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Derailleur Adjustment Tips to Stop Shifting Issues

Experiencing issues shifting when hitting the road to log some miles on your bike? You most likely need to make some adjustments to your derailleur. Shifting problems are a common occurrence for cyclists and triathletes. So we’re going to give you some expert tips to fix your shifting problems yourself. Get ready to expand your bike mechanic skills and learn these quick, easy steps to adjust your derailleur and put a stop to your shifting issues! Take it a step further to expand your mechanic skills and start by understanding the basics of brakes issues and learn how to change a flat tire on the fly.

What’s a Derailleur?

A derailleur is the device on your bike that changes gears by moving the chain from one sprocket to another. There are several different styles and sizes when it comes to derailleurs. But when it comes to fixing shifting issues, the steps you should follow are often the same.

Derailleur Basics for Shifting Issues

Derailleur mechanics provide a simple way for you to dial in shifting in the middle of a ride. Although it’s easiest to make and check adjustments when the bicycle is supported in a repair stand, you can adjust your derailleur without any tools at all.

If you suspect your derailleur may be damaged or bent, unfortunately, you won’t be able to fix this one yourself. You’ll need to take your bike to your favorite local bike shop to have a mechanic help you out. These tips are for derailleurs that just need slight adjustments such as difficulty shifting, eliminate rub, and unwanted noise while riding. 

Identify the Problem

To adjust the derailleur, look at the point where the cable enters the rear derailleur. Here you’ll see a round, knob-like piece; that’s the cable adjustment barrel. This is used to tune the derailleur adjustment.

Standing behind the bike, turn the cable adjustment barrel either counterclockwise or clockwise in half-turn increments until the shifting hesitation is cured. The direction in which you turn your derailleur depends on what type of hesitation you’re experiencing.Derailleur breakdown

 

The most common problem is slow-shifting into easier gears (toward the spokes) are due to the stretching of the cable. But, it’s also possible that you’re experiencing difficulty with shifting into a higher gear, which means the cog isn’t allowing the chain to shift outward smoothly to the next gear.

So, which way do you turn it? Determine this to continue to your next steps to adjust your derailleur.

  • Experiencing slow shifting – turn the barrel adjuster counter-clockwise toward the spokes. This will tighten the space between the cogs or shifting increments.
  • Difficulty shifting into a higher gear – turn the barrel adjuster clockwise, away from the spokes to loosen the space between the cogs to allow for easier shifting.

Time to Adjust Your Derailleur

Commit this to memory to help you remember which way to turn the barrel adjuster the next time you experience shifting issues.

  • If the derailleur is hesitating when shifting toward the spokes (the more common problem), turn the barrel toward the spokes (counter-clockwise).
  • If it hesitates to shift away from the spokes, turn the adjuster away (clockwise) from the spokes.
  • Turn it only a half turn, shift multiple times to check the adjustment, and repeat as needed to eliminate all hesitation.

Pro tip: Be aware that there is a range of acceptable adjustments, so there may be more than one barrel adjuster position that results in good shifting performance.

No More Shifting Issues!

Now you have the right tips to adjust your derailleur back into place for a smooth ride with easy, noise-free shifting. Which is especially important if you’re getting out for a hilly bike ride! If you were experiencing trouble with your shifting, remember these tips to adjust your derailleur before your next ride. If you have a friend who is constantly dealing with shifting problems, help them out, and share this with them! Now you have a mechanic you trust and know will keep you in good hands, your own!

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.

Triathlon Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Give the Tri Dad in your life the perfect gift this Father’s day! From sleek, anti-fog goggles he can rock at Rookie Tri, to the tri tank he’s been talking about for years, our Father’s Day gift guide has it all. One-stop-shop: click these items to order them straight from our blog to your door.

Swim

For the dad that can’t seem to stay away from the water. He’ll love taking these gifts with him next time he goes for a swim!

Bike

You know how much he loves getting out for a training ride. Upgrade his ride for even more fun during his training with these sweet additions for his bike! If you know he could use some help fine-tuning his bike, a gift card to the Velofix bike shop would be an awesome choice! Set up an appointment, and their team of specialists will come directly to you to complete a full bike tune-up.

Run

Looks like someone’s training runs are about to get a lot more fun! He’ll love going to log some miles with these additions.

Take Your Pick!

This new gear will show dad you acknowledge all the hard work he does and hopefully gets him excited to get back in the tri game. Go the extra mile and offer to join dad for a training session for a Father’s Day experience he’ll never forget. If you have a friend who could use some help coming up with gift ideas, share this Father’s Day gift guide with them! We’re on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Out with the Old, In with the New

You finally found the perfect pair of running shoes to get you from start to finish at Rookie Tri, but what about the laces that came with your purchase?? A lot of gear is needed for triathlons, but these laces are the most overlooked and under-appreciated piece of essential tri gear. There are many different types of elastic laces to choose from depending on your specific requirements and qualifications. In this blog, we’ll discuss the advantages of elastic laces and share a few of our favorites to help you find which ones you want to tri out this season.

Why switch to Elastic Laces?

Elastic laces are all the rage in the tri world, and with good reason. They save time, eliminate the possibility of accidents, and make for an easier transition during your tri. Elastic, or easy laces stretch to give you the ability to slide your foot into your running shoes easily quickly while holding your foot in the exact position you want them to be. Another benefit of these types of laces is that they are one size fits all, yet adjustable, so there are tons of options to choose from. Lastly, opposed to if you were using standard laces, using easy laces will reduce any possible stretching the shoe when you put them on.

Check Out Our Favorite Elastic Laces

 

Take advantage of these laces to eliminate any additional time that could be wasted tying your laces in transition. Some argue that elastic or lock laces can leave too much or too litter space for your foot within the shoe. In this case, make sure you adjust yours during training for the best fit and leave them be.

For the low price and high pay off, elastic laces are one of the most essential pieces of tri gear you could buy. Using this simple, yet effective tri-hack will help shave time off your bike to run transition on the morning of your tri.

The importance of setting goals to help you reach things you may think are unachievable

Highly successful individuals are big on setting goals for themselves. This is why it is important to apply goal setting to things you would like to accomplish in running or triathlon. Say what you are going to do and then do what you said you were going to do. Goal setting in running or triathlon does a few things. They can hold you accountable, be motivating, and build confidence. Here are some strategies in goal setting that can lead you to success.

The ABC’s of Goal Setting

Set an “A” Goal.

Setting Goals A GoalYour “A” goal is one that may seem beyond what you can achieve or highly unlikely unless things go perfectly. If you can stay focused on your longterm “A” goal, this can give you all the motivation you need to do all the small things along the way that ultimately leads you to achieve it. “A” goals can also be overwhelming and cause people to give up because they seem impossible at times. This is why “B”, and “C” goals are important. This is typically a private goal that only you or a few people know about.
Example: I want to come in first place this year at The Rookie Tri.

Setting B GoalsHave a couple of “B” Goals:

Your “B” goal is a goal that you would be happy to achieve and you are pretty certain if you put in the work, you will reach it. “B” goals are good to share with others to give you some outside accountability. Reaching “B” goals are also what you need to achieve to keep you working towards your “A” goal. The idea is for all your smaller achievements to build into larger achievements.
Example: I want to finish in the top 5 of my age group.
Example: I want to set a new PR.

Have a few “C” Goals.

Setting Goals C goals“C” goals are the lower hanging fruit that gives you your daily motivation, keeps you on task, and builds your confidence to reach higher goals. Your “C” goals are built into your daily routine and without accomplishing these, there is no way to achieve the others. These can be goals that cover your eating habits, sleeping habits, training mileage, social health, mental health, work-life balance, etc.

Example:

  • Get 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Hit my weekly training mileage goals.
  • Maintain a diet that gives me all the nutrition I need to stay strong and healthy.

Pro Tips to Setting Goals:

  • Set realistic goals: Be realistic about where you are currently at and start setting your goals from there.
  • Set goals that build on each other: Make sure you are thinking strategically about how achieving some of your lower goals will allow you to reach the higher ones.
  • Adjust your lower goals: Adjusting your lower goals are important because life throws you curveballs sometimes and it is key to experience success in your daily, weekly, and monthly routines. Without these successes, you will become frustrated and give up.
  • Reward: Last but not least, set up a little reward system for yourself. There is enough negative reinforcement tied to not reaching your goals, but in general you need positive reinforcement to make the process enjoyable. To reach goals you also have to sacrifice. It is OK to reward yourself with small amounts of things you are giving up to achieve your goals.

Example: If I hit my weekly diet, sleep, and training mileage goals, I get to have my favorite but not-so-healthy meal on Saturday night.

In summary, goals are very important to get where you want to go. Make sure your goals build on each other, be realistic about where you are starting, adjust for success as you go, and reward yourself along the way.

Healthy on-the-go Breakfast Smoothies Recipes

Are you more of a breakfast-on-the-go person? Perhaps you aren’t a huge breakfast eater in general. Whatever the case may be, this is just the breakfast solution for you! Try these smoothie recipes for a healthy and easy breakfast for a great way to get you energized and start your day. Pro tip: make it easier and plan ahead. Divide out your ingredients into containers for the week for a one-step breakfast, ready on the fly!

 

 

These breakfast smoothie recipes are perfect for a little something to get you going before heading out for a training session and can double as a recovery drink for your Rookie Tri training!

Be ready to tri year-round with the help of these free, online workouts!

Don’t let anything stand in your way from making progress towards your triathlon goals this year. Working out from home may not be your favorite thing to do, but these workouts make it fun and challenging! Change the way you feel about working out at home with these free, online workout videos that will keep you in shape and ready to tri at all times.

9 Free Workout Channels on YouTube

HASFit

More than 1,000 workouts await on this YouTube channel, but don’t let the number of options overwhelm you. With this many options, you’ll find the exact workout you’ve been looking for to meet your needs with these super informative, online workouts.

Yoga with Adriene

Austin local, Adriene Mishler, took the world by storm with her free yoga YouTube channel for viewers of all skill levels. You’ll find the right workout to meet your fitness goals and hopefully be inspire you to continue your yoga journey.

BeFit

Featuring everything from injury recovery workouts to free, six-week training programs, this one-stop-shop for fitness aims to meet the needs of every athlete.

Adam Rosante

Though Rosante’s workouts are only 5 to 20 minutes, they pack a big punch of intensity. The fitness coach and author of number-one bestseller The 30-Second Body offers equipment-free workouts you can do in even the smallest studio apartment.

Bodybuilding.com

Though some of the videos require gym equipment or weights, many of the moves can be performed with minimal equipment. Along with detailed instructions on the correct way to perform each move, this channel is almost the same as having a personal trainer at the gym.

The Fitness Marshall

Not in the mood for a workout? Then you might as well dance! In this series from fitness guru, Caleb Marshall, cardio meets dance party for a fun way to break a sweat.

StudioSWEAT on Demand

This online fitness studio offers a variety of free fitness classes via YouTube. They also include a handful of solid spin classes to bring some structure to your trainer time.

Train with GCN

The Global Cycling Network offers almost 50 online spin workouts in its “Train with GCN” series – everything from 20-minute progressive efforts to 60-minute endurance intervals.

PopSugar Fitness

This popular YouTube channel is divided up into categories so you can find just what you’re looking for. They offer just about everything, including workouts for beginners, vigorous high-intensity interval training (HIIT) videos, and targeted workouts for your abs and glutes.

These free online workouts are a great way to switch up your Rookie Tri training routine for something different and fun. The best thing about online workouts is you can make them work with your schedule. Take advantage of any free time you have to give these free workouts a try!

17th Annual Rookie Triathlon Goes Virtual

We know how hard all of our participants have trained for the Rookie Tri and we think your efforts still deserve some acknowledgment and praise. It’s time to finish what you started and show off your skills by completing the Free 2020 Virtual Rookie Triathlon. This event is open to the public so be sure to challenge your friends and family to join you!

Completing a virtual triathlon is great motivation to accomplish your fitness goals and commit to healthy living habits! And, besides feeling good about yourself, you will also receive a downloadable personalized bib, finisher certificate, and digital finisher medal. We are also giving away Under Armour socks to all finishers! (while supplies last).

Participants will complete the 300-meter swim (or 1-mile run), 11-mile bike, and 2-mile run using their watch or a smartphone app.

Registration is open for the Free 2020 Virtual Rookie Triathlon from April 8th through May 3rd. You can submit your results through May 7th. The official results page with finisher certificates will be updated on April 13th, April 27th, and May 8th.

Custom Bib, Finisher Certificate & Digital Finisher Medal!

How to Participate

With this virtual tri, you can do it all at once or can complete each segment of the triathlon on your own schedule. For example, you can do part of the swim on Monday, part of the run on Wednesday and part of the bike on Friday. You can do each part in a location and time that’s convenient for you. Even if you weren’t planning on joining us for Rookie Tri, now is the chance to put yourself to the test at the pace you’re comfortable with.

  1. Register for the event. Keeping with the theme of The Rookie there are divisions for each. The Rookie Division is for those new to the sport and Veterans are those who have completed 2 or more triathlons.
  2. Personalize & Download Your Bib.
  3. Document your journey with a before and after photo. Optional but totally encouraged!
  4. Swim (Run), Bike & Run! Complete the 300-meter swim, 11-mile bike, and 2-mile run. If you are unable to swim, make it a Duathlon of 1-mile run, 11-mile bike and 2-mile run.
  5. Keep track of your time with your watch or a smartphone app like MapMyFitness. Complete your distances indoors or outdoors during the time frame.
  6. Post your results before May 7, 2020, to the link in your confirmation email.
  7. Connect with us on Social! Tag your photos on Instagram & Twitter with #RookieTriVirtual

 

 

Rookie Triathlon canceled for the first time in event history

Thank you for your interest in the 17th annual Rookie Triathlon. We absolutely love this event and have produced this fun triathlon annually since 2004. We are so thankful to all the participants, volunteers, and event partners who join us every year.

Let’s get the bad news out of way so we can get to the good news. Unfortunately, as a result of mandates by local/state governments and the recommended CDC guidelines we are forced to cancel the Rookie Tri scheduled for May 3rd. And, unfortunately, postponement is not a viable option based on permitting and venue availability.

We know that this news is disappointing. We also understand the time dedicated to training for this race, so please know that this cancelation was made with the safety of the entire community in mind. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and understanding.

The Good News

All registered participants can transfer to one of our upcoming triathlons or request a full refund. Events that are open to transfer include:

If the transferred event is also canceled, transfers/refunds will be offered via a similar process. Participants who wish to upgrade distances at CapTex Tri or Kerrville Tri will need to pay the difference in registration for that distance. That request can only be filled after the transfer to the Sprint distance is complete.

All merchandise and USAT Membership purchases will be refunded for the event, regardless of transfer or refund request. Participants may request a full refund if they do not wish to transfer registration to any of the above events. Current virtual participants will be refunded and are invited to join in the new virtual event that will be launching next week. We are asking that all participants submit their request by Friday, April 10th. Anyone who does not fill out the request form will automatically be transferred to next year’s Rookie Tri at no cost.

Every participant should have received an email with details on how to complete this process. If you did not receive the email please check your spam folder, then email info@therookietri.com and we are happy to resend you the link.

More Good News: Free Virtual Rookie for Everyone!

We are also offering up a free virtual triathlon/duathlon to all participants and the triathlon community at large addition. There will be fun incentives + free downloadable personalized bibs & finisher certificates. The free virtual event will launch next week, so keep an eye on your inbox!

We look forward to seeing you soon and will continue to post blogs & social media on triathlon, training, and everything you need for a healthy & happy lifestyle.

Make worrying about transitions a thing of the past when you use these time-saving tips for triathlon transitions

A quick and easy transition is an important skill to save time during your triathlon. However, it is often overlooked during the training process. These transition techniques should be practiced during your training leading up to your upcoming tri to save time and reduce any stress you may be feeling about tackling transition on the morning of your race.

Know Your Way Around

Having an idea of the layout of the transition area of your tri beforehand is especially crucial on race day. Reviewing the course maps will eliminate any uncertainties you have and should be done in the days leading up to your race. Take it a step further and arrive at the race site early to do a pre-race walkthrough in transition.  Get familiar with the flow of transition during your walkthrough.  Make a point to identify where you will swim in, bike out, bike in and run out.

Athlete getting her gear set up in transitions before the racePlan Your Gear

Know what gear you will be using first will help you determine how to layout your gear when you arrive at the race site. If your goal is to improve your overall race time, you will need to be organized in your transition layout. Another common mistake we see athletes make is bringing too much stuff. Only bring what you need to avoid losing any items, or having items in the way to slow you down. Layout your items in the order you use them to save time when you arrive in transition during the race.

Practice

Practicing your transitions is the best way to be prepared come race day. Set up a practice transition area wherever you find an open space like in your driveway, or an empty track. This will give you the opportunity to time yourself and see how long the swim to bike transition will take, as well as the bike to run. Determine which time-saving techniques you’ll use such as deciding to have your shoes already clipped into your bike, or where to place your helmet for easy access. Practice putting on and removing shoes, and mounting your bike while keeping your rhythm. Layout your gear to get in and out of transition in the least amount of time possible.

Only Bring the Essentials

Getting into gear in the transition area

Only bring what you need to avoid losing any items, or having items in the way to slow you down. Along with completing a gear check to make sure you have all the items you need, take some time to make sure your gear is functioning properly. The idea is to have everything ready to go when you run into transition during your tri.

The best way to get good at anything is practice, practice, PRACTICE! Training for transitions ultimately determines how well you can tackle them on the day of your race. Use these tips for your upcoming tri to improve your race time, or maybe even PR!