How to Fix a Squeaky Bike

You manage to get ready, on your bike, and ready to zen out for some miles when all of a sudden you hear it – squeak… squeak… squeak… AND IT IS SUPER ANNOYING!

Many of us have been annoyed by having a squeaky bike from time to time. The question is, what is it and how do we stop it? There are a few things we can re-tighten and re-grease that make a world of a difference.

First, check your pedals. They do come loose and will make a creaking noise. You should re-tighten and re-grease your pedals periodically, especially if you travel or ride in the rain. Using a bike specific pedal wrench will make it easy to get enough leverage to tighten the pedals properly.

Second, check your shoes and cleats. They may need to be lubed and tightened. Loose cleats can not only lead to annoying squeaks but can also be the cause of pain while riding. Speedplay’s are notorious for having noisy and “sticky” cleats and pedals when they are not lubed properly.

Third, your brakes and wheel alignment. Check both your front and back brake to make sure they are centered. Realign the brakes by pushing them with your hand. If you find your wheel leaning to one side, simply release the quick release lever and let the wheel center itself.

Forth, your chain. Rub your fingers along your bike chain. You should have a light amount of chain lube come off on your fingers. While it may have some color to it, it should not be gritty or thick. If it is, it’s time for a bath or possibly a new chain. If it is dry, be sure to get some chain specific lube on it.

Fifth, your saddle. Check the railing on your seat. If your seat is broken or the railings are loose they will move each time you pedal. If this is the source of your squeaky bike, then don’t keep riding. A loose or broken seat can be dangerous.

Last but not least, check the bolts on your crank arms and cranks. They do come loose and need re-tightening and re-lubing from time to time. If you are uncomfortable with tightening any of these, just stop in your local bike shop. The mechanics are happy to help with a quick safety/squeak check.

Bike transportation is a big culprit when it comes to stuff getting knocked loose. Take your time when loading and unloading your bike. It is also a good idea to do a pre-ride safety check each time you ride. Also, lube is your bike’s friend and it’s not a bad idea to add it to your saddle bag.

Now you can stop the squeaking and enjoy your noise-free ride.

 

Understanding Lactate Threshold

LACTATE THRESHOLD EXPLAINED

The burning, aching sensation that accompanies intense efforts is all too familiar to athletes. This feeling can also occur when bikers begin to increase their mileage and biking pace. Most athletes have probably heard the terms lactic acid or lactate threshold thrown around by coaches. What do these terms actually mean? Lactate was originally believed to only be produced when the body lacks oxygen. It’s now known you produce lactate even at rest. Far from the cause of fatigue, lactate is shuttled around the body to areas where it is needed as a fuel source such as the heart, muscles, brain, and liver.

During high-intensity training, muscle contractions result in a build-up of metabolites and depletion of glycogen (the fuel inside muscles). This is when lactate is associated with fatigue. At rest and during low-intensity activity, lactate doesn’t build up in the muscles. It is shuttled to areas where it is needed faster than it is produced. Lactate threshold is the point at which the rate of production of lactate is greater than the rate of removal from the muscles. Athletes can only sustain exercise above this threshold for a limited amount of time before exhaustion. Pro tip: this is great information for boosting your mental toughness.

WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS

While lactate does not directly cause fatigue, it is still the best metric available for detecting when the body shifts away from mostly aerobic metabolism to rely more heavily on anaerobic metabolism. Anaerobic metabolism can only be sustained for a short period of time before fatigue occurs. Studies show that lactate threshold, or the point at which this transition occurs, is the best predictor of overall endurance performance abilities. If two athletes have the same VO2max, but one athlete can maintain a higher fraction of that VO2max without build up of metabolites (i.e. lactate, hydrogen ions), the athlete with the higher lactate threshold will always win. It’s an objective performance metric that gives invaluable information about your endurance abilities.

Dr. Allen recommends athletes measure their lactate threshold at the beginning of the training season to get a baseline. This can be used to establish training zones unique to their individual physiology, optimize performance, and avoid overtraining. Additionally, he recommends athletes come in for testing once every 3-4 months. This allows the team to monitor training progress and reestablish training zones. As the racing season approaches, the lactate threshold pace can be used to determine exact pacing strategies, no matter the distance. For example, marathoners usually set their race pace right around their lactate threshold. Measuring your lactate threshold gives you the ability to establish your race pace while knowing it’s truly what you’re capable of.

HOW THE MEASUREMENT IS PERFORMED

Lactate threshold can be performed in a clinical setting or in the field depending on the athlete’s preference. Ascension Seton Sports Performance adheres to the most stringent COVID-19 policies. They are also happy to offer the service outdoors if athletes would prefer that. The test involves either running on a treadmill or outdoor track or cycling on a stationary ergometer. As you exercise at increasing intensities their team measures the changes in various physiological parameters. This includes changes in lactate as measured from a drop of blood from the finger or changes in expired gases collected from a mask over your mouth.

ABOUT DR. JAKOB ALLEN

Dr. Allen received his Doctoral training from the nationally ranked University of Texas at Austin. He was an 8x All-American collegiate swimmer at Stanford, American Record holder, NCAA and Pac-10 Champion, and 2x Olympic Trials qualifier. Dr. Allen is now an avid cyclist and triathlete, frequently placing in the top-5 overall amateurs in Central Texas triathlons. He is driven to bring about the greatest potential of all athletes whether you are a weekend warrior or an Olympian.

Dr. Allen currently serves as the Sports Scientist for the Austin Bold FC team in addition to his work in the clinic. He believes that exercise remains one of the best ways to improve every physiological system in the body throughout the lifespan. Whether it’s helping prevent changes in mental acuity or improving muscle function, the benefits of exercise continue to be supported by scientific studies. Dr. Allen specializes in designing exercise training programs for improving muscle and cardiovascular health for aging wellness and masters athlete performance.

6 Best Places to Train in Austin

Here is a list of what we think are the 6 best places to train in Austin. We broke them down by favorite spots to swim, bike, and run. These are great for all levels of triathletes.

Swim

1.Big Stacy

Tucked back in one of Austin’s oldest neighborhoods, this pool has been keeping Austinites of all ages cool and entertained since the 1930s.  The best part is it is free to use year-round, with the added bonus of being heated during the winter months. There are a limited number of lanes so be prepared to share or come during non-peak hours.

 

2.Barton Springs Pool

Constructed in 1940, it has been a summer staple for many years and is known for being Austin’s no. 1 natural pool.  It’s easy to see why.  The 3-acre, spring-fed pool remains 68°F degrees year-round, making it a refreshing way to shake the heat. It is also a great way to practice open water swimming and swimming in a wetsuit. Get there as early as 5 am on weekdays to swim without the crowds.

Bike


1. South Walnut Creek Trail

The Southern Walnut Creek Trail is Austin’s first Urban Trail. Not a car in sight!  The trail is open for public use and begins at Govalle Park and ends in the vicinity of Johnny Morris Road and Daffen Lane. The trail is approximately 7.3 miles in length and consists of a 10′ wide concrete trail with 2′ shoulders. There are several creek crossings and trailheads on the trail. The lush surroundings can make seeing around corners difficult at times so this is not a great place for a speed workout.

 

 

2. Veloway

The Veloway at Circle C Ranch Metropolitan Park was constructed in the early ’90s and was the first facility of its kind in the United States.  The Veloway is a 23’ wide, 3.1 miles (5K) long bicycle tract that traverses the natural terrain.   People travel from all over the metropolitan region to cycle here on a daily basis. This path is great because it is for cycling and inline skating only. Still, be on the lookout for the rogue walker or slower cyclist, slower traffic keep to the right and always pass on the left.

Run

1.Violet Crown

After years of strategic land acquisition and planning, the first six-mile segment is now open and the VCT is on its way to becoming the longest trail of its kind in Central Texas. Once complete, the 30-mile trail will provide a unique recreational experience as it passes through the urban wildlands of the Barton Creek Wilderness Park, the City of Sunset Valley, and eventually into Hays County. Be sure to bring your own water and prepare for off-road bathroom situations as there are no water fountains or bathrooms on the trail.

 

2. Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake

The go-to spot in Austin. The urban path meanders along the water’s edge and passes by skyscrapers, neighborhoods, ball fields, and cultural attractions. With the completion of the Boardwalk portion of the Trail in June 2014, the trail no offers a full 10-mile loop. The different street crossings at Lamar, 1st Street, and Congress make scenic and convenient crossovers for making this distance you are looking for. With more than 1.5 million visits a year, the 10-mile trail is Austin’s most recognized and popular recreational area.

Celebs You Didn’t Know Were Triathletes

Ever wondered which of your favorite celebs share the love of triathlon with you??

The world of triathlon knows no bounds. With an estimate of 4 million people participating every year, the sport is constantly growing and adding new athletes to the mix. We see every type of person enter triathlons, but have you ever thought if any of your favorite stars are triathletes too? See if your favorite star made the list with these celebs that TRI!

1. Shawn Colvin

Shawn Colvin, Triathlete

Image: Getty Images

Shawn Colvin is a Grammy award-winning artist that was bitten by the tri-bug back in 2001. “It’s true, once you do one of them you want to do more!” She regularly participates in triathlons all over the country and was even at the 2019 Kerrville Triathlon Festival where she sang the national anthem to kick-off Saturday and Sunday of race weekend! Colvin holds a special place in our hearts because she’s one of our very own.

 

 

James Marsden

Image: Noel Vasquez

2. James Marsden

James Marden is a well-rounded actor, known for his roles in 27 Dresses, Enchanted, and X-Men, is also a regular participant of triathlons all over the States. He is constantly keeping up with his training and participates in various triathlons every year to maintain his muscular physique. Marsden says triathlons are a great way to stay in shape year-round so he is camera-ready at all times.  He even missed the 2017 Emmy awards because it conflicted with one of his triathlons!

 

3. Jennie Finch

Image: Matt Peyton

Jennie Finch is one of the best softball players the sport has ever seen. After retiring from her 11-year career earning her 2 Olympic medals, she hung up her cleats and traded them in for running shoes. She began by entering marathons before she participated in the 2013 New York City Triathlon as a way to get back in shape after her third child was born. She crossed the finish line of the Olympic-distance (we see what she did there) with an impressive time of 2:51:15!

 

 

Triathlete Gordon Ramsay

Image: Clara Molden

4. Gordon Ramsay

Hell’s Kitchen’s overlord, Gordon Ramsay, took his skills out of the kitchen to participate in the 2013 Hawaii Ironman. Since then, Ramsay has competed in several marathons, half-ironman, and other races throughout his journey. The competitive environment of the events is what keeps him coming back year after year. He trains throughout the year to keep up with his physical condition alongside his wife, Tana.

 

Jennifer Lopez Triathlete

Image: Jean Lacroix

 

5. Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez was inspired to begin her journey as a triathlete for a good cause. She participated in her first-ever triathlon at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in 2008 to raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. New to the sport, she had to spend most of her time training for the swim portion. On race morning, her training certainly paid off with her finishing time being 2 hours, 23 minutes and 28 seconds!

 

Matthew McConaughey

Image: Gregg Deguire

6. Matthew McConaughey

Austin local Matthew McConaughey is no stranger to the sport, having completed several triathlons since his journey began. McConaughey started his journey in 2008 by completing an Olympic-distance tri. He showed off his athleticism by earning a time of 1:43:48. How would you like that for your first ever triathlon time?

 

7. Claire Holt

Claire Holt Triathlete

Image: Chris Polk

Best known for her role in the TV series The Vampire Diaries, Claire Holt was instantly hooked on triathlons. Like the other star triathletes, Claire Holt is a regular participant of the celebrity division at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. Once she discovered her love for the sport, she found herself returning every year with the goal of improving her performance! She achieved her goal at the 2012 event by taking home first place with a time of one hour and 44 minutes.

 

Image: Noel Vasquez

8. Joel McHale

Joel McHale is the newest celeb to become a triathlete. He was especially impressed with his defeat of fellow triathlete and star, James Marsden, during the run portion of the race. He plans on returning to race triathlon again next year and plans on recruiting other celebs to join him!

 

9. Megyn Price

Megyn Price

Image: Chelsea Lauran

Rules of Engagement star, Megyn Price, started her triathlon career because she wanted to have a goal that would test her physical strength.  She finds it important for females to have goals that are based on something more than how you look. Her efforts paid off when she took home first place at a 2010 triathlon with a time of 2:10:23, just 3 years after her first tri! Way to go!

 

 

Brendan Hansen Triathlete

Image: Jamie Squire

10. Brendan Hansen

Brendan Hansen is best known for his professional swimming career. During all the chaos of winning 6 Olympic medals, breaking world records left and right, and starting a family, Hansen managed to find time to become a triathlete! Hansen competed alongside our Rookie Triathletes in 2010 and continues to participate in triathlons in and around Austin, Texas. When asked about his triathlon journey, Hansen told The Orange County Register, “Triathletes are great. They’ve got a screw loose, the way they train. But at the finish line, there is a beer tent. How great is that?” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

 

These folks may be superstars, but at the end of the day, their triathlon journey started just like everybody else. Maybe we can invite them to join us on the course this May with the CapTexTri!

 

Simple Steps to Eliminate Bike Shifting Issues

Derailleur Adjustment Tips

Experiencing issues shifting when hitting the road to log some miles on your bike? You most likely need to make some adjustments to your derailleur. Shifting problems are a common occurrence for cyclists and triathletes. So we’re going to give you some expert tips to fix your shifting problems yourself. Get ready to expand your bike mechanic skills and learn these quick, easy steps to adjust your derailleur and put a stop to your shifting issues! 

What’s a Derailleur?

A derailleur is a device on your bike that changes gears by moving the chain from one sprocket to another. There are several different styles and sizes when it comes to derailleurs. But when it comes to fixing shifting issues, the steps you should follow are often the same.

Derailleur Basics for Shifting Issues

Derailleur mechanics provide a simple way for you to dial in shifting in the middle of a ride. Although it’s easiest to make and check adjustments when the bicycle is supported in a repair stand, you can adjust your derailleur without any tools at all. 

If you suspect your derailleur may be damaged or bent, unfortunately, you won’t be able to fix this one yourself. You’ll need to take your bike to your favorite local bike shop to have a mechanic help you out. The following tips are for derailleurs that just need slight adjustments such as a tweak to the shifter, elimination of rubbing, or quieting that pesky squeaking sound. 

Identify the Problem

To adjust the derailleur, look at the point where the cable enters the rear derailleur. Here you’ll see a round, knob-like piece; that’s the cable adjustment barrel. This is used to tune the derailleur adjustment.

Standing behind the bike, turn the cable adjustment barrel either counterclockwise or clockwise in half-turn increments until the shifting hesitation is cured. The direction in which you turn your derailleur depends on what type of hesitation you’re experiencing.

The most common problem is slow-shifting into easier gears (toward the spokes) which is due to the stretching of the cable. But, it’s also possible that you’re experiencing difficulty with shifting into a higher gear, which means the cog isn’t allowing the chain to shift outward smoothly to the next gear.

So, which way do you turn it? Determine this to continue to your next steps to adjust your derailleur.

  • Experiencing slow shifting – turn the barrel adjuster counter-clockwise toward the spokes. This will tighten the space between the cogs or shifting increments.
  • Difficulty shifting into a higher gear – turn the barrel adjuster clockwise, away from the spokes to loosen the space between the cogs to allow for easier shifting.

Time to Adjust Your Derailleur

Commit this to memory to help you remember which way to turn the barrel adjuster the next time you experience shifting issues. 

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

Pro tip: Be aware that there is a range of acceptable adjustments, so there may be more than one barrel adjuster position that results in good shifting performance.

No More Shifting Issues!

Now you have the right tips to adjust your derailleur back into place for a smooth ride with easy, noise-free shifting.  If you were experiencing trouble with your shifting, remember these tips to adjust your derailleur before your next ride. If you have a friend who is constantly dealing with shifting problems, help them out, and share this with them! Congrats! You have a mechanic you trust and know will keep you in good hands, YOU!

Now you’re ready to go and check out these fantastic cyclist-friendly routes in Austin.

 

Wetsuit or No Wetsuit?

Let’s start by saying that wetsuits are completely optional at CapTex Tri. The water temperature is 75 on average, which is more than comfortable to swim in without a wetsuit. So what are the advantages and disadvantages to wearing one? We created a specific why or why not list for those who want to wear wetsuits for swimming but still aren’t sure if they should or shouldn’t.

Remember the golden rule: Nothing new on race day. Unless you have an opportunity to swim in the exact wetsuit you will wear on race day at least once before, it is advised to not try something new the day of the race. 

A Quick Overview of the Rules and Water Temps

Here are the USAT’s rule on wetsuits and water temps. (all temps refer to surface water temperatures)

Under 50 degrees: Not suitable for open water swimming, even with a wetsuit

50 to 65 degrees: Suitable for open water swim, but a wetsuit is highly advised

65 – 78 degrees: Suitable for swimming with or without a wetsuit. Sleeveless suits are popular at this temp.

78 – 84 degrees: Race directors use their judgment to allow or not allow wetsuits at this range. Usually not eligible for awards at this temperature.

Over 84 degrees: Wetsuits not allowed

Why Wear a Wetsuit

Help Swim Ability

Wetsuits provide buoyancy. This can come in handy for any open water swim “panic” as the wetsuit will give you extra lift and make it easier to float while you bring your heart rate down and your focus back to swimming.

“Free” Speed

The buoyancy of the suit allows the wearer to swim faster than without the suit. The better the swimmer the less advantage the wetsuit may show. A swimmer can expect to save anywhere from a few seconds to tens of seconds per 100. Usually the longer the distance the more the savings is noticeable. With less exertion in the water, you will feel less of an energy drain as you are heading up to T1. Hence, it’s a good idea to invest in some good swimwear.

Warmth

The wetsuit can provide warmth to the swimmer in the cold water. If you are sensitive to the cold this can be great at making you more comfortable in the water.

Why Not Wear a Wetsuit

Cost

Wetsuits can be a big investment costing anywhere from just over $100 to almost a $1000.

Constricting

If you are not very comfortable and used to wearing a wetsuit, they can be constricting. Imagine wearing a life vest that is a size too small. This tight feeling across the chest can cause panic if one finds themselves uncomfortable mid-swim.

Added Time For Taking Off

While they may save you time while swimming, you still have to get out of the suit. This can add minutes to your transition time.

So to sum it up, it is really a toss up to how you feel on race morning and what you have trained for. Pack it in your bag and if it comes time to leave transition and you don’t want to wear it, simply leave it by your bike.

What else should you wear on race day? Check here

Run these Austin Hills to Become a Stronger Runner

Build strength and stamina when you run these Austin hills

Very few people enjoy hill workouts. But you can’t deny the benefits of including hill workouts with your routine. Whether you’re training or maintaining, adding at least one hill-based workout has many benefits. Yes, your pace will be slower, but that’s okay. You’ll build stamina, strengthen your lower body, and increase your lung capacity. Add one workout a week on these different Austin hills to begin seeing a difference. If needed, make it every other week to begin. And yes it’s okay to run/walk these Austin hills when you first start. Pro tip: you’re asking your body to work harder, take care of it with these tips to beat the heat.

“Hills are speedwork in disguise.” – Frank Shorter (gold medalist, marathon, 1972 Summer Olympics; silver medalist, marathon, 1976 Summer Olympics)

Wilke

Climb Wilke and arrive at Rabb Road.

There are few people in Austin who haven’t heard of Wilke, a well-known classic in the Barton Hills neighborhood. The entire road itself is about .3 miles, but you can push that to nearly half a mile (and >100 feet elevation change) with this workout:

  • begin at Barton Hills and Wilke Drive
  • Run (against traffic) to the top of the Wilke, you’ll end at Rabb Road
  • turn around and head back down (make sure to control yourself!)
  • take a left on Barton Parkway; make a U-turn at the footbridge
  • return to your starting point, rest for 60 seconds, repeat as desired

Ladera Norte

To visit Ladera Norte head to northwest Austin, past Far West Boulevard. Many different routes can be created from this hill, but this workout is a ~1.3-mile lollipop route that has about 325 feet elevation change. Park at Ladera Norte and Valburn Drive. 

  • run south on Ladera Norte and control your stride
  • take a right on Backtrail Drive., it’ll end at Ladera Norte
  • take a left on Ladera Norte and begin your ascent; Pro tip: keep your head low, lean forward, pump your arms, and keep your feet moving
  • rest for 2:30 minutes at the top, repeat as desired

Hill of Life

Runners running up and down Hill of Life.

Get off the roads and conquer the Hill of Life on the Greenbelt! Pay attention to this route, especially as you descend the Hill of Life. What starts at the top with great views ends nearly half a mile downhill, with nearly 300 feet of elevation change. There are no major turns unless you want to run on the trail for a 5-minute recovery. Repeat as desired. Get to the Hill of Life on foot (several Greenbelt access points) or by car (take Scottish Woods Trial off 360). This workout will help strengthen the muscles in your feet and teach you about building your mental toughness.

Pease Park

This double-roller near Shoal Creek doesn’t have the elevation gain of the other three on this list, but it’s a great workout nonetheless.

  • start near the picnic tables at Pease Park, run west on Kingsbury Street (climbs aren’t gnarly, but there is a flat part before the second hill)
  • use this section to briefly recover before attacking the second hill
  • there’s more than a quarter-mile until the crest, turn around at the top, use the downhill to recover
  • rest at Pease Park for 60 seconds, repeat as desired

When you visit these Austin hills it’s important to bring fluids with you, especially during the Texas summers. Pease Park has water fountains, but if you prefer your own hydration plan accordingly. As for all workouts on the road, be visible/reflective, run against traffic, be predictable, and keep an eye out for cars. If you’re running as a group, don’t hog the road and run no more than side-by-side. Don’t forget to strengthen your core. These 5 core exercises will help you do just that, allowing you to be in more control of your body when you run up and come back down these Austin hills.

How to Get Comfortable with the Aero Position

Take advantage of the benefits of riding your bike in the aero position

Triathletes are always looking for different ways to get faster. That could include increased training, improved nutrition/hydration, or better equipment. If you’ve ever seen a cyclist in a more hunched-over position not using their original handlebar, they’re in the aero position. Their arms are placed on the aero bar and they keep their body more parallel to the ground than a traditional cyclist. Riding in the aero position during training or your triathlon allows for increased power output while conserving energy. 

Ask your tri friends for aero position advice.

This doesn’t happen overnight. Like all training, you have to work at it. Getting more comfortable with the aero position over time will allow you to take advantage of its benefits. Below are a few tips that’ll help you adjust to this new position. Pro tip: continue to work on your everyday bike skills for continued growth.

Ask your tri friends

Before you dive into anything that involves change, ask your triathlon friends and club/group. Firsthand information will be instrumental in discovering what works best for you. Tips, advice, gear, and recommendations can get you going in the right direction. Using the aero position is a big switch to your current riding. All the information you can obtain is helpful.

But don’t stop at just asking questions. Watch what others do when in the aero position. See what products they use. Ask how much they had to adjust different components on their bike. Lastly, ask someone if you can give their bike a test ride to see if you even like the aero position. You can complete this ride on one of these cyclist-friendly courses in Austin or on a trainer.

Make incremental changes

The Veloway is a cyclist-friendly place to ride in Austin.

To achieve an aero position that is best for you, you need to make changes to your riding posture. Do so with incremental changes. If you want to adjust your saddle height, make adjustments 1-2mm at a time until you find what’s comfortable for you. 

Ride in the new position for a week or two, see if it’s comfortable, and make changes as needed. Eventually, you’ll become accustomed to the new posture. Making incremental changes helps prevent injuries and allows you to find the new saddle height that’s right for you.

Check fit of elbow cups

Elbow cups, scoops, armrests, whatever the name, this is where you place your arms when in the aero position. Comfort is important since your elbows and forearms will be on the aero bars for the majority of the time. If you find your current set is lackluster, get something better. Also, you can put extra padding on the elbow cups for better support. As with the saddle height incremental changes, make armrest adjustments until you find the position that works for you.

Practice the new aero position

Just like anything related to triathlon training, you have to practice! Once you find the aero position that best fits you, practice in it as often as you can to become increasingly comfortable. Even if you’re still making adjustments keep practicing so you can diagnose the needed changes. Practice with these 1-hour bike workouts until you get more comfortable.

The aero position can help increase speed and conserve energy. Credit – Scott Flathouse

Incremental change includes time spent in aero. Spend some time there, then return to your regular handlebar. Once you become more comfortable, increase the duration of holding the aero position. Then ride in this position on turns, when you need to pass, or with a large group. With continued practice, you’ll take advantage of the benefits of the aero position in no time.

Work on your core/upper body strength, and flexibility

Your core and upper body strength are essential to the aero position. Building strength helps prevent fatigue, allowing you to push harder and longer. Improving the flexibility of your lower back helps you get in a better and more comfortable position. Add these 5 core exercises to build your strength. You can do them anywhere!

Fine-tuning your aero position for maximum comfort will help you get optimal results. With continued practice, you’ll find the right position and increase your speed. Just like any other aspect of your training plan, this will not happen instantly. You’ll have to constantly work at this is order to find what works best for you.

How Your Bike Cadence Can Influence Your Run

Focus more on your bike cadence when you learn how it can influence your run

Running is an aerobic exercise that can help burn calories, build strength, and improve your cardiovascular health. But to become a well-rounded runner you should understand how other strength-building exercises can influence your run. This is especially true for triathletes as the run is the final leg of triathlon. Cycling, the second leg of triathlon, can influence your run and actually make you a better runner. Focus on your bike cadence, the number of pedal revolutions per minute, during training. It’ll positively influence your run by increasing your speed, boosting your endurance, and building your muscle strength. 

You’ll shorten your stride and become a better runner when you improve your bike cadence.

4 ways your bike cadence can make you a better runner

Boost your endurance and stamina

Endurance and stamina are must-haves when training for triathlon, especially if you compete in longer-distance triathlons. Your body and mind must be prepared for what you’re going to ask of it on race day. Add long weekend rides to your training to work on your endurance without the wear and tear of long-distance running. Once you become comfortable with long-distance rides, add brick workouts to the equation. To start, follow a 10:1 brick workout where you ride a 10-mile loop and then run 1 mile when you get back. This tests and builds your stamina while preparing your legs for what they’ll experience on race day.

Reduce your chances of injury

Riding hilly routes might slow your cadence, but they’ll increase your strength.

Biking is a low-impact activity that doesn’t put as much strain on your body as running does. That’s why many runners who aren’t triathletes cross-train with cycling. When cycling, your body is exercising and strengthening muscles you use while swimming and running differently. Injury chances can decrease when you reduce overusing your muscles. Even changing your bike cadence while riding works muscles differently. These 1-hour bike workouts are an excellent addition to your training plan. They’ll allow you to mix up your bike cadence.

Quicker cadence improves your speed

Most triathletes with a running background have a longer stride and slower cadence. A faster cadence on the bike can help you shorten your stride and increase your turnover rate. This could improve your speed and efficiency when running. If you’re tracking this information in real-time, you should ride a route with little to zero traffic. These 3 cyclist-friendly spots in Austin are perfect.

Build quad and glute strength

You can really focus on your bike cadence during a long weekend ride.

Biking and running develop strength in your hamstrings, quads, and glutes. Biking, in particular, will help you increase the strength in those muscles differently than running which will translate to your power output. As you get stronger on the bike, your power output on the bike and the run will increase. Riding a hilly route might slow your cadence due to the climbs, but you’ll use those muscles differently and become stronger. Before you increase the frequency and distance of your rides, make sure you’re well-versed in cycling’s rules of the road.

That’s right, riding your bike can also make you a better and more efficient runner. By improving your bike cadence you can improve your speed, strength, and stamina. Whether it’s a brick workout, hilly route, or long weekend ride, set goals for your cadence. This will give you something to strive for during the ride that’ll influence your run. Don’t forget to adjust your bike cadence goals for different rides and as you get stronger.

Nearly 1300 Triathletes Return to Racing at CapTex Triathlon

Austin skyline provided the backdrop for CapTex Tri’s return to racing

The 29th annual CapTex Triathlon presented by Life Time welcomed nearly 1300 triathletes from 26 states to Austin, Texas, for their return to racing during Memorial Day weekend. Race weekend included a one-day expo, endless views of downtown Austin, and triathletes crossing their first physical finish line in more than a year. Austin’s only downtown triathlon features a swim course in Lady Bird Lake, bike course through downtown Austin, and run course at Auditorium Shores. 

Credit – Scott Flathouse

“CapTex Tri produced an unforgettable race day, we had great weather, and the on-course support was amazing,” said Emily Shryock, paratriathlete who finished the Sprint distance in 1:57:19. “This was an excellent way to return to racing after not having events for more than a year!” 

Something for everyone

CapTex Tri’s return to racing featured a one-day packet pick up and expo on Sunday, May 30th. Race day was Monday, May 31st, and included three distances and different divisions for triathletes of all abilities. Distances included the Sprint (750m swim, 12.3-mile bike, 5K run), Olympic (1500m swim, 24.3-mile bike, 10K run), and the newly-introduced Rookie (300m swim, 12.3-mile bike, 2-mile run). Athletes received a finisher medal, customized shirt, tote bag, and sunglasses. Additionally, they got a reusable custom water bottle, personalized race bib, and Zone3 swim cap. They refueled with post-race fruit, snacks, and drinks. 

Credit – Scott Flathouse

The Olympic distance’s Open Division provided great competition between professional triathletes and elites who began with a mass swim start. Chris Pietraszkiewicz (1:52:35), of San Antonio, Texas, barely edged out Mark Saroni (1:52:40), of San Antonio, for the Olympic distance title. Adrian Cameron (2:00:39) finished third. Haley Koop (2:13:25) and Mina Pizzini (2:20:07) followed Snyder-Elcock, finishing second and third respectively. They rounded out the Olympic distance female top 3.

“It was great to be back racing in my hometown of Austin with so many other triathletes and an energetic crowd,” said Sierra Snyder-Elcock, 2021 CapTex Triathlon Olympic distance female champion (2:07:38). “It’s been so long since I’ve crossed a real finish line and I wanted to make sure that I finished strong!”

CapTex Tri’s return to racing a success

Credit – Scott Flathouse

Ben Rawson (50:59) was the Sprint distance male champion and Clare Anne Dasso (1:06:04) was the Sprint distance female champion. Male and female champions of the Rookie distance were Joe Alvarez (47:35) and Lesley Murray (1:02:45). 2021 participants can see their results on the CapTex Tri website and continue to share their memorable experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Triathletes can expect their FinisherPix race day photos to be ready in 24-48 hours after the race.

“The Sprint was so much fun and my adrenaline was pumping this morning,” said Charlotte Burleson of Waco, Texas, who placed first in the Sprint distance female 45-49 age group (1:22:23). “The entire event was done so well and we’re glad to be back out racing with everyone else. If you haven’t been to CapTex Tri you have to add it to your list!”

30th annual CapTex Tri

Credit – Scott Flathouse

CapTex Tri, owned and produced by High Five Events, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2022 with Special Pricing. These deals are good for 30 days, through Wednesday, June 30th. Don’t miss your chance to swim, bike, and run Austin’s only downtown triathlon. 

CapTex Triathlon would like to thank sponsors and partners Life Time, Zone3, Ascension Seton, Camp Gladiator, Fleet Feet Austin, Austin Tri Club, Athlinks, FinisherPix, Super Coffee, the City of Austin, Austin Police Department, CapMetro, Austin Public Health, and Travis County EMS.