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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

5 of the Best Multisport Watches for Competitive Triathletes

Read about 5 of the best multisport watches before your next purchase

With so many multisport watches on the market, it can be difficult to choose one that best fits your needs. Triathletes need a watch that can track swimming, cycling, and running. Ideally, it can track all three sports combined in a single event. The price spectrum for a triathlon-specific watch can range from $200 to $700+ and there’s no shortage of options. To help narrow the scope, we’ve chosen 5 of the best multisport watches that provide everything competitive triathletes need to train smart and race their best. Check out 5 of the best multisport watches below and order yours today with the available link! 

Garmin Forerunner 745 Triathlon Watch 

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is perhaps the most popular triathlon smartwatch that seamlessly tracks swim, bike, and run activities in a consecutive, user-friendly way. Even more ideal for triathletes and endurance athletes is the Forerunner 745’s capabilities to measure key performance metrics like VO2 max, cycling power, cadence, stride length, ground contact time, and overall training load.

  • Water rating: 5 ATM / Up to 50 meters 
  • Weight: 47 grams 
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode Up to 1 week
  • GPS mode: Up to 16 hours (with music up to 6 hours)
  • Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels

Breakdown

The Garmin Forerunner 745 is a perfect alternative for athletes who want all the features of the Forerunner 945 but without directional map guidance and not quite as long battery life. As with many of Garmin’s advanced smartwatches, the Forerunner 745 provides valuable metrics for distance athletes, such as aerobic and anaerobic feedback (which is especially useful for those training half-Ironman distance, full Ironman, and ultra-distance events). It’s also equipped with heart rate variability (HRV), which provides a real-time assessment of your body’s ability to train or race. 

If you’re looking for the best triathlon watch for the cost, the Garmin Forerunner 745 caters to all the data junkies’ needs at a sub-$500 price tag. Not only is it a robust multisport watch that packs an altimeter and global navigation satellite system (GNSS), but it’s equipped with Garmin’s array of lifestyle features, like music, safety tracking, Garmin Coach, Garmin Pay contactless payments, and smart notifications like emails, texts, and alerts.

COROS PACE 2 GPS Sport Watch

The COROS PACE 2 is an entry-level multisport watch that is designed with triathletes in mind. As a high-performance option that’s priced in the sub-$200 range, the PACE 2 is exceptionally lightweight and long-lasting. It can last up to 20 days before needing a charge.

  • Water rating: 5 ATM / Up to 50 meters
  • Weight: 35 grams
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode: Up to 20 days
  • GPS mode life: Up to 30 hours (UltraMax GPS mode up to 60 hours)
  • Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels

Breakdown

COROS PACE 2 is an impressive display of engineering that provides uncompromised performance in harsh conditions. Not only does it track performance metrics for swimming, cycling, and running workouts, but the watch’s Tri-mode tracks all three of these disciplines consecutively, which for the price, makes it one of the best multisport watches for triathlon events

COROS PACE 2 is a beautifully-designed triathlon watch that offers modern aesthetics. The screen size is large enough to see metrics at a glance easily but isn’t as bulky as other popular multisport watches. The silicone watch band option delivers a 50% weight reduction, making it great for shorter, time-trial events, and long-course racing.

Polar Vantage M Triathlon Watch

If you’re looking for a lightweight multisport watch with a minimalist look and feel, the Polar Vantage M offers entry-level pricing with top-rate performance. GPS-enabled and designed specifically for triathletes, you can track open water swimming, cycling, and running workouts. You can even track complete triathlon events with a single push of the button.

  • Water Rating: 3 ATM / Up to 30 meters 
  • Weight: 45 grams
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode Up to 5 days
  • GPS mode life: Up to 30 hours
  • Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels

Breakdown

The Polar Vantage M doesn’t stop at being a top-tier multisport watch. Athletes can track up to 130 different activities and 20 sport profiles along with customizable personal metric settings for each. The Polar Vantage M simplifies quantifying your training and seeing exactly how your workouts affect your body.

Polar’s Training Load Pro monitors the level of stress your training puts on your cardiovascular system (Cardio Load), including how strained you feel (Subjective Load). Triathletes who use a power meter can even see “Muscle Load” data. This is especially beneficial for high-intensity sessions, like short intervals sprints, and hill training.

Suunto 9 Baro GPS Multisport Watch

Touted for its GPS-enabled long battery life and atmospheric tracking capabilities, the Suunto 9 Baro is a high-performance multisport watch that’s designed for endurance athletes who demand longevity, accuracy, and versatility from their gear

  • Water rating: 10 ATM / Up to 100 meters 
  • Weight: 81 grams 
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode Up to 14 days (Battery Saver mode 34 days)
  • GPS mode: Up to 120 hours
  • Display resolution: 320 x 300 pixels

Breakdown

Delivering features like race pacing, power cycling, barometer, elevation, navigation/orientation, weather, and GPS-enabled features, the Suunto 9 Baro is more than any triathlete needs. But for those who do more than triathlon, the Baro supports those who participate in ultrarunning, mountain and road bike cycling, extreme multisport events, mountaineering, and various multiday affairs.

The Suunto 9 Baro delivers the features you’d expect in a mountaineering-caliber “ABC watch” (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass), but it also tracks over 80 different activity profiles. When it comes to performance features, the Suunto 9 Baro is unquestionably one of the best multisport watches for serious endurance athletes who want accurate, in-depth data without the clutter of lifestyle features that other smartwatches deliver. 

Garmin fenix 6S Pro Multisport Watch

The Garmin fenix 6S Pro is the pinnacle of a high-performance multisport watch that provides everything you need for triathlon and beyond. Offering highly-resilient and sophisticated engineering designed for mountaineering, climbing, swimming, cycling, running, skiing, and even golfing, the Garmin fenix 6S Pro is a versatile multisport watch. It’s been tested to U.S. military specifications for thermal, shock, and water resistance. 

  • Water rating: 10 ATM / Up to 100 meters 
  • Weight: 61 grams
  • Battery life: Smartwatch mode Up to 9 days (Battery Saver mode 34 days)
  • GPS mode: Up to 36 hours (with music 10 hours)
  • Display resolution: 240 x 240 pixels

Breakdown

Providing a visual navigation system directly from the watch’s interface, the fenix 6S Pro leverages multiple GNSS (global navigation satellite systems) to track activity in most remote environments where GPS alone might not reach. You can see topographical maps and Garmin’s Trendline™ feature. This offers popularity routing to help you find the best local routes and pathways for training and expeditions alike.

The Garmin fenix 6S delivers a robust combination of multisport watch and smartwatch all in a single device. Besides lifestyle features like hydration tracking and advanced sleep monitoring, you can also view triathlon-specific metrics like Garmin’s PacePro pacing guidance, heat- and altitude-adjusted VO2 max, running dynamics, and recovery advisor.

The best multisport watch will always depend on individual preferences. Many successful triathletes only care about tracking swim-bike-run activities. Others like to have HRV, pulse oximeter, VO2 max, GNSS, altitude, and other advanced parameters. Investing in a multisport watch that caters to your unique needs takes considering your training and racing demands. You should factor in how much you’re willing to spend too. In the ream of triathlon, simple multisport watches can be found for under $200. But for something high performance, you can expect to pay closer to $400-500 on up.

Add these 1-Hour Bike Workouts to Your Training Plan

Stay on track with these 1-hour bike workouts for busy triathletes

Training for a triathlon is well-known for taking up a decent amount of time. Between swimming, cycling, running, brick workouts, and recovery your schedule can seem like a lot. Especially when you add in a family, career, and social life. The key to triathlon training is to be efficient. Strengthen your triathlon training with cycling sessions that are fast and effective. If you’re looking to save time, this list of 1-hour bike workouts is a great addition to your training.

Kitchen sink

Increase your strength with the kitchen sink workout.

In less than 60 minutes you can increase your strength with this routine. It involves five minutes of easy spin to begin followed by a 10-minute single-leg drill. Spin with one leg at a time while your other leg rests on a chair. Alternate legs and repeat. Follow that up with 10x 20-second all-out sprints with recovery spins in between for five minutes. The last 20 minutes of the routine involves a 20-minute time trial. Learn to build your mental toughness so you’re ready to push through the end of tough workouts.

Trainer speed pyramid

The purpose of this workout is to make you faster. The training is broken down into short intervals. This means if you give a hard effort for one minute during warm-up, the next minute is for recovery. The warm-up session lasts 15 minutes. The main set is 26 minutes long, divided into 2/2 minute, 4/4 minute, 3/3 minute, 2/2 minute, 1/1 minute on and off in producing cadence. Make sure you flush your legs after the main set. Focus on stretching your hip flexors. You can also use a foam roller for your sore muscles after the main set.

Menagerie

Add a core exercise at the end of your workout if you have extra time.

This workout involves a combination of single-leg drills, 100 cadence spin divided into 8 sections. The sections last for 15, 20, 25, 30, 30, 25, 20, 15 seconds respectively. It is recommended to maintain 100 RPM for the spin-up followed by 90 RPM recovery spin. The last chunk of the workout involves 5×15 seconds climbing action and two minutes of recovery spin to wrap things up. If you have some more time after this workout, add one of these 5 core exercises to the end.

Smooth pedal stroke 

This involves a warm-up of 20 minutes of single-leg and both-leg drills. You should increase your RPM gradually. For example, you produce 90 RPM for two minutes and then increase it to 95 RPM. The goal is to produce 110 RPM at the last stage followed by recovery spins and cooling down. 

Steady-state trainer session

Give maximum effort during the steady-state trainer session.

The first 10 minutes of this workout are spent on building up your strength. The next 20 minutes are spent focusing on high cadence. The main set is broken down into 4 sets (3×2 minutes/2). Focus on giving maximum effort, followed by recovery spins and cooling down. 

Incorporate these quick workouts to become stronger and faster. You’ll also save time by focusing on the workout and the needed effort. Build these rides into your busiest days so you can reserve your non-busy days for workouts that take more time, like brick workouts and longer weekend rides.

Add these 5 Core Exercises to Your Triathlon Training Plan

Triathletes: don’t skip these 5 core exercises

Core exercises are a crucial addition to a triathlete’s training plan. A weak core is detrimental to overall performance. The core represents the muscle groups in the mid-section of your body. These muscles are used to create and transfer force, stabilize the spine, and assist most major movements. The most important advantage of core training is that it doesn’t take much extra time, yet produces substantial results. These 5 core exercises can be done before, during, or after your workout. You could even build them into your rest days. Download the helpful PDF below for a visual reminder of each core exercise. Pro tip: knock them out during your lunch break with these other quick workouts.

Plank and kick

You can plank and kick anywhere!

Planks are good, but adding dynamic movement can strengthen your abdominal muscles. Start in a normal plank on your elbows or hands. Now alternate lifting your legs, 10-15 times each, in the air. Plank exercises help strengthen upper body muscles as well.

Flutter kicks

These are simple core exercises that’ll improve your mid-section and legs. Add these to a circuit workout or before or after your next ride or run. Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head or by your side flat on the ground. Alternate kick your legs slowly, raising them no more than 6 inches off the ground. Keep them straight and don’t let them touch the ground. Do at least 15 for each leg. These will work your leg muscles and abs at the same time.

Side plank rotation

Hold a plank with your elbows in a sideways position, poking out. Bring your right knee to meet your left elbow. Repeat 15 times for each leg/elbow. The side plank rotation is good for increasing strength in your lower back and legs. Add the side plank rotation to these dryland exercises to improve your swim when you can’t get in the water.

Single-leg crunch

These core exercises helps cyclists because it works the lower back, transverse abdomen, and obliques. Lie on a mat face up, extend your left leg out. Bend your right knee, put your right foot flat on the floor, squeeze your belly button toward your spine. Raise your upper back off the mat, lift your left leg, reach your left fingers towards your left toes. Keep your lower back on the mat. Repeat with each side 15 times.

Glute bridge

Strengthening your glutes can reduce the burden on your back and help prevent lower-body injuries. The glute bridge also helps you maintain good cycling and running form. Lie on your back, bend your knees at a 45-degree angle. Place your feet flat on the floor and raise your arms. Press your back to the ground. Contract your glutes and push down with your heels. Now raise your hips to knee height. Repeat 15 times.

A strong core is the best-kept secret for optimal triathlete performance. Core exercises can prevent injury throughout the body and help stabilize your balance. These 5 core exercises don’t take much time, making them easy to add to any triathlon training plan. You could even build them into your workout’s warm-up and cool down.

Triathlon Training After 40: What You Need to Know

Age is just a number; of course you can start triathlon training after 40!

Triathlon involves mastering three sports – swimming, cycling, and running. This makes many people over the age of 40 think that triathlon isn’t for them. But that line of thinking just isn’t true. Triathlon training after 40 is possible and you can do it!

Don’t wait any longer, start your training today with an easy run.

How you train changes as you age. If you’re 40 years or older, then you need to pick a training plan that meets your needs. Focus on strength and endurance training. That’ll give you the foundation you need to get started on your triathlon journey. Many of the world’s top triathletes are over the age of 40. This proves triathlon training after 40 is possible. Below is everything you need to know to jumpstart your training today!

You can complete a triathlon at any time, especially if you start training after 40

The first thing you need to do is to visualize your end result: crossing the finish line. Visualize yourself doing that. This helps remind yourself that you can finish a triathlon. More importantly, it helps you to establish a long-term goal. When you know what you’re long-term goals are, you can set short-term goals that’ll help you get there. Next, choose a particular finish line, like CapTex Triathlon’s downtown Austin one, and register. You have to make the goal a real one. Registering for a triathlon gives you that goal. Now you can incorporate the advice below and begin triathlon training after 40.

  1. Start today

Training is the first step in helping you reach your goals. Instead of using excuses for why you shouldn’t train, find reasons why you should begin. This will help you get the ball rolling and help you follow your plan. When you’re starting out you don’t have to run ten miles the first day.

Wake up earlier and knock your goals out in the morning.

Start small, with a 2-mile run. Tomorrow you can ride your bike for 45 minutes. Next, add in swimming an amount of time that’s comfortable for you. The amounts are up to you, but you have to start. You’ll eventually increase your time and distance. Getting your body used to the training process is a core part of your training, especially if you’re a beginner. Add to your preparation when you know what to expect at your first triathlon.

  1. Follow your training plan

As people age, their muscle mass and bone density become lower than when they were younger. This means that you need to focus on building your strength and endurance if you start triathlon training after 40. Creating and following your training plan helps inform you of what you need to do every day. You’ll gain the motivation you need as well. A triathlon training plan also helps you track your progress. Pro tip: get over your fear of open-water swimming with these 5 tips.

  1. Wake up earlier

Cycling to work is a great workout.

As someone who is training after 40, you may feel as if you don’t have enough time. This isn’t true. There’s plenty of time, you just have to adjust your schedule. For example, wake up one hour earlier for the first few months of training. Now you’ve finished your workout before work. 

Your life is busy with family and friends, work, and hobbies. It’s possible to incorporate training into your everyday life and not sacrifice any of that when you begin training after 40. Cycle to work instead of driving. Knock out your training, increase your bike mileage, and reduce your carbon footprint. Go for runs near your house. Find a swimming pool nearby so you can swim. Finding ways to increase the chance you work out helps you be consistent with your training.

  1. Use the gear you have

When you start training, you may already have the 6 items every beginner triathlete must have. This list includes running shoes, swimming trunks, and a road/mountain bike. Maybe you’ve seen or heard about expensive equipment that can improve your time. You don’t need that in the beginning. Work with what you have so you can begin your triathlon training as soon as possible. As you continue to train, you can slowly upgrade your gear with new equipment.

  1. Join a triathlon group

There are many benefits to joining a triathlon group.

Definitely join a triathlon training group near you. They’ll have veteran triathletes who can offer you great advice like how you can tell if you’re dehydrated. Triathlon training groups also act as a strong motivating force and might have a beginner group you can train with. They also might offer information on training plans, nutrition/hydration advice, and beneficial discounts. Those discounts could help you save money. Most importantly, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people who can act as a strong motivating force.

Triathlon training after 40 is a rewarding experience. You’ll try something new and improve your health. Who knows, you just might meet your goals this year! Remember, age is just a number. Learn how this Rookie Triathlon Ambassador began training at the young age of 52!

4 Signs Dehydration is Affecting Your Performance

These 4 signs can mean dehydration is affecting your performance

As a triathlete, you want to push harder every training session to ensure you can give your best performance on race day. However, in this pursuit of improvement, a common issue you might encounter is dehydration. How do you know when you’re suffering from dehydration? Watch for these 4 signs of dehydration and keep it from affecting your performance. Pro tip: if you experience any of the 4 signs of dehydration, stop what you’re doing immediately, find shade, and hydrate.

1. Body overheating

If your body begins to overheat, stop immediately.

During your triathlon training, you need to monitor your body’s ability to cool itself. Dehydration increases the thickness of your blood while reducing its volume simultaneously. As a result, your skin won’t be able to dissipate the heat generated during your training session. Not only does this overheat your body, but you’ll find it harder to continue pushing yourself to your limits. Pro tip: these habits of successful triathletes are beneficial to any training plan.

2. Dizziness and headaches

Signs you’re dehydrated include blurry vision, headaches, and dizziness.

Dehydration during triathlon training can have an adverse impact on your well-being if you don’t pay attention to your body. Signs you might be dehydrated include blurry vision, dizziness, headaches, and light-headedness. Due to overheating, you could experience chills, even if you train in a hot environment. This will increase your skin sensitivity and cause goosebumps. If you do live in a warmer climate, follow these tips to beat the heat.

3. Muscle cramps

Muscle cramps can indicate dehydration.

The intensity of training and dehydration can put immense stress on your body, especially when you’re increasing your bike mileage. Sweating and extensive training on a daily basis increases how much sodium and fluid you lose. Sodium is essential as it is in charge of nerve impulse transmission, cognitive function, muscle contraction, and nutrient absorption in your gut. Lack of sodium affects your calorie intake while also causing your muscles to cramp. 

4. Decrease in cardiovascular function

Due to the effects of dehydration, your heart won’t be able to pump the same amount of blood as it normally does. If you continue training under this condition, there will be a drop in your cardiovascular function. Your heart won’t be able to pump enough fresh blood to your muscles.

It’s imperative that you pay attention to your body during training. The more time spent training, the more you should hydrate beforehand and during. Check out these different ways to carry hydration during your runs. If you hydrate regularly on a daily basis, you can avoid many of these symptoms. Always make sure you replenish the fluids you lose while sweating, especially electrolytes. Remember, if you experience any of the 4 signs of dehydration, stop what you’re doing immediately, find shade, and hydrate.