Posts

Free Triathlon Training Plan Created Specifically for Jack’s Generic

Cross your first triathlon finish line or get your PR with a custom triathlon training plan designed by a pro

Is Jack’s Generic Triathlon on your calendar or your radar? Are you ready to swim, bike, and run and then party at the finish line?  Then follow this free triathlon training plan to get to the start line on August 25th! Look no further than the 3-month training plan below.

This training plan was created by professional triathlete and coach Paul “Barny” Matthews just for you. Matthews has won or placed at numerous IRONMANs and 70.3s. He broke onto the triathlon scene at the 2014 IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship in Melbourne. The native Australian finished 2nd in his home country with a time of 8:02:14. He has also won some local races, including Rookie Triathlon and yours truly, Jack’s Generic Triathlon.

Paul "Barny" Mathews finish image at Melbourne Ironman triathlon.

Barny crosses the 2014 IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship in Melbourne finish line in second place. Credit – Jay Prasuhn

This downloadable training plan is geared for triathletes of all levels, from first-timers to season veterans. You can further customize it yourself by cutting certain workouts in half (first-timers), adding more time (veterans), or adjusting the specific workouts and their days to fit your busy life.

After you download Barny’s free triathlon training plan, click on the day’s workout to learn about the workout’s description.

Pro tip: when you have a rest day, take it!

If you want to take your training to the next level, then contact Matthews today. Make sure you ask for his special JGT coaching rate! Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see where he’s training and join him for a workout.

 

Click here or the calendar below to download the PDF!

month 1 of tri training program

month 2 of tri training program

month 3 of tri training program

We look forward to seeing you at Jack’s Generic Tri!  We’ll be celebrating 17 years in 2019 and can’t wait to have you experience the fun of triathlon!

Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Clean Bike

Our guide to a clean bike will have your ride look good as new

Everybody knows that when you go for a ride, your bike is bound to get dirty. Whether it’s grease from your indoor trainer or mud and dirt from your ride on the trails, we know how hard it can be to keep your set of wheels clean with all the craziness of training season. Prolong the life of your bike by giving it the TLC it needs with our 7-step guide to a clean bike. Pro tip: download the PDF below to print out our guide to a clean bike!

Follow these steps

  1. Put a little degreaser on the chain. Not too much, a little goes a long way. Let it sit on the chain for about a minute or two.
  2. Give the chain a light scrubbing and rinse it off with the hose/sprayer.
  3. Prepare the Simple Green solution. We recommend a 3:1 ratio of water to Simple Green.
  4. Take your big brush along with the solution and wash all the major components of the bike (i.e. frame, fork, wheels, cranks, and derailleurs). Save your smaller brushes for tighter areas. To avoid missing any spots, start at the back and make your way to the front of the bike.
  5. Spray your bike down with water completely. Wash your tires while you’re at it. It will give you a chance to inspect for any damages your tires may have.
  6. Let it dry. Either air-dry outside or hand-dry it with a towel.
  7. Once completely dry, you can then lube the chain so it’s ready to go on your next ride.

Go the extra mile and wash the bar tape, saddle, and tires. These parts tend to get forgotten and they can get pretty gross if they stay dirty.

Consistency is key. Using our guide to a clean bike will ultimately improve the way your bike handles, as well as extending the life of your bike. Remember: happy bike = happy life.

By: James Balentine, owner of City Limit Cycles, an Austin, Texas-based mobile bicycle repair company that comes to you. Balentine began working with bikes in 1990 when he was 12. He began racing mountain bikes in 1991 and BMX in 1992, winning 12 national championships before turning pro in 1999. He has worked with USA Triathlon as a mechanic for Team USA since 2004. Since 2013, Balentine has worked with the US Paratriathlon team and is their sole mechanic.

Meet your 2019 Jack’s Generic Tri Ambassadors

Jack’s Generic Tri Ambassadors are triathletes just like you and they’re here to help

If you have a question about event details or are looking for advice from a JGT veteran, your Jack’s Generic Tri Ambassadors have the answer. Whether you connect on social media or within the community, you can be sure that there is always an Ambassador ready to chat with you. Take a few minutes and get to know these folks.

Vicki Ford – JGT Ambassador

Vicki Ford

Ford is an adventurer, explorer, student, dog lover, athlete, and yoga instructor. Her first athletic love, what she comes back to year-after-year, is triathlon. “I really want to show the next generation what this is all about. How much fun you can have at an ungodly early hour of the morning, racing your heart out, and cheering on all the other athletes and volunteers.” Connect with her on Facebook.

Jane Ireland

I’ve done a lot of triathlons, including JGT a few times. I’m a member of several local teams/clubs (Beef Team, Team Radioactive, and Austin Triathlon Club) and I know a lot of triathletes. I enjoy triathlons and would like to get others interested in trying a tri. Connect with her on Facebook.

Heidi Maldonado – JGT Ambassador

Heidi Maldonado

I was hooked from my very first super sprint triathlon at the 2013 CapTex Tri. I’ve raced all distances, from sprint through IRONMAN, and completed the Texas Tri Series almost every year since. I love mentoring newer athletes and volunteering with High Five Events every chance I get. They’re wonderful people and put on the best-run events. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Aaron Shapley

I’ve done Rookie Tri three times and JGT twice. Although I’m out there to compete against some of the best local triathletes, these races offer some of the best environments for those new to the sport. In addition, my background as an NCAA Division I swimmer gives me the opportunity to provide some education and strategies in approaching the discipline (swim) that keeps most people away from the sport.

Troy McHenry – JGT Ambassador

L. Troy McHenry

Born and raised in Carson, California. After graduating college I moved to Austin, Texas, where I met my beautiful wife. We have one daughter. I have participated in two triathlons over the last three years, but have gravitated to doing more cycling events. I want to give back to the tri community by helping others reach their goals and felt becoming an ambassador was a great way to get started. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Alvis Prince

If you swim, bike, or run in the ATX I want to know you. Lately, you can find me biking a couple of days a week around the hills by Decker Lake (JGT’s bike course), swimming at Quarry Lake, or enjoying a run on Town Lake. Where do you train and how can we help you get better or faster? Whatever you’re working on, let’s do it together. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Amy Scarborough – JGT Ambassador

Amy Scarborough

JGT has been there to create a community as well as a challenge for me in racing. I want to spread the word about the mission and the community JGT has created. It’s perfect for people looking to do their first race (but don’t know where to start) or those wanting to get back into racing. Triathlon is a way of life for me. Connect with her on Instagram.

Thanks to our 2019 Jack’s Generic Tri Ambassadors for spreading the love of triathlon with others and helping grow our JGT family.

Transition Details – What You Should Know for a Smooth Race Day

Knowing transition details will make for a smooth race day

The best way to ensure a successful and generic Jack’s Generic Tri is to be prepared. Here are some transition details that will help guarantee a smooth experience the morning of August 25th. Jack’s Generic Tri is located at Walter E Long Park in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas. Transition opens bright and early at 5:30 a.m. and closes at 7:00. Don’t forget to grab your goggles and head to the water before the race begins at 7:30.

Body marking

Volunteers will body mark the participant before they enter transition. Body markings are written in marker on arms and legs to identify the participant with their bib number and age.  Arms and quads get marked with the participant’s race number and the right calve gets the age of the participant.  Relays get an “R” for relay in place of age.

Triathletes should have bib information and age (age on Dec. 31st of race year) ready for the volunteer to make the process go faster for everyone.

Bib Numbers

Have bib numbers and wristband ready. Put the bike sticker on the seat post of your bike before you get to transition on race morning.  Put the helmet sticker number on the front of your helmet. You will also need to wear your wristband in order to get into transition.

Racks

Transition will have racks assigned to each age group. It is open racking within your age group. You must be body marked and wearing your athlete wristband before you enter transition. Only participants are allowed in. Friends and family (including children) must wait outside of transition.

City Limit Cycles will be available outside of transition for any last-minute needs. They’ll have bike pumps for airing up your tires. Once transition closes, you will not be allowed back in. Make sure and arrive early.

Pro tip: Remember where your bike is by keeping track of which rack your bike belongs on. This will be predetermined according to age. (?)

There will be designated racks for the participant to put their bike on. It is very beneficial to become familiar with the flow of transition. This means after the swim,  should know where they will be entering transition and where they will be heading out on the bike.  After the bike, they should know where they will exit for the run.

Relay corral

Relay team members will rack together. Team members will wait in the relay pen near the rack. Their team member will return their items to the rack and then meet the next team member in the pen to exchange the chip.

Bike check out

Bikes will not be allowed out of transition until the final cyclist has completed the bike course. It is expected that this will be around 11:00 a.m. Participants will be allowed back into transition after they finish, but bikes may not be removed from the racks.

Location

Know where transition is located by checking out this map on our website!

Ascension Seton Named Official Medical Provider

As Official Medical Provider, Ascension Seton to focus on participant well-being

High Five Events announces Ascension Seton as the Official Medical Provider of the 17th annual Jack’s Generic Triathlon. Ascension Seton and their experienced team will have an on-course presence throughout the event. They will have a tent near the finish line. Jack’s Generic Tri will take place on Sunday, August 25th, at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park in Austin.

“Ascension Seton is proud to support Jack’s Generic Triathlon as the Official Medical Provider,” said Adam Bauman, vice president, orthopedics & sports performance, Ascension Seton. “We are excited to expand our partnership to include not only our running community, but also our cyclists and swimmers in this great race.”

As the Official Medical Provider, Ascension Seton doctors and nurses will work together with Travis County EMS to focus on participant’s well-being. Ascension Seton is part of the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. They’ve expanded their Austin footprint, partnering with the Austin Marathon and Austin Bold FC.

“One of Jack’s Generic Tri’s main focuses is the participant, from their overall experience to their safety,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “Our growing partnership with Ascension Seton ensures the well-being of our participants continues to be the highest of priorities.”

17th annual Jack’s Generic Tri

Jack’s Generic Triathlon will begin at 7:30 a.m. It 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. Jack’s Generic Tri was created 17 years ago with the participant in mind and is well-known as one of the more participant-friendly triathlons. Registration is open for Jack’s Generic Triathlon. Volunteer positions are available as well.

Each participant receives a commemorative 17th Anniversary shirt, water bottle, and swim cap. They will earn a finisher’s medal, post-race food and beer, and the signature swag toss. Professional timing, a wonderful volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival will ensure the 17th Anniversary of Jack’s Generic Triathlon is one to remember.

Bike Tune-Up Advice

Extend the life of your bike with this bike tune-up advice

When does my bicycle need a tune-up? This is a common question. The answer is not cut and dried. Every bicycle is in a state of getting out of tune due to riding, transporting, and/or storing it. All these things wear on your bike in a way that will make the ride less than perfect. This bike tune-up advice below will keep you and your bike happy!

There are a handful of cyclists with mechanical skills that allow them to work on their bikes before and after every ride. For most cyclists, that is not the case. On average, tune-ups are only scheduled once a year. Other cyclists will wait until the bike needs work beyond the standard tune-up. This can lead to more costly repairs involving component replacement.

To be blunt, anyone who truly cares about having a smooth running bicycle should learn some basic bicycle maintenance. This can include derailleur adjustments, eliminating squeaks, and wheel truing.

Bike tune-up frequency

In general, if someone is okay at derailleur adjustments and wheel truing, they can get one professional tune-up per year. This could include a new chain, tires, and handlebar tape. If you service your bike frequently, you will increase the life expectancy of your components. You will be happier and more comfortable with one bike for a longer amount of time.

There are several factors that may cause your bike to need extra attention each year. The first is numerous race wheel swap outs. The second is transporting the bike on a regular basis. The third is racing your bike. Please know that it is okay to swap wheels, travel, and race. But you should also know that there are some issues associated with each.

If you want a very smooth ride without working on the bike yourself, you should schedule tune-ups more frequently. This could be as many as three times per year if you are a high-mileage cyclist.

If you take care of your bike, it will take care of you. If you don’t take care of your bike, call James Balentine with City Limit Cycles!

How to Wrap Your Handlebars

Expand your grease monkey 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. You can wrap yours as needed, for example, if it becomes worn or scuffed. Keep in mind, the longer your Jack’s Generic Tri 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.

Need: handlebar tape, electrical tape, scissors

Remove old tape

Flip back both brake lever hoods and remove the old tape.

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.

Begin wrapping

Start with the right side. Your new 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. The most common direction to wrap the tape is clockwise on the right side and counter-clockwise on the left.

While wrapping

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. Pull off the adhesive backing as you go. This will keep it from getting dirty until you’re ready to apply it.

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.

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.

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. Flip your brake lever hoods back to where they were.

What’s That Noise?! How to Fix a Squeaky Bike

Fix your squeaky bike with these quick steps

You manage to get ready, on your bike, and ready to zen out for some miles when all of a sudden you hear it – squeak… squeak… squeak… AND IT IS SUPER ANNOYING!

Many of us have been annoyed by having a squeaky bike from time to time. The question is, what is it and how do we stop it? There are a few things we can re-tighten and re-grease that make a world of a difference.

sprint triathlon - jacks generic triathlon - austin texas- stop squeaking bike

Jack’s Generic Tri 2016

First, check your pedals. They do come loose and will make a creaking noise. You should re-tighten and re-grease your pedals periodically, especially if you travel or ride in the rain. Using a bike specific pedal wrench will make it easy to get enough leverage to tighten the pedals properly.

Second, check your shoes and cleats. They may need to be lubed and tightened. Loose cleats can not only lead to annoying squeaks but can also be the cause of pain while riding. Speedplays are notorious for having noisy and “sticky” cleats and pedals when they are not lubed properly.

Third, your brakes and wheel alignment. Check both your front and back brake to make sure they are centered. Realign the brakes by pushing them with your hand. If you find your wheel leaning to one side, simply release the quick release lever and let the wheel center itself.

Forth, your chain. Rub your fingers along your bike chain. You should have a light amount of chain lube come off on your fingers. While it may have some color to it, it should not be gritty or thick. If it is, it’s time for a bath or possibly a new chain. If it is dry, be sure to get some chain specific lube on it.

Fifth, your saddle. Check the railing on your seat. If your seat is broken or the railings are loose they will move each time you pedal. If this is the source of your squeaky bike, then don’t keep riding. A loose or broken seat can be dangerous.

Last but not least, check the bolts on your crank arms and cranks. They do come loose and need re-tightening and re-lubing from time to time. If you are uncomfortable with tightening any of these, just stop in your local bike shop. The mechanics are happy to help with a quick safety/squeak check.

Bike transportation is a big culprit when it comes to stuff getting knocked loose. Take your time when loading and unloading your bike. It is also a good idea to do a pre-ride safety check each time you ride. Also, lube is your bike’s friend and it’s not a bad idea to add it to your saddle bag.

Now you can stop the squeaking and enjoy your noise-free ride.

Two Reasons for Skipping Chains

Learn what causes skipping chains and what you can do about it

There are two main causes for skipping chains. The most common cause is the misalignment of the rear cogs and the chain itself. The second most common cause of skipping chains is wearing on the chain, cassette, and/or the chainrings. Read below to see what causes each and how you can prevent chain skipping and extend the life of your bike.

There are several things that can cause the misalignment of the rear cogs and the chain.

  • Improper cable tension. When the tension is incorrect the chain does not sit inline with the corresponding cassette cog and it is trying to jump to the next cog.
  • Dirty cable. The dirt prevents the cable from moving like it needs to.
  • Slightly bent hanger for the rear derailleur. Can affect the alignment.

Learn what you can do about skipping chains on your bike.Skipping chains will wear on the chain, cassette, and/or the chainrings. The chain is the most likely to wear out first since it is made entirely of small, moving parts. Those parts tend to wear out faster when they are dirty or ridden dry. Chains on most modern drivetrains usually last anywhere from 1500 to 2000 miles. This can change depending on your riding style and how well you maintain your bike. If you keep your drivetrain clean and you tend to spin at a slightly higher cadence then you will get more mileage out of your chain. Follow these six steps to clean your drivetrain.

When the chain wears, it no longer sits evenly on the cassette cogs and chainrings. As this goes on the chain will eventually start to jump since the chain wears much faster than the cassette and chainrings. If you let your chain go too long it will start to wear down the teeth of the cassette first and then the chainrings. If the chain is replaced before it is too worn the cassette and chainrings will outlast the chain many times over. You’d much rather want to replace your chain than the cassette and chainrings.

Use this bike tool to measure chain wear at home. You can also call James Balentine at City Limit Cycles. He can measure it for you and make any necessary adjustments and/or fixes.

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.