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Use this guide when preparing your gear bags for Kerrville Tri to make transitions a breeze on race day!

The layout of Kerrville Tri is different from other tri’s due to the two separate transition areas, located two miles apart. It’s important to come prepared with all your gear in the correct place to make your experience easy, and most importantly, fun! Upon receiving your packet, you will be given 3 bags designated for transition on race day, along with your race number stickers and stickers for your gear bags. It’s crucial that you place the designated sticker with your race number on the proper gear bag to make keeping track of your stuff easier. Be ready once you arrive at the race site, and use this step-by-step guide to handle Kerrville Tri transitions with ease.

Step 1

Setting up in T1, making sure his gear is good to go!

When you’re done checking-in and getting body-marked, place any clothes that you wore to the race site that you do not plan on wearing during the tri in your Green – “Morning Clothes Bag.” Then take your bag to drop it off at the assigned box truck located at T1.

Step 2

After you dominate the swim course, you’ll head into T1 to gear up for the bike portion. Once you change into your bike gear, put your swim gear (ex. goggles, swim cap, towel) in the Red – “Bike Gear Bag” and leave it on the rack where your bike was. We transport all gear from T1 to T2 during the race, so it will be waiting for you in T2 after the race.

how to prepare for two transition areas

Gear bag ready to go in T1

Step 3

Prepare your Blue – “Run Gear Bag” with what you plan to wear during the run. This bag should hold all the items you need to transition from the bike to the run portion. Plan ahead because this gear bag needs to be checked into T2 on the day prior to the event! Once you change into your running gear, tie the bag to the rack and head for the run course!

 

Follow these tips and have your gear bags ready to ensure you have a smooth transition on race day for Kerrville Tri! We’ll see you at the finish line!

Look your best in your Kerrville Tri race day photos with these great tips

Swim

1. Think about your form

Looking good, heading into transition at Kerrville Tri

We have professional photographers out along the racecourse to capture your best moments throughout the triathlon. Since you know photographs are being taken, attempt to tighten up your form during the swim. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how awesome a mid-swim photo of yourself can be!

2. Be ready to Smile

As you are making your way out of the water into T1, you can count on one of our amazing photographers to be there to capture the moment. Pro tip: smile BIG! We love seeing our participants having a great time moving on to the next portion of the tri, and these are often some of the coolest photos we get from Kerrville Tri!

Bike

1. Check your positioning

Giving the camera a thumbs up and a smile on the bike

Flash a quick thumbs up to the camera when you see it along the bike portion!

Bike photos are an awesome chance to get a great close-up race picture. However, no photo is worth losing control of your bike. We know everyone has their favorite riding position to be in when in the saddle. Rather than changing the position you’re comfortable with, simply give the photographer a smile or a thumbs up when you cruise past them! You’ll be very impressed at how they turn out. Keep your eyes on the road and flash the photographer a smile when you pass them by!

Run

1.Position your bib in T2

To make sure your personalized bib can be seen in your race photos, place it in the front-center of your race tri suit or shirt.  This is also important for the automated photosystems to use this to tag your photos. This way you don’t have to sift through thousands of photos to try and find yourself, FinisherPix will do it for you!

2. Stand Tall

After the swim and bike portion, we know you’ll feel tired throughout the run course. This is when we tend to let our shoulders fall forward. But, when you see the photographers up ahead, stand up a little taller! No matter how you feel on the inside, this is a sure way to make you look effortless during the run portion.

3. Lengthen your stride

Running through the Kerrville Tri run course

Look at that stride!

Elongate the appearance of your legs by lengthening your stride for a couple of steps when you see a camera! You don’t want to do this for the entire run portion of Smokin’ Good Tri, but it won’t hurt for a couple of photos when you catch a glimpse of the camera (not to mention, you’ll love how long your legs will look in these photos)

4. Relax your face and think positive

We know, easier said than done, but start practicing now when you go out for your training runs. Make your cheeks soft and say the word “Money.” Give it a try in the mirror and see for yourself. Hopefully, you’ll already be smiling from all the fun your having during the triathlon, but when you see a photographer ahead of you relax your face and enjoy yourself! We can assure you, the pictures are bound to turn out fantastic! Giving the photographer a thumbs up, about to cross the finish line!

5. Have fun!

This is by far the most important thing to remember if you want some incredible race photos. If you’re having a good time, it’ll show in the pictures. The photographers are there to capture your accomplishments, so the most important thing to remember is to have fun! You’ll be able to look back at these photos forever, so it’s important to make the most out of your experience.

Follow these steps, and get ready to look your best in all your Kerrville Tri race day photos! Pre-order your photos now with FinisherPix to get a great discounted price!

Our 2019 Kerrville Ambassadors are experts on all things Kerrville Tri! 

Who better than to ask for race advice than an experienced Kerrville triathlete? Feel free to get to know the 2019 Kerrville Tri Ambassadors to ask any and all questions you may have about the 2019 Smokin’ Good Tri! Plus, if you’re new to triathlon, seeing a familiar face on race morning will help ease some of your nerves!

Michelle Bonathan

2019 KTF Ambassador

Michelle Bonathan – Kerrville Tri Ambassador

In addition to being a triathlete I am a dog mom of two, and wife to an ultra runner. I love being a Kerrville Tri Ambassador because it gives me a platform to talk to athletes of all ages, distances, and speeds. I was not an athlete growing up and thought the idea of triathlons was ridiculous, but when I finished my first race (on a dare!) the sport immediately found a special place in my heart. The Kerrville Tri Festival is amazing because you get to see athletes out for the long haul doing the half, speedsters flying by, and the smile of a triathlete at their first finish line all at the same race. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram

Annette Kobus

2019 KTF Ambassador

Annette Kobus – Kerrville Tri Ambassador

I’ve always loved the venue and it’s always on my birthday weekend! I’ve raced the Sprint and Quarter distances and when I wasn’t racing, I volunteer every year for this race. The past couple of years I have not raced because of bone-on-bone arthritis, but this year I’m sporting total knee replacements. I’m planning to again race the Sprint (yay Annette!) and of course, I’ll volunteer on Sunday for the Half. When my knees are more stable, I really want my first Half to be at Kerrville! Connect with her on Facebook

 

Susan Oyler

2019 KTF Ambassador

Susan Oyler – Kerrville Tri Ambassador

I’m a military wife, mother, engineer and age-group triathlete. I am a natural team builder and love being part of the Kerrville Triathlon team and getting to connect with other triathletes. 2018 was the first time I participated in the Kerrville Triathlon Festival and I was HOOKED!  It is a top-notch event! This race has everything a triathlete wants in a race: a gorgeous venue and a challenging course! Connect with her on Instagram

 

 

Barbara Bussey

2019 KTF Ambassador

Barbara Bussey – Kerrville Tri Ambassador

I began my running/tri career just trying to get an “A” in my PE class in nursing school.  Luckily for me, the exercise stuck (and yes, I got the “A”). That was back in 2000, since then I have run 12-15 half marathons, more 10Ks than I can count completed an unknown number of sprint/super-sprint tris and this September, I will complete my 2nd 70.3 in Kerrville.

Running and triathlon feels like freedom to me.  Freedom from worries, freedom to truly enjoy the outdoors, freedom to challenge myself to be better.  Exercise has also brought me closer to my daughter, she seems to have caught the same bug I did all those years ago, and now we challenge each other to reach greater achievements than we thought possible.  On the days when I really just do not feel it, I remember a saying I heard once: the longest distance in running, is the six inches in between your ears! I know that anyone can master those six inches, one stride or tri at a time!

Cat Adkins

2019 KTF Ambassador

Cat Adkins – Kerrville Tri Ambassador

5 years ago, I decided to give triathlon a try. I’d only participated in about 5 triathlons before Kerrville but it quickly became my favorite. I fell in love with the triathlon community that weekend. It was wonderful knowing that everyone you passed was there for the same reason. It’s hard to not make friends quickly when you spend a weekend with people you have so much in common with. 5 years later, all the people I met are close friends and the circle just keeps growing. I have since bullied dozens of athletes to do their 1st tri with me. It’s hard for people to tell me they’re intimidated to do something that I’m capable of. I eat too much, drink too much, and party too hard, so people usually think, “If this mess can do it, certainly I can too!” What can I say? I’m inspiring. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram

Kristen Farwell

2019 KTF Ambassador

Kristen Farwell – Kerrville Tri Ambassador

I am relatively new to triathlon, just finishing my third season. Until this past year, I had only done Sprints and Kerrville 2018 was my first Olympic. It’s my second year racing the event and I can’t express how much I love this event. From beginning to end, the event is well organized, well supported and on the day of, executed flawlessly. It’s my favorite course and already have my hotel reservation for 2019. I would love to help share the love, especially for those who might be new and intimidated by an unfamiliar or out-of-town race. I pride myself on being outgoing and helpful. Connect with her on Instagram

Mary McDonald

2019 KTF Ambassador

Mary McDonald – Kerrville Tri Ambassador

I’ve raced triathlons both big and small all over the USA for many years and love that the Kerrville Tri is right here in Texas! I love being an ambassador for the Kerrville Tri because it is a race with personality! Race distances for everyone and a fun old school atmosphere. And the fun doesn’t stop after you cross the finish line! Cool off by floating down the river and enjoying the after-party! Connect with her on Twitter or Instagram 

 

 

Mark Schnur

2019 KTF Ambassador

Mark Schnur – Kerrville Tri Ambassador

I love the Kerrville Tri because it is part of a fun weekend in Kerrville, held on a scenic course, close to where I live in San Antonio, and is so well supported by the community! I am a great ambassador because I have over 30 years of experience in racing triathlons (since 1987), and I have coached and trained with many successful triathletes and because I love the Kerrville Tri. Connect with him on Instagram

 

 

 

Reach out to your 2019 Smokin’ Good Tri Ambassadors for any questions you have before race day! Also, get some insider info to help you decide which distance is perfect for you to complete Kerrville Tri with us on September 28th and 29th! 

Learn about TPI and make sure your bike has the tires you need

Curious about TPI? So are a lot of other cyclists and triathletes. In short, TPI stands for Threads per Inch. Take the time to learn about TPI, how it can impact your ride, and what bike tires we recommend. This knowledge can be beneficial during your Kerrville Triathlon training!

Tires are made with threads. Lower-end tires have lower counts which tend to make them heavier and provide a harsher ride. Higher-end tires have higher thread counts which allow them to ride smoother and contour to bumps on the road better. On some tires, the threads are mixed in with Kevlar or some other type of durable fabric. This makes them more resilient to flats. It is important to note that a higher TPI tire is not more prone to flats than a lower TPI tire. No matter what the threads per inch is on your tires, there are steps you can take to prevent flat tires.

Threads per inch and the tires you need

Tires with lower threads per inch are less expensive and are more common for training use. Higher TPI tires are more expensive and tend to be used for racing or for riding roads where you are looking for a smoother ride.

For a great low TPI tire, we recommend the Vittoria Zaffiro Tire. For those of you looking for the high TPI tire consider the Vittoria Diamante, the Vittoria Open Corsa, the Vredestein Tricomp, or the Continental Grand Prix 4000.

Check with James Balentine at City Limit Cycles to see if these tires are still good options.

Follow these derailleur adjustment tips to eliminate shifting issues

Experiencing issues shifting as you begin training for Kerrville Triathlon Festival on Sept. 28-29? Try your hand at a derailleur adjustment with these simple steps.

Derailleur designers provide a simple way for you to dial in shifting. You don’t even need tools (although, it’s easiest to make and check adjustments when the bicycle is supported in a repair stand). Keep in mind, these steps are for derailleurs that are not damaged or bent. If you suspect that it is, it needs more than this simple adjustment and you should call James Balentine with City Limit Cycles.

To adjust the derailleur, look at the point where the cable enters the rear derailleur. See that round, knob-like piece? That’s a barrel adjuster. It’s used to tune the derailleur adjustment.

Standing behind the bike, the barrel adjuster is turned either counter-clockwise or clockwise in half-turn increments until the shifting hesitation is cured. Which way do you turn it? It depends on what type of hesitation you’re experiencing. The most common problem is slow-shifting into easier gears (toward the spokes) due to the cable stretching. But, it’s also possible that you’re experiencing the opposite.

This rule will help you remember which way to turn it. If the derailleur is hesitating when shifting toward the spokes (the more common problem), turn the barrel toward the spokes (counter-clockwise). If it hesitates shifting away from the spokes, turn the adjuster away (clockwise) from the spokes. Turn it only a half turn, shift multiple times to check the adjustment, and repeat as needed to eliminate all hesitation.

Implement these group riding guidelines on your next ride

Group riding provides cyclists with enjoyment, exercise, training, support from other cyclists, and safety. Whether you’re riding to lunch with co-workers or completing a 50-mile Kerrville Triathlon Festival training ride with your crew, the following group riding guidelines will come in handy. Knowing these basic group riding guidelines will also make the ride more enjoyable and safer for everyone involved.

* Complete a quick, pre-ride safety check.

* Obey all traffic laws.

* Operate bike in such a manner as to not offend or endanger motorists, pedestrians, etc.

* Wear a helmet for safety (and be a good model for children).

* Activate all lights on bikes.

* Wear reflective gear that makes the group more visible, even in the daytime.

* Ride single file except in areas where it is safe to ride side-by-side.

* When riding in a pack, look at “shoulder level” of cyclists in front of you. This allows you to see what is happening further up the road and not focus on the cyclists in front of you. Fixing your gaze on the back tire of the person in front of you doesn’t give you enough time to react should the entire group slow down.

* It is the responsibility of the lead rider to notify the cyclist behind them of approaching issues by saying, “jogger up, cyclist up.” This includes any potential danger that may lie ahead. It is the responsibility of each cyclist to pass the caution back to the person behind them.

Important hand signals

* Hand signals, instead of words, are used to warn riders of potential danger on the roadway. In a pack, oftentimes, the only cyclist who has enough visual warning is the front cyclist. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the lead rider to warn the cyclists behind them. If the lead cyclist (or the cyclist in front of you):

  • shakes their hand to the right = there’s a pothole, branch, or some obstacle to the right
  • shakes their hand to the left = there’s an obstacle to the left
  • puts hand behind their posterior = follow right behind them as there might be obstacles on both sides
  • puts right hand down with the flat of the hand facing you = lead cyclist is slowing down or coming to a stop

* Avoid slowing down abruptly or making any other sudden moves.

* Ask experienced riders questions when you’re not sure what is occurring.

Know the signs of chain wear and how you can check at home

Most people do not replace their chain often enough. This leads to the gears not shifting correctly and excessive wear on your chainrings and cassette. Chain wear is affected by a few things: riding conditions, riding style (masher vs spinner), and shifting technique.

Know the signs of chain wear and how you can check your bike at home.When the conditions are wet the chain is going to wear out faster due to the dirt that gets in the rollers of the chain. Wet weather also tends to wash the lube off of the chain much faster. Cleaning your drivetrain can extend the life of your chain. If you ride at a low cadence you will wear the chain out faster than someone who rides at a higher cadence. The last major thing that affects wear is shifting technique. If you tend to cross chain a lot (riding in the big ring, big cassette cog or small ring, small cassette cog) then you will put more wear on the chain and chainrings.

The easiest way to check for chain wear at home is to measure 12 links of your chain. A new chain measures 12 inches per 12 links. Anything over 12 1/16 inches is too long. This bike tool measures it quickly and costs less than $10. A ruler also works just fine. You should expect to get anywhere from 1500 to 2500 miles out of a 10-speed chain and about 2500 out of a 9-speed chain. You can help your chain last much longer if you take good care of it, keep it clean, shift correctly, and ride at a higher cadence.

Check out our other blog post to see when other parts need replacing.

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.

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.