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Don’t let your tri training mess up your do! Here are some quick tips to protect and prevent damage to your hair during your swim training

Chlorine is very damaging to your hair because it strips your hair of its natural oils, making it easier for your hair to become dry and break off or split at the ends. Keep your hairdo looking brand new for as long as possible when you use these tips to prevent damage to your hair during your training for Kerrville Tri!

Before

1. Wet Your Hair

Wetting your hair before you get in the pool will minimize the amount of chlorine and other chemicals your hair will absorb. 

2. Protect Your Hair

Take it a step further by putting a protectant in your hair before you hop in the pool! Putting a protectant, such as coconut oil, on before prevents your hair from soaking up the chemicals in the water, while also moisturizing your hair.

3. Wear a Swim Cap

Wearing a swim cap during your swim training is the best way to prevent chlorine from soaking into your hair. This method to prevent hair damage is very effective and it’s reusable and inexpensive.

4. Style Your Hair

If a swim cap isn’t for you, find a quick and easy way to style your hair before your workouts, such as a braid or bun, to keep your hair from getting tangled in the pool.

Your hair is bound to get some exposure to the chlorine. Follow these steps to prevent further damage to your hair after your pool session.

After

1. Rinse Immediately

After getting out of the pool, you’ll want to rinse your hair right away. You don’t have to give your hair a full wash, but it’s crucial to rinse the pool water from your hair to stop any future damage from happening. 

2. Comb Gently

Your hair will most likely be tangly from your swim. Be sure to brush your hair gently to prevent the ends from breaking off! Use a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray if you need to. 

3. Deep Condition

You will want to put a clarifying, deep conditioner in your hair once a week, or every 4 to 5 workouts, depending on how often you hit the pool. This will get rid of any hidden chlorine deposits throughout the hair to keep your hair looking healthy for as long as possible. 

We often forget or don’t think about how damaging chlorine really is during all the pool training that leads up to your tri. Protect your hair and save yourself some money when you use these tips to protect your hair during your swim training while preparing for your upcoming tri!

Think you can skip training for the swim for your next tri? Not so fast!

You’re an ok swimmer so you don’t feel like you should allot a bunch of time training for the swim. Fast forward to the morning of your tri, add in race day elements – open water, other athletes, and no lanes to keep you in check – it’s no wonder why even seasoned triathletes may face panic during the swim. Know the importance of swim training with 5 reasons why you shouldn’t ignore swim training for your upcoming triathlon.5 Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore Your Swim Training

1. Helps Prevent Injury

Getting your body accustomed to handle the first leg of the tri is crucial. Swimming is a low-intensity, low-impact workout that will improve your overall flexibility, heart and lung capacity. Developing this during your training will prevent any unexpected incidents on race day. Train for the distance you are going to swim in your upcoming tri. Start slow and work your way up to this distance during your workouts. You can always slow down and take it easy on the bike and run legs, but during the intensity and commotion of the swim, your options are limited. For safety reasons, you cannot complete the race if you are unable to complete the swim portion. Therefore, you should practice floating on your back and practice a safety stroke as a backup plan if you start to feel tired or get frantic during the swim.

2. Avoid Swimming Further Than You Have To

5 Reasons You Shouldnt Ignore Your Swim Training

For those who have done most of your training in a pool, you are used to having a guide to keep you swimming in a straight line. If you don’t practice sighting during your training, you’ll most likely end up zig-zagging between the buoys, thus adding to the distance you have to swim on race morning. Don’t count on following the person in front of you. Sight regularly throughout the swim course to make sure you stay on the correct side of the buoys. Practicing sighting is key to avoid swimming off course during your tri.

3. Good Cardiovascular Activity

Swimming is a great aerobic exercise that will improve your cardiovascular fitness and overall health. It’s easy on your joints and is a perfect low-impact cardio exercise that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Choose a training plan that focuses on improving your swim technique to reserve your energy for the remaining legs of the race.  Also, establishing a good technique before the race will make you more efficient in the water on race day.

4. Strengthen Your Legs

Leg strength can make or break a race, so don’t make the mistake of neglecting leg work in the pool. If you haven’t spent much time in the water during your training, your legs may feel weak after completing the swim portion. To avoid feeling weak throughout the bike and run portion, use various swimming workouts to strengthen your legs during your training. The resistance from the water will strengthen your legs more than running or cycling alone. Incorporate kick sets into your swim training plan to ensure you have trained for your distance properly.  Pro tip: As you near the exit swim, start kicking your legs a little stronger to get the blood circulating into your legs again to prepare for the run into transition.

5. Calm Pre-Race Nerves

5 Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore Your Swim Training

Despite all your training, things can go awry when you factor in hundreds of other athletes into the mix. Nerves on race morning can get pretty overwhelming. Especially if this is your first triathlon. Even with a time trial start, swimming with so many people of all different skill levels can unnerve a highly skilled swimmer. You need to build your confidence in the water before the race. Most training takes place in a pool, but try joining a local tri club or a Masters Swimming Program to get the experience of swimming in open water with other athletes. Pro tip: Get out and do a mock swim so there are no surprises for your open-water swim.

It is common for athletes to dread the first discipline of a tri. Preparing for this during your training will eliminate any uncertainties you have before you dive into the swim start.  Whether you’re a novice swimmer or trying to go from a good swimmer to a great swimmer, training is key to a good performance on race day. So don’t hurt yourself by ignoring swim training for your upcoming tri! Grab your gear and head to the water.

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!

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! 

At Kerrville Tri, your safety is our top priority. Here are a few of the precautions we take to make sure our swim course is as safe as possible

Time Trial Start

The time trial start consists of starting one person at a time at approximately 2-second intervals.  Participants will start with their assigned wave (eg. Intermediate, Men 40 & Over), and will line up within their wave on a first-come basis. We know open water swim courses can be intimidating, so we use this method to give the participants their own space in the water.  Before each race morning, we also clear any debris there may be on the swim course to ensure you don’t run into anything unexpected during your swim portion.

Bright colored swim caps are used to make you more visible in the water

Participants lining up with their age group, ready to dive in!

Swim Caps

We provide swim caps to our participants according to your age group upon registration. These are the typical swim caps you would use. They are used during Kerrville Tri to keep you safe and distinguish the participants according to age group. Per USAT rules, the swim caps are always brightly colored to allow the lifeguards, and other participants, to see you throughout the swim course.

Buoys

It can be easy to become disoriented during an open water swim, especially if you’re new to the sport. You can always count on large, brightly colored buoys as markers to keep you safe and on track during the swim course. The buoys are there to help you stay on course, and make you feel more comfortable in the water. Utilize the buoys by thinking of the course in segments and swim in straight lines from buoy to buoy.

Participants swimming along the buoys in Nimitz Lake

Participants swimming along the buoys in Nimitz Lake

Lifeguards

If for any reason you should need help during the swim portion, we have kayaks with lifeguards posted throughout the swim course. To make sure our participants feel safe, we have 10 lifeguards on Saturday and 20 lifeguards on Sunday. Most of the guards will be on kayaks, while some will be onshore in case of emergency. Knowing the lifeguards are out there will make you feel safe and extra secure when taking on the Smokin’ Good Tri swim course.

Jet Skis

There are also jet skis in the water should anyone need aid quickly during the swim portion. With the lifeguards on kyaks stationed throughout the course and jet skis on standby, we have hopefully omitted anything that would cause you to feel unsafe during your swim portion. Pro tip: If you’re in the area before the tri, get out to Nimitz Lake to do a mock-swim!

With all these various measures taken to keep our swimmers safe, there shouldn’t be anything preventing you from wanting to participate in Kerrville Tri! Now the only thing left for you to do is get to training, and decide which suit you should wear on race day.

Introducing the 2019 Kerrville Triathlon Festival Finisher Medals!

Get excited! We are about three months away from this year’s Kerrville Tri through the scenic Texas Hill Country. Taking place on September 28th & 29th, get ready for your swim-bike-run adventure packed full of fun. Watch the video below to get the first look at the finisher medal, that doubles as a sweet belt buckle.

Give yourself the motivation you need to keep training by seeing what awaits you at the Kerrville Tri finish line!

Why you should use fins

Do you want to improve your kick strength, ankle flexibility, body position, and increase your speed in the water? Of course you do. Use fins during some of your swimming workouts!  With the right amount of training and overall improvement, you’ll improve your Kerrville Tri swim in Nimitz Lake.

Wearing swim fins increases the amount of resistance your muscles experience as you kick, guaranteeing you’ll put your leg muscles to full use. Stronger legs and the additional strength will carry over into normal swimming when you’re not wearing your fins.

Another benefit of using fins is improved ankle flexibility. This stems from the extra force the fins place on your ankles as you kick. Increased ankle flexibility will result in a more efficient flutter kick through better angles of attack in the water. When you are unable to fully flex your ankles into a streamlined position the ankles remain somewhat bent, catching water instead of propelling the body through it.

Do you have some other new swim equipment? This Rookie Tri blog shows you how to incorporate other swim equipment to your triathlon training.

Technique-focused workout

You’ll want to focus on a slow-motion, over-exaggerated flutter kick. During this workout, focus on slowing down the kick cycle and dramatically increase your range of motion. The over-exaggerated technique allows swimmers to more easily tune into ankle flexion and proper body alignment throughout the kick. As a bonus, this drill is also quite taxing on the legs and core – the increased workload of a large kick also makes for a great strength-building exercise.

2 Rounds

2 x 25 over-exaggerated flutter kick (with kickboard)

4 x 25 freestyle, easy

2 x 25 over-exaggerated flutter kick (no kickboard)

4 x 25 freestyle, mid-level effort

2 x 25 over-exaggerated flutter kick (with kickboard)

4 x 25 freestyle, easy

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.

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!

Is your body like a racecar?

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

Cramping

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

Bonking

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

Blowing up

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

To keep it easy, you want to think of your body like a racecar. Your car needs three basic things to keep running: Gas, oil, and electricity. Click To Tweet

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

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

Your body needs calories like a racecar needs gas.

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

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

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

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

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