Pre-Ride Safety Inspection

Use the 8 tips below when conducting your pre-ride safety inspection

Before each ride, perform a safety check of your bicycle. This pre-ride safety inspection should take a minute or two. Click To Tweet

This pre-ride safety inspection will help prevent avoidable accidents and keep you spinning happily!

  • Check your tires for proper inflation (marked on the side of the tire)
  • Check the tire treads for excessive wear or other damage, such as embedded glass or other objects
  • Check the brakes; spin the wheels to check for rubbing and apply the brakes to ensure they stop the bike smoothly and evenly
  • Check the brake pads for excessive wear
  • Check the cables and housing to make sure there is no fraying or splitting
  • Check the wheel quick release levers to ensure they are secure
  • Check for any loose parts or other mechanical problems
  • Do a slow-speed ride and inspect bicycle, brakes, and shifting before you leave your driveway

Following this pre-ride safety inspection guideline will go a long way to enjoying your bike rides. It’s easier to remain motivated in the offseason when your bike is in great shape. It will often help you prevent unexpected incidents or a long walk home.

Book Release: Control Your Success

Control Your Success shares the experiences of a veteran triathlete and coach

Order Stephan Schwarze's new book, Control Your Success, today!

Schwarze (far right) on his 60th birthday ride. Photo from Schwarze’s Facebook page.

With his new bookControl Your Success, Stephan Schwarze shares some of his experiences from many years of racing and coaching athletes. He presents a framework of habits and strategies performing as an athlete while being successful at work and having a family. It is a practical guide with many tips and examples for triathletes, runners, and other athletes.

Stephan grew up in Germany. After living in New Zealand and Switzerland, he moved to Austin (TX) in 1996. He is married to Illiana. They have two boys, Pablo and Philip. Stephan graduated with a Doctorate in Technical Sciences in Zurich in 1996. He has worked in leadership roles for innovative software and technology companies since then.

For more than 30 years, Stephan has been passionate about triathlons – especially about Ironman distance races. He has competed in 60 full-distance Ironman races. 12 of those were World Championship races in Kona (Hawaii). He has placed in the top 5 of his age group in more than half of his Ironman races. Stephan has placed twice as an age group athlete on the podium in Kona. He has also won two USAT National Amateur titles (sprint triathlon in 2005 and long-course duathlon in 2006). In addition to his own racing endeavors, he also has coached many multisport athletes over the past 20 years and led them to successful race results.

Stephan is giving away two signed copies of Control Your Success. Visit this post on the Jack’s Generic Tri Facebook page and comment why you want to add Stephan’s book to your library. Contest ends on Friday, October 12, 2018. Winners will be selected at random and contacted about further details.

Control Your Success is also available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon. Please visit Stephan’s coaching website to learn more about him and his coaching.

Ways to Stay Motivated

Our Favorite Ways to stay motivated after a triathlon:

austin triathlon club

Get a coach or training buddy:

Coaches and training friends help you stay accountable. They’ll ask where you were if you don’t show up. You don’t want to let them down or disappoint them with lame excuses. So find some friends to swim, bike or run with! You could also join a club like Austin Duathletes or Austin Tri Club.

Set goals with rewards for achieving them:

One example – get up every day of the week and go on a morning run. Reward yourself with a new pair of sunglasses at the end of the week when you meet the goal. New gear is motivating in itself.

Go watch or volunteer at a tri:

Nothing is more motivating than being on the sidelines. Seeing the physical capabilities and watching an athlete’s muscles work is inspiring. So next time you feel less than motivated, go watch others and cheer or volunteer. Check out volunteer positions at Kerrville Triathlon on September 29 & 30th.

Look at your old race photos:

Reliving the moment can get you back into that place of being high on life. You’ll see how good you looked and remember how good it felt to cross the line. See Your JGT photos

Dig up your old race shirts and medals:

Pull out your favorite race shirts and finisher medals. While you’re at it, go ahead and put the medal around your neck and do the victory arm raise in the mirror. Relive the moment, then lace up and go for a run! (probably leave the medal behind.)

half iron distance triathlon - Kerrville Triathlon Finisher

Enter another race:

Entering a race and putting money into it will help get your foot out the door when you don’t feel like it. You don’t want to waste that money! Plus, if you let everyone know you signed up, then you MUST keep your training going. Jack’s Generic Tri is part of the Texas Tri Series. There is 1 more awesome race in 2018, check it out.

Music:

If you don’t have time to catch up on new music or listen to your old faves, then remember a great time to do so is on a run or ride. Great music is a fun way to get yourself out the door.

Apple watch:

Why is it that closing rings and getting virtual awards is so addicting? It’s silly, but it works! If you have 27 days of your exercise goals, do you want to continue to 28 or let it die? Of course, you want to go for 28! So if you have an Apple Watch, be sure to utilize this feature.

While you’re out there – keep in mind that not everyone is physically able to do what you’re doing. Whether it be from a terminal illness, injury or physical handicap, many of these people would give anything to be in your shoes. So, stay motivated and do it for them!

16th Annual Jack’s Generic Triathlon Memorable

1,000+ people showed up to celebrate 16th annual JGT, including a 2x Olympic gold medalist

On Sunday, August 26th, nearly 700 triathletes participated in the 16th Annual Jack’s Generic Triathlon (JGT) at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park in northeast Austin. Spectators came from around Central Texas to cheer on friends and loved ones. The Drunk Athlete Podcast Relay Team featuring Ricky Berens, 2x Olympic gold medalist, Andrew Willis, national champion ultra cyclist, and Cate Barrett, 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials hopeful, lived up to the hype with a scorching time of 56:11.16th annual Jack's Generic Tri featured a unicorn!

“This was fun, even better because I didn’t have to bike or run!” said Berens, who finished the 600m open water swim in a blazing seven minutes and 58 seconds. “Thanks to High Five Events for a great event and to the Drunk Athlete Podcast for assembling an awesome relay team with Andrew and Cate.”

Peter Murray took the overall victory with the time of 57:15. Second and third place overall featured a sprint to the finish. Pablo Gomez (58:27) narrowly edged out Adrian Cameron (58:28). Haley Koop (1:06:14) was the first female to cross the finish line . Second place finisher Brandi Swicegood (1:08:51) and third place finisher Brandi Ruthven (1:10:51) rounded out the women’s field. All participants cooled off from the Texas heat underneath a 6-foot tall inflatable unicorn that sprayed water.

“As always, JGT was a great race and the 16th anniversary was well-organized by High Five Events,” said Gomez. “I look forward to this race every year because of the excitement, energy, and competition. I especially loved the Sweet 16 cake!”

16th annual JGT can now legally drive

Participants received commemorative 16th annual shirts, water bottles, ROKA swim caps, beer, finisher’s medal, post-race food, Sweet 16 cake, and the signature swag toss. Professional timing, a wonderful volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival made the 16th annual of Jack’s Generic Triathlon one to remember. Jack’s Generic Tri was created with the participant in mind and is well-known as one of the more participant-friendly triathlons.

Jack’s Generic Tri would like to thank all of the volunteers for coming out because they made yesterday’s event memorable. Their willingness to arrive extra early, lend their time and energy, and cheer on every participant truly made the 16th anniversary unforgettable. JGT would also like to thank sponsors City of Austin, Travis County EMS, Austin Police Department, Travis County Sheriff’s Department, City Limit Cycles, Medicine in Motion, Clif Bar, nuun hydration, RunLab Austin, Dynamic Sports Medicine, Oskar Blues Austin, and Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor for Engel and Volkers Austin. Jack’s Generic Triathlon participants can see their times here.

Jack’s Generic Triathlon Celebrates Sweet 16 this Sunday

Sweet 16 to feature super relay team consisting of an Olympic gold medalist, ultra cycling champion, Olympic Marathon Trials hopeful

The 2018 triathlon season continues with Jack’s Generic Triathlon’s Sweet 16. The event will take place this Sunday, August 26th, at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park in northwest Austin. More than 800 participants will participate in the 16th edition of this beloved Central Texas race, including Ricky Berens, 2x Olympic gold medalist, former University of Texas swimmer, and world record holder in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

Andrew Willis is the bike leg for JGT's Sweet 16.

Andrew Willis is the bike leg for JGT’s Sweet 16. Image credit – Joni Tooke

“I’m very excited to be competing, honestly pretty nervous!” said Berens, swim member of Drunk Athlete Relay Team. “This will be my first time ‘competing’ in five years and in a much different environment. I have swum in open water before, but never in an actual race. I’m just going to do my best to not let my teammates down and see how fast I can go!”

Berens’ Drunk Athlete teammates for JGT’s sweet 16 include: Andrew Willis, owner of Holland Racing, national champion ultra cyclist, 2018 24 hours in the Canyon champion (pedaled 448 miles at the World Ultra Cycling Association’s National Championship), and Cate Barrett, former Baylor University runner, current coach and runner for Rogue Running, 2017 Orange Leaf Half Marathon female champion (1:25:18), training for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. All athletes have been featured on the Austin-based Drunk Athlete podcast.

Sweet 16

Jack’s Generic Triathlon’s sweet 16 will begin at 7:30 a.m. The new distance for Jack’s Generic Tri, which was first held in 2003, will feature a 600m swim, 11.2-mile bike ride, and a 5K. The aquabike will consist of a 600m swim and 11.2-mile bike ride. Relay teams of two or three can complete all three disciplines. The venue move from Lake Pflugerville, just north of Austin, will mark the first venue change for Jack’s Generic Tri in five years.

Cate Barrett is the run leg for JGT's Sweet 16.

Cate Barrett is the run leg for JGT’s Sweet 16.

Participants will receive commemorative 16th Anniversary shirts, water bottles, and ROKA swim caps. They’ll also receive post-race food, beer, finisher’s medal, and the signature swag toss. Professional timing, a wonderful volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival will ensure the 16th Anniversary of Jack’s Generic Triathlon is one to remember.

Jack’s Generic Tri was created 16 years ago with the participant in mind and is well-known as one of the more participant-friendly triathlons. Registration is still open for Jack’s Generic Triathlon. Volunteer positions are available as well. Packet pickup will take place at Mellow Johnny’s.

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!