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2021 Jack’s Generic Triathlon Opens Registration

2021 Jack’s Generic Triathlon plans for 18th anniversary

Registration is open for 2021 Jack’s Generic Triathlon, also known as JGT. It’s one of the longest-standing triathlons in Central Texas. It will celebrate its 18th anniversary at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park in northeast Austin. JGT is produced by High Five Events. The event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 29, 2021. Participants can take advantage of Special Launch Pricing for a limited time: $89 for the sprint and aquabike and $149 for 2-3-person team relays.

“Jack’s Generic Tri was created with the triathlete in mind, but don’t let the word generic trick you,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “JGT’s race-day experience is top-notch and a major reason why it’s one of the oldest and most respected triathlons in Central Texas.”

One of the longest-standing triathlons in Central Texas

Jack’s Generic Tri has two divisions – Open Division and Age Group. Open Division allows participants to begin regardless of age, with a mass swim start. Everyone else starts the swim in their division based on their age group, with two participants entering the water every few seconds in a time trial start. The top 3 in each age group will receive an additional award. Age-group awards are given in five-year increments. Jack’s Generic Tri also awards the top athletes in the Athena and Clydesdale categories, aquabike, and relay categories.

Jacks’ Generic Tri consists of a 600m swim in Decker Lake, an 11.2-mile bike ride in a protected lane around the lake, and a 5K run through Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. Participants will receive a custom 2021 participant tank, finisher medal, water bottle, and swim cap. After the race, everyone can enjoy the beer garden (21+), post-race food, and the signature finisher festival. Jack’s Generic Tri is a USAT-sanction event and provides professional timing and professional photography. A great volunteer crew and hundreds of supportive spectators make race day memorable for everyone involved. 

Go virtual

Triathletes who can’t make it to the event can still participate through JGT’s $40 Virtual Challenge. Participants can complete the distances on their own time at their preferred locations. Virtual challenge participants will have until September 19th to complete the distances and submit their results.

As part of the updated policies for 2021, JGT will offer free deferral to participants if a government entity issues a ban on mass gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic that would prevent this event from occurring.

Get Faster on Your Run with these Tips

Follow these tips to see improvement and get faster on your run

Whether you’re new to triathlon or a seasoned veteran, you will eventually want to get faster on the run. Improving the run is one way to shave minutes off your overall time! You’ll have to put in the work though. It takes hard work and dedication to increase your speed. Below are 6 different ways to help you get faster and chase those PRs. The more of these tips you integrate, the better. 

Interval training

Keep track of your time during interval workouts to maximize your workout.

This type of training includes periods of high and low intensity running. High-intensity interval involves running faster than your everyday pace. Interval training revamps the efficiency of the oxygen delivered to your body. This will help increase your speed and efficiency. The goal is to make small, incremental increases in speed over time. Try the workout below and adjust as needed.

  • Jog for three minutes at regular pace
  • Sprint for one minute
  • Repeat this cycle four more times

Pro tip: don’t skip your workouts when you use these 4 excuse busters.

Run hill repeats

These might be difficult at first, but they’re worth it. Running hills is a form of resistance training.  Look for a hill that takes you about two minutes to ascend. Run at a steady but hard effort on the way up and easy jog back down to recover. Your body will work harder, but this is a chance to work on controlling your breathing. Focus on your recovery on the downhill. Engage your core and regain control of your breathing on the way down. With hill training, you’ll increase your muscle strength, especially your glutes and calves. Those are the muscles needed to sprint across the finish line! Avoid knee pain when you run when you incorporate these tips.

Add strength training

Pushups are a great workout if you don’t have weights at home.

How you increase your speed is not just about running. You need to keep yourself active and functioning. Strength training involves exercises that improve strength and endurance. It typically involves the use of weights, but can take a variety of different forms such as bodyweight workout. Start with lighter weights gradually work your way up. If you don’t have weights at home you can still complete a workout. Incorporate pushups, dips, situps, lunges, squats, and any other exercise that uses your body’s weight.

Be steady and focused

Things take time, so don’t get off track. You won’t achieve your big goal overnight. Set up smaller, weekly goals along the way. Take it easy on yourself. Slow and steady may win the race, but fast and steady builds speed! Take challenges and try running faster than the day before. Be just as focused on your recovery as you are about getting faster on your run. Learn about the benefits of an ice bath and how it can help with your recovery process.

Try yoga

Yoga can improve your breathing, flexibility, and core strength.

Yoga has extensive benefits beyond our imagination. Add yoga to your daily or weekly training plan and you won’t be disappointed. A study showed that twice-weekly yoga sessions increase flexibility in the joints and improve the balance of your body. Deep breathing associated with yoga will also help you consume oxygen more efficiently when completing more strenuous workouts. Get started with these 5 yoga poses for triathletes.

Eat right

Eating right is crucial. Optimal fueling gives your body what it needs to improve. Plus, by eating healthier you could lose some weight and develop lean muscle. Don’t forget to hydrate!

These are some of the most tried and valued running techniques. Everyone has their unique ways to get faster on the run, so make sure you do what’s best for you. Listen to your body and don’t get too harsh on yourself. Just like training for the finish line, getting faster on your run takes time.

4 Effective Foam Rolling Tips

Recover from your workout faster with these foam rolling tips

A foam roller helps with myofascial release. Foam rolling can loosen your muscles before a workout. It can also help your body recover after a workout. The benefits of using a foam roller include: relieves soreness, helps with tight muscles, and increases flexibility.  These are the three most common issues triathletes want resolved so they can begin the recovery process and get ready for their next workout. Here are four foam rolling tips that’ll help you recover faster and be ready for your next workout. Pro tip: make sure you’re recovering effectively when you avoid these foam rolling mistakes.

4 foam rolling tips

  1. Be consistent

Consistency is key when foam rolling, just like your training.

All people who have engaged in any physical activity know consistency is key. The same is the case with taking care of your body. Foam rolling is no different. Create a plan of action, just like your training, and make foam rolling a part of your routine. This is especially true when you factor in what you ask of your body after swimming, cycling, and running. Effective recovery is just as vital as your training. Build it in before and after workouts and eventually it’ll become a part of your training plan. Track all of your training progress, including foam rolling, with one of these training apps.

  1. Focus on muscles used in workout

Foam rolling before workouts increases circulation and flexibility. It also loosens your muscles. When you foam roll afterward, it begins your body’s recovery process. Focus on sore and tight muscles, especially if they were heavily used. Foam rolling can have similar effects to a good massage. Pro tip: learn why you should add strength training to your overall plan. Don’t forget to foam roll!

  1. Roll slowly

Whatever foam roller you use, make sure you stay relaxed and roll slowly.

Don’t roll too fast is the basic mantra for foam rolling. Rolling too fast can be harmful and ineffective. Roll slow enough for the affected muscles to feel the roller and relax. Roll slowly and intentionally over specific muscles that are feeling sore. If you have a spot that is tight, spend some extra time trying to loosen the muscle. 

  1. Take deep breaths

A combination of foam rolling and deep breathing can do wonders for your blood’s circulation. Taking deep breaths can help you remain calm and relaxed. It also helps increase the circulation of blood throughout your body, pumping fresh blood to the muscles that need it most. Deep breathing can also relieve anxiety and help manage stress. 

These proven foam rolling tips will help you get the best results and expedite the recovery process. You’ll be ready to crush your next workout. Just don’t forget to foam roll before and after!

Learn How to Find Swim Goggles That Fit You Best

Everything you need to know about finding swim goggles that fit you best

A good pair of goggles is an essential item for swimming. They can make or break your swim at your big race or during your training. That’s why it’s important to find a pair of swim goggles that fit you and your needs. Durability, fit, comfort, clarity, and adjustability are qualities you should look for before purchasing a new pair of swim goggles. Different kinds of goggles provide better protection, benefits, and effectiveness depending on the type of swimming you’re doing. Find the swim goggles that fit you best with our recommendations and links below! Pro tip: if you’re just starting out keep these beginner swimming tips in mind.

Here are a few things to keep in mind

Size matters

Swimmer swimming towards the water exit at Jack's Generic Triathlon. It's important to ensure you have swim goggles that fit.

Swim goggles that fit will keep them from falling off during your swim. Credit – Ed Sparks

The most notable difference between pool goggles and tri or open water goggles is that tri goggles are bigger. They provide a wider range of vision. This feature is critical to maximize your field of vision and properly sight while looking for other athletes, buoys, and the almighty swim finish line. The same pair of goggles often come in different sizes. Make sure you get the pair that best fits you without compromising your sight. Correct fit is critical to how well the goggles will seal around your eyes and keep the water out.

Pay attention to tint

Style may be important, but you don’t want to compromise style for function. Tinted goggles may appeal to you more, but if you’re doing an open water race on an overcast day or if the water is muddy, heavily tinted goggles would hinder your vision during the swim. Plus, if you’re new to open water swimming, limiting your already hindered vision may be intimidating for most swimmers. Once you find the swim goggles that fit you best, it is a great idea to get a few pairs with different tint levels. Have it all in your swim bag so that you are ready for any situation.  

Polarized lens

These are a must for a sunny, open water swim. A polarized lens will reduce glare off the water from the sun and allow you to see more clearly. Many goggles come in both regular and polarized lenses. You should consider getting both. Use the regular lens for training and the polarized lens for races. 

UV protection

You protect your eyes during every other portion of triathlon. The swim is no exception. Typically most goggles have this feature, but make sure you look for a pair with UV protection to prevent any damage to your eyes. The sun’s rays reflect off the water and make it hard to see. Goggles with UV protection will shield your eyes from any damage. They will keep your vision manageable on sunny training or race days.

Train in the goggles you will race in

This is the best way to avoid any race-morning mishaps from keeping you from performing your best on race day. Adjust your goggles to the exact tightness you’re comfortable with to avoid your goggles from filling up with water or even falling off mid-race.

Top 5 triathlon goggle recommendations

Roka R1 Goggles

  • Patented design for greater field of view
  • UV, anti-scratch, and anti-fog coating
  • Flat silicone head strap with locking adjustment clip

Speedo Socket 2.0 Mirrored Goggles

New Wave Fusion 2.0 Swim Goggles

  • Low-profile design with streamlined shape
  • Soft, durable silicone double head straps
  • Four nosepiece options to fit all swimmers

Aqua Sphere Kayenne Polarized Lens Swim Goggles

  • Polarized lens reduces glare and increases contrast
  • Oversized lens for great visibility
  • Anti-fog and UV lens treatment for long-lasting clarity

AqtivAqua DX Wide View Swim Goggles

Now you have all the information you need to find the swim goggles that fit you best! Is a wetsuit next on your list? Make sure you know what to look for when choosing a wetsuit.

Why It’s Important to Wear Sunglasses When Riding

Protect your eyes and wear sunglasses when riding

In addition to looking cool, there are other benefits when you wear sunglasses when riding. This applies to running, hanging at the beach, driving a car, and especially riding your bike. If you have some sweet specs that make you look cool, all the better! We recommend the UA Igniter II Sunglasses by Under Armour. Learn why it’s beneficial to wear sunglasses when riding. Pro tip: follow our advice and don’t forget about protecting your skin!

Protection

Dust and debris

You will encounter visible and non-visible projectiles whether you’re riding the trails or commuting to work. Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from flying debris might be the most important reason. Flying debris doesn’t care if you’re riding solo or with a group. Cars kick up rocks, bugs are everywhere, even other cyclists can kick up debris on the side of the road. Dust is everywhere. It’s often stirred up by cars, other riders, or Mother Nature. Glasses won’t protect you from all the dust, but it’ll surely help. Your shades are going to get dirty. Make sure you clean them after every ride.

UV exposure

Repeated exposure to UVA and UVB radiation from the sun will have negative consequences on your vision. Protecting your eyes is critical to the short-term, and in this case, the long-term health of your eyes. Make sure your lenses are polarized and have a coating that absorbs the sun’s rays. Lenses also need to be a neutral color, not crazy tints and extreme colors. Your goal is to protect your eyes while replicating what your eyes see naturally.

Safety

A clearer view

The correct lenses will help clear your view when cycling. Cyclists have a large amount of information to process when riding. You’re watching for vehicles, intersections, signaling turns, avoiding potholes, tracking other cyclists and runners, the list goes on. Any time you can eliminate distractions you free up the ability to pay attention and process more information. Proper lenses will also help reduce the sun’s glare. Glare could shine in your eyes from street signs, windows on buildings, or the hoods of cars. Proper fitting sunglasses will also reduce the amount of wind that hits your eyes. Wind alone can cause dryness and irritation when riding.

Next time you’re on the road, grab a pair of sunglasses for your ride. Even a cheap pair will provide protection until you can get a pair that you’ll love. Taking care of your eyes now will pay dividends down the road. Make sure you’re comfortable during your ride so you can keep your eyes on the road. If you’re uncomfortable you might need to adjust your saddle height. Just a few millimeters can make all the difference!

Eat Your Greens! Healthy Green Recipes

Healthy Recipes Loaded with Greens You’ll Love

The NEED for Greens

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

Why You Need Leafy Greens

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

Best Greens for You

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

Green Recipes You’ll Love

Click to be taken to your new favorite recipe!

Time to Eat Your Greens

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

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

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

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

What’s Your Excuse?

1. You’re Too Tired

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

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

2. Gym Memberships Are Expensive

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

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

3. Not Enough Time

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

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

4. Just Not Motivated

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

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

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

It’s Go Time!

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

How To Adjust Your Bike To The Perfect Saddle Height

Steps to Achieve Your Perfect Bike Saddle Height

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

What is Saddle Height?

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

How To Adjust Your Bike To The Perfect Saddle Height

How To Adjust Your Saddle Height

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

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

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

Ready to Ride

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

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

Test Your Knowledge: How Well Do You Know JGT?

How well do you know JGT?

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

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

running on the JGT course Tom Marek
Correct! Wrong!

What year was the first Jack's Generic Tri?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

How long is the swim portion of JGT?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

Who won the first-ever JGT?

Correct! Wrong!

How many people completed the first JGT?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

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

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

How do we wrap up the JGT finish line party?

Tom Marek
Correct! Wrong!

Where is JGT currently located?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

How many divisions are offered?

Ed Sparks
Correct! Wrong!

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

Correct! Wrong!

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

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

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

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

Share your Results:

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

Understanding the Different Types of Bike Pedals

Types of Bike Pedals: Understanding the Basics

When it comes to choosing bike pedals, you need to consider the best option to meet your needs depending on the kind of riding you’ll be doing. It’s all about personal preference and what you feel most comfortable with. If you’re in the market for some new pedals, keep reading to understand the different types of bike pedals to figure out which ones are right for you.

Types of Pedals:

There are two basic types of bike pedals: Flat and Clipless. Flat pedals are the more common of the two when it comes to triathlon because you wear regular running shoes with this type of pedal. Which is great and convenient for the bike to run transition. Clipless pedals are great for athletes who want to feel more at one with the bike. With these pedals, you’ll need to wear special cleats that clip into the specific type of pedal system that’s compatible with your cleats.

Different Benefits:

Flat Pedals types of bike pedals

Flat Pedals

There are many benefits of flat or platform pedals. Any type of shoe you decide on will work with this type of pedal. They’re great for a quicker bike-to-run transition because, without changing shoes, you eliminate the need to spend any more time in transition.

Flat pedals also reduce any anxiety you may have about falling over during the bike leg. You can put your feet down to catch yourself, as opposed to if you were clipped into the pedals. Lastly, this is the more common and affordable option of the two kinds of pedals. Flat pedals can be found for $10 – $40.

 

Clipless Pedals

Clipless PedalsThere are also many benefits of a Clipless Pedal (clipless means clipped in). Increase your speed during the bike portion by being clipped into your bike pedals. This allows you to take full advantage of your pedal stroke, which in turn allows you to ride faster once you have mastered the push and pull of it.

A smoother more efficient pedal stroke will lead to better average power output. Being clipped in can actually keep you a little safer while riding because it reduces the chance of your foot slipping off the pedal while climbing, descending, or while fatigued. There are endless options when it comes to choosing clipless pedals if that is the

You can go clipless right from the start or use flat pedals until you are more comfortable in the saddle. There are benefits to each type of pedal, but the important thing is to choose what is more comfortable for you. Whatever you choose, spend time becoming familiar with your bike pedals to maximize your efficiency on race morning of Jack’s Generic Tri!