Focus on the run now, reap the benefits later

The offseason is upon us. Before you focus on the run, take a few weeks to mentally and physically repair your engine. Kayaking on Town Lake, spending time with the family (who were neglected during a long triathlon season), and reading a book will allow you to recharge for the upcoming year.

Once you have had enough of family time and sitting around, it’s time to be smart and begin base training. The goal is to NOT become a “National Champion” by January. It is hard in Texas, with our beautiful winters, but some self-control will bring you to the end of the 2019 Texas Tri Series injury-free. With no tri burnout. Begin your training by laying out a goal race schedule for 2019 so you know your “plan.” It’s easier to not get lost when you have a map to guide you. Make sure to note the key races (1-2 per season) and add in a few specific training blocks around those events. From here you can begin to lay the running foundation that will help you achieve your goals!

The Running Foundation (using these 3 building blocks will guide you to a faster run split in 2019)

1) Train to your weakness, race to your strength

Recommended: Mark Verstegen’s Core Performance

Offseason is the time to evaluate any nagging pains or issues that came up during the season.  Getting back into the gym to build up your functional strength – not to build up a nice 6-pack.  The goal is to strengthen issues like a weak hamstring or stabilize a weaker core. A great book is Mark Verstegen’s Core Performance, which can help you plan out ways to gain flexibility and develop postural balance/strength. These things can give you an edge on the run. Develop a stretching routine and set a recovery protocol for workouts (smoothie, stretching, ice, massage). Commit to caring for your body so you can race faster!

2) Drill work and strides = ability to get going FAST

Yes, run drills are crucial to the run and developing the leg turnover needed to gain speed. Look at elite runners, their cadence is 90+. Commit to 1-2 days of drill work along with 6-8×100 meter strides to aid in the cadence adaptation. Run drills will also help build up leg tolerance through the jumps, skips, and bounding. This means fewer chances of injuries. (visit www.bobbymcgee.com for a great booklet on running drills)

Examples of run drills include:

         – skipping (various speeds, heights, movements)

         – one leg drill

         – karaoke

         – bounding

         – Russian soldier

         – butt kicks

         – leg swings

         – high knees

3) Sign up for a race

When focusing on the run, set a goal race, lke the

Add a goal race, like the Austin Marathon 5K, when focusing on the run during the offseason.

Instead of going for your typical track session during the week, move things around and sign up for a 5K or a 10K.  Two great options are the Austin Marathon 5K on Feb. 17th and the Cap10K on April 7th. Utilize this opportunity. This will hold you accountable to getting the quality work in and teach you to run fast. It opens your eyes to how to run and challenges you to develop your running quickly. The key is to be smart and not over race. Your friends won’t remember what you did in February! Another great opportunity is to attack the Greenbelt. Move to the softer surfaces at least once or twice a week if possible. Give your legs a break from the pavement, especially on recovery days.

Use these 3 tips to gain an edge during the run and enhance your running this offseason. Enjoy this winter’s journey!

Make post-race bike maintenance an integral part of your training plan

Most triathletes put a great deal of thought into everything leading up to a big race (equipment, training, nutrition, etc.) However, many do not know what bike maintenance should be completed after a race. With Kerrville Tri less than a month ago, you might want to make sure you haven’t neglected your bike’s care. Utilize this post-race bike maintenance advice.

In most cases, there are only a couple of things that need to be done. If they are completed as soon as you return home after the race it will keep your bike running smoothly.

  • wash your bike and make sure you get all of the gel and drink residue off the bike (if these gels and liquids sit on your bike they will cause rust and can affect the finish of your bike – if they are acidic enough)
  • follow these bike washing tips
  • lube your chain after you’ve washed your bike
  • switch back to your training wheels if you have race wheels on your bike

Once this is done, you are ready to start riding again without any mechanical issues. If you discover something abnormal or out-of-place, schedule an appointment with James Balentine of City Limit Cycles!

Don’t allow this year’s training to disappear during the offseason

Offseason to a lot of triathletes means taking time off from October to March to help re-energize for the following season. Others focus on different sports to get out of the winter elements. The rest just simply take time off.  How can you train during the offseason and keep triathlon fun on a year-round basis?

The goal should be purposeful training — focus on a few key elements with your training.  A great place to start is working on your physiology and the changes you can make over the winter months.

During #triathlon offseason, two key components to altering your physiology include increasing power-to-weight ratio and improving your cardiovascular network. Click To Tweet

Some athletes start the tri season in February in good cardio shape, but have added some extra holiday weight. Some have gone to a few too many holiday parties. They’ve ignored the fact that they are going to rev things up next season and start from square one. It is best when your body weight doesn’t fluctuate up and down. Keeping it constant is best for your cardiovascular system.

Running

Continuing to run can help maintain body weight during the offseason.

Add a half marathon to your winter calendar and continue training in the offseason.

The best way to keep the weight off is to run, but not like Forest Gump! Have a plan to continue running by entering a half marathon in the early part of next year. There are two great events coming up: 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon. The key to improving your physiology and keeping the weight off is to work on your stride rate. This means faster, possibly shorter strides during your long runs to improve the cardiovascular development in your legs. Try to pick up the stride rate without increasing your pace per mile or effort. A faster stride rate will help you develop capillaries deeper in the muscle. This will help fuel the legs better and flush lactic acid quicker. A good 3-6 weeks of this technique will help you keep the weight off until its time to work on the strength building phase of your training plan. Maximizing your power-to-weight ratio will allow you to find greater efficiencies across all three sports in triathlon.

Swimming

In addition to working on a faster stride rate in running, there are other ways to increase the cardiovascular network using the other sports.  In swimming, you can incorporate longer, aerobic sets with shorter rest intervals. A good example would be 4-6 x 800s as a workout. Of course, you may say “how boring can that be?” So working on your technique during these sets is a must. Try taking a technique clinic to make sure you learn the proper forms of efficiency swimming.  Long sets with bad technique can set you back rather than move you forward.

Cycling

Cycling in the offseason can improve your cardiovascular system.

Cycling in the offseason can improve your cardiovascular system.

With regards to your cycling, keeping a heavy emphasis on high cadence work will also aid in increasing your cardiovascular network. This may keep you in smaller gears than you are used to and maintaining your cadence at 90+ rpms for 70% of the ride time. If you don’t have a cadence meter, a good substitute is to count one leg for 15 seconds and multiply by 4 to get your rpms. During the winter months, we find ourselves riding indoors and on a trainer more often. Focusing on high cadence in these indoor sessions will give more purpose to your training. Spin classes are a good place to work on this. However, using your own bike with a trainer is best as you keep your body position constant to how you will be riding on the road.

Setting goals and having a purpose for your offseason training will help you stay motivated and focused during the winter training.  Best of all, these few tips will help you have a much more successful racing season in 2019.

In case you need it, Terra Balentine brings extra energy and enthusiasm when she volunteers

Terra Balentine is an amazing volunteer!

Terra takes volunteering to the next level!

The latest winner of the High Five Events‘ Volunteer “Nomination Contest” is Terra Balentine. Her contagious energy positively affects everyone! Terra was nominated by her fellow volunteer Nancy Edmonds. Edmonds describes Terra as a “very giving person.” Nancy, along with many others, recognizes Terra’s dedication. At the young age of 12, Terra has no problem getting up before the sun rises and traveling to races with her dad (James Balentine with City Limit Cycles). From volunteers check-in to transition and break down, Terra is always willing to help. She volunteered at every Texas Tri Series event during 2018 and has never missed a Rookie Tri in her life!

We had the chance to ask some questions to Terra so we did. Terra told us that she enjoys volunteering because she likes being at the races where she can interact with athletes and watch them succeed. The Kerrville Triathlon Festival is one of her favorite events to volunteer for because it lasts several days and takes place in the Texas Hill Country. Additionally, Terra made her debut as Buck, the Kerrville Tri mascot this year, which is one of her favorite memories while volunteering.
Terra also shared some tips for other volunteers. Her tips: drink plenty of water, reapplying sunscreen, and wear comfortable shoes. However, the most important thing for her is to HAVE FUN!

The High Five Events’ “Nomination Contest” features volunteers who go above and beyond at one of our events. These phenomenal volunteers help us produce successful, safe, and fun events for athletes, volunteers, and staff. Know an outstanding volunteer? Fill out this short form and nominate them today!

Participants crossed the Kerrville Triathlon Festival’s finish line, then celebrated at the finish line festival

More than 1000 participants flocked to Kerrville, Texas, to participate in the 8th Annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival. The most scenic triathlon in Texas featured two days of action, plus a two-day expo. Participants gave their all on a course highlighted by swimming in Nimitz Lake, cycling through the Texas Hill Country, and running along the Guadalupe River. After their accomplishments, participants were treated to fajitas, cold beer, snacks, and an opportunity to recover in the refreshing waters of the Guadalupe River.

“I really enjoyed coming back to Kerrville for this race weekend,” said Tony Aventa, who completed the Debra Zapata Sprint on Saturday. “This year was particularly fun with the run through the park. Great job to High Five Events for coordinating such a smooth race!”

From spectating to the Kids Fun Run, Kerrville Tri is perfect for the whole family

The family-friendly Kerrville Triathlon Festival took place from Friday, September 28, to Sunday, September 30. It featured eight different events, including sprint, quarter, half, aquabike, relays, and a kids fun run. The Debra Zapata Sprint distance, sprint relay, and kids fun run took place on Saturday. All other events, including the quarter and the half, took place on Sunday. Before the action began, participants, volunteers, and friends and family went to the ROKA Happy Hour. The happy hour and the expo and packet pick up were held at Inn of the Hills, the host hotel.

“Kerrville Triathlon Festival is one of my favorite races of the season,” said Karen Moser, who completed the Debra Zapata Sprint on Saturday. “The courses are amazing, the support is top-notch, and I love the family atmosphere, especially when my daughters cross the finish line with me!”

Peter Murray (1:03:16), of McGregor, Texas, won Saturday’s sprint event. Andrea Fisher (1:10:14), of Austin, Texas, won the female division. Sunday’s winners and their times follow: quarter – female winner, Haley Koop (2:23:17), male winner, Mark Saroni (2:02:52); half – female winner, Rebecca Marrou (4:54:31), male winner, Todd Gerlach (4:45:09). Results for Saturday and Sunday are available.

Kerrville Tri – the most scenic triathlon in Texas

“The Kerrville Triathlon was such a great and memorable experience for my first successful 70.3,” said Ron Ledesma. “The High Five Events’ staff and volunteers were a huge part of making it so memorable for both triathletes and spectators. The race was very well organized from the expo to the festival area, including availability of support, aid, and facilities.’

Athletes received custom-designed shirts and water bottles, ROKA swim caps, beer, belt buckle finisher’s medal, a post-race meal including fajitas tacos from H-E-B, fruit, snacks, and an opportunity to float in the Guadalupe River. Professional timing and photography, a great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival demonstrated why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas. Photos can be found on the Kerrville Triathlon Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds in addition to the website.

The Kerrville Triathlon would like to thank sponsors H-E-B, ROKA, Clif Bar, City Limit Cycles, the City of Kerrville, Kerrville Fire Department, Kerrville Police Department, Kerr County Sheriff’s Department, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peterson Health, Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg, Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor for Engel and Volkers Austin, SPIbelt, Peak Fitness, MO-RANCH, Hill Country Bicycle Works, Grape Juice, RunLab Austin, and Gatorade.

Triathletes from 15 different states prepare for Kerrville Triathlon, the most scenic triathlon in Texas

High Five Events concludes their 2018 triathlon season with the Kerrville Triathlon Festival. The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30, in Kerrville, Texas. More than 1300 athletes will participate in this beloved Hill Country event. Entering its eighth year, Kerrville Tri is rapidly becoming known for featuring the most scenic triathlon course in Texas.

Triathletes will participate on a course highlighted by swimming in Nimitz Lake, cycling through the Texas Hill Country, and running along the Guadalupe River. After crossing the finish line, participants can grab an inner tube provided by the event and float in the cool waters of the Guadalupe River. Before the action begins, participants and their friends and family are invited to the ROKA Happy Hour. This gathering will take place on Friday, Sept. 28th, from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 at the Inn of the Hills bar.

“People are buzzing about the 8th Annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival because it combines triathlon distances for everyone, the City of Kerrville’s hospitality, and the beauty of the Texas Hill Country,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “We’re just as excited as the City of Kerrville to host triathletes from 15 different states and see the continued growth of this event.”

Swim, bike, run in the Texas Hill Country

The Kerrville Triathlon Festival will feature the Debra Zapata Sprint distance, sprint relay, and free Kids Fun Run on Saturday. Quarter distance, quarter aquabike, half distance, half aquabike, and half relay will all take place on Sunday. The sprint will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. The half will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Triathletes who would like to participate but are unable to travel to Kerrville can register for the virtual Kerrville Triathlon.

Participants can pick up their packet at the Kerrville Triathlon Expo and Packet Pickup. That will take place at the host hotel, Inn of the Hills. The expo and packet pickup, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Friday, Sept. 28th, and Saturday, Sept. 29th. Registration for all distances is still open for the Kerrville Triathlon Festival. Volunteer positions are available as well.

Athletes will receive custom-designed shirts and trucker hats, water bottles, ROKA swim caps, beer, belt buckle finisher’s medal, a post-race meal including fajitas and tacos from H-E-B, fruit, snacks, and an opportunity to float in the Guadalupe River. Professional timing and photography, a great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an electric finish line festival will showcase why the Kerrville Triathlon is one of the best triathlons in Texas.

The Kerrville Triathlon would like to thank sponsors H-E-B, ROKA, Clif Bar, City Limit Cycles, the City of Kerrville, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Peterson Health, Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg, Ben Phillips, Real Estate Advisor for Engel and Volkers Austin, SPIbelt, Peak Fitness, MO-RANCH, Hill Country Bicycle Works, Grape Juice, RunLab Austin, and Gatorade.

Introducing the Official Bike Mechanic for Kerrville Tri – James Balentine, owner of City Limit Cycles

Tune-up your bike and know how to change your own flat tire before race day. If you arrive in Kerrville and something occurred to your bike during transit, James and his City Limit Cycles van will be at your service during bike check-in on Friday and Saturday. James is also turning wrenches race morning (both days) should last-minute issues arise. He’ll set up shop at the southeast corner of T1 (off Guadalupe St.) Saturday and Sunday morning.

For more than two decades, James worked as a bike mechanic at bike shops, including a decade as Head Mechanic for Jack & Adam’s Bicycles in Austin. For the past 14 years, James has traveled the world volunteering as the mechanic at Triathlon World Championships for Team USA. He has also helped Olympians for Team USA Paratriathlon in Brazil and continues to volunteer for Team USA Paratriathletes.

James likes bikes. He likes to see and hear them running perfectly because he likes to see you riding them with a smile. His service experience is built around a lifetime passion for all things cycling. He’s been a pro racer, a pro mechanic, and pro-level bike geek.

Through it all, James brings a high level of professionalism and attention to detail. He has cared for all kinds of riders from recreational to pro and literally every kind of bike on the planet! Click To Tweet
City Limit Cycles is James’ mobile bicycle repair company. Now a world-class bike mechanic comes to your door so you can focus on what you love most – more saddle time. We’re lucky to have someone of his caliber at Kerrville Tri for the entire weekend. Follow City Limit Cycles on Facebook. and follow his bike cleaning advice!

Be prepared for the inevitable, learn how to change your tubular

Changing a tubular. Get ready for fun. Seriously! Many factors can lead to the need to change your tubular. Regardless of what happens, the fact remains, you still need to learn how. Make sure you have the materials below before beginning this process. Follow the directions and you’ll be cycling again in no time.

Materials needed:

  1. tubular tire (and wheel)
  2. clear glue, Hutchinson Tubular
  3. pump
  4. patience
  5. valve extender
  6. Teflon tape (used in plumbing)

Directions:

Before you begin to change your tubular, be sure to stretch out the new tire before trying to mount it on the wheel. You can do this by stepping on the inside of the tire and pulling the rest of the tire up towards you. You’ll hear it stretch. Using the Teflon tape, wrap the top of the Presta valve (after unscrewing the top of the valve) with Teflon tape. Now screw the valve extender onto the valve stem, making sure to leave the valve open. Take the glue and leave a bead of glue around the rim about 1/4 inch thick. Insert the valve through the valve stem hole. As you pull the tire down over the wheel be sure to stretch it and the tire should slip on the wheel. Inflate the tire to about 50 or 60 lbs. so the tire takes it shape. Let the wheel dry for 24 to 48 hours before riding. BE SURE TO INFLATE TIRE TO MAXIMUM PSI, for most conditions 140 is sufficient. Failure to inflate tires before riding could result in a race day crash. No one wants that.

Getting out of your wetsuit efficiently can save you time

You exit the water and are ready to head to transition, but first your wetsuit. Getting out of your wetsuit can be tricky, especially if you panic and don’t focus on the task at hand. This will slow you down and lead to an extended stay in transition. Use the tips and steps below to ensure a smooth wetsuit removal.
 

3 Steps to Follow

1. Begin by releasing the Velcro closure on your collar. Take your opposite hand and slowly use the ripcord to pull down on the wetsuit. Imagine that you are unzipping your wetsuit in slow motion. Fast, uncontrolled jerks will add time to this process and only slow your transition.
 
2. Start to turn the wetsuit inside out. This entire process can be completed while you are exiting the water and finding your bike in transition. Your wetsuit should be rolled down and hanging off your waist by the time you reach your bike rack.
 
3. When taking off the bottom portion of the wetsuit, remember to use your arms. Do not use opposite legs when getting out of your wetsuit. Standing on the wetsuit could cause pavement, sand, or any other surface to puncture the wetsuit.
 
Learn more about taking care of your wetsuit, including how to properly put it on in our blog post entitled Getting into Your Wetsuit.

CAUTION: When getting into your wetsuit, sharp objects can penetrate the rubber of your performance wetsuit. Long fingernails and other sharp objects could make small cuts in the surface of your wetsuit if caution is not exercised. These small cuts are not covered under the manufacturer warranty and are the responsibility of the owner. When trying on a wetsuit, it is best to clip fingernails and/or to be especially aware of your nails.

Make getting into your wetsuit simple with these 9 steps

1. Step into the wetsuit with the zipper facing behind you.

Image result for putting on wetsuit

2. Pull the legs of the wetsuit about 1-2 inches above your ankle. If you are having trouble getting the wetsuit over your foot, you can put a plastic grocery bag over your foot and then pull on the wetsuit.

3. Raise the wetsuit up around your waist. Work the wetsuit towards your crotch area until all air pockets have disappeared. For an ideal fit, the wetsuit should feel snug and almost tight around the waist and legs.

4. Lift the wetsuit up around your arms or shoulders depending on the wetsuit model.

5. For a full suit (long sleeve), pull the sleeves 1-2 inches past your watch or wrist area. When pulling on the sleeves, pull on the rubber between the elbow and shoulder.

6. To maximize the range of motion and comfort in the water, it’s important to take your time fitting the arms. Point your arms to the sky and start working the wetsuit material towards your shoulder. The wetsuit fit is correct when there is no gap between the wetsuit and your armpit. Excess rubber should reside above the shoulder. Repeat for both arms.

7. Have a second person zip and secure the collar. Ask the person assisting you to be careful that the zipper does not catch in the protective back flap. Having another person secure the back mechanisms will prolong the life of the rubber and help prevent your zipper from getting stuck in the closed position.

8. The wetsuit should feel tight around your neck causing the wetsuit to move with the neck. If your neck moves freely inside of the wetsuit, readjust the collar. If you choose to use lubrication products, make sure it is a non-petroleum based lubricant.

9. A proper fitting wetsuit should feel almost uncomfortably tight out of the water. The suit will naturally expand and become more comfortable once in the water and in a proper swimming position.

Follow these steps and getting into your wetsuit will get easier over time. The advice will also help prolong the life of your wetsuit. Take care of it and it’ll take care of you! Looking for your first wetsuit or to upgrade? Check out Roka wetsuits!