The Rookie Tri is hosting a TRI 101 at Bicycle World. Come learn the the ins and outs of transition from pro triathlete and Coach Natasha Van der Merwe with Austin Aquatics Sports Academy, as well as basic bike mechanics.
These clinics are great for beginners, those needed a refresher, and those that want to meet up with like minded people and talk triathlon!
If you plan on taking part in the bike mechanics class, bring your front bike wheel with you. We will do a tire change clinic, C02 provided courtesy of Bicycle World.
Click Here to RSVP to March 28th TRI 101 Clinic
Click Here to RSVP to April 18th TRI 101 Clinic
We look forward to seeing you there!
You’ve done it, you completed a triathlon! Your amazing and unique experience has you thinking: Now what?
You can always do sprint triathlons and work on increasing your speed or you can work on your endurance and increase your distance. For those looking to go long, we have 6 steps that will bridge the distance gap and get you to the finish line of your first half distance.
When upping the distance, many triathletes increase the number of workouts they do per week. They will add in 1 to 2 extra workouts per discipline. While this is great if your schedule and body allows, many will find that they are scrambling to squeeze something into every break they have and forget about recovery. Recovery does not necessarily mean doing nothing, but it does mean having days where you operate at 30% – 50% volume and intensity. Set your recovery week to be every 3 – 4 weeks. A good option for recovery days are activities like yoga, aqua jogging, or thai chi.
It is not all about adding on the miles. Intervals and speed workouts can be an endurance athlete’s best friend. Start with 10-20 second intervals and work your way up to 4 minute high intensity intervals. Aim for no more than 4 speed workouts per week and make sure to distribute them among the sports.
3. Just keep Swimming
The swim can be a point of worry for many triathletes and more than doubling your swim distance when you more up in distance can be daunting. Make sure that you put in a swim workout at least 2-3 times a week. If you can, make sure to get an open water swim work out at least every other week. Finding a 50-meter pool to swim is a good substitute if you do not have access to open water.
Doing brick workouts help simulate the conditions on race day. Bricks can be swim/bike or bike/run. For the most efficient brick training it is best to put as little time between transitioning from the two activities. When going from the bike to the run, it is best to do at least the first part of the run at your race pace goal. Bricks are great way to also mix up your normal workout routine, it is best to get in at least 2 sets of each brick type before race day.
5. Fuel Properly
It is important to fuel properly “on and off the bike.” With the longer distances you will need to take in more nutrition while on the race course. It is important to hone in on what works for you on training days. Don’t go crazy and try different gels all in one long bike or run because if you react badly to one, you won’t know which one. Plan your pace to know approximately how long you will be out and predict your calorie consumption. Taking in too much can be just as bad as taking in too little. Keep your meals outside of training balanced. Try and use other reward systems besides “junk foods,” such as massage or new training gear, for those long training days or days when you are just tired of training. By eating whole foods and a balanced diet you will be helping your body recover faster.
Find what your motivation is during training. Some like to set smaller goals that they can accomplish along the way, while others set one large one that they work towards. Is your motivation to have fun with friends? Is it improving your bike pace by 2 mph? Set a finish time goal? Set your “carrot” and then get to it. If there is a small group of friends who are looking for encouragement and inspiration, you might even want to have a look at using a motivational speaker from Sports Speakers 360. Just make sure to have a little fun along the way!
We have created to the Texas Tri Series that has events starting in May and Ending in September. These events are spaced so that you can start with a sprint tri, move to olympic and end the season with a half distance in September at The Kerrville Triathlon Festival. Learn more about the series at TexasTriSeries.com.
Looking for more training plans? Check out some of these online resources:
Here is a list of our favorite places to swim bike and run in Austin, Texas. These are great for all levels of triathletes.
Tucked back in one of Austin’s oldest neighborhoods, this pool has been keeping Austinites of all ages cool and entertained since the 1930s. Best part is it is free to use year round. Added bonus for being heated during the winter months as well. There are a limited number of lanes so be prepared to share or come during non peak hours.
2.Barton Springs Pool
Constructed in 1940, it has been a summer staple for many years and is known for being Austin’s no. 1 natural pool. It’s easy to see why. The 3-acre, spring-fed pool remains 68°F degrees year round, making it a refreshing away to shake the heat. It is also a great way to practice open water swimming and swimming in a wetsuit. Get there as early as 5am on weekdays to swim without the crowds.
The Southern Walnut Creek Trail is Austin’s first Urban Trail. Not a car in site! The trail is open for public use and begins at Govalle Park and ends in the vicinity of Johnny Morris Road and Daffen Lane. The trail is approximately 7.3 miles in length and consists of a 10′ wide concrete trail with 2′ shoulders. There are several creek crossings and trail heads on the trail. The lush surroundings can make seeing around corners difficult at times so this is not a great place for a speed workout.
The Veloway at Circle C Ranch Metropolitan Park was constructed in the early 90’s and was the first facility of its kind in the United States. The Veloway is a 23’ wide, 3.1 miles (5K) long bicycle tract that traverses the natural terrain. People travel from all over the metropolitan region to cycle here on a daily basis. This path is great because it is for cycling and inline skating only. Still be on the look out for the rogue walker or slower cyclist, slower traffic keep to the right and always pass on the left.
After years of strategic land acquisition and planning, the first six-mile segment is now open and the VCT is on its way to becoming the longest trail of its kind in Central Texas. Once complete, the 30-mile trail will provide a unique recreational experience as it passes through the urban wildlands of the Barton Creek Wilderness Park, the City of Sunset Valley, and eventually into Hays County. Be sure to bring your own water and prepare for off road bathroom situations as there are no water fountains or bathrooms on the trail.
2. Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake
The go to spot in Austin. The urban path that meanders along the water’s edge and passes by skyscrapers, neighborhoods, ball fields and cultural attractions. With the completion of the Boardwalk portion of the Trail in June 2014, the trail no offers a full 10 mile loop. The different street crossings at Lamar, 1st Street, and Congress make scenic and convenient cross overs for making this distance you are looking for. With more than 1.5 million visits a year, the 10-mile trail is Austin’s most recognized and popular recreational area.
There’s no doubt that your hard training can put wear and tear on important race gear. Before your race, make sure to thoroughly check and inspect your gear. We’ve put together a checklist for you to follow before your big day:
1. Goggles: Make sure that the eye seals have not perished and leak water. Check your strap and make sure the nose pieces aren’t brittle and are securely attached. Make sure the lenses aren’t scratched. If your goggles have any of these issues, consider replacing them and bringing them as back-ups to your new ones.
2. Wetsuit: Check your suit for potential tears and frayed seams. Look for holes and cuts; these can be patched and glued to prevent water entering the suit. Jack & Adam’s can help you decide if the suit can be repaired. Wetsuits aren’t required, so don’t worry if you don’t have one.
3. Bike: Check that the bike frame has no cracks, the wheels are not bent, and that all components are in working condition including brakes and shifters. If you do not know how to check for these things, call your local bike store and ask them for a safety check. On the morning of the race, make sure your tires are inflated properly.
4. Helmet: The plastic shell needs to be firmly affixed to the foam and the strap should not be frayed. There should be no cracks or dents, these will likely not pass inspection when checking into transition. The general rule for the chin strap is within two fingers spaces from the chin.
5. Cycling Shoes & Pedals: Make sure that the cleat is firmly attached to the bottom of the shoe. Replace cleat if it is worn down and may inhibit safe clipping in. Check your pedals and make sure that they are firmly attached to the crank.
6. Running Shoes: Look to see that they are not worn out of alignment or that the midsole is crushed. Cut down or replace any long or frayed shoe laces. If using elastic laces make sure that have not lost elasticity and that any plastic is still in good working condition
My First Tri
by Jack Murray, Owner of Jack & Adam’s Bicycles, Bicycle World, & High Five Events
Almost every day customers visit our shop seeking advice on participating in their first triathlon. When I have the opportunity to help someone in this situation, I share with them the story of my first tri in hopes of helping them feel more comfortable about their endeavor.
It was the summer of 1994. The event was the Victoria Splash & Dash in Victoria, Texas. I had trained for a few weeks and was sure I was in peak condition for an easy victory. I was, after all, fresh off a 1600 meter run victory and bronze in the 3200 at the Texas State Championship Relays. How hard could a little tri be? I thought I knew all there was to know about swimming, biking, and running. Turns out – I knew nothing!
The morning started with me loading my bike into the trunk of my mom’s car and driving with her and my sister to the event one hour away. I arrived around 6 AM for an 8 AM start. This was before on-line registration, so I registered for the event that morning and picked up my packet. As people started to arrive, I noticed the differences between my rusty old mountain bike and some of their $2000 race machines. My confidence, however, was not crushed; I was still sure I could win. After racking my bike, I headed over to the pool area where everyone was warming up. As I got closer, I noticed everyone was wearing tight swimsuits and goggles. I was sure, however, that my baggy Umbro “soccer shorts” and lack of goggles was the best way to go. My plan was simple – go as fast as I could for as long as I could.
They were letting swimmers go every 5 seconds and we had to snake up and down the pool for a total of 300 meters. I patiently waited in line until 5,4,3,2,1 go, I was off. I swam as fast as I could to the other side and then back again. 50 meters down 250 to go.
By 150 my arms started to hurt and my eyes were stinging from the chlorine. By 200 I was kicking off the bottom every few strokes and swimming with my eyes closed, by 250 I was just trying to get out of the water alive, and without my shorts falling off. After the swim, I was sure I was still in good position to hold my own on the bike.
I grab my bike out of transition and head out on to the 12 mile course. As I start to ride I realize I am not catching anyone. The rusty, old mountain bike that I borrowed from my high school track coach was not the stallion I thought it was. Riding around the block a few times for training was probably not the riding that all these people were doing. The fact that my bike could not shift was more trouble than I thought it would be. And looking back, my saddle was also about 5 to 7 inches to low. Towards the end of the ride I was being passed by a 10 year old girl and her mom; it was then that I started to feel my big victory slipping away. Still I was determined to blaze through transition and light up the run.
Transition to the run was probably my most memorable moment. As I speed to the transition area, volunteers are yelling at me to dismount my bike. As I go to lift my feet off the pedals, I forget that they are hooked in by cages. The combination of speed and my feet getting caught was enough to send me crashing like a bowling ball into a bike rack with about 6 bikes on it. The volunteers quickly help me up and as I throw my bike in the grass next to a picnic table (the rack was down), I remember thinking how much fun I was having. The whole day was something I had never experienced before.
It took about a mile into the run before I got my legs out of bike riding mode. I had no idea how riding a bike would effect legs on the run. As I rounded the final stretch I saw all these happy people cheering for me, eating, drinking, and just having a good time. I talked to people for about an hour. I met a guy my age that had been doing triathlons for years. I met some members of the Corpus Christi tri club and was invited to their next meeting. I signed up for their monthly newsletter. In short – I was hooked. It was nothing I thought it would be. It was fun and I discovered a whole different type of people that did not exist in my 5000 person hometown.
Through the years of collegiate running, duathlons, sprint tri’s, half Ironman events, Ironman events, and working in the shop, my first tri memory will forever help me keep our sport in perspective. It is not about where you finish, what type of bike you have, what you do for a living, where you are from or where you are going. It is about having fun and that is it. You can have many goals in our sport without forgetting this key element. I am constantly reminded of this by some of the greatest in the sport like Michael Lovato and James Bonney. If you ask either of them why they have dedicated and built their lives around this sport, they will tell you the same.
The Rules of Triathlon: What You Can & Can’t Do
If you’ve been putting off reviewing the 25-page official USAT race guidelines, look no further. Have no idea what USAT is? Read this article first. We’ve narrowed down the document so you can focus on your training rather than studying. Here are 11 commonly violated USAT triathlon rules to focus on for rookie triathletes.
1. Helmets: Only helmets approved by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) may be used in USAT sanctioned events. Helmets must be worn at all times while on your bike (before, during, and after the event). Penalty: Disqualification
2. Chin Straps: Chin straps must be buckled at all times when on a bicycle. DO NOT unbuckle your chin strap unless you are off your bicycle.
Penalty: Disqualification on the course; Variable time penalty in transition area only.
3. Outside Assistance: No assistance other than assistance by race and medical officials may be used. Triathlons and duathlons are individual tests of fitness. Penalty: Variable time penalty
4. Transition Area: All equipment must be placed in the properly designated and assigned bike corral. The wheel of the bicycle must be down on the side of the assigned space. All participants must return their bicycles to an upright position in their designated bicycle corral. No person shall interfere with another participant’s equipment or impede the progress of another participant. All bar ends must be solidly plugged. No participant shall bring ANY glass containers into the transition area.
Penalty: Variable time penalty
5. Drafting: Keep at least three bike lengths of clear space between you and the cyclist in front. If you move into the zone, you must pass within 15 seconds. Position–keep to the right-hand side of the lane of travel unless passing. Blocking–riding on the left side of the lane without passing anyone and interfering with other cyclists attempting to pass. Overtaken–once passed, you must immediately exit the draft zone from the rear, before attempting to pass again.
This is a triathlon rule that many beginners have issues with, so when in doubt give extra space. Penalty: Variable time penalty
6. Course: All competitors are required to follow the prescribed course and to stay within all coned lanes. Cutting the course is an obvious violation and going outside the course is a safety issue. Cyclists shall not cross a solid yellow center line for ANY reason. Cyclists must obey all applicable traffic laws at all times. Penalty: Referee’s discretion
7. Unsportsmanlike-Like Conduct: Foul, harsh, argumentative, or abusive language or other unsportsmanlike conduct directed at race officials, USA Triathlon officials, volunteers, spectators or fellow athletes is forbidden. Penalty: Disqualification
8. Headphones: Headphones, headsets, walkmans, iPods, mp3 players, or personal audio devices, etc. are not to be carried or worn at any time during the race. Penalty: Variable time penalty
9. Abandonment: All personal equipment and belongings taken out onto the course must stay on the athlete the entire time. No garbage, clothing, etc. shall be thrown on the course.
Penalty: Variable time penalty
10. Race numbers: All athletes are required to wear race numbers at all times during the bike and run. Numbers must face the front and be clearly visible at all times. Numbers may not be cut or folded or altered in any way. DO NOT transfer your number to any other athlete or take a number from an athlete that is not competing.
Penalty: Variable time penalty for missing or altered number. Disqualification and one year suspension from membership in USAT for transferring a number without race director permission.
11. Wetsuits: Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wetsuit at their own discretion, provided, however that participants who wears a wetsuit within such temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Above 84 degrees, wetsuits are prohibited.
There are many more USAT rules that athletes must follow during sanctioned events. Visit teamusa.org for a complete list of USAT triathlon rules.