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Training Tweaks to Improve Your Run Performance

Training Tweaks to Improve Your Run Performance

Improve your run performance for your next tri

If you’re looking to improve your overall endurance when it comes to running, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few ways to improve your run performance for your upcoming triathlon. 

Adjust Your Current Running Plan

Start by evaluating your current running abilities to establish your starting point and work from there. Then, you can determine how you will need to make adjustments to your run training. No matter how seasoned you are as a triathlete, preparation for the run leg is very similar. The most notable difference in advanced triathletes and new triathletes is the distance and duration of the runs. If you’re new to running or just got into running, try a high-intensity run to test your endurance capacity. Try to keep your pace consistent when doing so. Keep track of how long you were able to run at that pace without becoming fatigued. This is your starting point.

Improve Your Endurance

For beginners, maintaining the right pace for extended periods can be tough. We see this when athletes start too fast and fade at the end during a workout. An excellent way to learn how to maintain a new, faster pace is to do track-type workouts on a treadmill. Treadmill sessions are good for this because you’ll become used to holding your pace while dealing with fatigue. Short intervals on a treadmill while adjusting the incline can lead to an increase in your pace and speed without having to exert a ton of energy. This will especially help if your triathlon run has a hilly run course. During this time of focusing on your run, increase the number of run workouts you do in a week. Pro tip: be sure you’re warming up and cooling down for each session for the maximum payoff!

Get Used to Running on Tired LegsRunning on tired legs

Improve your run by incorporating brick workouts into your training and get out for a longer, more challenging run than usual after hard swimming or cycling sessions. Completing swimming or cycling workouts back to back with a run workout will help to familiarize your body with the movement patterns and expectations you’ll need for the day of your race. Because the run is the last leg of the tri, it’s important that you get used to running on tired legs.

Takeaway

Once you have mastered the running basics and established a starting point, you’ll start seeing improvements. Integrating these tips will likely increase your resistance to fatigue and improve your ability to run for longer periods of time at a steady pace. These tips are useful to triathletes because completing better quality speed training will lead to faster run time, and overall finishing time. With thought and planning, now is the perfect time to improve your triathlon run performance like never before.

Difference Between Triathlon Bikes and Road Bikes

How to Know the Difference Between Triathlon and Road Bikes

Triathlon Bikes vs. Road Bikes: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to triathlon, a bike is, well, a necessity. How are you supposed to know which bike is best suited for you if you’re new to triathlon or limited on options? In this blog, we’re going to talk about two types of bikes: road bikes and triathlon bikes. Keep reading to understand some key differences between triathlon bikes and road bikes so you can decide which fits your style best for your triathlon journey.

How They’re Different

The most notable difference is the design, or geometry of the frame of each bike. Triathlon bikes have a steeper angle of the seat. Seats on a road bike are positioned at, on average, 78 degrees while the angle on a triathlon bike is closer to 72 degrees. The steeper angle allows the user to travel at a faster rate because you can bend your body down lower which reduces wind resistance. Another huge difference is that a triathlon bike includes aerobars instead of regular handlebars and many models have specially shaped frame tubing and special wheels. These design features are intended to minimize drag and increase speed which is important in triathlon racing.

Triathlon Bikes

Tri bikes allow you to get into a more aerodynamic position by lowering your upper body and bringing your arms in-line with your torso. This is a result of the tilt of the seat in combination with aero bars that cause the cycler to lay lower on the bike with elbows rested. The goal here is to be in the optimal position for a smoother, faster ride.  Unlike other handlebar positions, aero bars serve as both handgrips as well as armrests, allowing you to significantly reduce the pressure on your wrists and hands throughout a race or riding for an extended amount of time.Key Traits of a Triathlon Bike

Key Traits of a Tri Bike

  • has aerobars
  • more aggressive frame geometry
  • can be more expensive
  • better for speed
  • more aerodynamic

 

Road Bikes

Road bikes are great when aerodynamics are not the top priority. These bikes are typically easy to maneuver during longer rides. Road bike frames are slim and also come with thin tires for riding on the road. The handles on road bikes offer different hand positions. Because of this, most people find road bikes to be more comfortable because you can alter your riding position as needed. For beginner triathletes, we recommended trying a road bike before a triathlon bike.

Key Traits of a Road Bike

Key Traits of a Road Bike

  • more versatile
  • less expensive
  • lightweight
  • can add clip-on aero bars
  • easy to customize

 

Now it’s Time to Make a Decision! Which Bike Will You Choose?

Now that you know the key differences between the types of bikes, take a moment to weigh your options before deciding which bike is better suited for your riding needs. Keep in mind: comfort is key, but you don’t want to compromise speed for comfort or vice versa. It’s all about finding a bike with a balance that works best for your body and your cycling needs. Whichever bike you choose, either will do for the day of your big race. Now, all there’s left to do is choose your bike, grab your shades, and start logging those miles!

Which type of bike do you prefer? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter and tell us what you decide to name your new set of wheels!

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!

Beat the Heat! Training tips for the summer

Beat the Heat: Tips for Training this Summer

Summer is setting in, take precautions when adjusting to training in the heat.

Even with the occasional summer thunderstorms, temperatures in Central Texas consistently hit the mid-90s. High temperatures won’t keep you from training, so you need to make some adjustments. Training in the heat does have some benefits, but being smart and altering your schedule/plan will help uphold your training regimen, and continue without any bumps. Incorporate these 5 tips for training in the heat to be prepared for the Virtual CapTex Tri, or your next race.

Ease Into It

Give yourself some time to get used to the temperature adjustment. Although some athletes have less trouble adapting to training in warmer temps, that may not be the case for you. If you know you struggle with adapting to training in the heat, it’s important to take baby steps. At first, shorten your runs or rides as you adapt to handle the heat. Then, work your way up to the distance you are training for.

Listen to Your Body

You know your body better than anyone. Paying attention to the way you feel while out on a run or ride is the first thing to do in establishing a baseline for keeping you cool as the temperatures soar during your training.  Early signs and symptoms of heat illness include fatigue, discomfort, lightheadedness, disorientation, and nausea. This will be your indicator of how you need to adjust the following in order to keep up with your tri training during these hot upcoming summer months.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

Hydrating on the CapTex Tri course!

Hydrating on the CapTex Tri course!

This is the most obvious and most over-looked tip for training in the heat. You know to hydrate in the summer months, but you don’t always do it. Perhaps you get caught up and forget during your day-to-day schedule. Even if you are hydrating, it may not be enough. It’s recommended that we drink 64 ounces of water a day. In the summer months that should increase, especially when training in the heat. Your body is losing fluids and you need to make it a priority to replace them. Don’t just drink water either, incorporate an electrolyte-enhanced drink.  Alternate between water and electrolytes. If you’re training in the heat you should aim for no less than 100 ounces of water/electrolytes every day. So start early, and drink up!

Train in the mornings/evenings

It’s no secret that the hottest part of the day is noon – 5:00 p.m. If you can avoid training during that timeframe – do it!  Your training should occur earlier in the mornings or later in the evenings during the summer months. Training early in the morning before work is your best bet. That’s the coolest part of the day. For those of you who love your sleep, try to move your workouts to an evening time like 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. It’ll be warm, just not as hot as midday. Bonus – without the sun angled directly over you like it would be in the middle of the day, there will be more shade on your run or ride.

Dress to Sweat

Runner in light-colored clothes to prevent over heating

Wear light, breathable clothing to combat the heat!

You’re going to sweat, so aim to wear light-colored, breathable clothing when training. Darker colored clothing attracts and absorbs more of the sun’s heat. Cotton shirts and shorts absorb and carry sweat, and can weigh you down. Wear light-colored, breathable clothing when training in the heat. The lighter colors will reflect the sunlight and not absorb as much heat. The same goes for breathable clothing. The fabric is less absorbant so you’ll wick away sweat and prevent your clothes from weighing you down. This allows your body to stay cool and work more efficiently.

Run/bike on the Trails

Hit the trails! The pavement’s temperature can soar as high as 140 degrees when you’re running or cycling. This heat can last well into the evening. Visit some of the many local trails for your next run or ride. The shade from the trees helps keep the temperatures down. There’s often little-to-no vehicle traffic. The ground is softer than the hot concrete. Often times there’s a creek or river nearby that you can jump in if needed. Check out some favorite shaded spots to train from Jack’s Generic Tri. Bonus – the trails will make you a better runner/cyclist!

As you can see, there are many ways to beat the summer heat and stay in shape. Use these tips to stay cool this summer and continue to tackle your triathlon goals.

Why You Should Wear Sunglasses When Riding Your Bike

Why You Should Wear Sunglasses When Riding Your Bike

Wearing sunglasses when riding isn’t just for looking cool

In addition to looking hip, wearing sunglasses regularly can have several benefits. This applies to running, hanging at the beach, driving a car, and especially when riding your bike. If you have some sweet specs that make you look cool, all the better! We recommend the UA Igniter II Sunglasses by Under Armour.

Protectionprotecting her eyes during a bike ride!

  • Dust and debris – You will encounter visible and non-visible projectiles whether you’re riding the trails or commuting to work. Wearing sunglasses when riding your bike to protect your eyes from flying debris might be the most important reason. Flying debris doesn’t care if you’re riding solo or with a group. Cars kick up rocks, bugs are everywhere, even other cyclists can kick up debris on the side of the road. Dust is everywhere. It’s often stirred up by cars, other riders, or Mother Nature. Glasses won’t protect you from all the dust, but it’ll surely help. If you wear shades when riding then you know you have to clean them after every ride.
  • UV exposure – Repeated exposure to UVA and UVB radiation from the sun will have negative consequences on your vision. Protecting your eyes is critical to the short-term, and in this case, the long-term health of your eyes. Make sure your lenses are polarized and have a coating that absorbs the sun’s rays. Lenses also need to be a neutral color, not crazy tints and extreme colors. Your goal is to protect your eyes while replicating what your eyes see naturally.

Safety

  • Clearer view – The correct lenses will help clear your view when cycling. Cyclists have a large amount of information to process when riding. You’re watching for vehicles, intersections, signaling turns, avoiding potholes, tracking other cyclists and runners, the list goes on. Any time you can eliminate distractions you free up the ability to pay attention and process more information. Proper lenses will also help reduce the sun’s glare. Glare could shine in your eyes from street signs, windows on buildings, or the hoods of cars. Proper fitting sunglasses will also reduce the amount of wind that hits your eyes. Wind alone can cause dryness and irritation when riding.

Next time you’re logging some miles for your CapTex Tri training, be sure to wear a pair of sunglasses when riding your bike. Even a cheap pair will provide protection until you can get a pair that you’ll love. Taking care of your eyes now will pay dividends down the road.

Swim Faster with Fins

Swim Faster with Fins

Use fins during your swim training to become faster in the water

Do you want to improve your kick strength, ankle flexibility, body position, and increase your speed in the water? If you’re thinking, duh, try adding fins to some of your swimming workouts for your upcoming tri! With the right amount of training and the right tools, you’ll be on track to improve your swimming abilities for CapTex Tri in no time.

Why you should use fins

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

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

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

Technique-focused workout

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

2 Rounds

use fins to become faster in the water2 x 25 over-exaggerated flutter kick (with kickboard)
4 x 25 freestyle, easy
2 x 25 over-exaggerated flutter kick (no kickboard)
4 x 25 freestyle, mid-level effort
2 x 25 over-exaggerated flutter kick (with kickboard)
4 x 25 freestyle, easy

Free Mother's Day Coupon Book from CapTex Tri

Free Mother’s Day Coupon Book from CapTex Tri

Surprise the triathlete mom in your life with this free, downloadable Mother’s Day Coupon Book

What do you give the woman who gives you everything? Mom’s do it all from sunrise to sundown all day, every day, and we think they deserve a little more appreciation. If you have trouble coming up with creative ideas mom will love, you’ve come to the right place.  Here’s the perfect gift for the ultimate tri mom to make her feel special this Mother’s Day. Luckily, homemade gifts are a guaranteed shoo-in for Mom and fun for the kids to make! Get ready to make mom feel extra special and loved this year with this free CapTex Tri coupon book for Mother’s Day.

Get a sneak peek of what Mom can expect in her Mother’s Day Coupon Book!

1. Wash Her Bike
2. Join Mom for a Run
3. Tri Day – Free Pass of Uninterrupted Training for the Day
4. Post-Run or Ride Foot Massage
5. Go for a Ride Together — try these great introductory places to ride around Austin from The Rookie Tri gang!
And many more! Plus, the best part about these coupons is they don’t expire!

Pro tip: Use these coupons during your training for your upcoming tri for some extra training time thanks to the family this year. Then, enter your email to download the Mother’s Day Coupon Book! With these awesome options, it may be tough for which one mom chooses to use first. If you need some extra help putting your coupon book together, use these instructions as your guide!

Click here to download your Mother’s Day Coupon Book!

Free Mother's Day Coupon Book from CapTex Tri

And there you have a free Mother’s Day coupon book! We hope your book turned out well and we’re sure mom will love it. Happy Mother’s Day to all the incredible moms out there, we hope you enjoy the training time you’ll get from this Mother’s Day coupon book!

29th Annual CapTex Tri Canceled

Austin’s only downtown triathlon, CapTex Tri, canceled

Thank you for your interest in the 29th annual CapTex Tri presented by Life Time Fitness. We absolutely love Austin’s only downtown triathlon and were ready for another magnificent Memorial Day weekend with triathletes from across the country. We are so thankful to all the participants, volunteers, and event partners who join us every year. Let’s get the bad news out of the way so we can get to the good news.

Unfortunately, as a result of mandates by local/state governments and the recommended CDC guidelines, we are forced to cancel the CapTex Tri scheduled for May 25th. And, unfortunately, postponement is not a viable option based on permitting and venue availability. We know that CapTex Tri being canceled is disappointing and understand the time dedicated to training for your event. Please know that this cancellation was made with the safety of the entire community in mind. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and understanding.

The Good News

All registered participants can transfer to one of our upcoming triathlons at no cost or request a full refund. Events that are open to transfer include:

Transfer

If the event you transfer to is also canceled we will offer transfers/refunds via a similar process. Participants who wish to upgrade distances at Kerrville Tri or 2021 CapTex Tri will need to pay the difference in registration for that distance. That request can only be filled after the transfer to the original distance is complete.

Refund

All merchandise and USAT one-day purchases will be refunded for the event, regardless of transfer or refund request. If you select to transfer you will receive a merchandise refund notice from EventDog.com before you receive instructions to transfer your registration to another event. To process everyone we need all responses no later than Friday, May 29, 2020. Please note the refund and transfer process will take up to two weeks for us to complete.

Participants may request a full refund if they do not wish to transfer registration to any of the above events. Current virtual participants will be refunded and are invited to join in the new FREE virtual event that will launch next week. We ask that all participants submit their request by Friday, May 10th. Anyone who does not fill out the request form will be automatically transferred to next year’s CapTex Tri at no cost.

Every participant should receive an email with details on how to complete this process. If you didn’t please check your spam folder. If you still can’t find it, email info@captextri.com and we are happy to resend you the link.

More Good News: Free Virtual CapTex for Everyone!

We will also offer a free virtual triathlon/duathlon to all participants and the entire triathlon community. There will be fun incentives, free downloadable personalized bibs, and finisher certificates. The free virtual event will launch next week, so keep an eye on your inbox!

We look forward to seeing you soon and will continue to post blogs and social media on triathlon, training, and everything you need for a healthy and happy lifestyle.