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Revealing the Truth About Ice Baths and the Benefits They Offer

We’ve seen or heard of athletes regularly dipping themselves into a freezing ice bath after a hard workout. However, what do we really know about the benefits these ice-cold baths have to offer? Take a look at some common benefits ice baths can have to see if you should try out an ice bath as you get ready for Rookie Tri!

What’s The Fuss Over Ice Baths?

Just like you’d ice a twisted ankle or strained muscle, cold temperatures have been proven to speed up the healing process within our bodies while also relieving pain. Ice baths benefit and relieve aching, sore, and inflamed muscles. They also limit the inflammation response that would usually occur which helps aid in a quicker recovery.

Ice baths are also thought to help with circulation. When you’re in an ice bath, your body naturally exerts more effort in maintaining its internal temperatures to continue functioning properly. Once you’re out of the ice and your body is no longer in contact with the cold temperature, blood flow increases allowing the body to maintain its recycling process. Increasing blood flow will help you sleep and make you feel better, physically, and emotionally. 

The Top 10 Benefits of Taking an Ice Bath

Ice baths are believed to improve the recovery from strength, power, and flexibility workouts, as well as recovery from muscle damage and swelling.

It is said that decreasing the local temperature after exercise helps limit inflammatory response, decreasing the amount of inflammation, therefore helping you recover faster.

The effects of submerging your body in ice also have a positive impact on the central nervous system. It increases the production of endorphins that affect a person’s overall mood.

This release of endorphins can also help you achieve a better night’s rest so you’re ready to go for the next training session!

The Right Way to Take an Ice Bath

Ice baths are useful for quick recovery between training sessions. In order to see results from an ice bath, it must be done right. Here are a few tips:

  • If your goal is to combat soreness or prevent your muscles from further damage, the sooner you get into an ice bath after a tough workout, the better.
  • While you’re at it, add in some post-workout recovery foods/drinks to really speed up your recovery time! 
  • How cold is too cold? The temperature of the bath should actually be between 50 and 59º F. 
  • An ice bath should last between 10 and 15 minutes at most.
  • Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you submerge your entire body in the water to get the effect you’re looking for. 

Why Should You Give It a Try?!

Ice baths are good for triathletes because they help your body stay prepared for the next workout. From speeding up recovery time to alleviating pain that could prevent you from your training, ice baths have some real benefits. So how do you feel about dipping yourself into an ice bath?  Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Get a good night’s rest before your upcoming tri with this as your guide to avoid making these rookie mistakes on race morning!

Even after all the training and metal preparation you’ve put in for the day of the race, there are still things that can go wrong on race morning. We all know how chaotic race morning of a triathlon can be, but have no fear! Follow these few simple strategies to help your race day go much smoother when you avoid making these rookie mistakes on race morning.

1. Getting to Race Site Late

Get to the race site early so you have time to familiarize yourself with the transition areas and layout of the course. Arriving late will increase your pre-race jitters and take away the fun of race morning with your fellow athletes.

Rookie Mistakes Triathletes Make on Race Morning. Group yoga with fellow athletes at Rookie Tri

Warming up, overlooking Decker Lake!

2. Not Warming Up

At Rookie Tri, we have a group warm-up led by professional trainers to help make sure your body is properly warmed up for the race. This is important, so be sure to plan to have some time to get a warm-up in and get that blooding pumping before your tri!

3. Bringing More Than you Have to

Brining more items means to keep track of and more chance of losing an item. Avoid this common mistake and keep it simple by only bringing what you absolutely need.

Good looking gear set up on race morning

Tri gear set up in T1!

4. Forgetting Gear

You’d be surprised at how often folks forget their running shoes or helmet on race morning. This will cause you unnecessary stress, so have a checklist, or use ours!

5. Starting in the Wrong Gear

Being familiar with the course will help you determine which gear you should start the bike leg in. Starting in the right gear will help maximize your power right away and set you up for success throughout the bike portion.

Athlete drinking water from one of the aid stations on course

Quick stop to hydrate at one of the aid stations!

6. Forgetting to Hydrate

Staying hydrated during your upcoming tri will ultimately determine how well you perform during the race. Determine how much fluids your body requires during training, so you don’t drink too much or too little on the day of your race.

7. Forgetting Sunscreen

You can’t avoid the Texas heat, but you can avoid the mistake of getting sun damage to your skin during a triathlon. Apply sunscreen on race morning before you get to the site. (This should also be done during your training!!)

8. Forgetting the FUN

Celebrating at the finish line party

After all, you signed up to have a great experience with friends and family around you. This should be easy with the infectious energy the athletes bring to The Rookie Tri who are always willing to help a fellow athlete if needed.

Use this as your guide for your next tri to avoid these common rookie mistakes triathletes on race morning and set yourself up for a fun-filled, hassle-free race morning!

Get more bang for your buck during your upcoming tri by addressing these rookie mistakes triathletes make during training

This year we celebrate 17 years of swim-bike-run fun at the 17th Annual Rookie Tri on May 3, 2020. We have seen just about everything you can think of in those 17 years, but we still see athletes make the same mistakes time and time again. Don’t let these mistakes get in your way of making progress on your training journey. Use this list to avoid the most common training mistakes made by triathletes to help your future race mornings go off without a hitch!

1. Selecting the Wrong Race

Go short before you go long. Your first triathlon is a learning experience, so ease yourself into the sport by completing a short distance tri like Rookie Tri. Once you’ve found your race, train for the distance you signed up for. The training leading up to the race will give you an idea of what to expect during the tri and help you determine which areas require more training.

2. Failing to Have a Training Plan

Training hard and logging those miles!

Now what? Find a training plan! We know it’s tough to find time to train for three different sports, so make it easier on yourself by finding a free online training plan. There are tons of free training plans created by professional coaches to guide you during your training. Using a training plan will ensure you divide up the training as needed to have you race-day ready.

3. Not Learning to Pace

Overexerting yourself at the start of the race will hurt you during the rest of the race. Pacing yourself throughout training is the best way to know your pace for each discipline. Practicing pacing is key to a strong finish and successful race.

4. Not Training Your Weakness

Ignoring your least favorite portion during your training will only hurt you on race day. It’s natural to avoid training your least favorite discipline and spend the majority of your time on your strongest. Improve your performance on race day by preparing for your least favorite discipline to eliminate any uncertainties you have.

Getting into bike gear in transition

Getting into gear in transition

5. Not Practicing for Transitions

Practicing transitions during training will give you the best idea of how long it takes you to execute transitions on race day. Some athletes leave their shoes clipped into their bike for a quicker transition. Practicing will help you figure out what works best for you in the least amount of time.

6. Not Knowing the Rules

Is your race wetsuit legal? Can you wear headphones? Don’t get disqualified by not knowing the basic rules of triathlon. Look over the USAT rules before starting your training so there are no surprises to throw you off your A-game on race day.

7. Not Doing an Open Water Swim Before Race Morning

Open water is vastly different than pool training. How you do on the swim sets the tone for the rest of your race. Plan some open-water swims into your training so you know exactly what to expect on race day. Go an extra step and get a group of other athletes who are training to do a mock swim with you!

Celebrating at the finish line party!

Whether you started your journey to get in shape or challenge yourself the most important thing to remember during training is to have FUN. Trust your training and enjoy the experience! This should be easy with the infectious energy the athletes bring to The Rookie Tri.

Use this as your guide leading up to your next tri to avoid these common rookie mistakes triathletes make during training. That way you can focus on having a great time and hopefully be inspired to continue your triathlon journey!

Don’t wait until race day to hydrate

nuun will be at Rookie Triathlon on Sunday, May 6th, ready to hydrate every triathlete. They will have two aid stations to ensure you have the electrolytes needed during your race. One aid station will be at transition and can be accessed before the swim and before the bike. There are no aid stations on the bike course. Take any nutrition or liquids that you want with you before you exit transition. The other aid station will be at Mile 1 of the run course. Aid stations will offer nuun and water. But don’t wait until race day to start hydrating!

Hydrate with nuun performance before Rookie Tri.

nuun performance contains balanced electrolytes and carbs.

Proper hydration is a building block to leading a healthier lifestyle. Most triathletes know that. But increasing your fluid intake before Rookie Triathlon can provide several benefits on race day.

  • reduce the possibility of dehydration
    • which can lead to a decrease in physical performance, muscle cramps, nausea, and fatigue
  • prepare for sweat loss
    • you’re going to sweat, prepare for the loss of sodium with an increase in electrolytes before and on race day
  • make sure you’re “topped off”
    • if you hydrate like you train, you’ll feel more comfortable if you skip an aid station (on purpose or not)
  • get a good night’s sleep on Saturday
    • proper and regular hydration has many benefits, including getting better sleep
  • lock in a hydration routine
    • most athletes like to have a routine, this will allow you to start the race hydrated and with an empty bladder

Increase your water and electrolyte intake several days before race day. You should drink anywhere from 10-12 glasses of fluid a day. Fluids consumed should be 50% water, 50% nuun. Drink a glass of water, then drink a glass of nuun. Having water filtration products in the house will save you a lot of money on bottled water. Go to Water Filter Way for reviews on such products. Having nuun tablets handy allows you to turn any bottle of water into an electrolyte-enhanced drink that is gluten-free and made from plant-based materials. Give their nuun performance a try. It contains a new formula that has increased carbohydrates.

This doesn’t allow you to skip aid stations on race day and avoid hydrating! Still hydrate during the race. This is meant to be another tool in your training as Sunday, May 6th, nears.

My first open road solo bike ride was a windy one

Holy smokes was the wind blowing fiercely during my first open road solo bike ride. Barny, my coach, picked the windiest day for my first long bike ride! On Saturday, April 14th, I took my no-longer-brand-new-to-me bike out for my first venture onto the open road by myself. Sharing the road with vehicles without the comfort of a group ride was intimidating. Before I left the house, I made sure I had my helmet, brightly colored clothing, lights, nutrition, and hydration. Prepared for every situation was comforting. What I needed was a bubble to protect me from the 30-40 mph wind gusts.

solo bike ride

2018 Rookie Tri bike course.

In late March, I previewed the 11.2-mile Rookie Tri bike course with a group of about 60 cyclists from the Austin Triathlon Club. On my solo bike ride, the Rookie Tri bike course was sandwiched in between an out-and-back on the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. The excessive wind become evident right when I started, but I wouldn’t let it deter me. I’ve ridden a couple times on the trail, but never to the end. I studied Google Maps so that I knew every turn and when the trail would end. Signage where I turned onto the Rookie Tri bike course says the trail is 7.75 miles long. But if you cross Decker Ln. you can ride another 2+ miles of trail just west of Decker Lake. If you parked at Govalle Neighborhood Park and rode the entire out and back you’d complete ~20 miles. I don’t think I got lost, but there were a couple times where I second-guessed where I was. I ended up riding 32 miles in 2:11:33.

My solo bike ride

The Southern Walnut Creek Trail is perfect for introductory bike rides. The trail is 10-feet wide in most places and only narrows on some bridges. There is an honest incline once you get towards the end of the trail, but otherwise, it’s relatively smooth. The trail follows Daffen Ln. and ends near Decker Elementary School. This is where my journey on the Rookie Tri bike course began. I’m familiar with the course, having cycled on it and run on it during the 2016 Decker Challenge. I know where the hills are, I know where the sharp turns are, I know where the shoulders disappear because of the bridges (side note: know your cycling hand signals to let others know your intentions).

solo bike ride

Know your cycling hand signals.

The wind was blowing so strong that there were times where I could barely control my wobbling bike. I managed, but at times I would have to drop a gear when cycling into the headwind. It was nice when the wind was at my back, but that wasn’t as frequent. It was normally head on or hitting me from the sides! I pushed through the inclines, tamed the wind, and eventually made it back to Decker Elementary. Boy was I happy to see that school, it meant I was at the Southern Walnut Creek Trail entrance. I popped off my bike for a few minutes and sat under a tree eating some energy beans and drinking my nuun performance.

I hopped back on my bike to complete my last real trek into the headwind. Riding alongside Daffen Ln. didn’t get any better with the wind until I crossed Johnny Morris Rd. and turned south on the trail. The wind died down a bit once I was back on the trail, but there were a few gusts that made sure I paid attention. The views along the trail are phenomenal this time of year, especially with water in Walnut Creek.

After my solo bike ride

solo bike ride

32 miles. DONE.

Aside from general soreness after my 32-mile solo bike ride, the pain I felt most was from sitting on my seat. I’ll spare you the details. Remember, I’ve never pedaled more than 18 miles. The last 6-8 miles weren’t my fastest because I was standing up at certain times, not pedaling. Thank goodness the Rookie Tri bike course is only 11.2 miles!

Want to take the same route I did but with a group? Then join the Austin Tri Club’s group ride on April 21st!