Swim, Bike, Run, Represent a Reason

Represent a Reason and take your training to the next level!

People race Kerrville Triathlon for many reasons. It’s the most scenic triathlon in Texas. Most race to prove to themselves they can complete a longer distance triathlon. Others race to beat their previous time. Some participate to stay in shape. Whatever your reason, you can make your Kerrville Tri training and race day that much more meaningful when you Represent a Reason!

When you Represent a Reason you have the opportunity to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization of your choice. Fundraising becomes your defacto fourth discipline when you’re training for Kerrville Tri and racing on Saturday, Sept. 29th, or Sunday, Sept. 30th. Use your triathlon training to take your impact beyond race day! You can get your friends, family, and training groups/clubs involved too. Anyone can Represent a Reason and make a difference for their preferred charity. Start fundraising today using the steps below!

Step 1: Register for the race and create a fundraiser

  • Click “Set Up Your Fundraiser” and choose your charity – a page will be created and you’ll be ready to start fundraising.

Step 2: Share with the world

  • Your fundraising page allows friends and family to donate directly to your cause and helps you share your story.

Step 3: See your impact

  • Your personal page collects your fundraising totals together in one place – your overall impact.

Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram what charity you’ll support when you Represent a Reason!

Treat Your Body like a Racecar

Is your body like a racecar?

Maybe you should think of your body as a racecar! For long-distance racing (swimming, biking, running), nutrition is the key to success. That is assuming you appropriately trained for the race and pace yourself based on your training. The biggest thing we see is the lack of knowledge around calories and the fear of not having enough salt. Cramping, bonking, blowing up, are all things we want to avoid. What causes them?

Cramping

Caused by overuse and lack of sodium. Cramping in a short-distance event is due to overuse and not the body’s lack of sodium. Cramping in a long-distance event can be due to sodium, but it can also be due to overuse. If it is due to lack of sodium, it will not be in one isolated area, like your calf. You will feel the cramping across the entire body. Once this happens, it is nearly impossible to recover during any mid-distance event.

Bonking

Caused by running out of fuel during a long-distance event. It is almost impossible to truly bonk during a short event (less than one hour).

Blowing up

Blowing up is the most common issue that most people confuse with the other two. Blowing up is caused by going too fast. Using your muscles at a level for which you did not train them will cause them to cramp up. If you can average 20 mph at your local TT of 15 miles, this does not mean you can hold this average for the bike of a half or full Ironman.

3 basic things the body needs to perform at a long distance event

The three things your body needs to perform during a long-distance event are water, calories, and sodium. Everyone’s body processes calories, water, and sodium at different rates. It is not possible to replace everything you burn in terms of calories, but the replacement of water and sodium while you slowly dig a calorie hole is the key to success.

Your body needs calories like a racecar needs gas.

Gas is like your calories. Calories are the fuel your body needs to run.

To keep it easy, you want to think of your body like a racecar.

Your car needs three basic things to keep running: Gas, oil, and electricity.

Gas is like your calories. This is the fuel your body needs to run.  Calories can come in the form of Clif Shot Energy Gels, Clif Bars, Clif Bloks, chews, breakfast, or any other food or liquid that has calories. Watch your sports drinks as they may have calories as well.

Oil is like your water. Water lubricates your joints and allows your engine to process and burn fuel.

Electricity is like your sodium. Sodium is what your body needs to allow its muscles to fire.

You can be low in these different areas, but being empty in these areas is what causes major trouble. The purpose of this analogy is to help people better understand what is going on with your body. Checking on properly identify nutrition issues and better keep your body running like a racecar.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Wash Your Bike Like a Pro

Wash your bike and extend the life of its parts

This time of year it seems like you always need to wash your bike. Whether it is from rain or indoor trainer rides, it seems like your bike is always dirty, even a couple of days after you wash your bike. Everybody knows that when you ride in the rain your bike will get dirty, but it can get just as dirty from sweat and sports drinks when riding on a trainer.

Items needed to thoroughly degrease and wash your bike

1. Workstand or something to hold the bike off the ground (a rear car rack works well)
2. Brushes (I personally prefer the Finish Line Pro Brush Kit, but there are several different brush sets to choose from)
3. Bucket (Home Depot or Lowes both have cheap 5-gallon buckets)
4. Simple Green (standard green stuff is what we use at the shop)
5. Degreaser (every lube company makes one) Tip: don’t use anything real strong, it can damage the paint finish on your bike
6. Access to a garden hose (don’t use a pressure washer, the high pressure can push the grease out of the bearings)

Follow these steps

The first thing to do is put a little degreaser on the chain. Don’t use too much, a little goes a long way. Let it sit on the chain for a minute or two. Give the chain a light scrubbing and rinse it off with the hose. Next, make a Simple Green solution with about a 3 to 1 ratio of water to Simple Green. Take your big brush and use the solution to wash all the big parts of the bike (frame, fork, wheels, cranks, and derailleurs) Smaller brushes work better in the tight areas. I like to start at the front of the bike and go back so I don’t miss anything.

Use the garden hose to rinse off the entire bike. Don’t forget to wash the bar tape, saddle, and tires. These parts tend to get forgotten and they can get pretty gross if they stay dirty. Washing your tires also gives you a chance to inspect them for big cuts and pieces of glass that may be embedded in the rubber. You can let it dry outside or hand-dry it with a towel. After it has dried off you can then lube the chain and it will be ready to ride next time.

If you keep your bike clean it will prolong the life of every part on the bike and help to keep it working perfectly. Remember: a clean bike is a happy bike.

by: James Balentine, owner of City Limit Cycles, an Austin, Texas-based mobile bicycle repair company that comes to you. Balentine began working with bikes in 1990 when he was 12. He began racing mountain bikes in 1991 and BMX in 1992, winning 12 national championships before turning pro in 1999. He has worked with USA Triathlon as a mechanic for Team USA since 2004. Since 2013, Balentine has worked with the US Paratriathlon team and is their sole mechanic.

Bike Helmet Recommendations

What bike helmet do you wear when you ride?

In the United States, government standards ensure that every bike helmet sold will help protect you in a crash. For most riders safety alone is not enough: a good bike helmet must be comfortable, have good ventilation, and be the “least dorky looking.”

So which brand is best? The truth is that there is no best option. Each helmet company has a slightly different profile and will fit each person a little differently. The key to the decision-making process is to find what works best for you.

Remember, looks are important, but protection, comfort, and functionality should come first. White reflects heat, which every little bit can be helpful if you find yourself riding outside in Texas during the summer months. We suspect that this why the color is so popular among ours staff. That and it is classic and can be worn with any kit.

Check out what bike helmet High Five Events’ employees wear and how long they’ve been riding. 

bike helmet

William’s (the Rookie) bike helmet.

John

Riding Experience – 10 Years

Favorite Helmet – Giro Savant MIPS

Emily

Riding Experience – on and off for 4 years

Favorite Helmet – white Giro Revel MIPS

Helmet Color of Choice – White

Tina

Riding Experience – Since 2006

Favorite Helmet – Giro Foray

Helmet Color of Choice – White

Jack

Riding Experience – riding for 24 years (not counting kid bikes)

Favorite Helmet – Giro Air Attack

Helmet Color of Choice – Black

William

Riding Experience – 2 Months

Favorite Helmet – Giro Isode

Helmet Color of Choice – White

Dan

Riding Experience – Since High School no exact years listed 😛

Favorite Helmet: Giro Atmos II

Helmet Color of Choice – White

Joey

Riding Experience – Since he can remember, this might be longer than Dan but no one will confirm.

Favorite Helmet -Giro Savant MIPS

Helmet Color of Choice – Bright red/black

Stacy

Riding Experience – Since 2001

Favorite Helmet- Giro Atmos II

Helmet Color of Choice – White

 

Run Softly (And Listen When You Run)

Run softly you could take time off your run

As triathletes, it seems that the inherent beating our legs take while on training runs often leads to some of the most nagging and potentially severe injuries. That dreaded pain on the inside of a shin. The chronically inflamed IT band. A perpetually tight hamstring. The list goes on. Too many times we chalk this up as “part of the process.” What many athletes do not realize is that by applying a few subtle technique changes to running form, common injuries can be eradicated and running speed can be gained. By being quiet while you run you can achieve increased economy of movement; in other words, run softly.

run softly

Runner at the 2017 Kerrville Triathlon Festival (credit: Ed Sparks)

While on your next training run for the Kerrville Tri, leave the iPod at home and prepare to listen while you run softly. Listen to your gait. Is there a heavy sigh from the ground on every foot strike? Do you notice a shuffling sound similar to autumn foliage moving along at the pace of a breeze? If you are picking up on sounds that are more audible than not, you may need to work on your foot strike and run more softly.

When you run softly it allows your foot to strike the ground and transition from the initial contact This is often considered heel strike or a mid-foot strike, with less breaking force (ground reaction force). This means that less impact is transferred from this brief, but violent stop throughout your body. Think of a plane landing gently at an optimal angle. Now think of a plane landing that comes down a little hard and jolts the entire cabin. This is not entirely dissimilar to the jolt your body takes each time your foot lands. When coaches tell athletes to run with light feet, this is precisely what they are referring to.

On runs, occasionally think about foot strike and quick transition. As your heel comes in contact with the ground try to roll your foot forward to the mid-foot, then to the ball of your foot, and then to a strong, propulsive toe-off. Work on doing this seamlessly and without interruption. Another important key to this skill is never allowing heel strike to be forward of your knee. Your heel strike should occur directly under your knee and your knee should be directly beneath your center of gravity. Look down while in heel strike to mid-stance of your stride. At that point, you should see no more than the tips of your toes extending from beneath your knee. If you see more than just the tips, then you’re creating a greater ground reaction force and more resistance – increasing your risk for injury.

Like anything, running softly takes time to develop. Remind yourself to run softly because the impact can be huge.

Replacement Timeline for Bikes

Take care of your bike and it’ll take care of you

Triathlon season is rapidly approaching for most triathletes! If you’ve been riding all winter or are brushing the cobwebs off, take the time to learn about/be reminded of a replacement timeline for the parts on your beloved road/tri bike. Whether Kerrville Tri is the only race on your calendar or you’ll close out your tri season on the most scenic triathlon course in Texas, the below replacement recommendations will help ensure your trusted ride is ready to roll when you exit T1. Keep in mind, every triathlete’s replacement timeline is different. If you ride more frequently replace your parts sooner.

Bike care replacement timeline

Bike care is as vital as training.

Tune up: once a year or as needed
Cables replaced: replace every six months or as needed
Tires: 2500 miles
Tubes: until they flat
Chain: 10-speed: every 2000 miles; 9-speed or less: every 2500 miles
Cassette: replace every 15,000 miles (if the chain is replaced regularly)
Bottom bracket: replace when loose or rough
Brake pads: replace when worn halfway through
Bearings: replace when rough
Carbon bars and seat post: replace every 1.5-2 years.
Find yourself in need of some maintenance? Contact City Limit Cycles in Austin or Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg.

Best of luck this triathlon season. We’ll see you in Kerrville on September 29th and 30th!

 

Wetsuit Care Insructions

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Wetsuits Care Instructions

Wetsuits are as big of an investment as they are helpful in the water. By following these simple wetsuit care steps you will extend the life of your investment.

  1. Wetsuits can be used in all open water conditions. You should not use your wetsuit in a chlorinated swimming pool. Over time the chlorine will damage the seams and degrade the fabric of the suit. No matter the water, you should always rinse your suit in clean cool water after each use.
  2. To preserve the life of the wetsuit always store your wetsuit lying flat or hanging in a dry place on a thick plastic hanger. Wetsuits can be heavy so make sure the hanger is sturdy, you don’t want to find your wetsuit crumpled up at the bottom of a closet.
  3. Make sure your wetsuit is completely dry before you put it away or it will mildew and STINK! You can turn your wetsuit inside out to help it dry faster. Never leave your wetsuit out in the sun to dry.
  4. Periodically wash your wetsuit with wetsuit shampoo. This will keep the integrity of the fabric as well as keep it from becoming mildewy and stinky.
  5. Only use approved lubricates when putting on your wetsuit. Like chlorine, unapproved lubricants can degrade the fabric and will have your wetsuit falling apart at the seams. Petroleum jelly (Vasaline) or any other petroleum-based product will literally eat holes in your suit lining.
  6. If you have to travel with your wetsuit, fold as stated below. Having fold seams and a crumpled suit will lead to more likely tearing when you are putting the suit on. :Fold up legs half way up.
    1. Fold arms over in an X
    2. Fold the remaining legs over the arms and torso.
    3. Unfold when you get where you are traveling.