Adjusting your bike to the perfect saddle height is crucial in order to maximize comfort and payoff during your training rides for Kerrville Tri. Incorrect height leads to pain and discomfort during and after your ride. It can also prevent you from improving your performance on the bike. Learn the importance of correct saddle height, and how to adjust your bike to the perfect fit with these easy steps.

What is Saddle Height?

Saddle height is measured by the distance between the center of the pedal axle and the top of the saddle, or your bike seat. This is set by adjusting the seat post to your ideal height to balance your comfort and power on the bike. This height is arguably the single most important adjustment on your bicycle. Incorrect height can contribute to discomfort in the saddle, anterior and posterior knee pains, and ultimately limit how much power you produce.

How To Adjust Your Saddle Height

There are many ways you can approach finding your perfect saddle height. One of the best approaches is to establish it based on the rider’s individual ride characteristics and flexibility. You can follow the “heel to pedal method” before your next ride. This will get you in the ballpark.

  1. Stand next to your bike and raise the saddle to your hip to get an idea of where to start.
  2. Get on your bike, and place your heel on the pedal to determine if you will raise or lower your saddle.
    • If you are having trouble making contact with your heel to your pedal – the seat is too high.
    • If your knee is bent – it is too low.
  3. Put your bike on the trainer and adjust accordingly.
  4. Get back on your bike with your heel on the pedal and pedal backward to reach the six o’clock position.
  5. Your leg should be completely straight, without being overextended to achieve the correct saddle height.

Pro tip: Make very small adjustments during this process, then repeat until you have found the perfect height.

Ready to Ride

Once you find the proper height, use a piece of electrical tape around at the base of the post where it meets the seat clamp as a marker. Take a tape measure and record the measurements, in case you need to make very slight adjustments in the future.

Have a professional look at your bike every few years to achieve maximum comfort. After adjusting your bike to the perfect saddle height, make the first few rides short. Give it time!  Your body may need a few sessions to adapt to your new height before you feel yourself improving on your cycling journey. How often do you check your saddle height? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

When it comes to choosing bike pedals, you need to consider the best option to meet your needs depending on the kind of riding you’ll be doing. It’s all about personal preference and what you feel most comfortable with. If you’re in the market for some new pedals, keep reading to understand the different types of bike pedals to figure out which ones are right for you.

Types of Pedals:

There are two basic types of bike pedals: Flat and Clipless. Flat pedals are the more common of the two when it comes to triathlon because you wear regular running shoes with this type of pedal. Which is great and convenient for the bike to run transition. Clipless pedals are great for athletes who want to feel more at one with the bike. With these pedals, you’ll need to wear special cleats that clip into the specific type of pedal system that’s compatible with your cleats.

Different Benefits:

Flat Pedals

There are many benefits of flat or platform pedals. Any type of shoe you decide on will work with this type of pedal. They’re great for a quicker bike-to-run transition because, without changing shoes, you eliminate the need to spend any more time in transition.

Flat pedals also reduce any anxiety you may have about falling over during the bike leg. You can put your feet down to catch yourself, as opposed to if you were clipped into the pedals. Lastly, this is the more common and affordable option of the two kinds of pedals. Flat pedals can be found for $10 – $40.

 

Clipless Pedals

There are also many benefits of a Clipless Pedal (clipless means clipped in). Increase your speed during the bike portion by being clipped into your bike pedals. This allows you to take full advantage of your pedal stroke, which in turn allows you to ride faster once you have mastered the push and pull of it.

A smoother more efficient pedal stroke will lead to better average power output. Being clipped in can actually keep you a little safer while riding because it reduces the chance of your foot slipping off the pedal while climbing, descending, or fatigued. There are endless options when it comes to choosing clipless pedals if that is the

You can go clipless right from the start or use flat pedals until you are more comfortable in the saddle. There are benefits to each type of pedal, but the important thing is to choose what is more comfortable for you. Whatever you choose, spend time becoming familiar with your bike pedals to maximize your efficiency on race morning of Kerrvile Tri!

Learn what causes skipping chains and what you can do about it

There are two main causes for skipping chains. The most common cause is the misalignment of the rear cogs and the chain itself. The second most common cause of skipping chains is wearing on the chain, cassette, and/or the chainrings. Read below to see what causes each and how you can prevent chain skipping and extend the life of your bike.

 

There are several things that can cause the misalignment of the rear cogs and the chain.

  • Improper cable tension. When the tension is incorrect the chain does not sit in line with the corresponding cassette cog and is trying to jump to the next cog. 
  • Dirty cable. The dirt prevents the cable from moving like it needs to. 
  • Slightly bent hanger for the rear derailleur. Can affect the alignment.

 

Skipping chains will wear on the chain, cassette, and/or the chainrings. The chain is the most likely to wear out first since it is made entirely of small, moving parts. Those parts tend to wear out faster when they are dirty or ridden dry. Chains on most modern drivetrains usually last anywhere from 1500 to 2000 miles. This can change depending on your riding style and how well you maintain your bike. If you keep your drivetrain clean and you tend to spin at a slightly higher cadence then you will get more mileage out of your chain. Follow these six steps to clean your drivetrain.

 

When the chain wears, it no longer sits evenly on the cassette cogs and chainrings. As this goes on the chain will eventually start to jump since the chain wears much faster than the cassette and chainrings. If you let your chain go too long it will start to wear down the teeth of the cassette first and then the chainrings. If the chain is replaced before it is too worn the cassette and chainrings will outlast the chain many times over. You’d much rather want to replace your chain than the cassette and chainrings.

 

Pro tip: Use this bike tool to measure chain wear at home. 

 

Learn the benefits and safety tips of swimming in cold water

Swimming in cold water is an exhilarating experience. It’s a fantastic way to get fit, unwind, and strengthen both your mind and body. Swimming laps in chilly water can wake you up and make you feel alive in a way that no warm swimming pool can. For triathletes, cold, open water swimming is a vital part of training. It can provide you with more space and fewer swimmers since everyone won’t flock to the cold swimming areas. Learn why taking an icy dip can be good for you and how to accomplish it safely.

Benefits of Swimming in Cold Water

  1. Increased stress tolerance

Swimming in cold water has many benefits.

Swimming in cold water is scientifically documented to improve psychological markers of stress tolerance. The shock and adaptation you experience make your body thrive under stress in the long run, not just tolerate it. Swimming in cold water increases the adaption even more. Just like any other physical activity, it’s an excellent method to relieve stress.

  1. Improved circulation

Coldwater imposes vasoconstriction on your blood vessels, followed by a period of compensatory vasodilation. This forces your body to warm your core when you enter the cold water. It then creates a dilation when blood rushes to your extremities to warm them up again. This process of alternation between constriction and dilation dramatically improves overall circulation.

  1. Superior calorie burn

Wearing a wetsuit can help you retain body heat.

Swimming against cold waters forces your body to thermoregulate more than usual while you focus your mind and body on the difficult task of swimming. It also improves fat metabolization which makes you leaner and healthier in the long run. Swimming is considered a complete workout because you’re using every part of your body.

 

Follow These Safety Tips

  1. Start small

Gradually immerse yourself in the chilly waters to begin. You can practice at home by slowly increasing the amount of cold water in your shower. It will be difficult to control your breathing initially, but continued training can reduce the amount of time you need to adjust to the cold. When building workouts, begin with shorter distances. This allows your body to acclimate to the temperature and adjust your breathing technique. Lastly, explore these helpful tips for taking your swim from the pool to the open water.

  1. Don’t swim alone

Swimming might be a solo sport, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing it with your friends.

Find your local swimming groups and participate in group swims. Swim partners can provide valuable feedback on your swim style, your kick, and your breathing that can lead to improvements. Partner swimming also provides an extra pair of eyes in case something goes wrong. And, don’t forget about the accountability factor. Knowing your friend or group is meeting you for a workout increases the likelihood that you show up too.

  1. Wear a wetsuit

A wetsuit retains body heat and allows you to focus on the mechanical aspects of swimming first. It also helps to minimize the impact of cold water. You can then focus on your form, sighting, kicking, and breathing in the water. You could eventually graduate to wearing wetsuit shorts.

 

What You Need to Get Started

  • gym bag to carry all your gear
  • towel
  • wetsuit
  • swim goggles
  • extra clothes for after your swim

Swimming in cold water is possibly one of the most challenging feats a triathlete can face. It can be intimidating and difficult, but engaging in a gradually increasing training regimen with small increments can work wonders. Stay safe with our advice and practice often. Eventually swimming in cold water won’t even bother you.

Learn what a bento box is and how you’ll enjoy longer bike rides with it

Cyclists need proper nutrition, especially on longer rides. A bento box is a lightweight and effective way to carry more nutrition for your long bike rides. Carrying a gel or a waffle in a jersey pocket is a good option for short to medium distances. But when you’re increasing your mileage, lack of nutrition can lead to fatigue. During longer training rides you want to carry enough fuel with you without affecting your balance. Before you begin any long rides, make sure your bike has had a proper tune-up.

Bento boxes have a minimalist design, won’t flap around in the wind, and aren’t too clunky. They’re also available in a variety of sizes. Some bikes have fittings designed to install bento boxes. However, most of them are affixed with Velcro straps to your bike frame. The ideal bento box should be small enough to not slow you down or impact your form. But you also want them to be large enough to carry everything you need. Are you ready to add a bento box to your bike? Check out three of our favorites below.

Zone3 Aero Top Tube

The shape of this Zone3 Top Tube allows you to carry what you need without overloading your bike. This bento box can be fitted to the top tube of your bike around the stem. It has loop straps and four hooks. It neatly fits the frame of your bike. You’ll have easy access to everything you need during your ride. This box can also store your phone, keys, or credit card. It’s manufactured from a waterproof material with a large waterproof zipper.

Apidura Top Tube Pack

Apidura is known for its ultralight equipment, like its Top Tube Pack. This box is made from tear-resistant, lightweight, and waterproof Hexalon material. This tough, durable pack is lightweight, weighing only 107 grams. It has dual mounting positions to suit different bikes. The flip-top lid has a magnetic closure making opening and closing very easy. In case your bike does not have top tube mounting points, Apidura provides Velcro straps to strap the pack to the top tube.

Oveja Negra Snack Pack XL

This bento box comes in lots of designs and colors. The Snack Pack remains stable in any road condition due to its wide Velcro top-tube strap. This bag has a large interior and a zipper which can be easily grasped even with gloved hands. The Bolt-On Snack Pack is available in different sizes and bolt-on styles. It weighs 3.6 ounces and is made in the USA.

As you gear up with your training for the Kerrville Tri, we wanted to share some fun but challenging swim workouts to try on your next training day.

Still working up to 600 meters? Cut the work out in half for a fun but challenging 300m swim workout.

Looking for a long workout? Mix and combine or do them all at once!

Swim Workout #1

2 x 50 meter slow warm up

2 x 50 meter with fins. No rest

2 x 50 pull buoy. 45 second rest

8 x 25 increasing pace every 25. No rest

2 x 50 cool down

Swim Workout #2

1 x 50 meter slow warm up

1 x 50 kick board

3 x 50 pull buoy. 30 second rest

1 x 50 kick board

3 x 50 pull buoy. 30 second rest

2 x 50 free style

1 x 50 backstroke cool down

Swim Workout #3

2 x 50 slow warm up

2 x 50 breath right side only

2 x 50 breath left side only

4 x 50 increasing pace every 25. 15 second rest

2 x 50 cool down

Swim Workout #4

1 x 50 easy. 15 second rest

1 x 50 hard. 15 second rest

1 x 50 easy. 15 second rest

1 x 50 hard. 15 second rest

4 x 50 race pace with no rest

1 x 50 as fast as you can

3 x 50  slow down with 1 min 30 sec rest

Swim Workout #5

2 x 50 slow lap with 1 minute rest

3 x 50 with kickboard and fins

1 x 50 freestyle easy

1 x 50 freestyle hard

3 x 50 with kickboard and fins

2 x 50 slow lap with 1 minute rest

Swim Workout #6

2 x 50 slow lap with 1 minute rest

4 x 50 freestyle with 30 second rest

4x 50 pull buoy with 45 second rest

2 x 50 slow swim laps

“Comfort zones: If you live in one too long, that becomes your norm. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” — David Goggins

If you’ve ever completed a triathlon, you already know what it means to break through your comfort zone. Not everyone can, or will accomplish that in their lifetimes. But when it comes to the off-season, it’s easy to fall into your couch and let the weeks fly by. This article will show you how making new goals during winter training can actually transform you.

 

Where Are You Headed?

So you’ve done a triathlon or more. You’re no stranger to discipline. You know what it means to endure long hours of training just to arrive at that final cathartic moment when you blaze past the finish line.

And now it’s off-season. Winter’s here. You can feel it in your bones. Your calendar’s filled with parties and other fun activities instead of training.

This is when the days grow shorter, and the ground becomes colder. None of these are ideal circumstances for training outdoors. So why not relax and let loose?

Here’s the thing.

You don’t suddenly transform into who you’re supposed to be on race day. You get there — slowly — by sculpting your body day-after-day, inch-by-inch. 

Everything you do before race day is what makes you who you are. In this sense, it’s arguably more important that you participate in winter training than at any other time. 

All else remaining equal, the athlete who doesn’t let themselves go during the off-season has a competitive edge over everyone else who does. 

And just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t train. While it’s not the most ideal time for breaking your past records, it is the best time to focus on maintenance, covering up weaknesses, and becoming injury-proof.

 

Enter The Half Marathon

Whatever goals you might have for the future, it’s a good idea to do half the distance of next season’s race in preparation. You don’t need to exceed a half-marathon.

Stay active, but reduce the length of all your training sessions. This is because you want to focus on recovery, overcoming injuries, and keeping your mind sharp. 

As long as you stick with a consistent regimen, you can always add or subtract volume later. But if you completely ignore winter training then it’ll take a long time for your body to return to its peak condition. You need to keep the engine running so you can jump into action whenever you need to.

Even if you can’t go outside, you can swim, bike, and run on a treadmill indoors. You can fix up imbalances, weaknesses, or take up yoga and strength training to explore new ground.

One of the best ways to experience a half-marathon is through the 3M Half marathon that’s held in Austin, Texas on January 23, 2022. This event features a course that’s 13.1 miles (21.08 km) long. It ends with a post-race party that’s filled with plenty of food trucks serving some of the best tacos and BBQ you’ll ever have. Make sure to sign up before race day to remain eligible.

Or, if you wait a little longer, you can enter the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K on February 20th. This course passes through some of the most iconic landmarks in Austin, and is close to some amazing hotels, restaurants, and shops that you can enjoy with your whole family.

Don’t think. Sign up now. Imagine crossing the finish line to a roaring crowd all over again. You’ll only ever regret the things you don’t do and never the things you’ve done.

 

More than 1800 triathletes, the largest field in event history, registered for The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas

Nearly 5000 triathletes and their friends and family traveled to Kerrville, Texas, for the 10th annual Kerrville Triathlon Festival. More than 1800 triathletes from 20 states, the largest field in event history, registered for the Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas. Participants gave their all during a picture-perfect weekend on a course highlighted by swimming in Nimitz Lake, cycling through the Texas Hill Country, and running along the Guadalupe River.

Stunning view of Nimitz Lake during the swim. Credit: Scott Flathouse

After crossing the finish line, participants were treated to fajitas and cold beer from Pint and Plow, snacks. May took advantage of an opportunity to recover in the refreshing waters of the Guadalupe River. Kerrville Tri also launched best pricing for 2022, which ends on Monday, October 4th.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience at my first quarter-distance triathlon,” said Kellie Dewveall, who became the first blind triathlete to complete the Quarter distance (4:17:47). “High Five Events was super accommodating which allowed me to feel more comfortable. And the participants and spectators overwhelmed me with their never-ending support!” 

Something for everyone

Kerrville Tri offered distances and events for triathletes of all levels and abilities. The Rookie Sprint distance, aquabike, relay, and kids fun run took place on Saturday, September 25th. Quarter distance, quarter aquabike, half distance, half aquabike, and half relay took place on Sunday, September 26th. Participants picked up their packet at the Kerrville Triathlon Expo, which was free and open to the public. It took place on September 24-25 at the host hotel, Inn of the Hills Hotel. The national anthem was sung by Master Sergeant Brandon Addison on both days, including before he competed in the Rookie Sprint. Before each distance began, members of the Austin Tri Club led the pre-race warm-up, pumping up participants before their swim.

Cyclists cruise through the Texas Hill Country. Credit: Scott Flathouse

“This was my first Kerrville Tri and it was so well put together and by far the most seamless race I’ve ever done,” said Karina Wilson, who traveled from College Station and placed 2nd in the female 25-29 age group in the Rookie Sprint on Saturday (1:15:12) and volunteered with her fiance on Sunday. “We made a weekend out of this and really enjoyed the city of Kerrville. I love that Kerrville Tri offers different distances and events to make it inclusive for triathletes of all levels!”

Unforgettable race weekend

Ben Rawson (56:03), of Austin, Texas, won Saturday’s Rookie Sprint while Fernanda Bau (58:50), of Pflugerville, Texas, won the female division. Sunday’s winners and their times follow: Quarter – female winner, Allison Koch (2:24:28), male winner, Adrian Cameron (2:07:57); Half – female winner, Brandi Swicegood (4:54:29), male winner, Alex Sharp (4:28:12). Results for Saturday and Sunday are available. 

“This was such an amazing day to enjoy this beautiful course aptly named The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas,” said Swicegood, who’s coached by former professional triathlete Paul “Barny” Matthews under Julie Dibens Coaching. “The event was so well-organized with amazing views of the Texas Hill Country and spectator support seemingly everywhere!”

Swicegood (right) poses after becoming the female Half distance champ. Credit: Scott Flathouse

Participants received limited-edition 10th-anniversary swim floats, tri-blend shirts, reusable water bottles, belt buckle finisher medals, personalized race bibs, and Zone 3 silicone swim caps. A post-race meal of HEB fajitas, prepared by Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg’s employees, awaited participants at the finish line festival. They’ll also get a free, personalized finish line video from FinisherPix to commemorate the 10th anniversary. Kerrville Tri is a USAT-sanctioned event. It provided professional timing and offered professional photography. A great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an energetic finish line festival made race weekend memorable for everyone. 

Big thank you

The Kerrville Triathlon would like to thank the City of Kerrville, Kerrville Fire Department, Kerrville Police Department, Kerr County Sheriff’s Department, Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau, and sponsors H-E-B, Peterson Health, Jack and Adam’s Fredericksburg, Pint and Plow Brewing Company, Grape Juice, Zone3, Peak Fitness, MO-RANCH, Hill Country Bicycle Works, Mamacita’s, and Gatorade.

Triathletes from 20 states are ready for the 10th-anniversary celebration

The Kerrville Triathlon Festival is ready to welcome the largest field in its 10-year history for triathlon’s return to the Texas Hill Country. Close to 1800 registrants from 20 states are bringing friends and families to the 10th -anniversary celebration. Kerrville Tri’s growth continues to showcase why it’s a true destination event. Race weekend features a two-day expo and eight different events, plus a free Kids Fun Run.  Kerrville Triathlon is owned and produced by High Five Events. It’s scheduled to take place on September 25-26, in Kerrville, Texas. The final price increase occurs Tuesday, September 21st, at 11:59 p.m.

Image of triathletes and their friends and family floating in the Guadalupe River at the finish line festival. Floating is back for the 10th-anniversary celebration.

You can swim, bike, run, and float at Kerrville Tri!

“Kerrville Triathlon Festival is one of our family’s favorite weekends because there are two days worth of events for triathletes of all ability levels,” said Andrea Fisher, mother of four, Austin Triathlon Club President, and Ironman World Champion qualifier. “My girls, husband, and other Austin Tri Club members are racing on Saturday and supporting me and other triathletes during Sunday’s events. I’m excited to get out on the racecourse with all of my friends and my family, it’s been too long!”

10th-anniversary perks

10 years of being The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas.

Participants receive limited-edition 10th-anniversary swim floats, tri-blend shirts, reusable water bottles, belt buckle finisher medals, personalized race bibs, Zone 3 silicone swim caps, and a post-race meal. Kerrville Tri will also provide a free, personalized finish line video for all participants as part of its 10th anniversary. This video, valued at $19, was added to a list of perks already in place for the event. The popular destination triathlon is known for its scenic views and fun atmosphere. 

“Kerrville Triathlon’s 10th anniversary is going to be special and we’re ready to celebrate with triathletes, family, and friends from 20 states,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “The event’s increased growth and popularity further highlight that it’s one of the top destination triathlons in the country.”

Something for everyone

The free Kids Fun Run takes place on Saturday after the sprint distance.

Kerrville Tri offers distances and events for triathletes of all levels and abilities. The Rookie Sprint distance, aquabike, relay, and kids fun run take place on Saturday, September 25th. Quarter distance, quarter aquabike, half distance, half aquabike, and half relay will all happen on Sunday, September 26th. Participants can pick up their packet at the Kerrville Triathlon Expo, which is free and open to the public. It’ll take place on September 24-25 at Inn of the Hills Hotel.

Kerrville Tri is known as The Most Scenic Triathlon in Texas. It features a swim course in Nimitz Lake, bike course showcasing downtown Kerrville and the surrounding countryside, and run course along the Guadalupe River. Participants can also float in the Guadalupe river in their 10th-anniversary floats as part of the post-race festival. Kerrville Tri is a USAT-sanctioned event, provides professional timing, and offers professional photography. A great volunteer crew, hundreds of supportive spectators, and an energetic finish line festival make race weekend memorable for everyone involved.

Save time during your race with these transition tips

Transition is where all of your gear is set up for switching between sports. This can be a really chaotic place, but an organized transition area can save you time and help you achieve your goals. There are two transition areas (T1 and T2) at Kerrville Triathlon. There are also different gear bags for T1 and T2. This gear bag guide will help you get everything you need in the right spot!  Review the weekend schedule to ensure you know when transition opens and closes for your race. Shoutout to Michelle Bonathan, Kerrville Tri Ambassador, for putting together these transition tips.

Setting up T1 for cycling

Properly set up T1 to save time and crush the bike ride! Credit Michelle Bonathan

This is where you will drop off your swim gear after the swim and get ready to bike. Your cycling essentials are your bike (packed with the water/nutrition), shoes, and helmet. Laying a small, bright-colored towel down can make it easier to spot your setup in transition after the swim. On the towel, have an area to stand on to dry/wipe your feet. Place your helmet and shoes close by and make sure they’re ready to slip on. Arrive early for bike check at T1 to increase the chances you get a good spot. USAT rules are that bikes should be racked by the saddle and the front wheel goes down on the side with your stuff.

The first of your three gear bags will be the Green “Morning Clothes Bag.” Place anything you’ve worn to the race site that you will not use during your race in this bag. Drop it off at the assigned box truck at T1.

Your “Bike Gear Bag” is red. You’ll put your swim gear (goggles, swim cap, wetsuit, towel) in the bag when you get out of the water. This bag will be delivered to T2 by awesome volunteers. Thank them as you head out with your bike! 

Packing T2 for the run

These transition tips will help you achieve your Kerrville Tri goals. Credit Michelle Bonathan

Your last bag is the Blue “Run Gear Bag.” This is for all your run gear when you get to T2. This bag will hang from a designated spot corresponding to your bib number. It must be dropped off before race day! The absolute essentials for this bag are your run shoes (if you don’t ride with them) and your race bib. You might also want some nutrition, a second bottle, or a hat.

Speed tips

  • consider riding sockless, but don’t do this for the first time on race day
  • have shoes open and ready to pull on with socks open and stuffed in each shoe
  • consider getting a race belt to hold your bib and avoid safety pins (they can also hold your gels)

These transition tips will make your race weekend that much easier. Follow the weekend schedule and use the gear bag guide to make sure you’re doing everything correctly. Now you just need to be at the start line and swim! All your gear will be waiting for you when you need it once you properly set up your transition area on race day.