Train Smarter: Mobile Apps Every Triathlete Needs

Here are some of our favorite triathlon training apps to maximize your training.

It can take months of hard work to train for a triathlon. The right technology can help you train more efficiently. Whether its support from your fellow triathletes, customized workouts, or a virtual coach, there is an app for every need. Plus, it is one less excuse to skip a workout!

1. Strava

A performance tracker that is compatible with every Android and iOS GPS system, Strava is an app that helps you monitor heart rate, speed, and power. With a global community of athletes, Strava can also be used to share workout routines, race information, and organize activities with friends, teams, and brands.

2. Go Swim

A swimming app, Go Swim offers video drills to improve stroke technique. This mobile app also features the latest news, articles, and blogs from around the world on swimming, Olympic sports, triathlons and more with practical advice on how to incorporate them into one’s own workout.

3. Myfitnesspal

A fitness app that helps track and improve your diet when training for a triathlon. Myfitnesspal doesn’t just count calories, it also monitors nutritional value and serving size. It helps you understand your food habits better so that you make smarter, healthier choices.

Camp Gladiator Workout App - with workouts for Triathlon Training

4. Wahoo Fitness

A training app, Wahoo Fitness is compatible with most Android and iOS phones and can be used for all aspects of triathlon training including running, cycling, and swimming. Pair it with your cycling sensors, heart rate monitors, and bike trainers to improve the efficiency of your workout.

5. Headspace

Your training plan should have a balance between fitness, exercise, and relaxation. Headspace, a meditation app helps you decompress after a workout. It is also an effective sleep app. Sleep is very important for recovery and meditation can be helpful for calming pre-race nerves.

6. Camp Gladiator

A workout app, Camp Gladiator, offers real-time coaching with a certified personal trainer to monitor and modify your workouts. You can schedule virtual workouts that will help you develop muscle, body strength, or lose weight in the comfort of your home.

While all of these are not specifically triathlon training apps, they all offer great resources to help you train smarter. You can also download the Jack’s Generic Tri mobile app to stay up to date on everything you need for race day. If you are looking for more inspiration and easy access to workouts, be sure to follow these 5 fitness accounts on Instagram.

7 Easy Steps to Replace Your Handlebar Tape

Expand your skills when you learn how to wrap your handlebars

The more you can learn about your bike the better. You become more knowledgeable about bikes in general while becoming more intimate with your bike and all of its nuances. Riders who ride often might re-wrap their handlebars annually. Checking the condition of your handlebar tape is a good step in your pre-ride inspection. Loose tape could interfere with your bike handling and could cause a crash while riding.

Keep in mind, the longer your training rides, the more sweat, hydration, nutrition, etc. get on or in the tape.

Whether you want to change your handlebar tape every year or every five years, the steps below will properly guide you.

Things You will need to replace your bar tape:

1.Remove old bar tape

First, you will need to remove the bar end plugs. If you don’t have any then we would suggest purchasing some as this will help keep your tape on longer. Next, flip back both brake lever hoods and unravel the old tape. 

2.Align brake levers

Check the alignment of your brake levers. The bottom of each lever should be in line with the bottom of the handlebars. They should also be in line with the side of your bars. Make sure the cables are securely fastened to the front side of the handlebar using electrical tape.

3.Begin wrapping

Start with the right side. Your new bar tape should have come with two extra 3″ strips of tape. Wrap this around the bottom of the brake clamp from the rear end. Unpeel a bit of the adhesive backing and start by placing the end of the tape under the end of the bars. You’ll want to leave about half of the tape hanging over the edge on the first wrap.

Because of the way you put pressure on. your handlebars while riding it is common to wrap the stage in opposite directions. This keeps it from unraveling longer and can extend the life of your bar tape. Wrap the bar tape is clockwise on the right side and counter-clockwise on the left. 

4.While wrappingBike with new handlebar tape

It is important to pull have the adhesive backing as you go instead of all at once. This will keep it from getting dirty until you’re ready to apply it.

Make sure each rotation overlaps itself by about one-third. You’ll want to make sure the middle section of adhesive on the backside of the tape is always contacting the bars. Pull-on the tape evenly through the process to keep the wrap tight, but be very careful not to pull too hard or the fragile tape will snap. 

5.Wrap around the lever

When you get to the brake lever, try to make sure the top edge of the tape overlaps a little bit of the bottom of the brake lever in order to avoid leaving a gap. Then pull the tape around the back end of the brake clamp and over the top. Now pull the tape around and continue wrapping the top section of the handlebar. Stop wrapping when you get about an inch from the stem.

6.Cut and tape

Holding the tape in place, cut the remaining angled section of tape away. Then secure it with a few wraps of electrical tape. Make sure to pull the tape so that it stretches nice and evenly. Overlap the end of the handlebar tape and completely seal it with the electrical tape.

7. Bar end plugs

Once the wrapping is done, go back to the bar end and tuck the extra tape into the handlebars using the bar plug. To wrap the left side, repeat the same procedure. Remember to start wrapping the tape counter-clockwise instead. The final step is to, flip your brake lever hoods back over your new handlebar tape.

Now that your bike is looking fresh you can air up your tires and for a ride in style! If you do find your tape sweaty or you spill drinks or nutrition, be sure to give your bike a good wash to help extend it’s life and prevent rust.

Eat Your Greens! Healthy Green Recipes

Healthy Recipes Loaded with Greens You’ll Love

The NEED for Greens

Adding green vegetables to your diet can be easy, delicious, and quick with the right recipes, tips, and tricks. Whether it’s a smoothie, powder, or just a salad, greens contain numerous essential nutrients that result in a stronger immune system, improved bone health, decreased risk of diseases, and so much more. Keep reading to understand the benefits of adding greens to your diet and discover your new favorite recipe!

Why You Need Leafy Greens

From preventing diseases to helping you manage weight loss, incorporating greens in your daily diet can improve so many aspects of your overall health. Leafy greens are low in calories, contain fiber, vitamins K and C, and calcium that will enhance different aspects of your health, such as your brain, bones, and skin, boosting your overall well- being and making you live longer. Greens also enhance the body’s natural enzymes that break down food, helping your digestive system. 

Best Greens for You

While all greens contain nutrients beneficial to you, kale, broccoli, spinach, and romaine lettuce are the best options to include. Out of all the green vegetables, kale is the most beneficial to you. Broccoli and spinach are high in both vitamins C, and A. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant protecting your cells from damage. Vitamin A is proven to support your immune system and improve vision. 

Green Recipes You’ll Love

Click to be taken to your new favorite recipe!

Time to Eat Your Greens

What looks good to you? With these yummy recipes, you’ll never struggle to eat your greens again. Let us know which recipe you’ll try on Facebook or Twitter, or share it with a friend who would love these healthy green recipes!

How to Defeat the 4 Most Common Excuses for Skipping Your Workout

No more excuses, it’s time to get your workout on!

We’ve all been there. We have the best intentions of following a workout routine, but sometimes life gets in the way. Next thing you know, we’re skipping more workouts than we should. There’s good news, you’re not alone!  Below are four solutions to the most common excuses for skipping workouts.

What’s Your Excuse?

1. You’re Too Tired

Taking time off when you’re tired is essential, but it may not be the best solution when it comes to skipping workouts. Sometimes pushing through a workout is the perfect way to get the boost of energy you need. Exercise increases blood flow and the release of serotonin and dopamine. All of which will help make you feel better. 

Solution: Maybe your regular workout is not ideal if you’re tired. Try less-intense exercise such as yoga or walking. They can be just as beneficial. You’re getting outdoors, enjoying the fresh air, and increasing your blood flow.

2. Gym Memberships Are Expensive

While gyms might be useful for strength workouts, it’s no secret that some memberships can be expensive. However, there’s an easy way to defeat this excuse and still increase your strength.

Solution: Get some basic equipment and create your gym at home. Start with a couple of dumbbells and resistance bands and slowly expand from there. Mix it up and find some online workouts for free to try at home. You can expand your gym from there. Additionally, you don’t need a membership to run or ride your bike and most city pools only charge a small fee.

3. Not Enough Time

Life can be crazy sometimes. When we look at our packed schedules, we might think the last thing we have time for is a workout. Try this, instead of finding time to work out, make time to workout.

Solution: You don’t need to work out for an entire hour to get the benefits from exercise. Sometimes 30 minutes can be enough. Try waking up 30 minutes early to exercise. Take some time off during your lunch break to ride your bike. You can also multi-task. For example, why not try out some body-weight exercises while you binge-watch your favorite series? If you have kids at home that might prevent you from working out, make it fun, and get them involved in your routine. Schedule family walks/runs/bike rides around the neighborhood.

4. Just Not Motivated

Sometimes improving our health or getting a PR in our next race is not enough motivation to help us stick to a workout routine and save the excuses.

Solution: Set smaller, short-term goals that are realistic and achievable. While setting big goals is important, it might take a long time to accomplish them. You might become unmotivated over time. For some people, having someone else to exercise with can be very motivating. Finding yourself an accountability partner can be helpful. Lastly, doing something that is not fun is definitely not going to be motivating, so find a type of exercise that is fun for you! 

How to Defeat the 4 Most Common Excuses for Skipping Your Workout

It’s Go Time!

Whether it is a lack of time or motivation, we’ve all made some excuse to skip a workout here and there. The good news is that there is always a way to defeat our excuses. No more slacking off with these four solutions for skipping workouts. For extra motivation, join us on Facebook for a great place to share training tips, advice, and keep up with your fellow triathletes!

2020 Jack’s Generic Triathlon Canceled

18th annual Jack’s Generic Triathlon canceled

Thank you for registering for the 18th annual Jack’s Generic Tri. We have an update concerning this year’s event scheduled for August 23, 2020. Unfortunately, we have been forced to cancel the 2020 Jack’s Generic Tri as a result of mandates by local/state governments and the recommended CDC guidelines. And, unfortunately, postponement is not a viable option based on permitting and venue availability.

We know that this news may be disappointing to you. We also understand the hours you have dedicated to training for this race. Please know that this cancellation was made with the safety of the entire community in mind. All registered participants have the option to transfer to another triathlon in the series at no additional cost or request a full refund. Every participant should receive an email with details on how to complete this process. Please fill it out no later than Friday, August 7th. Please allow at least 60 days to process your refunds or transfer requests.

We look forward to seeing you soon! We will continue to post blogs & social media on triathlon, training, and everything you need for a healthy & happy lifestyle.

Complete your transfer/refund

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 Jack’s Generic Triathlon, all registered participants can transfer to one of our 2021 triathlons at no cost or request a full refund.

Events that are open to transfer include:

Participants who wish to upgrade distances at the 2021 CapTex Tri or 2021 Kerrville Tri will need to pay the difference in registration for that distance. That request can only be filled after the transfer to the original distance is complete. All participants who do not wish to transfer your registration to next year’s event may request a full refund.

Every participant should receive an email with details on how to complete this process. If you didn’t please check your spam folder. If you still can’t find it, email info@jacksgenerictri.com and we are happy to resend you the link. Please fill out the form and submit by Friday, August 7th. If no action is taken by the deadline you will automatically be transferred to next year’s Jack’s Generic Tri at no cost.

Please keep in mind, all merchandise & USAT Membership purchases will be refunded for the event, regardless of transfer or refund request. Please allow at least 60 days to process your refunds or transfer requests. We appreciate your patience.

Run Austin Virtual Series

Don’t let your training stop just because JGT isn’t happening! Stay motivated with the Run Austin Virtual Run Series! The 6 virtual runs will be introduced at the beginning of each month, have a unique distance, and Austin, Texas-theme.

Participants receive:

  • Personalized, themed bib that can be printed at home
  • Digital finisher medal
  • Online results
  • Downloadable finisher certificate

Register for each event individually or get the entire series, over $100 value, for FREE with registration for the 2021 3M Half Marathon or the 2021 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K!

 

How to Avoid Knee Pain While Training for a Triathlon

Tips to avoid knee pain during tri training

If you experience knee pain during your training, you’ll want to make some changes to the way you train as well as look into what could be causing the pain. The source of the pain can come from any of the three tri disciplines, so you’ll want to pay close attention to when you feel discomfort to address the problem source. While you do not have to stop training, it’s important to ease up on your training intensity and make some adjustments to the way you train to combat the pain and prevent further harm/damage to your knees. Follow these tips to avoid knee pain during your tri training.

What’s the Problem?

Tips to avoid knee pain while training for a triathlon

Knee pain is a common problem we hear about in the world of triathlon because you’re training for two sports known to cause knee pain. Best described as pain felt above, below, or behind the kneecap that is caused by overuse or misuse during specific physical activities. Knee pain is very common for triathletes, but most often stems from the incorrect form while running or cycling.  It can lead to swelling and even grinding or cracking sounds when doing any physical activity, so it’s best to get to the root of the problem before it’s too late.

Train Without the Pain

Swim

Swimming is the lowest impact on your body in a triathlon. For this reason, it’s the safest alternative to turn to when dealing with knee pain. When hitting the pool for a workout, find a swim stroke style that causes the least amount of discomfort in your knees. Swimming is also an excellent way to alleviate current pain and helps you avoid causing any further damage. You can also try focusing on arm-only workouts and use a pull-buoy to avoid making the problem worse.

Bike

Knee pain is typical when riding for extended periods for any athlete. Avoid riding on hilly terrain or unpaved roads to avoid putting too much strain on your knees. Another thing that could be the cause of your knee pain is incorrect bike fit. You can fix this with minor tweaks, like correctly adjusting your saddle height. While this seems minuscule, it impacts your knees much more than you may think. Suppose you are experiencing more pain than usual when out for a ride, this is an indicator to ease up on your training rides. Deal with your current injury to prevent permanent damage.

Run

Typically, running is where athletes feel the most pain and discomfort during training. Running is known to be hard on your joints, but there are ways to reduce this to keep reaching your triathlon goals. An alternative workout for knee pain we recommend is aqua running. If running is especially painful for you, take some time to evaluate your form when you run. Make sure you’re running lightly while maintaining a comfortable stride to avoid heel-striking.  

Try training with a group or with a professional coach who can watch your technique and form to help find the source of your problem. It’s always great to have people looking out for you. Plus, you’ll enjoy getting advice from those more familiar to the sport if you are just starting. 

When in Doubt, Stretch It Out

Tips to avoid knee pain while training for a triathlon stretches

Pain in any joint is attributed to the tightness and strength, or lack-there-of, in the muscles around it. This is why flexibility and mobility are so essential to avoid further knee pain. There are a number of knee-specific stretches you can do. Most athletes find the effects of stretching properly essential to dealing with knee pain during training. These stretches almost instantly alleviate knee pain and can be done in front of the tv, or anywhere you’d like. You can also incorporate yoga for triathletes into your training to work on strengthening the knee while increasing your flexibility.

Take a Break When Needed

If you are experiencing extreme knee pain, take some time off when training to prevent causing permanent damage. While this may be tough or feel counteractive, you’ll thank yourself in the long run (pun intended). Pay attention to your body, and take a break if you need to. With the help of these tips, save yourself the trouble and avoid knee pain from happening down the road.

 

Swim Stroke Styles: What They Are and Why They Matter

Benefits of Incorporating Different Swim Stroke Styles into your tri training

Triathlon swimming is different from competitive swimming. You’re in open water with a bunch of triathletes on the same mission: to reach the end of the swim as quickly, efficiently, and safely as possible. The distance of the swim will help you determine which swim stroke style you should work on during training to do your best on race day. Your current skill level in the water is also important to factor in. Keep reading to see the benefits of learning multiple swim strokes during your training for your upcoming tri. 

Why Different Swim Strokes Matter

In open water racing, you’ll find yourself having to swerve around other athletes. You may also have to stop quickly to avoid getting kicked and make tight turns around buoy markers. Adding in new strokes for just one of your workouts per week will make a difference in being able to react to these circumstances in an efficient way. Not only that, using different strokes will cause you to use different ranges of motion resulting in less strain to particular muscles and more of a complete shoulder and chest workout.

Freestyle Stroke

Freestyle is the best-known swim style stroke, and the most common stroke we see out at Jack’s Generic Tri, because it’s the most efficient swim stroke you can learn. It takes you farther than other strokes without expending more energy. Freestyle also gives you a full-body workout. It works the muscles in your arms, legs, core, and back. If you are looking for a particular swimming stroke to strengthen your back muscles, freestyle is definitely the way to go. Although the most efficient stroke, it can also be difficult to master. One of the most important things to focus on during training is your breathing. You can practice this by using the flutter kick while holding a kickboard out in front of you and practice rotating your face in and out of the water to breathe until you’ve established a rhythm you can replicate in the open water.

Benefits of the Freestyle Stroke

Click here to learn more about the freestyle stroke

Backstroke

Backstroke is rarely used during a triathlon, but it is a great stroke to incorporate into your training because it helps your shoulders unwind after sticking with one specific stroke for a while. This stroke is great for improving hip rotation. It also works your shoulder flexibility in the opposite way from freestyle. Depending on the length of your swim, mastering backstroke is always a great alternative to have up your sleeve. Your face stays out of the water, so you can breathe whenever you want. Backstroke is extremely useful when you need a bit of a rest period or if the water is choppy on race day.

Benefits of Backstroke

Click here to learn more about the backstroke

Breaststroke

Breastroke is the perfect swim stroke style for building strength in your hands by using them as paddles. This will translate into a stronger pull in freestyle. It’s a great way to switch things up and focus on different muscle groups. If you’re hesitant to hold your breath, breaststroke is great because you breathe every stroke. You can also complete this stroke without having to put your face in the water. Some argue breaststroke is the slowest swimming stroke, which may be a con for people who prefer speed. This stroke can be done for longer periods of time, so it can serve as an endurance workout. It’s a good alternative to your regular stroke as a way to mix in some cardio and burn a lot of calories in a session.

Benefits of Breaststroke

Click here to learn more about the breaststroke

Butterfly Stroke

If you’re looking to challenge yourself in the water, the butterfly is the way to go. This stroke was named after the movement in which you move your arms and is great for strengthening your core. This is important to triathlon because a strong core aids in swimming, cycling, and running. Butterfly requires a great deal of strength and coordination that takes time to develop. Not only does is this stroke a great workout to build abdominal strength, but it also strengthens your shoulders and chest. Each stroke requires that your core muscles have enough power to pull your arms over the water. Just a few laps of butterfly leaves you feeling its effects and burns the most calories of any swimming stroke. If this stroke is something you’re interested in perfecting, consider joining a Masters Swimming Program to get to proper coaching and guidance you’d need.

Benefits of Butterfly Stroke

Click here to learn more about the butterfly stroke

Keep in Mind:

Although your goal may be to complete the distance as fast as possible, you have to pace yourself. Triathlon requires you to be as efficient as you can in order to save energy for the bike and run later on. Incorporating different swim strokes into your training builds strength in other muscle groups, reduces the risk of injury, and breaks the repetitiveness in your swim sets. In the meantime, try these ways to stay motivated to keep up with your tri training and we’ll see you at JGT in no time!

How To Adjust Your Bike To The Perfect Saddle Height

Steps to Achieve Your Perfect Bike Saddle Height

Adjusting your bike to the perfect saddle height is crucial in order to maximize comfort and payoff during your training rides for Jack’s Generic Tri. Incorrect saddle height leads to pain and discomfort during and after your ride. It can also prevent you from improving your performance on the bike. Learn the importance of correct saddle height, and how to adjust your bike to the perfect saddle height with these easy steps.

What is Saddle Height?

Saddle height is measured by the distance between the center of the pedal axle and the top of the saddle, or your bike seat. This is set by adjusting the seat post to your ideal height to balance your comfort and power on the bike. Saddle height is arguably the single most important adjustment on your bicycle. Incorrect saddle height can contribute to discomfort in the saddle, anterior and posterior knee pains, and ultimately limiting how much power you produce.

How To Adjust Your Bike To The Perfect Saddle Height

How To Adjust Your Saddle Height

There are many ways you can approach finding your perfect saddle height. One of the best approaches is to establish it based on the rider’s individual ride characteristics and flexibility. You can follow the “heel to pedal method” before your next ride. This will get you in the ballpark.

  1. Stand next to your bike and raise the saddle to your hip to get an idea of where to start.
  2. Get on your bike, and place your heel on the pedal to determine if you will raise or lower your saddle.
    • If you are having trouble making contact with your heel to your pedal – the seat is too high.
    • If your knee is bent – it is too low.
  3. Put your bike on the trainer and adjust accordingly.
  4. Get back on your bike with your heel on the pedal and pedal backward to reach the six o’clock position.
  5. Your leg should be completely straight, without being overextended to achieve the correct saddle height.

Pro tip: Make very small adjustments during this process, then repeat until you have found the perfect saddle height.

Ready to Ride

Once you find the proper height, use a piece of electrical tape around at the base of the post where it meets the seat clamp as a marker. Take a tape measure and record the measurements at which you think you’ve found your perfect saddle height. This is good to have in case you need to make very slight adjustments in the future.

Have a professional look at your bike every few years to achieve maximum comfort on your bike. After adjusting your bike to the perfect saddle height, make the first few rides short. Give it time!  Your body may need a few sessions to adapt to your new saddle height before you feel yourself improving on your cycling journey. How often do you check your saddle height? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Refreshing Nuun Cocktails You Need to Try

Hydrate During Happy Hour with these nuun Cocktails

 

Wow! Time for Happy Hour already?

If you don’t already know, the Jack’s Generic Tri team are huge nuun fans. It tastes incredible, there are endless flavor options, and you can add it to just about any drink you can imagine. nuun is loaded with electrolytes and is a great way to keep you hydrated, no matter what activity you’re doing. That is why we have put together some ways to incorporate nuun into happy hour! Your colleges will be jealous and your mouth will be thankful. Plus, these hydration cocktails are super easy to make, which may be our favorite part.

If you’re bored with your go-to cocktail, it’s probably time to mix it up and try something new! Try these refreshing and tasty Nuun-based cocktails for your next happy hour. 

Give These Nuun Cocktails a Try!

Think you’ve found your new favorite cocktail?

Which one are you going to try with us first? If you have a nuun cocktail recipe of your own, we’d love to hear it! Share your recipe with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Be sure to share it with your friends so they can enjoy a delicious 5 o’clock drink with you, too.

Test Your Knowledge: How Well Do You Know JGT?

How well do you know JGT?

On August 23rd, we are celebrating 18 years of generic, triathlon fun at Jack’s Generic Tri, so let’s put your JGT knowledge to the test. If you’ve been a proud member of the generic gang, see how well you know JGT with this quiz. If you’re joining us for the first time this year, this is a great place to learn all the history and fun facts of JGT that has led us to our 18th Anniversary Celebration!

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Where did the first ever Jack's Generic Tri take place?

running on the JGT course Tom Marek
Correct! Wrong!

What year was the first Jack's Generic Tri?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

How long is the swim portion of JGT?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

Who won the first-ever JGT?

Correct! Wrong!

How many people completed the first JGT?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

What's our go-to beer for the beer garden?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

How do we wrap up the JGT finish line party?

Tom Marek
Correct! Wrong!

Where is JGT currently located?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

How many divisions are offered?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

What's the name of our iconic, water-spraying unicorn?

Correct! Wrong!

Do You Know JGT?
You're a JGT expert!

Alright, alright! You really know your JGT stuff!
You know the basics!

Right on! You know the JGT basics!
You must be new!

Welcome to the JGT crew! Now you know Jack's Generic Tri a little better, hopefully, you'll be there to join in on the fun this year!

Share your Results:

How’d you’d do?? Whatever your level of JGT expertise, we hope you can be there to swim-bike-run alongside Austin’s coolest triathletes this summer.