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Why Creating a Relay Team is The Best Way to Tri

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

Try something new

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

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

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

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

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

You could use the help

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

Making memories at Kerrville Tri with your relay team membersMaking memories

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

Push Your Limits

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

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

Knowing the rules of the road is crucial to keep you and the rest of your squad safe

Follow these rules of the road every time you ride and to stay safe during your training for your upcoming triathlon!

9 must-know safety tips for your next ride

Stay safe during your training rides by knowing the rules of the road. Whether you’re riding to lunch with co-workers around the block or completing a long training ride for Kerrville Triathlon Festival, the following group riding guidelines will come in handy. Knowing these rules of the road will also make the ride more enjoyable and safer for everyone involved. Memorize these 9 Rules of the Road to cover your butt and keep you safe. 

Cycling Rules of the Road for your upcoming ride

  1. Complete a quick, pre-ride safety check.
  2. Obey all traffic laws. Here are a few examples: Yield to pedestrians, use the bike lane, use hand signals, and watch out for traffic lights! Just like in a car, the same rules apply when riding a bike.  Do not run red lights!
  3. Operate bike in such a manner as to not offend or endanger motorists, pedestrians, etc.
  4. Wear a helmet for safety (and be a good model for children).
  5. Activate all lights on bikes.
  6. Wear reflective gear that makes the group more visible, even in the daytime.
  7. Ride single file when you’re with others except in areas where it is safe to ride side-by-side.
  8. Avoid slowing down abruptly or making any other sudden moves.
  9. Ask experienced riders questions when you’re not sure what is occurring.

Important hand signals

On your left! You’ve probably experienced fellow cyclists shouting at you in efforts to get your attention on the road. But, hand signals, instead of words, are used to warn riders of potential danger on the roadway. Especially when riding in a pack, 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

It’s crucial to know these hand signals to keep yourself safe when riding alone to avoid a collision with another cyclist. Last but not least, being aware of your surroundings is essential to keep yourself safe during a ride. Be on the lookout and apply these rules of the road to keep yourself safe next time you go for a ride.

If you’re a podcast lover like us, you are in for a treat! Check out our top favorite health and fitness podcasts.

Whether you’re looking for a boost of motivation or just want to practice a healthier lifestyle, turning to podcasts for guidance is a great source. Not to mention a great way to learn something new while on the go. Keep reading and check out some of our top health and fitness podcasts for every type of athlete!

Chasing Excellence

Chasing ExcellenceThis podcast explores and dissects what it takes to live your life to the fullest, both inside the gym and out. Instead of focusing strictly on the physical aspect of incorporating healthy habits into your life, his topic range spans from tips for overcoming anxiety to challenging CrossFit workouts. Ben Bergeron shares his insight and knowledge about maximizing your benefits when it comes to your health, fitness, mindset, and relationships with others.

The Ultimate Health

The Ultimate HealthThe dynamic duo, Marni and Jesse, interview the best of the best health and wellness experts from around the world to educate and inspire listeners by giving us the tips and tricks to live your personal version of Ultimate Health. This podcast goes for a laid back approach of simple techniques you can use to alter your lifestyle. They also offer an Ultimate Weekday Workbook to help keep track of your health and wellness goals!

The Fat-Burning Man Show

Fat Burning Man ShowBurning fat and having fun in the process with this hilarious podcast. Learn more about what goes on the health industry with this feel-good podcast that’s perfect for training runs and rides. It’s great for all ages while taking a humorous approach to giving great information on how to live a healthier lifestyle.

Work Play Love

Work Play LoveMarried couple, and professional athletes, Lauren Fleshman & Jesse Thomas, use this podcast as a chance to dive into the complications and chaos that can come with the integration of sports, love, and business. Led by listener based questions, this podcast aims to help you find a balance amongst all three by giving you no-nonsense tips and tools to use that will help you make the most of your life by capitalizing on what you have the power to control.

The Rich Roll

The Rich RollThis weekly podcast was created with the goal of taking listeners on a journey to lead a healthier lifestyle with an eager and open mindset. Author and Ultra-Athlete, Rich Roll, takes a progressive, free-thinking approach when exploring all things relating to your personal and professional development with the help of some of the worlds brightest minds to educate, inspire and empower you to unleash your potential and a better you.

 

The best thing about podcasts is you can listen anywhere, anytime. With these health and fitness podcasts, you’ll learn tips and tricks to improve or change your lifestyle for the better. Whether you’re going out for some exercise or cleaning the house, give these podcasts a chance to see which one is best for you!

Try these dryland swim training exercises to help build strength and improve your performance in the water

Training for the swim portion of your upcoming tri is always important. Although this workout won’t be identical to the benefits you get while actually in the water, such as perfecting your form and practicing your breathing; focusing on these muscles is valuable to enhancing your performance during your tri.   Think of these exercises as a way of targeting the same muscle groups you would activate while swimming to keep making forward progress when you’re unable to hit the pool. These dryland swim exercises focus on working your core muscles, quads, glutes, chest, arms, back, and shoulders much like you would in the water.

Burpees

A burpee essentially works all the muscles you would activate during a pool session, but is especially beneficial to help build your stamina. Full body and functional exercise that works on your muscle endurance as well as aerobic capacity.

  1. Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower yourself into a squatting position and place your hands on the floor in front of you.
  3. Jump your feet back, putting yourself into a pushup position.
  4. Do a pushup.
  5. Jump your feet back into their original position.
  6. Stand yourself upright, jump into the air, and clap your hands over your head.

Repeat this exercise in 3 sets of 15.

Lat Pulldown

For this upper body exercise, you need some weight. However, stay light and stretch your shoulders well to reduce the risk of injury.

To do this type of Lat pulldown:

  1. Sit down at a pulldown machine and place your hands wide apart on the bar, palms facing forward.
  2. Bring the bar down straight down to your clavicle.
  3. Keep your torso still as you pull your arms down.
  4. Draw your shoulders back, pulling the bar down as you exhale.
  5. When the bar touches your clavicle and your shoulder blades are completely contracted, count to 2.
  6. Slowly bring your arms back up to starting position, as you inhale.

Control is key during this exercise. Trying to go fast will not work your muscles efficiently and can injure you. If you keep the weight low, you can do 3 sets of 25 for this exercise. don’t rush the exercise don’t go too fast or too slow

Pull-ups

If you do not have access to a pull-down machine, pull-ups will also work your back, muscle, and arms, providing great swimming dryland workout. You can even use the monkey bars at a local playground for this one.

How to do a proper pull-up:

  1. Move your arms shoulder-width apart and grasp an overhead bar with a firm, overhand grip.
  2. Hang so your arms and legs are straight.
  3. Steady your core.
  4. Keep your back straight and do not swing yourself.
  5. Pull yourself up, so that your head is over the bar, leaving the bar at your chest.
  6. Slowly lower your body back to hanging position.

You should also do this same exercise with your hands gripped close together at different distances, to work different muscles. Shoot for about 5 sets of as many proper pull-ups as your strength will allow during each set.

Reaching Lunges

This exercise works your quads and glutes. It will help you with changing direction and help you prevent injuries.

To do a reaching lunge:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step far forward with your right leg and shift your weight so that your heel hits the floor.
  3. Descend until your right shin is vertical and your right thigh is parallel to the floor.
  4. Lightly tap your left knee to the floor.
  5. Put your weight back onto your right heel to bring yourself back upright.
  6. Repeat with your left leg.

When doing these exercises, keep yourself balanced and make sure your knee is bent at a 90º angle does not stick out further than your toe. On each side, also do 3 sets of 15 for this exercise.

T Rotational Pushups

This spin on the traditional pushup offers you a more intense workout. It provides a better core workout, while still hitting the upper body and hip extensors.

To do a T rotational pushup:

  1. Begin with a rigid torso, in a standing pushup position with your arms and feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Descend, bringing yourself chest to the floor.
  3. Start ascending until your arms are straight.
  4. Shift over into a side plank position keeping your arms straight.
  5. Rotate back to push up positions.
  6. Repeat on the other side

Do 10 reps total, alternating each side, for 3 sets.

Incorporate these dryland swim workouts into your Kerrville Tri training plan so you can be a stronger, more confident swimmer when you hit the water at your next tri.

Showing off those muscles, and getting pumped up for the swim!

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!

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.

Learn the difference between trainers and rollers

Bicycle trainers and rollers can come in handy when your training moves indoors. Many factors can force this switch, from weather to time restrictions. Price, skill level, usage, and ability can all factor into your purchasing process. Use the info below to your advantage when shopping for trainers and rollers.

Bicycle Trainers

A bicycle trainer is typically a tri-pod devise that secures the bike into a stationary riding position. The rear wheel is held off the ground by locking the skewer into the trainer. The front wheel is held off the ground by a riser block to make the bicycle level. Some riser blocks have multiple positions to simulate climbing or descending. There are three types of resistance to your wheel:

When talking trainers and rollers, magnetic trainers are the best bang for your buck.

Magnetic trainers are the best bang for your buck.

Wind – This affordable unit runs between $85 and $120, but expect a lot of noise. It is best used for short rehab stints, monthly rainy day riding sessions, or someone on a really tight budget. The noise from this type of trainer is caused by human force against the tire and from the small channels in the unit that catch air and add resistance. Due to the noise level, it is hard to watch television or listen to the radio while in use. Changing resistance levels is cumbersome because one must get off the bike to tighten or loosen the resistance to simulate different terrains. Although affordable, the parts of this unit are not created for heavy everyday use. Unnecessary wear to the rear tire will also occur when used daily.

Magnetic – Based on price ($125-$250), durability, and noise projection, this is the most practical unit of the three. It is not exactly like riding on the road, but similar enough. The mag trainer is set up like the wind trainer, but uses magnetic resistance instead of wind. This trainer allows for TV viewing and music listening.  The unit also stands up to multiple rides per week. It will simulate multiple terrains just by changing the gears of the bike. Some units come with a wired remote shifter to change resistance without getting off the bike.

With the magnetic trainer, cyclists get the most bang for their buck. Click To Tweet
Fluid – The most expensive of the three types of trainers is the fluid trainer. This unit best mimics the feel of being on the road. Prices range from $250 to $399 but will definitely stand the test of time. It is the most durable trainer because it is designed for serious indoor cyclists who will spend hours a day on it. The resistance of this unit is controlled solely with the shifters on the bike.

Bicycle Rollers

Wikipedia describes rollers as “a type of bicycle trainer which makes it possible to ride a bicycle indoors without moving forward. However, unlike other types of bicycle trainers, rollers do not support the bicycle. They normally consist of three cylinders, drums, or “rollers” (two for the rear wheel and one for the front), on top of which the bicycle rides. A belt connects one of the rear rollers to the front roller, causing the front wheel of the bicycle to spin when the bicycle is pedaled. The spacing of bicycle rollers can usually be adjusted to match the bicycle’s wheelbase. Generally, the front roller is adjusted to be slightly ahead of the hub of the front wheel.”

When deciding between trainers and rollers, know that rollers require more skill.

Rollers require great balance and handling awareness.

Like trainers, rollers also come in different levels, but they all use the same type of resistance – human resistance.  The main reason to use rollers is to work on bike handling skills. Rollers increase handling skills by increasing balance on the bike. This is crucial for draft-legal racing and riding in tight quarters. Rollers take a constant state of awareness while in use. The price of rollers (between $175 and $399) is determined by the type of material from which the drums are made – aluminum or plastic.  Aluminum rollers cost a little more but will last longer. Plastic rollers will generally not last as long and will also wear the tire out quicker.
Both trainers and rollers have their purpose in the sport of triathlon. Trainers are more practical for everyday use because they meet the needs of the fitness cyclist: set the bike up, pop in a movie and ride. They are safer (than rollers) and easier to use for a large number of people positioned in one place. They are a good replacement for getting a nice ride on the road. Rollers, on the other hand, are more of a tool than a ride replacement device. They are used for serious cyclists to help increase cadence efficiency and balance on the bike. Rollers are not recommended for beginner cyclists because of the safety factor. Both trainers and rollers are foldable and easy to store.
Common brands:  Cycle-Ops, Wahoo Kickr, and Kinetic