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Meet Laura! She was once a Rookie and this is her story

Laura is the Volunteer Manager at High Five Events, but before she was part of the crew, you would have seen her at our races, either cheering or actually racing. Here is the story of Laura’s first triathlon.

How I Started in Triathlon

I started training for triathlons in the fall of 2013 when I moved in with my brother Pablo, who was a pretty serious age group triathlete at that time. Ever since I was little, I always wanted to do what my brother did, so naturally, I started doing triathlons. Shortly after I joined the triathlon team, Austin T3,  where Pablo had been training for a couple of years. 

I got my first road bike. It was a Felt that was a “petite” size because even the smallest frame was just a little bit too big for me. That’s when I started to train more seriously. I would swim, bike or run almost every day. While my fitness level was more than ready for the Rookie Tri, I was very nervous about competing.  

Laura Riding the bike course around Walter E. Long Park training for her first triathlon

Riding the bike course around Walter E. Long Park

About a couple of months before the 2014 Rookie Tri, I went to Decker Lake and rode the course multiple times. Even though those hills wouldn’t get any easier, I got more comfortable with shifting my gears and riding in general. I would also practice my transitions over and over again.  This helped me get used to running without socks. I also remember practicing getting in and out of my wetsuit by wearing it in the shower. Long story short, I was very scared of not being prepared, which resulted in me becoming a total dork. 

Getting Ready to Tri

Race weekend came, and I remember being super excited, but also very nervous. I went to Jack and Adam’s to pick up my packet the day before, and then I went home to get everything ready. The first thing I did, was put the stickers on my helmet and bike, and my bib number on a race belt.  I also tried on my timing chip, which at that time was on a velcro strap. It happened to be too big for me. Because it was so loose, I could lose it in the water so I had to put safety pins on it to secure it.

Laura’s First Triathlon – Race Day

Swim

On race day, I got to Decker Lake early in the morning. I had plenty of time to set up my transition area and warm-up. I didn’t get in the water, but I had some elastic bands that I used to warm-up. The swim was the part I was most excited about. By that time I had participated in open water swim events, so I felt confident. 

The horn went off and we all started. In 2014 the Rookie Tri didn’t have a time trial start yet, so we all started together in the water. I was feeling pretty good throughout the swim until my watch started to get loose. The watch as a birthday gift, so I really didn’t want to lose it! I stopped for a couple of seconds to take my watch off and put it in my sports bra to be able to keep swimming. I finished the swim, ran up the hill, found my bike and off I went.

Bike and Run Laura standing on the Rookie Tri podium at her first triathlon

My heart was beating SO fast, and I could feel the adrenaline rushing through my body as I got on my bike. As much as I want to believe that I am not a competitive person, you put a timing chip on me and the switch flips. I finished the bike faster than I expected, and now I just had the run left. I racked my bike, put my running shoes on and it was go time.

With the run being so short, I knew I could run faster. However, I didn’t take into account that the run was ALL ON GRASS! While that was a little bit of an adjustment for me, I was still able to finish the race and it was so exciting to get across the finish line. I ended up finishing third in my age group.

The coolest thing about the Rookie Tri is that it has separate awards for rookies and veterans, so if you’re a rookie, you’re only competing against beginners. Therefore, I was able to get on the podium and receive a trophy!  

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!

Tina’s First Triathlon

My first tri was The Rookie Tri on May 5, 2013. Here is how I remember it, looking back at it seven years later. But let’s back up a bit. I forgot to introduce myself. 

Who I Am & Why That Matters a Little Bit

Tina's First Tri Rookie Tri Staff StoriesMy name is Tina, and I am the Marketing Manager for High Five Events, the company that owns and produces The Rookie Tri

I got really into cycling in my junior year at the University of Texas, around 2009. My car had bit the dust, so I decided to save the money and get a bike instead. I was instantly hooked; I LOVED IT! 

This love of bikes eventually lead to my working at Jack & Adam’s Bicycles in the summer of 2011. For those not familiar with Jack & Adam’s, now Jack & Adam’s Fredricksburg, it was THE triathlon store not only in Austin but in the US. We had a fantastic staff that was full of knowledge and loved introducing new people to the sport of triathlon and cycling. 

Why I Did My First Tri

I have never been very competitive, and while I dabbled in swimming and running, it took two years before the staff/customers at Jack & Adam’s actually convinced me to sign up for my first race. We had decided to have the entire staff at the time do the Rookie. Everyone was at different levels, with many having completed many races, including Ironmans.

Prepping for My First Triathlon

Prepping her tri gear for The Rookie TriI trained for about 6-8 weeks leading up the event, mainly focusing on swimming. I went to the pool twice a week with a friend and did I think three open water swims in what at the time was the Pure Austin Quarry. I think one of the most helpful things was sharing a lane with multiple people, as it gives you the feel of swimming around others on race morning. 

The night before I stayed at a friend’s house so that we could get up in the morning. I was so nervous I set up my transition area several times, double-checking I had everything. It was supposed to be a little colder than usual the next day, so I “panic packed” extra stuff to stay warm on the bike.

The Big Day

Swim

Tina is ready to go at the Rookie Tri in 2013

The morning of, we got there as early as we could to set up in transition. We went down to swim start, and talked with people while we waited for the start. It was definitely chilly, and the wind had made the water a little choppy. As we entered, I realized all the “waves” (from the wind and other people) were coming from the right, and I only knew how to breathe to my right. Uh oh! I had to work out what to do on the fly, so I switched to a simple breaststroke and grabbed on the kayak at the first turn to help get my bearings. The lifeguard asked if I was okay to continue, and I said yes and continued. I also stopped to apologize to every person I ran into during the swim, not that they were listening. After making the next turn buoy and facing the shore, I knew I had it in me to finish. My final swim time, according to the results that year, was 10:01. 

Bike

I rushed into transition, and I was so amped and excited by everyone cheering that I forgot all of the extra arm warmers and stuff I had packed and jumped on the bike. Thankfully, it was okay because I was plenty warm after a mile or two on the bike. I completed the bike in 43:07.

Run

The run is my least favorite of the three sports, so I was not looking forward to the run. I reluctantly slip into my running shoes and head out on course. Looking at the results now, it says I ran a 20:59. Probably true because I remember enjoying myself and taking my time during my first tri. At this point, I think everyone else had already finished, so my only time constraint was finishing with enough time to drive back and be at work when it opened. 

I remember being greeted at the finish line and everyone cheering, and I still have my finisher medal. Total time 01:19:28. Not bad for a true Rookie! 

Overall First Triathlon Experience

Tina crossing the Rookie Tri finish lineOver the years, I have convinced untold amounts of people to sign up for their first triathlon because I honestly believe that it is good for people. It is such a unique experience, and above all else, it is fun. The triathlon community is so supportive, and I am lucky to call so many of them friends. 

I hope my story has helped inspire you to go ahead and give triathlon a try. If you see me at the next High Five Events race, stop by and say Hi!

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.

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.