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Female runner completes the final leg of the 2019 CapTex Tri on the South 1st Street Bridge. Text in design reads habits of a successful triathlete. Read the habits at https://captextri.com/habits-of-a-successful-triathlete/

Habits of a Successful Triathlete

Become a successful triathlete when you practice these 8 habits

To be a triathlete you need to have the basics of swimming, biking, and running down. But to become a successful triathlete (whatever that means to you/ whatever your goals may be) there are some other lifestyle changes you can make to really be successful. There are a few habits you can adopt to help you get there that already line up with your goals. Keep reading to discover the habits successful triathletes have in common.

Do your research/PREPARE

Find the right race for you. If you’re new to the sport, don’t go for a longer distance tri. Start slow and build your way up to your desired event distance. Will you need a wetsuit? Is your race even wetsuit legal? What are the benefits of a race being USAT certified? There’s a lot to learn, like knowing the difference between triathlon and road bikes. Proper preparation can reduce unexpected surprises that may come your way during training or on race day. 

Pace yourself

Don’t go full force when you’re first training or just getting back into training after offseason. Find a training plan and follow that as your guide. Be willing to make training tweaks if needed.

Know how to fuel

Nutrition during training and during the race has a huge impact on the way you can expect to perform come race day. Make sure you’re following the right nutrition plan for your body and the event distance you signed up for. 

Give Your Gear the TLC it needs

Take care of the gear that takes care of you. Follow instructions for proper care and give your bike frequent tune-ups to maximize performance. Clean gear is happy gear!

Know what you can control

You’ve done everything you can to make sure this race goes perfectly. You did a gear check, you packed the perfect race day bag and you’re ready to go! Then a storm hits. Don’t let this get you down or let you feel defeated before the race even starts. You know you’ve spent the time training and just remember to focus on what you can control for a good race. All the other athletes there are experiencing the exact same thing. Pre-race jitters are real and they can throw even the best athletes off track. If you know your jitters on race morning are going to be bad, work on a couple of exercises or something to help you distract yourself from the nerves on race morning. We see this all the time and its a really great way to center yourself before starting the swim!  

REST!

Take some time off when you need it! Listen to what your body is telling you so you don’t overdo it and risk an injury. 

Enjoy healthy food

Switching up your diet for healthier options is a really simple yet effective way to help you during your training. Of course, you don’t have to stop eating what you really love, but adjusting to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle is great for maintaining energy during workouts as well as leaving you feeling good too. 

Successful triathletes stay in the moment

Take it one day at a time. Everyone has good days and bad days and training for a triathlon is no exception. Remember why you started this journey or what inspired you to and focus on that when you’re having a tough day. Be kind to yourself and find ways to keep yourself motivated to reach the goal of crossing that finish line!

Woman buying helmet and checking the fit for safety

Easy Steps to Check Your Helmets Fit

Get the right fit and know that your helmet is fully protecting you

An unexpected fall from a bike can happen at any time with the potential to result in brain injury. The good news is that a properly-fitted helmet will reduce this risk. 

Helmets come in a variety of sizes depending on the manufacturer. Even though they are sized they will come with a fine-tuning dial so that you can adjust the helmet to fit your head specifically. Take the time to check your helmet before every ride. Your life is worth it and could depend on how your helmet is set up. Use these tips on how to make sure you have the right fit for your bike helmet. 

Size

The first thing you should adjust when choosing a helmet is the fit pads or adjuster ring. The helmet needs to be snug around your head to effectively protect you. It should not be too tight where you feel pressure and not too loose that there is any wiggle room. It should not be able to move from side to side or slip back off your forehead. If needed, add more fit pads to get a secure fit. If your helmet has an adjuster ring, modify the circumference until the helmet is fitted properly for your head. 

Positioning

The next thing to determine is how high the helmet should sit on your head to protect your head on all sides, in case of a fall. Two finger-widths should be visible on your forehead. You can also decide if your helmet fits properly by looking up. You should be able to see the rim or front edge of the helmet when you do so without interfering with your vision.

Pro tip: you should always wear protective lenses with your helmet, so make sure there is enough room to wear them both comfortably.

Straps

Cyclist wearing a helmet properly with instructions to check proper helmet fit for saftyTo keep the helmet in place, the next step is ensuring the chin straps are long enough to reach under your chin and can be tightened securely. This part is especially important because you do not want to be dealing with an ill-fitting helmet during your next tri. 

The “Y” shaped strap needs to fit under your ears comfortably and buckle under your chin without being too tight. Your helmet should not be able to move more than an inch in any direction. After you buckle the chin strap, it should be secured in the correct position.  You should not be able to fit more than one finger under the chin.

These straps can sometimes loosen with time so it is important to check your helmets fit before each ride. 

Comfort

While comfort is not a safety feature in itself, having a helmet that you find comfortable will mean that you wear it more often. While every helmet is the same safety rating, you will find more expensive helmets have more vents. If you have long rides planned during hot weather, having these extra vents to cool you off might make you more comfortable. 

Bicycle helmets only work if you wear them correctly. Helmets should always be replaced if they are in a crash. Yes, even if it is a “small one”, if your helmet makes any contact it could be compromised and should be replaced.

If you’re riding alone or going on a group ride, use these tips when shopping around for your next helmet to make sure you are as safe as possible on your future rides.

Checking your helmet fit for safety:

  1. The helmet is the proper size
  2. Fit is comfortable to be worn for long periods of time
  3. The helmet is snugly fit and cannot be moved more than 1 inch in any direction
  4. The helmet is no more than 2 fingers above the eyebrows. 
  5. Chin straps are tight with no more than one finger width under your chin.
  6. Side buckles are fastened just slightly in front of and below the ears. 

6 Things to Keep In Mind for Olympic Distance Triathlons

Going The Distance: What to Keep In Mind When Going From Sprint to Olympic

So you have completed a Sprint Triathlon and now you’re looking for the next challenge. You can always do more sprint triathlons and work on increasing your speed or you can work on your endurance and increase your distance. Maybe going up to the next distance is your goal. For those looking to go long, here are some simple training reminders and workout tips to help you conquer the Olympic distance tri at CapTex Tri.

6 Tips for Olympic Distance Triathlons

1. Not Always Easy

First, it is important to remember that part of the appeal of racing an Olympic distance is that it is not exactly easy.  Simply doubling your workouts isn’t going to cut it. In training, have a goal of completing 60-80% of the segment distance before the event. 

2. Find Your Pace

With a sprint, you could go all out but you will probably not able to keep this same pace in the Olympic distance tri. Train at a pace that you are comfortable with so that you do not burn out on race day. Start thinking of speed versus endurance.

3. Calories Matter

Third, Calories Calories Calories. These longer distances are going to require fueling. Test several products before committing, just because something works for your friend or someone at the gym, it doesn’t mean that it is right for you.

4. Preparation is Key

Fourth, take “Nothing New on Race Day” to the next level. Make sure you have tried everything at least 3 times before you arrive race morning. We are talking socks, shoes, hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, nutrition, which water bottle, ev-er-y-thing. 

5. When in Doubt, Swim

Fifth, if you have time for an extra workout – choose the pool. Swimming is great aerobics and can lead to gains on the bike and the run. Efficiency in the swim can leave you with more energy instead of being taxed right out of the water. More important than hours logged, make sure that you are making each workout count.

6. Find A Balance

Sixth, keep balance. Make sure to find time for friends and family. Many of them may not understand but make sure and thank them for being there to support you in any way. Make sure and inform them when, where, and how long you are going out for a long run or bike. A safety post on Facebook is a good idea as well and a fun way to let everyone know how your training is going. 

6 tips for going from sprint to olympic distance triathlonAdditional Tips

  • Every other week make one of your run workouts follows immediately after your bike workout. 
  • Switch it up. Don’t always do the same style work out on the same day of the week.
  • Have Fun and Smile!

 

Go The Distance!

These 6 easy steps are your guide to getting to the start line with a high level of confidence so that you are ready to be successful for your first Olympic distance triathlon! Also, remember that no matter the distance increase it is important to keep your ultimate end goal in mind and then set up milestones that you can meet along the way.

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.

6 Essential Skills You Need to Know for Race Day

Essential Race Day Skills You Need to Know for Your Upcoming Tri

Leave no room for surprises during your upcoming tri with these essential race day skills you need to know

Despite all the planning and prepping to make the morning of your tri go perfectly, we all know that some things are out of our control. Expected the unexpected and prepare yourself by mastering these essential race day skills to handle whatever comes your way on race day.

How to Fix a Dropped Chain

6 skills to know before race day

Get off the bike and steady it in an upright position against something sturdy. To add slack to the chain, push the rear derailleur toward the pedal (forward or inward), and then use your other hand to free the chain from the chainrings or pedals. Line the chain back up with a chainring and cassette to put the chain back in place. Lastly, lift the rear of your bike a few inches of the ground and give the pedals a few turns to allow the chain to find its gear. This seems insignificant, but it’s an important step to keep your chain from more wear and tear throughout the rest of your ride.

How to Ride in the Rain

Check the weather on race morning to see if you should be prepared to ride in the rain. Throughout the course, avoid standing water. You never know what could be underneath a puddle, and you don’t want to risk a flat tire in wet conditions. Also, be on the lookout for rainbow-colored oil patches to avoid slipping. Stay within your comfort zone, and take your time and be cautious around corners to prevent losing control. Last but not least, bring some protection for your eyes! Hopefully, you do this when out for any ride, but you will be glad you did in the case of riding in the rain.

How to Ride While Taking a Drink

You’re bound to get thirsty during the bike portion, so be prepared to ride with one hand during a race. Practice makes perfect. During your training, practice this race day skill by removing one hand at a time to build up your confidence. Start with shorter distances, and before you know it you’ll be pro at riding with one hand. This will allow you to eat, drink and signal to other riders while making your way to the finish line.

How to Sight in the Water

To avoid swimming a further distance during your tri, sighting is an essential race day skill you should practice before an open-water swim. You need to look where you’re going every few strokes to make sure you are staying within the buoys. The best method of sighting is to incorporate glancing forward before you go to take a breath. It is recommended to sight every 2 – 3 strokes, but in order to find what works best for you, you will just have to practice. Pro tip: Look at the swim course before-hand to see if the course goes clockwise or counter-clockwise, then you’ll know to stay on the right or left side of the buoys.

How to Look Over Your Shoulder on the Bike

Once you perfect riding with one hand, you’ll be ready to look over your shoulder during your ride. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings during a ride to keep yourself, and others around you safe. It’s all about shifting your weight correctly and keeping your knees, pelvis, and front-wheel facing forward. We advise performing this drill in a parking lot, or on an empty street to make sure you can still ride straight while turned around.

How to Change a Flat

Follow these 10 simple steps to fix a flat, and you’ll be back in the race in no time.

1. Pull over and find a safe place off the road to change tire
2. Remove the wheel from the bike.
3. Remove the tire with levers from the wheel
4. Check your tire for large punctures or sharp items
5. Check the rim of the wheel for anything that might have punctured through the rim tape
6. Pop one side of the tire back over the rim of the wheel
7. Put the new tube back inside tire
8. Push the free tire wall back onto the rim
9. Inflate the new tube.
10. Put the wheel back on the bike.

Once you’ve conquered these essential race day skills you need to know for your upcoming tri, there will be nothing in your way as you head for the finish line!