes herself as a “behind-the-scenes” person, she is honored to receive this nomination. Volunteering really means a lot to her. In her words, it makes her “feel so good, inside and out!” Karen volunteers at races because it allows her to give back to triathlons, which have taught her that “there are no boundaries to potential.” She also likes helping other people achieve dreams and goals that they never thought were possible.

The High Five Events’ “Nomination Contest” features volunteers who go above and beyond at one of our events. These phenomenal volunteers help us produce successful, safe, and fun events for athletes, volunteers, and staff. Know an outstanding volunteer? Fill out this short form and nominate them today!

Our 4 Fave Shaded Running Routes

Hit these four shaded running routes and make your next run a little cooler

Our four favorite shaded running routes will get you off the blistering roads. The mercury continues to rise in Austin and you should build shade into your runs anytime you can.

Hop in Barton Spring Pool after running the Greenbelt, one of our fave shaded running routes

Cool off in Barton Springs after your Greenbelt run.

Greenbelt

Choose your distance on this technical (most off-road route on the list), completely car-free route (be aware of mountain bikers). You’ll travel 15 miles total if you begin at Barton Springs Pool and run to the Hill of Life. Run without headphones so you can focus on the trail and listen for mountain bikers. Pro tip – on really hot days complete this run in the morning. Finish before 8:00 a.m. and take a refreshing dip in Barton Springs for free. Even after 8:00 a.m. it’ll only cost $3. Trail shoes aren’t required but they will provide more traction and stability on your run.

Shoal Creek Trail

This roughly 3.25-mile trail stretches from Lady Bird Lake to 38th St. It’s a popular trail for cyclists who commute downtown. There are some bridges to avoid streets, but if you run the entire route be advised there are some street crossings. If you want a condensed interval or speed workout, begin at Pease Park. You can do one-mile out-and-back repeats.

Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park

You can run countless winding miles on this nearly 300-acre section of land in north Austin. Plenty of parking makes access a breeze. Bring your four-legged friend with you! Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park is off-leash in the main section. Scope out the trails beforehand to ensure the creeks are running so your pup can hydrate. Knock out your hill workouts and keep an eye out for mountain bike.

Southern Walnut Creek Trail

Knock out your next 15-mile run on this nearly 7.5-mile out-and-back trail that begins at Govalle Neighborhood Park off Bolm Rd. in east Austin. It features 10-foot wide concrete paths and splendid views. Be advised, this is a popular route for cyclists and traffic flows both ways. Parking is plentiful. Need a longer run? Keep going past Daffen Lane and Decker Lane to add more miles. Use caution when crossing both roadways.

Pro tip – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Just because you’re off the roads doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hydrate. Some of these places have water fountains, but you should bring your own hydration to guarantee you’ll have some. There are many hydration options that you can wear on your back, around your waist, or in the palm of your hand.

Mechanic’s Corner: Saddle Bag Essentials

What is a Saddle Bag and What do You Put In it

Saddle Bag Kit with Tire inflator, patches, and co2 inflator - what to do when you get a flatIf you’ve ever had a bike ride end early because of a flat tire or minor mechanical problem, then you already know the importance of carrying a saddle bag with you on your bike rides.  A saddle bag is a bag that is specifically designed to hang underneath the back of your bicycle seat. They come in a variety of sizes and styles so check for one that will fit comfortably on the back of your bike. Some people even have two different saddles bags, one for training rides and one for races.

At a minimum, that bag should have an inner tube, a patch kit, tire levers and a bicycle specific multi-tool in it. If you don’t know the size of your inner tube, check the sidewall of your tire for the size or ask your local bike shop which is best for your bike.

For A Flat Tire

If you’re not carrying a hand tire pump mounted somewhere on your bike, then a CO2 cartridge and inflator are also essential.  A flat tire can be fixed in under five minutes, and you can be back on your way if you have the tools and spare with you to fix it.  Otherwise, you’ll be calling a friend for a ride or maybe calling in late to work if you’re mid-commute when the flat tire happens.

For Other Mechanical Problems

Aside from a flat tire, a loose bolt that allows your handlebar to move or your seat to slip is a common problem that is easy to fix with a bicycle specific multi-tool.  A broken chain is a less common occurrence, but a chain tool is included on many multi-tools and is a necessity if you do get a broken chain while you’re out on a ride.
If you don’t know how to change an inner tube or use a CO2 inflator, you may want to talk to your mechanic or ask a friend to teach you how before your next long bike ride.  Finally, I recommend that you always have a cell phone, some cash and identification with you in case of an emergency.

Do You Know JGT?

2018 Shirt Revealed!

Learn about USAT Sanctioning and Certification

USAT sanctioning and certification provides triathletes additional value

When you register for a triathlon with USAT sanctioning and certification chances are high that you’ll participate in a reputable event. In its 16th year, Jack’s Generic Triathlon (owned and produced by High Five Events) is a USAT-sanctioned event. Dan Carroll, co-owner of High Five Events is a Level II USAT Certified Race Director. We break down the benefits of USAT sanctioning and certification and what it means for athletes.

quick breakdown of USAT sanctioning and certification

Dan Carroll directing the 2017 JGT swim start.

USAT sanctioning benefits for triathletes

1. Gives peace-of-mind by guaranteeing industry-wide safety standards
2. Ensures a fair race governed by standardized rules
3. Provides the Gold Standard of insurance protection for the event, athlete, and venue
4. Provide athletes with points for regional and national rankings, including USAT All-American status
5. Only sanctioned races provide athletes with the opportunity to qualify for National Championships and then qualify for World Championships as a member of Team USA
6. Athletes’ results are available for all sanctioned races
7. Enables new programming, grows the sport, and funds initiatives including youth participation, the Olympic program, and paratriathlon

Level II USAT Certified Race Director benefits

1. Make events safer with access to latest risk management and race directing information
2. Ensure fairness by being in full compliance with all USAT sanction guidelines and pre- and post-race requirements
3. Compete on accurate distances through updated course development protocol
4. Comfort in the fact that the event is managed by a highly qualified race director, decreasing the chances for errors
5. Maintain triathlon’s integrity by producing respected events
6. Race directors stay sharp through re-certification and continuing education opportunities

Pros and Cons of Bike Frame Materials

Bike frame materials breakdown

If you’re in the market for a new bike, you might be overwhelmed with the different types of bike frame materials from which you can choose. Be prepared; know the type of bike you want and what you want it to do. When researching online or speaking with a dealer you need to be prepared with as much knowledge as possible. Comfort, weight, corrosion, and repairability are major factors to consider when searching for your next bike. Read our list of pros and cons for different bike frame materials. This will come in handy when purchasing your first bike or upgrading from your current ride!

STEEL

Pros:
•  comfortable
•  absorbs shock
•  durable
•  repairable
•  “skinny tubes” = classic looking
•  can be almost as light as titanium

Cons:
•  heavier than aluminum
•  rusts if not maintained
•  “skinny tubes” = old school

ALUMINUM

Pros:
•  can be very lightweight
•  new aluminum is more comfortable
•  does not rust, resists corrosion
•  stiff for good energy transfer

Cons:
•  the low end has a harsher ride than steel
•  not as repairable as steel

CARBON FIBER

Pros:
•  very comfortable
•  stiff for good energy transfer
•  does not rust
•  “cool factor” and aero.
Cons:
•  can be expensive
•  hard to repair

TITANIUM

Pros:
•  comfortable, similar to steel
•  does not rust or corrode
•  lightweight
•  durable
Cons:
•  usually more expensive
•  difficult to repair due to the strength of the material

5 Reasons to Build Your Relay Team

Remember: there’s no “I” in relay team

Triathlon is that much more fun when you divide and conquer! Recruit friends, family, or co-workers and create your relay team for Jack’s Generic Triathlon. The 16th annual JGT will take place on Sunday, August 26th, at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. Relay teams can consist of two or three individuals. If your team has two members, one person will take two legs and the second person will take the third leg. This can be accomplished in any combination. Check out the top five reasons to build a relay team at this year’s Jack’s Generic Triathlon.

Build your Jack's Generic Tri relay team.

Finish the swim and cheer on the other two legs of your relay team!

Try something new

Maybe you know about triathlon, maybe you’re unfamiliar. Perhaps you’ve cheered and supported friends at their triathlons, but you’ve never participated in one. Creating a relay team is the best way to get introduced to the sport! Attempting something new can be a little overwhelming at times. Building a team of two or three will help take some of the pressure off. Train with your team, experience the highs and the lows, and get a taste of your new sport.

Have three times the fun

Of course you can always double your pleasure. But why do that when you can triple the fun?! That’s right, get two friends or co-workers and create your relay team. Next, come up with a sweet team name. While you’re training, you can have team tops made and begin planning what you’ll wear on race day. Will it be matching outfits or a hilarious swim-bike-run-friendly costume? So many choices!

Build your Jack's Generic Tri relay team.

Hop on your bike with fresh legs!

You’re injured

Injuries happen. We all know that. But what may prevent you from running might not stop you from cycling or swimming. As long as you feel comfortable and aren’t in pain when training, creating a relay team for JGT is a fantastic way to stay active while continuing to strengthen your muscles. You never know, cross-training might just help speed up your recovery!

Experience something memorable

Get the old high school/college crew together. Build a family relay team that spans three generations. Create an all-sibling team. Represent your employer and become the talk of the office. Raise some serious dough for your favorite nonprofit. Whatever direction you go, make this something you won’t soon forget. Participate with loved ones and/or fundraise for an organization that’s close to your heart and your JGT experience will be stored in your long-term memory bank.

You have a need for speed

Build your Jack's Generic Tri relay team.

Run your heart out while your relay team members cheer you on!

You’re like Ricky Bobby: you just want to go fast. Triathlon is a trying sport, pushing your body’s limits. Training coupled with proper hydration and nutrition help keep your body going. But by the time the run starts your energy levels are decreasing, slowing you down. Try pushing the limits in another way, create a super team. Find someone who swims like a fish in the water. Add a member who gets speeding tickets on their bike for going too fast. Pick a runner whose feet seem to never touch the ground because of their speed. Assemble this super team and show up on race day ready to set land records (just watch out for the speed traps)!

Whatever your reasoning, there are two things left to do: build your team and register!

What the Heck Is a Basno Badge & How Do I Get One?

What is a Basno Badge?

Jack’s Generic Tri uses Basno, a badge management system, to distribute and host digital badges. Collect as many as you can to track your history of accomplishments. It’s like a trophy cabinet without having to dust!

At Jack’s Generic Tri, not only do you get an actual finisher medal, but you can also receive an In-Training and a Finisher Basno Badge.

Digital badges are awarded to participants who successfully complete Jack’s Generic Tri or other High Five Events’ events. In addition, if you register early enough, you’ll also receive an “In Training” badge. Make sure you let your friends and loved ones know about your upcoming goal.

How To Claim Your Badges?

To claim your in training badge you can use the link below. After the Tri, check your inbox to claim your JGT Finisher badge. It’s simple and free. Share your journey and accomplishments by sharing your badges on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

This 2018 triathlon season you can collect up to 10 badges!

Rookie Tri In Training, Volunteer, Finisher

Jack’s Generic Tri In Training, Volunteer, Finisher

Kerrville Tri In Training, Volunteer, Finisher

Texas Tri Series Finisher

We will also recognize those who complete eight or more with a special badge.

Claim Your 2018 JGT In-Training Badge!

See All and Claim Past Badges

2018 Rookie Tri Finisher Badge

2017 Kerrville Tri Finisher Basno badge.

2017 Kerrville Tri Finisher Basno badge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 3M Half Marathon Finisher Basno badge.

2018 3M Half Marathon Finisher Basno badge.

Integrating a Brick into Your Triathlon Training

Make sure a brick is in your triathlon training plans

Integrating a brick workout into your training prepares you for racing by combining two aspects of triathlon into a single, continuous workout. The two most common examples are a swim to bike and a bike to run.

The term brick has a few meanings.

1) It is foundational to triathlon training just like a brick is foundational to a structure.

2) Another is that after a bike/run workout your legs feel as heavy as bricks.

jacks generic triathlon brick workout Setting Up for a Brick Workout

There are several ways to integrate a brick workout into your plan, however, set up is always key. The reason for this is to minimize transition time between disciplines in the same manner as a race. At T3Multisports, we utilize a transition bike rack that allows athletes to set their transition area up in the same fashion as they would on race day.

We build a transition rack similar to what you see at races. We place this near our open water swim practice area or in a side parking lot near a pool. The athletes swim the prescribed distance in their race suit. They then run to the transition area (complete with bike mount line) and transition onto the bike.

The duration and intensity of both the swim and bike will depend on where you are in your training or what you are targeting as an area of improvement. If you don’t have the luxury of a rack, setting your bike up poolside (check with the lifeguards first) or securing it a public bike rack might be an option. Brick training along with the transition practice will help you transition to the next level!

By: Andrew Sidwell


Andrew Sidwell is the Adult and High-Performance Coach at T3Multisports. T3Multisport is Round Rock’s premier year-round, group triathlon training program for adults. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the sport or an experienced veteran; we will help you achieve your goals and Transition You to the Next Level.


If you would like to be a guest blogger please contact us at info@jacksgenerictri.com.