How to Plan for a Smooth Transition

We’re here to help you plan out a smooth transition for this triathlon with five easy steps for race morning.

1) Once you have arrived to race site (preferably early) and before entering transition, be sure to get body marked (your age and race number written on your arms and legs by volunteers). You should already have your bike number on your bike, helmet number on your helmet and wristband on your wrist. Only participants and certain volunteers can enter transition, so make sure you can carry all your gear on your own.

2) After locating your assigned bike rack and after racking your bike, be sure that your cycling shoes and running shoes are open with loose laces for easy on/off. If you want some water on the bike course make sure and have a water bottle filled on your bike.

Put your sunglasses in your helmet so that you grab them before putting on the helmet and don’t accidentally try and leave transition without either. Click To Tweet

3) As you leave transition count how many bike racks away from the entrance you are. When it is all filled with bikes it can sometimes be like finding a needle in a haystack. Take your goggles and your swim cap with you if you are going to walk around.

4) Familiarize yourself with the flow of the race site. Visit swim start and finish and make sure understand how to get from swim exit to transition.

5) After the swim you will enter transition at one end and leave at the other. This process is reversed for the second transition when you return from the bike. That is, the bike starts and finishes at the same side and the run goes out where the swim came in.

When in doubt, watch what others are doing or simply ask another triathlete. Most are more than willing to help answer your questions.

Must-Have Post-Race Treats

What are your go-to post-race treats when you’re done racing?

The 16th annual Jack’s Generic Tri takes place later this month (Aug. 26th). We asked the High Five Events crew about their favorite post-race treats.

Everyone has something they do/eat/drink/etc. after racing as a reward or tradition. That something could begin your recovery, ease the pain, or celebrate. If you’re strategic, your post-race treat incorporates all three! If you know the High Five Events staff, then you won’t be surprised to see a recurring theme below.

The Bob at Matt's El Rancho is one of several favorite post-race treats.

An Austin classic: The Bob. Image credit: Matt’s El Rancho.

William – a winning combination of The Bob and a couple frozen margaritas with salt

Tina – something salty, like chips and something sweet like a diet coke.

John – sleep.

Joey – a margarita – rocks with salt.

Emily – tacos, chips and salsa, guacamole, queso, margarita, mmmmmmmm.

Laura – pizza and ice cream.

Dan – queso!

Cool Swimsuits for Triathlon Training

For many of us, a big part of triathlon training is swimming in a pool.

While it is ok every now and then to take your tri suit for a pool swim it is best not to do it often as chlorine can break down the fabric. This means you need a swimsuit for training that is different than what you wear on race day.  Here are 3 Men’s and Women’s Swimsuits to consider.

Women’s Triathlon Training Swimsuits

Nero/Fire

ROKA Women’s Elite HD One-Piece Triangle Back

Why we love it: With its new updated fit, this swimsuit has built-in compression that will eliminate drag and boost you to your fullest potential. The ROKA Elite HD suit is made with premium Italian chlorine-proof fabric, so it is there for you workout after workout.

 

Speedo Women’s Endurance Lite Perforated Two Piece Bikini Set

Why we love it: This a great option for a two-piece bikini that still measures up to the competition on performance. The endurance lite fabric is 10 percent lighter weight that won’t weigh you down in the water, resists sagging, bagging and fading.

ROKA Women’s SIM Pro II Neoprene Buoyancy Shorts

Why we love it: This patent-pending suit is a game changer. It’s better than a pull-buoy, because it lets you kick and turn naturally. It also gives just a touch of warmth for those cold morning workouts. The SIM makes every swim a race-specific training workout. Once you try it, you won’t ever want to go back. Note, these shorts are designed for the pool and should have excellent durability if you rinse them after use with fresh water and dry them thoroughly.

 

Men’s Triathlon Training Swimsuits

 

Nero/CyanROKA Elite HD Racer

Why we love it: If you are into the smaller look this one is for you. The Elite HD Racer’s shape-retention construction rests smoothly against your body, creating a streamlined fit. The fabric is chlorine and pill-resistant so it keeps the surface of your suit smooth, plus it offers UPF 50+ UV protection.

ROKA Men’s SIM Elite II Buoyancy Short

Why we love it: Made of 100% premium Yamamoto neoprene to mimic the body position and experience of a wetsuit swim by lifting you up. This short is considered by USAT rules to be the same as a wetsuit, so it is also perfect for those races that are wetsuit legal but you don’t want to wear a full wetsuit because of short swim distance or air temperature.

TYR Alliance Splice Jammer Swimsuit

Why we love it: The TYR Alliance Splice Jammer has above the knee compressive fit with a drawstring waist for perfect sizing. It is also made from recycled material and provides UPF 50+ protection and chlorine resistance for long-lasting use

 

 

 

Give Aqua Running a Try

What is aqua running?

Aqua running is a deep water form of running. Running in water is great for those who are looking to up their cardiovascular capacity without wear and tear on their muscles from running on pavement.

Aqua running is sometimes associated with injury but it is also a great addition to any training routine. It is also a great way to escape the heat during the summer months.

What you need to give aqua running a try

How to get started

Related image

Strap the belt around your waist. You want to make sure the belt stays around your waist and does not ride up too high your ribcage. Once you have your belt on and are in the pool simply get into the running position as you would on land.

Aquajogging is much slower so it is best to base your workouts on time, hence the waterproof watch.

To keep from getting bored run laps up and down the lane. But if you are limited on space you can stay in one spot or jog in small circles. You can increase the difficulty of the workout by increasing your cadence.

Some advice from experience

Stay conscious of your form, make sure your arms don’t turn into a doggy paddle.

Don’t lean forward. you need to keep your body as upright as possible. So remember to check in on yourself.

Bring your knees up higher than you would on land.

Don’t overdo it on your first session. 20 – 30 minutes is a good Aqua jogging session to start out with.

Remember, this is not just treading water.

Aqua running is as hard as you want to make it. If you find yourself slacking, do interval workouts.

5 Tips for Training in the Heat

Summer is settling in, take precautions when training in the heat

Even with summer thunderstorms, temperatures in Central Texas consistently hit the mid-90s. Take a look at the heat index and it’s almost always triple digits. High temperatures won’t keep you from training, so you need to make some adjustments. Training in the heat does have some benefits, but being smart and altering your schedule/plan ensures your training regimen rolling right along. Incorporate these 5 tips for training in the heat and you’ll be prepared for your next race.

Hydrate more when training in the heat.

Hydrate more when training in the heat. Photo – Ed Sparks

HYDRATE!

This is the most obvious and most over-looked training in the heat tip. You know to hydrate in the summer months, but you don’t always do it. Sometimes you forget, perhaps you get sidetracked at work, often times you hydrate, just not enough. It’s recommended that we drink 64 ounces of water a day. In the summer months that should increase. And if your training in the heat, that amount should increase even more. Your body is losing fluids and you need to replace them. Don’t just drink water either, incorporate an electrolyte-enhanced drink, like nuun. Alternate between water and electrolytes. If you’re training in the heat you should aim for no less than 100 ounces of water/electrolytes every day. Drink up!

Train in the mornings/evenings

It’s no secret that the hottest part of the day is noon – 5:00 p.m. If you can avoid training during that timeframe do it! During the summer months, your training should occur earlier in the mornings or later in the evenings. Training early in the morning before work is your best bet. That’s the coolest part of the day. Your body will thank you for not having to work as hard keeping you cool. Not a morning person? Move your workouts to an evening time. 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. would be an ideal time for a workout. It’ll be warm, just not as hot as midday. Bonus – the sun’s angle is lower during the morning and the evenings. This means there will be more shadows on your run or ride.

Wear light-colored, breathable clothing

Darker colored clothing attracts and absorbs more of the sun’s heat. Cotton shirts and shorts absorb and carry sweat, weighing you down. Wear light-colored, breathable clothing when training in the heat. The lighter colors will reflect the sunlight and not absorb as much heat. Breathable clothing will wick sweat from your body and not weigh you down. This allows your body to stay cool and work more efficiently.

Run/bike on the trails

Hit the trails! The pavement’s temperature can soar as high as 140 degrees when you’re running or cycling. This heat can last well into the evening. Visit the trails for your next run or ride. The shade from the trees helps keep the temperatures down. There’s often little-to-no vehicle traffic. The ground is softer than the hot concrete. Often times there’s a creek or river nearby that you can jump in if needed. Check out our four favorite trails. Bonus – the trails will make you a better runner/cyclist!

Apply sunscreen

Swimming, biking, running. It doesn’t matter. Apply sunscreen! Even if you run in the shade or ride on the trail, apply sunscreen. If you’re swimming indoors you don’t need sunscreen, but if you’re outdoors, lather up! Look for sunscreen that’s sweat and water-proof. It’ll last long during your workout and ensure the sun’s ray don’t impact your skin, especially if you take off your shirt mid-run. If you’re racing for an extended period of time, apply sunscreen throughout. Training with a sunburn is not comfortable. Plus, the sunburn will warm your body and make it that much more difficult to keep your core cool.

These tips don’t apply to every scenario. There are various options you can choose from that variate from these tips. Modify them to your training plan, location, and life schedule. This advice will lead you to build a training plan that’s suitable for you. You’ll be ready for that next event. And think, when the temperatures start cooling off in the fall, you’ll be ahead of the training game!

City Limit Cycles – Official Bike Mechanic

Meet your Jack’s Generic Tri Official Bike Mechanic – James Balentine owner of City Limit Cycles!

Although you need to get your bike tuned up before race day and know how to change your own flat tire, James will be available race morning for any unexpected last-minute issues.

For more than two decades, James worked as a bike mechanic at bike shops, including a decade as Head Mechanic for Jack & Adam’s Bicycles in Austin.  For the past 14 years, James has traveled the world volunteering as the mechanic at Triathlon World Championships for Team USA.  He has also helped Olympians for Team USA Paratriathlon in Brazil and continues to volunteer for Team USA Paratriathletes.

James likes bikes. He likes to see and hear them running perfectly because he likes to see you riding them with a smile. His service experience is built around a lifetime passion for all things cycling. He’s been a pro racer, a pro mechanic and pro level bike geek.

Through it all James brings a high level of professionalism and attention to detail. He has cared for all kinds of riders from recreational to pro and literally every kind of bike on the planet, quiz him. Click To Tweet
City Limit Cycles is James’ mobile bicycle repair company.  Now a world-class bike mechanic comes to your door so you can focus on what you love most – more saddle time.  We’re lucky to have someone of his caliber at Jack’s Generic Tri.

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.

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