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What It’s Like to Complete a Virtual Triathlon

Everything You Need To Know About Completing a Virtual Triathlon

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

Joey Trimyer’s Virtual CapTex Tri Journey

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

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

Completing the Virtual CapTex Tri
Joey’s Game Plan

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

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

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

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

John Chung’s Virtual CapTex Tri

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

John’s Strategy

First Run

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

Bike Ride

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

Final Run

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

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

Go Virtual, Join the Fun!

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

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

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!