Give your muscles the TLC they need when you incorporate these 5 must-try yoga poses for triathletes into your training.
Adding yoga to your life offers many benefits such as increasing mobility and range of motion, preventing injuries, and relieving pain. Hopefully, you already have some kind of stretching routine included in your training. If you don’t, the offseason is the perfect time to try some new things! We’ve compiled a list of the 5 most beneficial yoga poses for triathletes to combat the wear and tear we put our bodies through during training.
1. Downward Facing Dog
Purpose: This is a common pose but is especially beneficial for a triathlete with any built-up tension in your calves and feet from running. Also great for cyclists with lower back from riding. Hold this pose to help build strength in your shoulders, arms, and chest.
How To: Start on your knees with your hands out in front of you, push your bottom up until you feel a stretch in your calves and the bottom of your feet. Straighten your legs if you can, but the main thing to remember in this pose is keeping your back flat as possible.
2. Crescent Lunge
Purpose: This pose utilizes all the muscles in your body but focuses on getting a stretch in the back of your legs, groin, and hip flexors, while building strength in the front of your legs. Practicing this pose will open your range of motion in your legs and hips.
How To: Start in a standing position, and go into a lunge until your front leg is bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your core tight to remain balanced as you lift your arms above your head. During this motion, you will feel a stretch in your triceps and chest. Take deep breaths as you hold this position, switch to your other leg and repeat.
3. Pigeon Fold
Purpose: The Pigeon Fold is a great yoga pose for opening up your hips and getting a deep stretch in your hip flexors and glutes. Good for athletes who spend more time cycling to loosen and realign their hips after putting in hours on the bike.
How To: Start in a Downward Facing Dog, bend your right knee and sweep your leg down and place it on the mat beneath you. Lower yourself to a comfortable seated position with your left leg behind you as you feel the stretch in your quad and hamstring. Hold your chest high to focus the stretch in your legs.
4. Cross-Legged Twist
Purpose: This pose focuses on stretching your lats, shoulders, and neck. This will help reduce any pain you may have from constantly rotating your body side to side during your freestyle swim stroke. Holding this pose will lengthen and help mobility along your spine which is great for increasing your range of motion during your swim training.
How To: Begin on the floor with both legs out in front of you. Bring your knees to your chest and place the bottom of your feet on the ground. Slide your left foot on the ground under your right leg to rest your foot beside your right hip. Bring your right arm across your body and place it against the inside of your left knee. Push slightly to twist your body until you feel a stretch in your lats and shoulder.
5. Bridge Pose
Purpose: Offers relief from pain caused by the position you are in when training on your bike. Good stretch for your quads, chest, and abs while also strengthens your glutes and hamstrings. You will feel this pose strengthens your back muscles to reduce or prevent pain you may have from running and cycling.
How To: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent with feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. Place hands on either side of your body to help keep yourself balanced. Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor and push your hips up off the ground.
These yoga poses work muscles that are often neglected in the repetitive movements you do while preparing for a triathlon. Get the most out of your training when you add in these 5 yoga poses that are best for triathletes before or after your next workout!
Still searching for that one triathlon with an experience different from all the rest? Look no further!
If you’re a regular racer, you’re familiar with big-name races that cost big bucks to participate in, but your experience ends up being subpar. Or maybe you’re a new triathlete searching for your perfect race to kick start your tri journey. If you’re looking for a race that puts the participants first, Jack’s Generic Tri is the tri for you! Keep reading for 15 reasons why you’ll love Jack’s Generic Tri!
Jack’s Generic Tri takes place at Lake Walter E. Long (aka Decker Lake) and spans 1,200 acres. JGT kicks off with a 600-meter swim in the lake. The bike course goes around the lake for 11.2 miles and features some rolling hills. The run is on a mix of off-road paths and paved roads. Then we meet back up at the finish line party for some fun!
2.Participants Always First
JGT was inspired by creating a race unlike any other that put the participants at the forefront of the entire event. This race has come a long way since 2003, but our goal remains the same: give the participants an unforgettable experience from start to finish.
3. Pre-race Warm-up
Final steps of preparation before we kick off the race. Camp Gladiator is there with us to lead you in a group warm-up as the sunrises over the swim course in Decker Lake.
4. Professional Race Photos
This is a race you’ll want to remember. We have professional photographers set up all along the course to capture your best moments during the race! You can even pre-order your photos for a discounted price.
5. Super Cool Participant Shirt
This isn’t your typical tri, so you won’t receive a typical race shirt. Be ready to make all your friends jealous when you rock your JGT shirt around town!
6. Family-Friendly Course
Make sure you bring the whole gang to cheer you on throughout the race. There are great locations for your family and friends to watch along the course.
7. Professional Timing
You can count on accurate chip timing to have your results waiting for you at the finish line party.
The Jack’s Generic Tri volunteers are there every step of the way and go above and beyond to help you reach your goal of crossing the finish line.
9. Free Food and Drinks
You’re going to be hungry after all that swimming, biking, and running! We have free food and drinks ready for all participants at the finish line party to enjoy as you share your race stories with fellow athletes.
10. Comradery With Other Athletes
One of the true highlights of JGT is the sense of comradery all the athletes bring to the event. The constant support we see among the participants throughout the racecourse is inspiring and is what makes us love this race above others.
11. Fully Supported Course
There will be a mechanic there on race morning to help you with any last-minute mechanic issues. There is 1 aid station outside of transition, and 2 aid stations located along the JGT run course stocked with water and hydration beverages to help you make it across the finish line!
12. Finisher Medal
Get ready to earn some awesome bling with your very own finisher medal made especially for JGT’s 18th celebration!
13. Finish Line Party
Meet back up with your friends and family after the race at the rockin’ finish line party full of music, beer, free food, and drinks! Be sure to stick around and check out the vendors for your chance at some free goodies!
14. Beer Garden
One of the highlights of any tri: the beer! We have our beer garden stocked full with Oskar Blues Austin beer to cool you off after the race.
15. Swag Toss
We wrap up JGT every year with our signature swag toss with awesome opportunities for you to win some free race entries and other great prizes!
There are many more reasons to love Jack’s Generic Tri, but these are a few of our favorites! Come on out and join us in celebrating JGT turning 18 this year and see for yourself why you’ll love being part of Austin’s coolest triathlon.
You need to know these 7 time-saving tips for a faster tri transition!
The most important thing is to practice in advance and bring the fewest number of items. If you have a game-plan in your head of what gear you need to remove and replace first, the less time you’ll spend in the transition area throughout the tri. Use these tips for faster transitions, and tackle your next tri like a pro!
Run with Your Bike Out of Transition
You won’t be allowed to get on your bike until you are out of the transition area with your helmet buckled. Depending on how big the triathlon is, the distance between the racks and mount line can be lengthy. Once you have your bike gear on and ready to go put one hand on the seat, and one hand on the handlebars to guide your bike out of the transition area. It seems simple enough, but it can be easy to lose control of your bike while running next to the other triathletes trying to get out of transition. Practice this in an open space during your training, either grass or concrete, to determine which side of the bike you feel more comfortable running on. The goal is to keep moving the whole tri, so practicing mounting your bike from either side will help determine which is quickest for you.
Attach Stuff to Your Bike in Advance
Prep your bike before the race starts to save a lot of time dealing with the small stuff you need for the bike portion of your next tri. Have your JGT water bottle full and in your bike’s bottle cage, along with gels taped to the frame if you want them. Also, make sure your bike’s tool kit is secured beneath the seat. Often including an extra tube, CO2, levers, multi-tools you are familiar with.
Know the Layout of Transition
Before race morning, go check out a course map to know exactly where the transition area is, and its layout. This will help you plan ahead to know how far transition is from the course so you can plan accordingly. Make a mental note of where both the bike exit and the run exits are located.
Have a System to Remember Where Your Bike Is
You’ll be assigned a bike rack according to age group. Transition area can look hectic once everyone’s gear is in there, so come up with a method of remembering where yours is for quickest access. Pro tip: JGT participants rack their bikes (on the assigned rack) of a first-come-first-serve basis, so the earlier you get to the transition area prior to the race, the more likely you’ll be able to get a spot at the end on the racks for easiest access and identification.
Wear the Same Clothing For the Entire Race
Come to the race dressed in your tri suit. Granted Jack’s Generic Tri is in Austin, Texas at the end of August, we advise against wearing a wetsuit. Plus, any additional clothing changes will add a significant amount of time to your overall tri.
Use Easy Laces for Running Shoes
You don’t want to waste time tying your shoes in the transition area. Either have your shoes already tied and ready for you to slip your foot into with a secure fit, or try out these Lock Laces or ‘speed laces’ to eliminate having to tie your running shoes at all. The elasticity of the lace will make sure your running shoes stay in place throughout your run portion of your triathlon.
Use Race Belt for Bib Number
Attach your bib number to your race belt before the race start. When you’re heading back into transition after the bike portion, grab what you need and go to get out of transition as quickly as possible. Keep your eyewear on, grab your race belt and go! Put your race belt on as you head for the run start. Next step, finish line!
Set up a practice transition area prior in the weeks leading up to your upcoming tri and run through it as many times as you need to to make your transition process quick as possible! By the time JGT rolls around, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can get in and out of transition and focus on the triathlon!
Worrying about transitions is a thing of the past. We want you to feel prepared when taking on JGT, so keep reading for the best transition area tips for your next tri!
One of the first steps of any tri you participate in is setting up your tri gear in the designated transition area. If you are new to triathlons, the best advice for tackling transitions is to arrive at the race site as early as possible. Use this time to prepare your gear exactly how you want it during the race, and acquaint yourself with the transition area. You’ll find this will also ease your nerves as you become more familiar with the race site, as well as getting to know some of the triathletes in the process! Keep reading to check out the best transition area tips that are sure to make your tri the best it can be.
1.) Rack your bike
Everyone will have an assigned rack for your bike in the transition area according to age group. The way you rack your bike while setting up has a big impact on how quickly you can get in and out of transition. Place your bike on the rack by either hanging the handlebars over the rack for security or place the bottom of your seat on the transition rack. Do whichever way works best for you to know your bike won’t fall or get damaged when in the transition area. Most importantly, remember where you racked your bike for quickest access. Pro tip: We have a first come first serve basis when it comes to where you place your bike on your assigned rack, show up early to opt for a spot near the end on the racks.
2.) Make sure your bike is in an easy gear
Easily forgotten, but possibly one of the best transition area tips out there! When you grab your bike to walk out of transition, you want your bike to be in an easy gear for when you hop on. Whatever speed bike you have, set the gear to the easiest or ‘lowest’ setting before the race. This will help you get going on your bike without difficulty. The lower the gear, the easier it is to pedal. You don’t want to have your bike on the max gear after completing a 600-meter swim. Once you feel comfortable on your bike, change your gear to whatever you feel most comfortable with for the rest of the ride.
3.) Place your helmet on in the proper direction
When you lay your transition gear out before the race begins, you want to do so in a certain way. Think about what you will be putting on or taking off first, and lay your items out according to the order you will use them. Pro tip: Lay your helmet top down with the front end facing toward you. Along with being a time-saver, this will ensure you don’t accidentally end up riding through Jack’s Generic Tri with your helmet backward.
Take it from us, these are the best basic tips for a trouble-free transition. After you feel like you have set up your gear in the transition area in a way that works best for you, grab your goggles and head to the water! For more Jack’s Generic Tri transition area tips, click here to read more!
Get race-photos you can’t wait to show off with this list of tips for how to look your best in race photos
We all want great shots of ourselves during the race to look back at and cherish later on, but we all know flattering race photos can be tricky. I, personally, find it challenging to get a good photo of myself regardless of what I’m doing, so you can bet a Facebook-worthy action-shot is even more of a challenge. However, with this list of tips and some self-awareness, you’ll be prepared to look your best in your Jack’s Generic Tri race photos. After the race, don’t forget to tag us @JacksGenericTri
1. Think about your form
The photos that are captured in the water are obviously not going to show a whole lot of your face. What the photo will capture is your form in the water. If you know photographs are being taken, attempt to tighten up your form. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how awesome a mid-swim photo of yourself can be!
2. Be ready to Smile
As you are walking/running out of the water, you can count on one of our amazing photographers to be there to capture the moment. Pro tip: smile BIG! We love seeing our participants having a great time moving on to the next portion of the tri, and these are often some of the coolest photos we get from Jack’s Generic Tri!
1. Check your positioning
Bike photos are an awesome chance to get a great close-up race picture. However, no photo is worth losing control of your bike. We know everyone has their favorite riding position to be in when in the saddle. Rather than changing the position you’re comfortable with, simply give the photographer a smile or a thumbs up when you cruise past them! You’ll be very impressed at how they turn out.
1.Position your bib Before
To make sure your personalized bib can be seen in your race photos, place it in the front-center of your race shirt/suit. This is also important for the automated photosystems to use this to tag your photos. This way you don’t have to sift through thousands of photos to try and find yourself!
2. Stand Tall
After running for a while, we tend to let our shoulders fall forward. When you see the photographers up ahead, stand up a little taller! No matter how you feel on the inside, this is a sure way to make you look effortless during the run portion.
3. Increase your stride
Elongate the appearance of your legs by lengthening your stride for a couple of steps! You don’t want to do this for the entire run portion of JGT, but it won’t hurt for a photo or three when you catch a glimpse of the camera (not to mention, you’ll love how long your legs will look in these photos)
4. Relax your face and think positive
We know, easier said than done, but start practicing now on your training runs. Make your cheeks soft and say the word “Money.” Give it a try in the mirror and see for yourself. Hopefully, you’ll already be smiling due to all the fun you’re having at JGT, but when you see a photographer ahead of you relax your face and enjoy yourself, and the pictures are bound to turn out fantastic!
5. Have fun!
Probably the most important piece of advice for your best race photos. If you’re having a good time, it’ll show in the pictures. The photographers are there to capture your accomplishments, so the most important thing to remember is to have fun! You’ll be able to look back at these photos forever, so it’s important to make the most out of your experience.
You can pre-purchase your 2019 Official FinisherPix race photos now at a discounted price.
We hope to see you out there on the racecourse with us on August 25th! If you do decide to join us for Jack’s Generic Tri, use these tips and get ready to see your best race photos ever!
Be prepared for anything that comes your way during Jack’s Generic Tri by checking out these 6 skills you need to know before race day!
When it comes to triathlons, there is a lot of information that would be beneficial to know before you get out and tackle your first tri. To help you get prepared for Jack’s Generic Tri, we’ve created a list of 6 basic skills that are sure to help you become a better triathlete in the long-run.
How to Change a Flat
Follow these 10 steps to fix a flat, and you’ll be back in the race in no time.
1.) Open quick release on break calipers
2.) Open quick release skewer on wheel & remove wheel
3.) Take one side of tire off the rim with your tire levers
4.) Pull out the punctured tube
5.) Check the inside of tire for road debris and cuts in tire
6.) Make sure the rim strip on wheel rim is in it’s proper place
7.) Insert new inner tube between wheel rim and tire
8.) Put the sidewall of tire back onto the rim
9.) Inflate the tube to recommended pressure
10.) Put the wheel back on the bicycle, insert skewer, and re-clamp break calipers
Although it can be tedious, this is a skill you need to know before race day. We recommend using Genuine Innovations Deluxe Ultra Flate tire kit.
How to Fix a Dropped Chain
Get off the bike and steady it in an upright position against something sturdy. To add slack to the chain, push the rear derailleur toward the pedal (forward or inward), and then use your other hand to free the chain from the chainrings or pedals. Line the chain back up with a chainring and cassette to put the chain back in place. Lastly, lift the rear of your bike a few inches off the ground and give the pedals a few turns to allow the chain to find its gear. This seems insignificant, but it’s an important step to keep your chain from more wear and tear throughout the rest of your ride.
How to Ride in the Rain
Check the weather on race morning to see if you should be prepared to ride in the rain. Throughout the course, avoid standing water. You never know what could be underneath a puddle, and you don’t want to risk a flat tire in wet conditions. Also, be on the lookout for rainbow-colored oil patches in the road to avoid any possible slipping. Stay within your comfort zone, and avoid braking through the corners to prevent losing control. Last but not least, bring some protection for your eyes! Hopefully, you do this when out for any ride, but you will be glad you did in case you find yourself riding in the rain.
How to Ride While Taking a Drink
You’re bound to get thirsty during the bike portion, so be prepared to ride with one hand during a race. Practice makes perfect. During your training, practice this by removing one hand at a time to build up your confidence. Start with shorter distances, and before you know it you’ll be a pro at riding with one hand. This skill will allow you to eat, drink and signal to other riders while making your way to the finish line.
How to Sight in the Water
To avoid swimming a further distance during your tri, sighting is an important skill you should know before an open-water swim. You need to look where you’re going every few strokes to make sure you are staying in line with the buoys. The best method of sighting is to incorporate glancing forward before you go to take a breath. It is recommended to sight every 2 – 3 strokes, but to find what works best for you, you will just have to practice. Pro tip: Look at the swim course before-hand to see if the course goes clockwise or counter-clockwise, then you’ll know to stay on the right or left side of the buoys.
How to Look Over Your Shoulder
After you perfect riding with one hand, you’ll be ready to learn how to look over your shoulder during your ride. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings during a ride to keep yourself, and others around you safe. It’s all about shifting your weight correctly and keeping your knees, pelvis, and front-wheel facing forward. We advise performing this drill in a parking lot, or on an empty street to make sure you can still ride straight while turned around.
Once you’ve mastered these 6 skills you should know, there will be nothing in your way on race day as you head for the finish line!
Get the first look at this year’s JGT bibs designed especially with you in mind!
Get ready to get generic this August 25th and get ready to show off your personalized bib! Customizations are available until July 31st, so don’t wait any longer, and sign up today!
We can’t wait to meet you all on race morning at the start line! In the meantime, keep up the hard work during your JGT training!
Pursue your love of triathlons the right way!
It’s never a good idea to wait until a couple of weeks or days leading up to your next tri to get all your necessary gear together. We’ve created a checklist of the essential triathlon equipment you’ll need to be a pro triathlete in no time.
Simple enough, but one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need. You can’t complete a triathlon without a bike. From tri bikes and road bikes to mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and cruisers, we’ve seen just about everything on the JGT course. Whatever kind of bike you have will be just fine for your next tri. Whether you’re currently in the market for one or are looking to improve your current ride, here are some suggestions for your perfect ride.
Pro tip: You can always rent bikes to test it out before you buy.
Arguably the most important piece of equipment you will need for a triathlon. A safe tri is a fun tri, so it’s important to make sure you have a helmet that protects you. The fit of your helmet is crucial in the case of an accident. It is also a good idea to make sure you test them out in person to ensure a correct fit before purchasing your helmet.
Running shoes are a must. It takes time to figure out what will make the run portion the most enjoyable and painless for you. Everyone is different and has different needs when it comes to a running shoe, so make sure you’re choosing the perfect pair of shoes. Hopefully, by now you already have a favorite pair or have a pair on the way, and are ready to take on the JGT run course. Pro tip: It’s a good idea to wear your running shoes to the race, to avoid forgetting them along with all your other essential tri gear.
Of course, you need goggles for the swim portion. Open water swimming tends to frighten people, so it will make you feel better to be able to see while completing the swim to see the buoys. Also, depending on the weather race day, choose goggles with the appropriate amount of tint to avoid hindering yourself during the swim portion.
Swim caps are great for eliminating drag and increasing your speed in the water. JGT provides our participants with a bright colored swim cap specific to your age group to keep the groups together and help with the time trial swim start. Per USAT rules, swim caps are required for safety purposes to be able to identify swimmers in the water.
Pro tip: Wear two swim caps on race day with your goggles in between the two. It will prevent any sort of slipping your goggles may encounter.
Swimsuit or Tri Suit
A standard swimsuit can come in a one-piece or two-piece. You will need to come prepared with a pair of cycling shorts after you complete the swim if you opt for the swimsuit. Then there is a tri suit. A tri suit can also be in one or two pieces, but the bottoms resemble cycling shorts. The key difference here from a wetsuit is the pad included for cycling is not nearly as thick. Find what you’re most comfortable in to be ready for your next triathlon. Lastly, if you plan on doing your training in a pool, the chlorine can damage your suit. It’s always a good idea to have one you train in, and one designated for race day.
We advise shopping around before you make your purchase regarding these different pieces of essential triathlon equipment. Everyone has their preferences, so take some time to guarantee you get the equipment best for you and your body.
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!
- 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.
- Give the chain a light scrubbing and rinse it off with the hose/sprayer.
- Prepare the Simple Green solution. We recommend a 3:1 ratio of water to Simple Green.
- 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.
- 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.
- Let it dry. Either air-dry outside or hand-dry it with a towel.
- 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.