USAT-Certified: Why It Matters and How You Benefit

USAT-Certified: Why It Matters and How It Benefits You

Benefits to CapTex Tri being USAT-Sanctioned and having a USAT-Certified Race Director

When researching triathlon events, you’ve probably come across the terms USAT-sanctioned and USAT-Certified Race Director. So what exactly do these terms mean and why should you care about the benefits of a USAT Certified race?

USAT-Sanctioned

USAT is an acronym for USA Triathlon, which is the governing body of the sport of triathlon in the United States. Additionally, since triathlon is a sport featured in the Olympic games, USA Triathlon is part of Team USA. Therefore, they must adhere to the rules and guidelines of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committees. When you see the phrase “This is event is sanctioned by USAT” or “This event is USAT-sanctioned” it means that the event organizer has completed a thorough questionnaire regarding how they plan to conduct the event. They have also received approval from the USA Triathlon Events staff. As a potential participant in a triathlon, the term USAT-sanctioned should give you confidence. You are registering for an event that meets minimum standards for safety and fairness.  

Participant benefits of a USAT-sanctioned event:

benefits of a USAT-sanctioned eventAs a participant in a USAT Sanctioned event, you must have a current membership with USA Triathlon.  Annual memberships and one-day memberships (purchased per event) are available. Most adult triathlons in the United States are sanctioned by USA Triathlon. This helps the individual event. It also helps keep the national governing body strong so that it can support race directors, growth of the sport initiatives, and Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

USAT-Certified Race Director

Additionally, USA Triathlon has created a Race Director Certification program that goes above the standard sanctioning process. Race Directors who choose to become certified go through approximately 16 hours of coursework and complete an exam. They are required to recertify every two years and complete a background check through NCSI and take SafeSport training. The recertification and coursework ensures that the race director remains current in their knowledge and engaged in the triathlon community.  There are two levels of Race Director Certifications. Level II is the most difficult to obtain and retain. Only the most qualified race directors reach this level. Dan Carroll of High Five Events was among the first race directors to achieve Level II certification. He has maintained that certification since the program was created in 2007.

Choose USAT Certified for Your Upcoming Tri

So the next time that you register for a triathlon like CapTex Tri, look to see if the event has the benefits of being USA-sanctioned and if it is produced by a Certified Race Director. That way you’ll know you’re safe in good hands and you’re in for an awesome experience!

CapTex Virtual Tri Experience Blog

What It’s Like to Complete a Virtual Triathlon

Everything You Need To Know About Completing a Virtual Triathlon

CapTex Tri went virtual this year, and while we know that’s not ideal, that sure didn’t these two from accomplishing their tri goals! The best part about a virtual triathlon: you complete it at your pace, on your time. These die-hard triathletes were determined to complete the Virtual CapTex Triathlon or Duathlon anyways, and did just that! While their approach was different, Joey did the whole thing in one day and John did it pieced together, it’s fine to do a virtual triathlon/duathlon either way. Keep reading to see how much they enjoyed their Virtual CapTex Tri experience, and hopefully inspire you to join in on Virtual races when you can!

Joey Trimyer’s Virtual CapTex Tri Journey

I wasn’t planning on doing the CapTex virtual race because my hip has been bothering me for a while. On Thursday, I saw my doctor he ordered x-rays and prescribed a round of steroids for the inflammation. I hadn’t had the x-rays yet and the steroids hadn’t had time to take effect, but when I got an email promising homemade pickles if I took the challenge and wrote a report I was in.

Sunday afternoon I loaded my gear and drove over to Govalle Park. I like doing multisport workouts here because there are several flat running routes to choose from and you are right at the head of the Walnut Creek trail.

Completing the Virtual CapTex Tri
Joey’s Game Plan

My plan was to do the sprint du: 2 mile run, 13.3 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run.

The first run was uneventful. It was super humid and I did not enjoy running in air you could eat with a fork, but then I had waited until the afternoon so I got what I deserved. There was a decent amount of walking and my hip definitely started complaining, but I got it done and got my bike ready to ride.

12.3 miles on the bike went by fairly easily. I just rode along and didn’t worry about pace. The Walnut Creek Trail is a nice out and back and I got to turn around right before the big hill which is always a good thing. One drawback to delaying until the afternoon is that you tend to encounter more cyclists and hikers clogging the path, but overall, the congestion was minimal.

The final 5k involved more jogging and walking than I would have liked, but again I got it done. Virtual events hadn’t ever really appealed to me, but given the circumstances, it was nice to have a little motivation to get out and be active.

John Chung’s Virtual CapTex Tri

I decided to change things up a bit for CapTex Tri virtual, instead of scheduling a dedicated workout for each of the disciplines of the virtual tri and go as hard as I can, I would incorporate them into my normal weekly workouts. The time will be slower but it would be interesting to see how much of a difference.

John’s Strategy

First Run

I chose the sprint duathlon option, a distance that would easily be incorporated into my weekly workout schedule. For the first 2 mile run, I timed it during my Tuesday morning run. The workout was a Fartlek workout. After the warmup, we went straight into the interval. We start with the effort level around half marathon, gradually increasing it as the interval becomes shorter. Time for the 2 miles was 16:25. Completing the run during his virtual triathlon

Bike Ride

The bike portion was timed during a ride out to see my co-worker son’s graduation parade. The ride was through town on neighborhood streets, with red lights and stop signs. I was amazed at how much time I spent waiting and not moving. My “moving” time for the 12.3 miles was a bit over 47 minutes, total time on the bike was more than 1 hour. I spent roughly 15mins or ⅓ of the time sitting at lights or stop signs not moving.

Final Run

For the final 3.1 mile run, the time was from my weekly longish run. The run was an out and back at 9ish total miles. Since I don’t own a GPS watch, I mapped out online the section of the run to figure out the start and stop of the 3.1 miles. Time was measured for both the out and the back, and it was within minutes of each other. I was pleased with the effort considering the out was downhill and the back was uphill. The 3.1-mile time was a bit over 24 minutes.

It was fun to mix in some higher effort intervals into my routine workout to mix it up a bit and keep it interesting.

Go Virtual, Join the Fun!

As you can see, these guys made the most of their time during their virtual tri. After all, it’s a fun way to switch up your fitness routine. Also, a fun challenge if you’re for a new way to get out and be active. Since a virtual tri is completed on your own time, at your own pace, the level of intensity is all up to you.  If you participated in the Virtual CapTex Tri this year, tell us about it! We’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or tag us at #CapTexTriVirtual. We would love to hear about your experience!

Warming up and Cooling Down.CapTex

Importance of Warming Up and Cooling Down

Warm-Up and Cool Down: The Basics

We know that each workout should start with a warm-up and end with a cool-down, but more often than not, athletes tend to skip one or both. Especially when pressed for time. Not incorporating a warm-up and cool-down into your training can be detrimental to your overall performance when it comes time for race day. While also puts you at the disadvantage of a much higher risk of injury. Just like giving your car time to warm up before cruising at 65 mph, your body needs this time to get in a higher gear for more intense workouts or fitness activities. Keep reading to know the importance of warming up and cooling down during your CapTex Tri training.

Why You Should Warm-Up

A warm-up before a training session or race is essential for preparing your body and mind for a workout session. The main point of a warm-up is to increase your body core temperature and muscles. Warming up will not only help you to perform better, but it will also protect your body from injury. A good warm-up gets your blood flowing and gives you a chance to get energized for the rest of your session. It also helps increase the range of motion to your joints and muscles, which should allow your muscles to feel less stressed and stiff when you start. A dynamic warmup should aim to increase blood flow to the areas which will be working and to wake up the nervous system throughout the body.

A guideline to a general warm-up routine would include:

Jogging, biking, etc. for about 5 minutes to just get your blood flowing and get those muscles and joints moving. You want to work at a comfortable pace that’s easy to moderate. For the bike, a good warm-up should consist of five to 10 minutes of easy spinning, and then slowly increasing to the gear you wish to complete your session in. This really helps “open up” your body before getting into the more strenuous part of your workout.

Why You Should Cool-Down

Don’t come to an abrupt stop when completing your exercise, especially if it has been high intensity. Instead, you should cool-down by exercising at a lower intensity than the main session to bring your body temp and heart rate back down to pre-exercise levels. The cool-down should last around five to 10 minutes no matter what discipline you are training for that day. Cooling down helps to gradually decrease your heart rate and get rid of the metabolic waste from your muscles.
Mentally, cooling down also allows you some space to reflect on your performance and gives you some time to set you up for the rest of the day. Don’t underestimate the importance of this! Pro tip: Add some stretches to your cool down while your muscles are warmed up for one of the best ways to improve your overall flexibility and mobility while also reducing post-workout pain.

Bottom Line

Group Warming Up and Cooling DownAdding a warm-up and cool down into your fitness routine is a simple, yet proven way to maximize your benefits when working out. The warm-up gives your body a chance to prepare for your session while the cool-down then helps you focus on slowing your breathing and return to your normal heart rate. Rather than seeing it as an optional part of your workout, think of warming up and cooling down as part of your session to get the most out of all the hard work you’ve put in!