Follow our advice to get better at hydrating while cycling

If you’re new to cycling, one of the challenges to get accustomed to is knowing how to drink water while peddling. Just as there is skill needed to balance, ride curves, and pump uphills, technique is needed to hydrate without losing your balance and falling off your bike. Here are some tips for hydrating while cycling.

Use a squirt-top bottle instead of a cap bottle

A water bottle with a cap requires you to twist it open, which is cumbersome to do with one hand on a bike. When it comes to squirt-top bottles, you can simply use your teeth to open the valve and start drinking with one hand as you control your bike with the other. The convenience a squirt-top bottle offers during cycling allows you to focus on the course more and avoid any accident.

Make use of the bottle cage on your bike

To carry water on the road, you can use a bottle cage on your bike. The bottle cage can be installed between the bars, on the frame, or near the saddle to help you reach your drink with zero fuss. Here are the pros and cons of each bottle cage.

Aero Bottle Cage

This type of cage is designed so that it can be attached to multiple parts of the bike frame. Most other cages can only be mounted to the frame.

Pros
– easiest to access
– option to install it either vertical or horizontal
– using horizontal bottles at the front can decrease aerodynamic drag

Cons
– poor aerodynamics compared to other cages
– using vertical bottles can cause even higher aerodynamic drag.

Bike Frame Cage

These are very common bottle holders that can be placed on the frame, seat post, or handlebars.

Pros
– slim aero bottles on the down tube are less affected by drag and side wind.

Cons
– intermediate aerodynamic drag
– large frame-mounted bottles are expensive and difficult to clean.

Rear Hydration System

This is an aerodynamic bottle that is mounted behind the seat post. These are more so used by competitive triathletes partaking in very long distances.

Pros
– best choice in terms of aerodynamics
– least affected by side wind

Cons
– requires a cage with a strong grip to prevent bottle-launching
– must be made of a favorable material to oppose side sway

Take advantage of the straight-aways

Think about when the ideal time to take a sip is and be ready to do so. Trying to pull the water bottle out on curves is much more challenging, so wait until the trail is flat and straight to get your drink.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Ride up and down your street over and over and practice. Pull your water bottle out of the cage, take a sip, then put it back while moving forward. Start off slow and pick up speed as you get more comfortable.

Pro Tip: Avoid quenching your thirst in one go

Kerrville TriathlonExerting your body through exercise causes dehydration which makes you thirsty. Despite your desire to rapidly quench your thirst it’s important to not drink too much. It can be counterproductive and negatively affect your performance. It is best to avoid drinking mouthfuls and only take a few sips occasionally. You can hydrate yourself effectively without running the risk of drinking too much.

To make sure you do not run yourself dry, you should consume around 600-900 ml of water, per hour, during a triathlon, in addition to other nutritional needs. Although triathlons will have water available in transition and on the run course, not all triathlons provide an aid station on the bike course. Make sure the water bottle(s) on your bike are full so you don’t run out of water.

Hydrating while cycling can be tricky if you’re not used to it. With a secure bottle cage and lots of practice, you’ll be able to master this skill in no time.

Wetsuits can be a big boost to your triathlon swim if the conditions are right.

Triathletes normally wear a tri suit during a triathlon. A tri suit is made of a thin athletic material and can come in one or two-piece options. Sometimes because of colder water temperatures, a tri suit is not enough and triathletes will opt to add a wetsuit to wear during the swim. Wearing a wetsuit has many advantages and a few disadvantages.

At Kerrville Triathlon the water temperature is usually wetsuit legal, under 78 degrees. But, depending on the summer and when the first cold front hits, it has been known to be warmer. See the USA Triathlon rules on water temperature below to know wetsuit recommendations based on water temperature. 

Types of wetsuits

WOMEN'S MAVERICK COMP II SLEEVELESS WETSUIT

ROKA Women’s Maverick Wetsuit

A wetsuit is a neoprene insulation suit made for warmth and buoyancy during the swim portion of a triathlon. Triathlon wetsuits are different from other water sports’ wetsuits and are regulated by governing bodies like USAT. Wetsuits for a triathlon cannot be more the 5mm thick. 

The two most common types of wetsuits are sleeved and sleeveless. Full sleeved wetsuits are better for the coldest water temperatures and are the most efficient. Sleeveless is great for cooler water temperatures but let in water which can cause drag. Short “jammer” wetsuits have gained in popularity for short distance triathlons since they are easiest to put on and take off. 

In terms of cost, sleeveless is usually less expensive. Less expensive wetsuits will also typically have uniform neoprene while the materials in high-end suits will vary across the body and incorporate more technology into the fabric. 

Remember, you want your wetsuit to fit snug to your body, but not restrict breathing or inhibit arm movement. If you end up going with a sleeved wetsuit be sure to follow these tips for putting it on

Why Wear a Wetsuit?

Help Swim Ability

Wetsuits provide buoyancy. This can come in handy for any open water swim “panic” as the wetsuit will give you extra lift and make it easier to float while you bring your heart rate down and your focus back to swimming.

“Free” Speed

Wearing a wetsuit is one of the easiest ways to get faster swim times. The buoyancy of the suit allows the wearer to swim faster and reduces the effort the swimmer has to put in. The better the swimmer the less advantage the wetsuit may show. A swimmer can expect to save anywhere from a few seconds to tens of seconds per 100 meters. Usually, the longer the distance the more the savings is noticeable. With less exertion in the water, you will feel less of an energy drain as you are heading up to T1.

Warmth

The wetsuit can provide warmth to the swimmer in the cold water. If you are sensitive to the cold the coverage of the wetsuit can be great at making you more comfortable in the water. Wetsuits are highly advised for water temps between 50 to 65 degrees. 

Why Not Wear a Wetsuit?

Tyr-Freak-of-Nature-wetsuit-example-of-expensive-wetsuit

TYR Freak of Nature is one of the most expensive wetsuits on the market, retailing for over $1,100.

Cost

Wetsuits can be a big investment costing anywhere from just over $100 to almost $1000. You can check with local stores to see if they rent suits or try and find second-hand wetsuits through Facebook groups. It is also important that you take proper care of the wetsuit as the neoprene can degrade over time.

Constricting

Wetsuits should fit snug without restricting breathing. That said, some people still find them to cause a claustrophobic feeling especially once they start warming up from swimming. Practicing in a wetsuit is important so you can see how your body reacts. If you panic or feel uncomfortable in a full sleeve, you might try a sleeveless wetsuit or wetsuit jammers. 

Added Time For Taking Off

While they may save you time while swimming, you still have to get out of the wetsuit. This can add minutes to your transition time.

So, to sum it up, for a short swim of a super sprint or sprint triathlon, the time savings of wearing a wetsuit can be negligible. It is really a toss-up to how you feel on race morning and what you have trained for. Pack it in your bag and if it comes time to leave transition and you don’t want to wear it, simply leave it by your bike. For longer distances like an Olympic or Half Distance, a wetsuit will have clear time-saving benefits that outweigh the extra time of removing the suit. 

What else should you wear on race day? Check here

A Quick Overview of the Rules and Water Temps

infographic of when wetsuits are legal based on water temp for usat triathlon

Under 50 degrees: Not suitable for open water swimming, even with a wetsuit

50 to 65 degrees: Suitable for open water swim, but a wetsuit is highly advised

65 – 78 degrees: Suitable for swimming with or without a wetsuit. Sleeveless suits are popular at this temp.

78 – 84 degrees: Race directors use their judgment to allow or not allow wetsuits at this range. Usually not eligible for awards at this temperature.

Over 84 degrees: Wetsuits not allowed

 

What are the different triathlon distances? We cover the basics to help you choose the right one for you

A triathlon is a sports event that rewards your grit, stamina, and endurance. It is a comprehensive competition which includes swimming, cycling, and running. A triathlon is obviously challenging, but you can do well with proper training and a positive mentality.

When you hear triathlon, you might think of mass swims and endurance professionals racing in a full distance triathlon – Ironman – which involves a 2.4 mile swim and 112-mile bike ride before culminating in a 26.2 marathon run. It is a common misconception that is all triathlons can be.

In fact, there are many different triathlon distances, with most of them being very beginner-friendly.

An important factor that determines its difficulty is the distance to be covered. Knowing the distance implications of various triathlons helps you choose the right one for yourself and prepare for it accordingly. Let us look at different triathlon distances.

Super sprint

Super sprint triathlon is a shorter distance sprint triathlon. This distance event usually covers a total distance usually of about 8 miles (3 km). It is perfect for those who want a taste of what triathlon is all about.  The distance breakup can vary greatly in this distance but is usually is 300 to 500 m of swimming, 10 km (6.2 miles) of cycling, and 2-3 miles of running. Despite being considered a beginner’s triathlon because of the short distance, it can be just as tough for veterans that want to see their max speed. 

Sprint

For beginners who have some previous experience and want to take it up a notch, a sprint triathlon is a logical progression after a super sprint. This is one of the most popular distances for triathlons. This distance can vary greatly as well. So be sure to check the specifics when researching triathlons in your area. A sprint triathlon is usually about a total of 15-25 miles. An example of a sprint triathlon distance is a 500m Swim, 14.5 mile Bike, 5 Km Run.

Taking part in a sprint triathlon is a great way to check how your training is going when you are training for a longer distance. Participating in a sprint 6-4 months before an Olympic or Half Distance is a great way to practice and test your race tactics.

Standard/International/Quarter/ Olympic

The name gives away the increased difficulty that comes with this triathlon. This event distance took on the name Olympic after triathlon joined the Olympic Games in 2000. With an overall distance of around 32 miles (51.5 km), this triathlon requires you to exhibit a higher endurance level. It comprises 1500 m (0.9 mile) of swimming, 40 km (24.8 miles) of cycling, followed by 10 km (6.2 miles) of running. 

Training for an Olympic takes significantly more time and planning. There are usually race cut off times at these events, meaning knowing your pace is very important.

Half Distance/ 70.3

Half distance triathlons have become increasingly popular over the years. This 70.3 mile-long strenuous physical course involves covering 1930 m (1.2 miles) in water, 90 km (56 miles) on the bike, and 21 km (13.1 miles) on foot.

Racing a half distance is very obtainable with a structured training program. Half distances can take up to 8.5 hours to complete. Athletes racing in these longer distance events should also pay attention to on-course support and have a nutrition plan. A 70.3 distance is great for athletes that want to focus on endurance over speed. Just like with moving up from a sprint to Olympic, racing a half distance as part of your full distance training is a great idea.

Full Distance

If half distance is not enough for you, you can double the distance by participating in a full distance triathlon. This is commonly associated with the Ironman brand but there are tons of awesome events that offer a full distance triathlon. Covering 140.6 miles (a little over 226 km), a full iron triathlon is extremely tough, even for veterans. It requires you to swim for 3900 m (2.4 miles), cycle for 180 km (112 miles), and run for 42.2 km (26.2 miles).

Athletes racing the 140.6 distance should invest in more specialized equipment like a triathlon bike and potentially a wetsuit. The training regimen for a full distance is much longer and requires a dedicated schedule.

Ultra

From double triathlon to decuple triathlon, every version that exceeds full distance triathlon falls in the ultra category. These triathlons can stretch over a number of days. The most-demanding forms of triathlon fall in this group.

These distances can be seen as milestones for you to reach over your triathlon career. Choosing the most suitable distance, as per your ability and experience, can prove crucial to how you perform in the competition. Make sure to pick a distance that doesn’t push you too much and that you can enjoy it.

Infographic showing the different triathlon distance that are explained within the blog

Nutrition Guide for Every Tri Distance

Besides the difference of length, short and long-distance triathlons are also different in the impact they have on athletes’ nutritional needs. Learning how to fuel appropriately can make a massive difference in the experience you will have during your training journey and on race day. Keep reading our nutrition guide with tips for every triathlon distance you can use while you train and compete for your next triathlon. With nutrition, it is super important to not try anything new on race day since you don’t know how your body will react to it.

Sprint and Quarter

These are shorter distances where, in many cases, athletes can race without having to consume additional fueling, besides water.

Carbohydrates are Your Friend

ROCTANE Energy Gels.GU Energy

GU is our go-to when it comes to energy gels

However, if you are consuming calories during these events where you are performing at a higher intensity, it is helpful if those calories come from carbohydrates, as they will be easier for your body to utilize. Recommendations range between 30 to 45 grams of simple carbohydrates per each hour you are racing. Here is where gels, chews, and sports drinks come in handy. For example, energy gels usually have about 23g of carbohydrates, while chews contain around 25g per 6 pieces. With sports drinks, it is essential to choose drinks that are not low in sugar, to get over 20g of carbohydrates per 12 oz. These recommendations also apply during high-intensity training sessions.

Pre-Race Nutrition

Another factor to take into consideration is what you eat before the race. With this, there is no single formula or a recommendation that fits everyone. It’s best to find what works for you. A general rule to follow is to eat things that are easy to digest, such as plain waffles or toast. We recommend avoiding more complex foods like oatmeal, as they might be harder for your body to process. However, what matters is that you are eating something that makes you feel good.

Half Distance

The half distance is an event where you will undoubtedly be consuming additional fuel. Longer distances focus more on endurance rather than speed, so your nutritional needs are going to be different.

Nutrition During the Race

Some people have no problem consuming only gels or chews during longer events. But it’s common for athletes racing for longer periods to eat more complex foods. While you should still aim for 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour, it’s beneficial to get those from other sources besides just simple sugars. Things like granola bars can be very helpful for providing sustained energy without the sugar rush. They allow a steady utilization of fuel since they contain a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. This can also help reduce stomach discomfort.

It is crucial to pay attention to your electrolyte intake. Especially when racing in the heat, because high amounts of electrolytes are lost with of sweat. Consuming electrolyte drinks, such as Nuun, is the easiest way to prevent dehydration.

Training Nutrition Plan

Your Nutrition Guide for Every Triathlon Distance

The main nutritional difference between short and long-distance triathlon training is the number of calories needed per day. Regardless of what you’re training for, it is essential for you to focus on recovery. Especially if you are used to having multiple workouts within a 24-hour time frame. Make sure to have meals of snacks that contain carbohydrates and protein after your workouts. This will ensure that your body can replenish the nutrients lost during training. Examples for recovery meals can be as simple as chocolate milk, a PB&J or a turkey sandwich or some cheese and crackers. Fruit with your favorite nut butter is also a good alternative. This will help you recover better for your next training session, and help you avoid burnout or injuries in the long-term.

With the help of this triathlon nutrition guide, you’ll be ready to rock whatever distance you choose to complete on the Kerrville Tri course.

2020 Kerrville Triathlon Festival canceled

Thank you for registering for the 2020 Kerrville Triathlon Festival. We have an update concerning this year’s event scheduled for September 26-27, 2020. Unfortunately, we have been forced to cancel the 2020 Kerrville Tri as a result of mandates by local/state governments and the recommended CDC guidelines. And, unfortunately, postponement is not a viable option based on permitting and venue availability.

We know that this news may be disappointing to you. We also understand the hours you have dedicated to training for this race. Please know that this cancellation was made with the safety of the entire community in mind. All registered participants have the option to transfer to another triathlon in the series at no additional cost or request a full refund. Every participant should receive an email with details on how to complete this process. Please fill it out no later than Friday, August 7th. Please allow at least 60 days to process your refunds or transfer requests.

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

Complete your transfer/refund

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 Kerrville Triathlon, all registered participants can transfer to one of our 2021 triathlons at no cost or request a full refund. A form must be submitted for each registration on your account.

Events that are open to transfer include:

Participants who wish to upgrade distances at the 2021 CapTex Tri or 2021 Kerrville Tri will need to pay the difference in registration for that distance. That request can only be filled after the transfer to the original distance is complete. All participants who do not wish to transfer your registration to next year’s event may request a full refund.

Every participant should receive an email with details on how to complete this process. If you didn’t please check your spam folder. If you still can’t find it, email info@kerrvilletriathlon.com and we are happy to resend you the link. Please fill out the form and submit by Friday, August 7th. If no action is taken by the deadline you will automatically be transferred to next year’s Kerrville Tri at no cost.

Please keep in mind, all merchandise & USAT Membership purchases will be refunded for the event, regardless of transfer or refund request. Please allow at least 60 days to process your refunds or transfer requests. We appreciate your patience.

Run Austin Virtual Series

Don’t let your training stop just because Kerrville Tri isn’t happening! Stay motivated with the Run Austin Virtual Run Series! The 6 virtual runs will be introduced at the beginning of each month, have a unique distance, and Austin, Texas-theme.

Participants receive:

  • Personalized, themed bib that can be printed at home
  • Digital finisher medal
  • Online results
  • Downloadable finisher certificate

Register for each event individually or get the entire series, over $100 value, for FREE with registration for the 2021 3M Half Marathon or the 2021 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K!

 

Sighting Tips for Open Water Swimming

Swimming in the correct direction during open water can be a challenge for most athletes. This is why learning the proper technique for sighting in open water is crucial during training. Here are a few tips for sighting that can help when you line up for your next event.

Plan Ahead

Look for buoys or landmarks to help you sight while on the swim course

Print out the swim course map and go to the swim start to look for landmarks to use while sighting. Ideally, you want to survey the area at the same time when the swim will occur. This will give you an idea of where the sun is hitting the swim course and if the glare will be an issue. 

Look for landmarks in the distance that are distinctive and easy to spot. Things like buildings, peaks of trees, or dips in the tree lines are great for spotting. Buoys can be hard to spot during the swim, and especially if you are slightly turned in the wrong direction, the significant landmarks provide an excellent alternative for sighting.

Come Up With a Game Plan

If the swim course runs parallel to the shores, use the shores to gauge if you are swimming in the correct direction. Look back towards the shore when you are taking a breath on your side while you are swimming. Also, use other swimmers to help you gauge if you are swimming in the correct direction. If you were swimming with a pack and suddenly found yourself swimming alone, popup and sight for landmarks or buoys to check if you are swimming in the right direction. 

Prep Your Gear

Keep your goggles clean and apply your favorite anti-fog spray inside the goggles before the event. A good, clean pair of tri goggles will allow you to see better and further down the swim course to spot the swim buoys and landmarks.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Tips for Sighting in Open Water

Here are some tips from seasoned triathlete and High Five Events‘ Operations Manager, John Chung. “Practice swimming with your head up in the pool. Use the cool down set for practice, and establish a rhythm for when to take a stroke for sighting. I like to swim two normal stokes and a sight stroke, pull, pull, sight. To get your head elevated slightly above water, push down instead of pulling through during the catch. 

On your next open water swim practice, figure out which way you naturally curve to when you swim. For example, I tend to swim to my right, so if the buoys are on my left on a counter-clockwise swim course, I tend to swim away from the course. So for me, I need to look for buoys to my left when I sight during the swim. Sight 2 to 3 times to correct the direction in which you are swimming. First, locate the buoy or landmark you’ll use. Second, adjust your swimming direction to get back on course. Third, continue to sight as often as needed to make sure you are swimming towards the buoy or landmark.” 

Make it a point to practice sighting during the cool-down portion of your swim sessions to have this skill mastered for your next event! Happy swimming!

Everything you need to know to find the best swim goggles for triathlon

A good pair of goggles is a tri-gear essential that can make or break your swim during your big race. That’s why it’s critical to find a pair that meet your standards and needs.  Durability, strength, comfortability, and adjustability are qualities you should look for before purchasing a new pair of tri goggles. Different kinds of goggles provide better protection, benefits, and effectiveness, depending on the type of swimming you’re doing. Get ready to race you best at your upcoming tri with our recommendations of the best triathlon swim goggles.

Here’s a couple of things to keep in mind before buying your pair:

Size Matters

The most notable difference between pool goggles and tri or open water goggles is tri goggles are bigger for a broader range of vision. This feature is critical to maximize your field of vision to properly sight while swimming for other athletes, buoys, and the almighty swim finish line. Tri goggles often come in various sizes, so make sure you get the pair that best fits your face without compromising your sight.

Pay Attention to Tint

Style may be important, but you don’t want to compromise style for function and vice versa. Tinted goggles may appeal to you more, but if you’re doing an open water race with muggy water, heavily tinted goggles would not be in your best interest. Plus, if you’re new to open water swimming, limiting your already hindered vision may be intimidating for most swimmers.Tinted vs. Untinted Swim Goggles

Train in the Goggles You Will Race In

This is the best way to avoid any race-morning mishaps from keeping you from performing your best on race day. Adjust your goggles to the exact tightness you’re comfortable with to prevent your goggles from filling up with water or even falling off mid-race. Pro Tip: Always have a second pair of goggles once you find a pair you like. It is always good to have on race morning in case something happens to your googles on site.

UV Protection

You protect your eyes during every other portion of the tri, and the swim is no exception. Most goggles typically have this feature, but double-check and make sure you get a pair with UV protection. The sun’s rays reflect off the water and make it hard to see, that’s why goggles with UV protection will shield your eyes from any damage and keep your vision manageable on sunny training or race days.

Check Out Our Top 5 Triathlon Goggles

Roka R1 Goggles

  • Long-lasting silicone straps
  • Great anti-fog and
  • Stylish

Speedo Covert Mirrored Swim Goggles

  • Adjustable & comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Wide-angle optical lens

New Wave Fusion Swim Goggles

  • Maximum comfort with leak-resistant seal
  • Low price, customizable and precise vision
  • leak-resistant seal

Aqua Sphere Kayenne Swim Goggles

 

  • Curved lens technology for 180 Vision
  • Smoke lens
  • Soft seals for extra comfort

AqtivAqua Wide View Swim Goggles

  • 100% UV Protection
  • No-slip double strap
  • Great for indoor and outdoor swimming

You’re All Set!

Now you have all the tools you need to find the perfect pair of goggles to take you to the finish line at your upcoming tri! Didn’t see your fave goggles on this list? Want us to give them a try and add them to this list? Reach out on Facebook or  Twitter and let us hear your thoughts!

Make a pit stop anywhere, anytime during your training rides with this Gas Station Refuel Guide

You pump up the bike tires, check your saddle height, cover yourself with sunscreen, you open the cupboard trying to figure out what to bring for a mid-ride snack, but nothing looks appealing. Instead of agonizing on what to bring, why not just ride “light” and stop at a gas station to refuel. Gas stations are everywhere. It is a good place to stop, take a break, stretch your legs, use the restroom and refuel.  Here are some ideas on what to pick up from the gas station to refuel during training rides as you get ready for Kerrville Tri

Short Ride Refuel

For short rides, 1 to 2 hours, a bottle of water, or your favorite electrolyte drink are great choices to rehydrate. If you notice that you’re hungry, go for a banana, energy bar, or even candy such as Skittles. These are all great ways to get some quick calories in. They are easy to digest and allow the body to absorb the calories quickly.

Refuel Guide for Medium Rides

For medium rides, 2 to 3 hours, in addition to water and electrolytes drinks, also consider having a coke. Studies that found that caffeine can enhance exercise performance. And for your snack, consider having something high in calories and with some fat. Food with a bit of fat will keep you feeling full. Muffins, Snickers, and trail mix are some great options. Keep a good balance of carbs, protein, and fat for sustained energy.

The Long Haul Refuel

For rides longer than 3 hours, consider getting food and drink that is appetizing and you’ll actually enjoy. If you have been on the bike for hours, the last thing you probably want is another gel or chew. On those hot days, an ice-cold soda or Red Bull is a great way to refresh yourself. Maybe even consider getting an ice cream sandwich. If the gas station is serving fresh-made food, that is a great option. A fresh-made hot breakfast taco is a great mood booster when you are in the middle of a long ride and feeling tired. The goal is to get food that you want to eat and get the needed calories to finish the ride strong. 

You’re Ready to Ride!

How to Refuel at the Gas Station During Training Rides

Pro tip: Don’t forget to grab your debit card and look over these must-know rules of the road before you head out for your next ride!  Now you know exactly what to eat to keep your energy levels where they should be during your workout. Next time you’re out for a training ride and don’t shy away from stopping at the closest gas station! With this Gas Station Refuel Guide, you’ll know exactly what you need to replenish your body so you can get back on the road!

If you have a favorite, go-to snack at the gas station you grab when you’re in need of a quick refuel, share it with us! We’re always looking for new snacks and treats to try during our training rides. We’re on Facebook and Twitter and would love to hear your suggestions.

Why Creating a Relay Team is The Best Way to Tri

Just when you thought Kerrville Tri couldn’t get any more fun, now you can make it a team effort! Recruit friends, family, or co-workers and create your relay team for Kerrville Triathlon’s 10th-anniversary celebration this September 26-27! The 10th annual tri takes place in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Kerrville, Texas, with scenic views guaranteed. Relay teams can consist of two or three individuals to help you divide and conquer your upcoming tri while having a blast in the process!  Check out a few reasons why relay teams are a great way to get into triathlon and why you should create a team for this year’s Smokin’ Good Tri. 

Try something new

Maybe you know about triathlon, maybe you’re new to the scene. Perhaps you’ve cheered and supported friends at their triathlons, but you’ve never participated in one. Creating a relay team is the best way to get introduced to the sport! Everyone experiences pre-race nerves, especially if it is your first time ever completing a tri! That’s why building a relay team of two or three will help take some of the pressure off so you can focus on the fun. Split the tri three ways, or if your team has two members, one person does the swim, while the other person does the bike and the run. Depending on your individual skill levels, this can be accomplished in any combination. Train with your team, experience the highs and the lows, and get a taste of your new favorite sport.

The more the merrierThe more the merrier when you create a relay team

You can always get one friend to tri along with you, but why do that when you can triple the fun?! A three-person relay team is triple the action so, get two friends or co-workers to create your relay team.  Here are a few ways to take your team spirit to the next level during your training!

  • Create a sweet team name
  • Make custom gear to show your team spirit during training
  • Start thinking about what your team will wear on race day
  • Come up with a team motto
  • Have fun with it!

What feel is your team going for? Will your team opt for funny costumes for laughs out on the course? Or some matching outfits to show your fellow triathletes your team means business! With so many choices, your team will love this. And it’s a great way to really get you excited to keep working towards your goal.

You could use the help

Injuries happen. No matter what lengths you go to to stay safe during training, sometimes they just happen. But are you going to let that stop you from achieving your fitness goals? Not so fast! An injury that may prevent you from swimming might not stop you from cycling or running. creating a relay team for Kerrville Tri to test your boundaries during your team training sessions is a great way to stay active while continuing to strengthen your muscles! Just be sure you’re comfortable and aren’t in pain when training.  You never know, cross-training might just help speed up your recovery!

Making memories at Kerrville Tri with your relay team membersMaking memories

Create a relay team that brings your buddies back together to make some unbeatable memories. Get the old high school/college crew together. Make it a family affair and create an all-sibling team, or give the ‘rents a challenge you know they won’t be able to refuse! Take on a new challenge with your run group and create a relay team as a way to expand your fitness routine. Whatever direction you go, make this something you won’t soon forget. Participating with loved ones by your side and cheering you on, creating a relay team will make your Kerrville Tri experience unlike any other. 

Push Your Limits

Triathlon is a fun way to push your body’s limits, but we know making time to train for three sports can be difficult on top of everything else life throws your way. If you have a tight schedule and know you won’t be able to properly train for multiple disciplines, focus on one or two disciplines to push your limits! Find someone who swims like a fish in the water. Add a member who gets speeding tickets on their bike for going too fast. Pick a runner whose feet seem to never touch the ground because of their speed. Assemble this super team and hold each other accountable to keep up with training! Before you know it, you’ll be ready to show up on race day ready to set some new records or even take home 1st place!

Whatever your reason for creating a relay team, there are two things left to do: build your team to divide and conquer Kerrville Tri and register!

Avoid Bonking & Keep From Blowing Up

What is bonking? Bonking is when you run out of energy to complete your event. Like a car running out of gas 10 miles into a 20-mile trip. You have no fuel to continue. What is blowing up? Blowing up is starting way too fast or maintaining too high of a pace at different points of your event, which can lead to surpassing your lactate threshold & cramping causing you to stop or slow down. Like if you just put the pedal to the floor in your car and blow your gaskets or transmission. You still have plenty of fuel, but you broke other parts of your car. If you struggle with this, keep reading to learn how to avoid the bonk and prevent from blowing up. 

To keep it simple, here are the top tips to Avoid Bonking and Keep from Blowing Up

  1. Know Your Pace. Know what pace you are capable of holding for any period of time to avoid bonking. The idea is at the start of the event for the effort level to feel controlled and relatively easy. As you progress through the event, your effort level will increase to hold your pace. At the end of your event, the effort level will be extremely high to maintain your initial start pace. Even splits or negative splits are how you PR. 
  2. Know How to Fuel Properly. Know the calorie needs for the distance you are doing. If you are doing a short event (less than 45 minutes) you will not need anything more than water during your event. Your body will have enough energy from your previous night’s meal and your morning breakfast to get you through. Chances are on the shorter events you will be moving faster and having a bunch of food in your stomach is counterproductive to going fast.
  3. Know When to Refuel. If your event is longer than 45 minutes, this is when you need to start thinking about fueling for success. In general, depending on your height, weight, sport, and effort level, you will burn between 10 to 25 calories per minute. The goal is to time your calorie intake throughout your event so that you are just keeping the tank full enough to avoid bonking and running out of energy. Another rule is that you want to consume the calories before you need them. My rule of thumb is that I take in a few calories every 15 minutes starting at the 30-minute mark for any event over 1 hour. Remember you are balancing your intake with what was in your tank when you started. 

Things to consider per sport

  • Swimming. Swimming is not the ideal sport for taking in calories during a triathlon.  When you are completing a tri, you need to consider calorie-intake into account and be prepared to start fueling early on the bike to avoid bonking.
  • Avoid BonkingCycling. Cycling is built for fueling. You have bottle cages on your bike, the right choice in your race clothing will have pockets for holding gels and other forms of nutrition. There are also tons of other equipment you can add to your bike to pretty much carry as much as you want. One key is to use the aid stations on course so that you are not carrying too much. Why spend a ton of money on an 18-pound bike when you are going to carry 3 to 6 pounds of nutrition? Learning how to take a bottle hand up or even stop quickly at an aid station to make sure you have what you need is important and worth every second that you might think you are losing by just blowing by the aid station without refueling. Items we recommend consuming on the bike: water, fluids with calories, gels, chews, and bars.
  • Running. A good pocket in your run shorts, shirt, or a SpiBelt is perfect for holding a couple of gels for your run. A small handheld water bottle can also come in handy if you are needing a little water to wash down your gel or stay hydrated. Aid stations are also the key for runners. Knowing the frequency of the aid stations and what they will be supplied with before the event will help you come up with the proper nutrition plan on the run. Items I recommend consuming while running: water, fluids with calories, gels, and chews.

Tips To Avoid Bonking

To sum it up, what you need to do to avoid bonking is, know your body (pace),  know the event (what nutrition do they offer on course), have a plan to carry additional fuel, and then practice with different amounts and mixtures of nutrition at different paces until you have the perfect plan. This will all vary based on the type and length of your event, so be sure to use these tips during your Kerrville Tri training. After all, practice makes perfect!