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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.

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!

 

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

Resistance Bands: How to Use Them Effectively

Add resistance bands to your training and learn to use them effectively

Resistance bands are known as workout bands or exercise bands. They’re used during training to build strength and increase flexibility. They can be beneficial whether you’re training for a triathlon or want another form of cross-training. They come in various lengths and different thicknesses. The two most common shapes you’ll encounter are flat and tubular-shaped resistance bands. The difference in shape and size helps people build strength in different areas of the body. Learn about the different types of bands. There are also a few exercises to get you started. They’re so easy you could complete them during your lunch break like these exercises.

Types of resistance bands

Therapy bands

Therapy bands are beneficial and have many uses.

Resistance bands were first used in physical therapy and rehabilitation. They still are, even though they’re now used in various ways during a workout. With a flat surface and no handles, therapy bands can be gentle on the body unless they bunch up and pinch the skin. They can be cut and tied together to create different lengths or used as one long piece.

Compact resistance bands

These tubular bands have two plastic handles and are typically longer than other bands. The additional length makes these bands ideal for upper- and lower-body workouts. The ability to strengthen most of the body makes these bands ideal for reaping the many benefits of cross-training.

Ring resistance bands

A small, tube-shaped ring with two soft handles on either side. It’s best used when working with the lower body. 

Figure 8 bands 

Figure 8 bands are good for strengthening the upper body.

These resistance bands come with two plastic handles that intertwine around each, giving the appearance of a figure 8. They’re shorter than other bands, making them a great tool for upper body strengthening. 

Fit loop bands 

These are also known as mini bands. Similar to therapy bands, they are a flat, continuous loop. However, they come as one piece and are not tied together. Use these during training to help you target specific muscles groups like the hips and glutes and improve your run performance.

Lateral resistance bands

Unlike the other bands with handles, lateral bands have velcro cuffs on either end. The cuffs can wrap around the ankle or the wrist, depending on the exercise. Best used with lower body workouts, strengthening the hips and thighs.

3 exercises to add to your training

Lateral band walk

You can place the band above your knees for many lower body exercises.

Depending on the strength of the band, you can place it around your ankles and above your knees. Start with your feet shoulder-length apart. Extend your right leg out, place it on the ground, follow with your left leg. Repeat 10 steps to your right, then come back to the left. Best when using therapy bands (if tied together), fit loop bands, or lateral resistance bands.

Bicep curls

Hold the end of a band in either hand and put the other end underneath each foot. Lower your arms until they’re straight, then bend your elbows and raise your fists up. Repeat this for 10 reps. Best when using therapy or compact resistance bands.

Flutter kicks

This is a great core exercise. Lay down on your back on the ground or on a bench. Place your hands by your side or under your butt. Put a band around your ankles. Raise your feet a few inches off the ground, alternate kicking each foot 6-8 inches into the air. Repeat this for 10 reps with each leg. Best when using therapy bands (if tied together), fit loop bands, or lateral resistance bands. 

There’s no doubt you strengthen your body by swimming, cycling, and running. But working seldom-used muscle groups with resistance bands is just as important. It’ll allow other muscle groups the chance to recover as well. If you want to build a healthy physique with tone muscles, then resistance training could be exactly what you’re looking for.

Run these Austin Hills to Become a Stronger Runner

Build strength and stamina when you run these Austin hills

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

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

Wilke

Climb Wilke and arrive at Rabb Road.

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

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

Ladera Norte

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

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

Hill of Life

Runners running up and down Hill of Life.

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

Pease Park

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

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

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

How to Get Comfortable with the Aero Position

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

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

Ask your tri friends for aero position advice.

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

Ask your tri friends

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

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

Make incremental changes

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

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

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

Check fit of elbow cups

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

Practice the new aero position

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

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

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

Work on your core/upper body strength, and flexibility

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

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

How Your Bike Cadence Can Influence Your Run

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

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

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

4 ways your bike cadence can make you a better runner

Boost your endurance and stamina

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

Reduce your chances of injury

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

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

Quicker cadence improves your speed

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

Build quad and glute strength

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

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

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

2021 CapTex Triathlon Ready to Showcase Downtown Austin

Austin’s only downtown triathlon set to welcome nearly 1500 triathletes

High Five Events, one of the largest privately owned event production companies in the United States, is ready to welcome triathletes to the 2021 CapTex Triathlon presented by Life Time during Memorial Day weekend. Nearly 1500 triathletes from 26 states have registered for Austin’s only downtown triathlon. 

The 29th annual CapTex Tri features a swim course in Lady Bird Lake, bike course through downtown Austin, and run course at Auditorium Shores. 2021 CapTex Triathlon will take place on Monday, May 31st.

CapTex is the quintessential Austin triathlon and I cannot wait to swim, bike, and run through the heart of Austin, passing multiple iconic landmarks and quirky local spots,” said Haley Koop, elite triathlete and 2018 Kerrville Triathlon Quarter Distance female champion. “CapTex is the perfect way to get a unique look at the city and a true feel for The Live Music Capital of the World!

2021 CapTex Triathlon has something for everyone

2021 CapTex Triathlon offers different divisions and distances for triathletes of all abilities. Age groupers are separated into five-year increments and begin with others in their age group. They are eligible for age-group awards. Open Division allows professional triathletes and elites to begin regardless of age, with a mass swim start. Open Division participants are not eligible for age-group awards. CapTex Tri also features Athena and Clydesdale categories. There are also aquabike and relay options for race day. The relay team can consist of two or three members and the aquabike completes the swim and the bike only.

Female triathlete gives a thumbs up after setting up her triathlon area at the 2018 CapTex Triathlon.

Event distances include:

  • Rookie triathlon – 300m swim, 12.3-mile bike, 2-mile run
  • Sprint triathlon – 750m swim, 12.3-mile bike, 5K run
  • Sprint aquabike – 750m swim, 12.3-mile bike
  • Olympic triathlon – 1500m swim, 24.3-mile bike, 10K run
  • Olympic aquabike – 1500m swim, 24.3-mile bike

“Everyone is excited for the return of CapTex Tri and to swim, bike, and run through downtown Austin,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “These triathletes are ready to put their training to work and cross the finish line with the Austin skyline as their backdrop.”

Participants will receive custom 2021 participant shirts, finisher medals, water bottles, and swim caps. Everyone can relive competing in Austin’s only downtown triathlon thanks to professional timing and photography. Registration is still available and the final price increase occurs on Thursday, May 27th at 11:59 p.m. CST.

High Five Events Agrees to Multi-Year Partnership with Zone3 USA

Partnership names Zone3 USA the Official Triathlon and Swim Gear

High Five Events, one of the largest privately owned event production companies in the United States, announces a two-year agreement with Zone3 USA. The partnership makes Zone3 USA the Official Triathlon and Swim Gear of CapTex Triathlon presented by Life Time and Kerrville Triathlon Festival.

“We can’t wait to be back to racing and spending time with the endurance sports community,” said Ryan Dolan, President of Zone3 USA. “High Five Events has produced high-quality, community-based events for a long time and we’re excited to partner with them for CapTex Tri and Kerrville Triathlon.”

Zone3’s involvement

Zone3 USA, one of the most loved and chosen specialist sport brands around the world, is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. The partnership means all participants will receive Zone3’s silicone swim caps that are long-lasting and eco-friendly. They will also host product demos at both expos and provide triathlon insight for blogs and social media.

“Zone3 is one of the most recognized brands in the world and this partnership will continue to elevate the profiles of CapTex and Kerrville Tri,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “What really impressed us in our initial conversations with Zone3 was the depth and quality of their product line and their commitment to building a relationship with our endurance community.”

CapTex Tri will take place on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31st, in downtown Austin. Kerrville Triathlon will celebrate its 10th anniversary on September 25-26th, in Kerrville, Texas.

How to Set Up Your Transition Area on Race Day

Enjoy a smooth race morning when you properly set up your transition area

Properly setting up your transition area can help reduce the amount of time it takes for you to finish. Preparing ahead of time to transition from swimming to cycling to running can help you keep your composure and focus on what’s next. Follow the seven tips below to set up your transition area in a way that’ll benefit you on race day! Pro tip: this advice is even more important for first-timers who want to know what to expect at their first triathlon.

Make transition area compact and comfortable

Female triathlete gives a thumbs up after setting up her triathlon area at the 2018 CapTex Triathlon.

Be respectful of other triathletes and make your transition area compact and comfortable.

Be courteous to your triathlon neighbors! You don’t need to be crammed next to one another, but you also don’t get a 10-foot runway all to yourself. Make sure there’s a comfortable amount of space around you. Chat with the folks around you, make sure they have the space they need too. If you find out you both have different time goals and speeds, you might not even be in transition at the same time. Pro tip: remember where your transition area is by identifying your row or specific landmarks around it. If you have time, walk from all the different entrances and exits to your transition area to become more familiar.

Carry extra goggles

Nobody wants this to happen, but sometimes the rubber straps break when you least expect it. Being goggle-less is not a good start to race morning. Always keep an extra pair of goggles with your triathlon gear. Even if yours don’t break, it’s still a good idea to have an extra pair in case you can help someone you know who didn’t bring an extra pair.

Clip cycling shoes into your pedals

This tip is more for veterans, but there’s no reason you can’t do this! A great way to save time during the triathlon transition is to keep your cycling shoes clipped into your pedals. This maneuver takes a lot of practice. You must be comfortable slipping your feet in and bending over while riding to strap your shoes. If you do this, make sure the shoes are loose enough for your feet to slide in easily but not too loose that the straps come out.

Put bike in preferred gear

Ease into cycling when your bike is in the gear you want before racking it.

You’re in transition after the swim, switching out your gear. The last thing you want is to hop on your bike, leave your transition area, and start pedaling in the highest gear. Make sure your bike is in the gear that’ll allow for a smooth start to your ride. Adjust accordingly, depending on whether you’re starting uphill or downhill. Pro tip: make sure your saddle height is where it’s supposed to be before race morning.

Loosen your running shoes

Rack your bike and get ready for the last leg: the run. Make your running shoes are loose enough that you can easily slide in your feet. Unless you have amazing balance, it might be best to sit down and put them on. Especially if you have to tie your laces. But you can save even more time with elastic laces! Keep the resistance just right so the shoe is snug for running, but not so tight that you can’t get your foot in.

Practice your transition area before race day

This helps you nail down what works for you and what won’t work for you. Practice putting on shoes with elastic laces. Try leaving your shoes clipped into your pedals before you ride. Perfect the order in which you complete everything comfortably. The best time to do this is in the middle of a brick workout. These workouts most closely resemble race day and give you a good idea of how transition will unfold.

Simulate race morning

Complete a test run to ensure your transition area is perfectly set up.

Once your transition area is set up race morning, do a test run. You don’t have to physically put on and take off everything, but it helps to run through each transition. Make sure your shoes are loose. Check your bike’s gear. Place your nutrition and hydration where you can easily grab it. If you wear a hat and sunglasses on the run, put your shades in your hat so you don’t forget them. These are ways to reduce pre-race jitters. Here are six more tactics that can help with any butterflies!

This simple checklist will help you effectively set up your transition area on race day. It’ll allow for a more enjoyable race experience and possibly a faster time. Practice beforehand to make sure you’re comfortable with everything.