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Extend the life of your wetsuit with these wetsuit maintenance recommendations

Wetsuits may help you swim like a shark, but they are actually one of the more delicate pieces of triathlon equipment. Even the most careful wetsuit owner may be shocked to find tiny nicks or tears in the neoprene that occurred during a frenzied transition. Never fear! In many cases, wetsuits can be repaired quickly and easily. Utilize the wetsuit maintenance recommendations below.

Wetsuit Glue

Wetsuit glue allows you to make minor repairs to the suit. Spread the glue on small cuts and tears that do not go all the way through the suit. Pick up the flap of the cut and put the glue inside of the hole the cut has created. Allow suit to dry for 24 hours. If cut or tear is not drying properly, place a small piece of scotch tape over the cut. Do this after the glue has been applied to allow it to dry in place.

Iron-on seam tape

Iron-on seam tape is created specifically for suits to flawlessly match the seams. Set your iron on low heat so that the wetsuit does not burn. Turn the wetsuit inside out. Cut the tape to match the size of the tear or seam separation. Place the tape glue side down on the seam or tear. Slowly apply heat with the iron until the iron-on is firmly in place. After repairing the inside of the suit, turn it right side out. Apply the glue now like in the wetsuit glue instructions above.

Wetsuit care

Taking care of small cuts as they happen will prevent them from becoming unrepairable tears that will retire your suit. There are a few wetsuit maintenance recommendations that will lessen the need for frequent repairs. Grip your wetsuit with the pads of your fingers (as though you were grabbing pizza dough). Avoid using your nails, even when they are short. This will prevent small nicks that develop over time. Also, keep your wetsuit away from hot environments like a car in the summertime so the neoprene will not melt or warp.

Focus on the run now, reap the benefits later

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

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

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

1) Train to your weakness, race to your strength

Recommended: Mark Verstegen’s Core Performance

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

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

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

Examples of run drills include:

         – skipping (various speeds, heights, movements)

         – one leg drill

         – karaoke

         – bounding

         – Russian soldier

         – butt kicks

         – leg swings

         – high knees

3) Sign up for a race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Running

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

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

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

Swimming

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

Cycling

Cycling in the offseason can improve your cardiovascular system.

Cycling in the offseason can improve your cardiovascular system.

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

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

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

Terra Balentine is an amazing volunteer!

Terra takes volunteering to the next level!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kerrville Tri – the most scenic triathlon in Texas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swim, bike, run in the Texas Hill Country

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

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

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

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

Getting out of your wetsuit efficiently can save you time

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

3 Steps to Follow

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

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

Kerrville Tri – New July Playlist

The days are getting longer and it is about time for a playlist refresh. We put together 1.5 hours of jammin’ tunes to keep you motivated while you move. Play from start to finish or pick and choose to add to your own playlist.