You signed up for a triathlon and chances are you are probably doing 99% of your training in a swimming pool. Breathing can be a challenge for many swimmers, which can be exaggerated in open water where conditions may differ. Challenges with open water include turbulence, missing a breath due to waves, running into other swimmers, or starting off the swim too fast before realizing you haven’t taken a breath yet.
You can easily combat a lot of fear of open water swimming through simple drills while training in a swimming pool. Doing breath work will help prepare you for the uncertainties of open water. There is also the added benefit of oxygen capacity which can also help you on the bike and the run.
Our amazing ambassador and swim coach, Trisha Stavinoha, has put together 3 simple workouts that will improve your breathing and have you feeling calm and race-ready.
I like to use this workout to help swimmers relax their breathing, improve their oxygen capacity and prepare them for missing a breath or two.
3-5-7 refers to how many strokes you take between breaths while swimming. This pattern requires you to use bi-lateral breathing.
Bilateral breaking means that you are breathing on both sides of your body. If you breathe only on one side, you can develop overuse injuries and have a lopsided stroke, as well as be more likely to veer to one side. This plus a current can really throw you off course requiring you to sight more which will cause your legs to drop and slow you down.
Bilateral breathing is step one in preparing you for breathing in open water. If you don’t currently breathe bilaterally, now is the time to start. Breathing every 2 strokes is too much and every 4 is not enough over a longer distance.
Here is your lesson…breathe on both sides starting with every three strokes. You will feel awkward the first couple of swims, but the following workouts will help. You can do these workouts as a warm-up or cool down to longer swim sets.
You can print the following workouts and laminate them so you have them by the pool during your swims.
This workout will get you comfortable taking longer times between breaths.
Swim 25 meters breathing every 3 strokes. For the next 25 meters breathe every 5 strokes. Then the next every 7 stokes. Then ladder back down 7, 5, 3 the same way.
Version 2: Do the same stroke count but over 50 meters instead of 25.
150-300 meters total (6 x 25 or 6 x 50).
This workout will help you learn to relax after missing a breath or catching your breath if you started off too fast.
Swim 4 x 75-meter set repeats (300 meters total).
For the first set, You will breathe every 3 strokes for the first 25 meters, then 5 for the second 25 meters, then back down to 3 for the final 25 meters. So we will call this 3, 5, 3 stroke workout. For the following sets, you will do the same but change your breathing pattern accordingly.
The second is every 5, 3, 5 strokes.
The third sight is every 3, 7, 3 strokes
The final set is every 7, 5, 3 strokes.
Continuously breathe every 3, 5, 7, 3, 5, 7, etc strokes for 200 meters non-stop.
If you are not ready for the 7-stroke interval of the workout, not to worry, but keep trying! Make sure you are breathing in through your mouth, out through your nose. When I do the 7-stroke interval I take a deep breath in, spit out any water, hold my breath for 5 strokes then let the air out of my nose for the last two strokes before I breathe in again.
With some practice and dedication, you’ll have these breathing drills mastered in no time, and be ready for the open water at your next triathlon.
Trisha Stavinoha, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS
Masters Swim Coach
Surge Strength Dryland Coach
Get ready to get inspired by these motivational backgrounds!
Do you find yourself thinking “I’ll just work out tomorrow” or putting off fixing the flat on your bike? When exhaustion sets in, maintaining that motivation to keep up with your fitness routine can be tough. Now is the time for action and we have just the thing for you.
There’s something about an inspirational quote/phrase/saying that will really get you back on track when you are unmotivated. Whether you’re battling with stress or lack of motivation, an inspiring wallpaper or background is a great way to give you the extra boost you need to complete a workout.
Here are some of our favorite inspirational sayings that never fail to keep us taking another step forward whenever our body is fighting us. Be inspired and get motivated to keep being the awesome triathlete you are.
These motivational wallpapers will be there to help you stay active and help motivate you to keep training and believing in yourself!
Right click to save the image and set it as your phone background or lock screen.
Get motivated, anywhere, anytime all at your fingertips with our motivational backgrounds.
- You only regret the workouts you don’t do.
- Yesterday I dared to struggle, today I dared to win.
- Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done.
- A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
- It pains me to continue, but it hurts much worse to stop.
- All it takes is all you got.
- Others make excuses to quit. You make excuses to keep going.
- Swim fast. Cycle strong. Run to win.
- Triathletes aren’t born. They’re made.
- Swim. Bike. Run.
Share your Motivation
We are feeling motivated just writing this blog! Now before you run out the door to log some miles be sure to give yourself time to warm up. Starting off too quick can lead to injury and nobody wants that!
10 Fun Facts You Never Knew About the Sport of Triathlon!
Triathlon is a complex sport that consists of swimming, biking, and running. While there is a lot of technical aspects to know about triathlon, there’s a lot of fun stuff too! We love everything there is about triathlon. From selecting the race and choosing the right distance, to the preparation and training. Trying to take all that in can be overwhelming, so let’s start with some of the fun stuff. Expand your knowledge of triathlon and keep reading to see 10 fun facts about triathlon you maybe didn’t know!
Check Out These Fun Facts
- It is not uncommon for triathletes to burn up to 10,000 calories during a long-distance race.
- In triathlon every second counts, for that reason, many athletes pee while they are on the bike, or even on the run.
- The first triathlon event was held on September 25, 1974.
- Simon Lessings holds the Olympic distance triathlon world record with a time of 1 hour, 39 minutes, 50 seconds. That’s fast.
- Triathlon was designed to be an alternative to hard track training.
- The reason why the order of the disciplines is swim, bike, run is for safety concerns.
- The Olympic distance tri was originally called the international distance.
- The oldest triathlete on record is Arthur Gilbert, who was still competing at the age of 93.
- Drafting, riding in close behind the rider before you to reduce wind resistance, is not allowed during the cycling part of a triathlon. If you get caught you face a penalty including disqualification.
- Triathlon made its Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney Games.
The world of triathlon is certainly an interesting one and has evolved greatly overtime with new people joining the fun each year. If you’re new to the sport and thinking about doing a triathlon yourself, check out these essential race day tips to help as you train and prepare for your first triathlon. Now that you know some of the fun triathlon facts, be sure to share it with your fellow triathletes on Facebook or Twitter.
Benefits to CapTex Tri being USAT-Sanctioned and having a USAT-Certified Race Director
When researching triathlon events, you’ve probably come across the terms USAT-sanctioned and USAT-Certified Race Director. So what exactly do these terms mean and why should you care about the benefits of a USAT Certified race?
USAT is an acronym for USA Triathlon, which is the governing body of the sport of triathlon in the United States. Additionally, since triathlon is a sport featured in the Olympic games, USA Triathlon is part of Team USA. Therefore, they must adhere to the rules and guidelines of the US Olympic and Paralympic Committees. When you see the phrase “This is event is sanctioned by USAT” or “This event is USAT-sanctioned” it means that the event organizer has completed a thorough questionnaire regarding how they plan to conduct the event. They have also received approval from the USA Triathlon Events staff. As a potential participant in a triathlon, the term USAT-sanctioned should give you confidence. You are registering for an event that meets minimum standards for safety and fairness.
Participant benefits of a USAT-sanctioned event:
As a participant in a USAT Sanctioned event, you must have a current membership with USA Triathlon. Annual memberships and one-day memberships (purchased per event) are available. Most adult triathlons in the United States are sanctioned by USA Triathlon. This helps the individual event. It also helps keep the national governing body strong so that it can support race directors, growth of the sport initiatives, and Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
USAT-Certified Race Director
Additionally, USA Triathlon has created a Race Director Certification program that goes above the standard sanctioning process. Race Directors who choose to become certified go through approximately 16 hours of coursework and complete an exam. They are required to recertify every two years and complete a background check through NCSI and take SafeSport training. The recertification and coursework ensures that the race director remains current in their knowledge and engaged in the triathlon community. There are two levels of Race Director Certifications. Level II is the most difficult to obtain and retain. Only the most qualified race directors reach this level. Dan Carroll of High Five Events was among the first race directors to achieve Level II certification. He has maintained that certification since the program was created in 2007.
Choose USAT Certified for Your Upcoming Tri
So the next time that you register for a triathlon like CapTex Tri, look to see if the event has the benefits of being USA-sanctioned and if it is produced by a Certified Race Director. That way you’ll know you’re safe in good hands and you’re in for an awesome experience!
Austin’s only downtown triathlon, CapTex Tri, canceled
Thank you for your interest in the 29th annual CapTex Tri presented by Life Time Fitness. We absolutely love Austin’s only downtown triathlon and were ready for another magnificent Memorial Day weekend with triathletes from across the country. We are so thankful to all the participants, volunteers, and event partners who join us every year. Let’s get the bad news out of the way so we can get to the good news.
Unfortunately, as a result of mandates by local/state governments and the recommended CDC guidelines, we are forced to cancel the CapTex Tri scheduled for May 25th. And, unfortunately, postponement is not a viable option based on permitting and venue availability. We know that CapTex Tri being canceled is disappointing and understand the time dedicated to training for your event. Please know that this cancellation was made with the safety of the entire community in mind. We appreciate everyone’s flexibility and understanding.
The Good News
All registered participants can transfer to one of our upcoming triathlons at no cost or request a full refund. Events that are open to transfer include:
- Jack’s Generic Triathlon – August 23, 2020
- Kerrville Triathlon – September 26 – 27, 2020
- 2021 Rookie Triathlon – May 2, 2021
- 2021 CapTex Tri – May 31, 2021
If the event you transfer to is also canceled we will offer transfers/refunds via a similar process. Participants who wish to upgrade distances at Kerrville Tri or 2021 CapTex Tri will need to pay the difference in registration for that distance. That request can only be filled after the transfer to the original distance is complete.
All merchandise and USAT one-day purchases will be refunded for the event, regardless of transfer or refund request. If you select to transfer you will receive a merchandise refund notice from EventDog.com before you receive instructions to transfer your registration to another event. To process everyone we need all responses no later than Friday, May 29, 2020. Please note the refund and transfer process will take up to two weeks for us to complete.
Participants may request a full refund if they do not wish to transfer registration to any of the above events. Current virtual participants will be refunded and are invited to join in the new FREE virtual event that will launch next week. We ask that all participants submit their request by Friday, May 10th. Anyone who does not fill out the request form will be automatically transferred to next year’s CapTex Tri at no cost.
Every participant should receive an email with details on how to complete this process. If you didn’t please check your spam folder. If you still can’t find it, email [email protected] and we are happy to resend you the link.
More Good News: Free Virtual CapTex for Everyone!
We will also offer a free virtual triathlon/duathlon to all participants and the entire triathlon community. There will be fun incentives, free downloadable personalized bibs, and finisher certificates. The free virtual event will launch next week, so keep an eye on your inbox!
We look forward to seeing you soon and will continue to post blogs and social media on triathlon, training, and everything you need for a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Race CapTex Tri from anywhere in the world!
We know how hard all of our participants have trained for the CapTex Tri presented by Life Time Fitness to not be able to take to the course this coming Memorial Day Weekend. We think all your efforts still deserve some acknowledgment and praise. It’s time to finish what you started and show off your skills by completing the Free 2020 Virtual CapTex Tri. This event is open to the public so be sure to challenge your friends and family to join you!
Completing a virtual triathlon is great motivation to accomplish your fitness goals and commit to healthy living habits! And, besides feeling good about yourself, you will also receive a downloadable personalized bib, finisher certificate, and digital finisher medal.
Participants will have the option to complete either the sprint or olympic distance events. If you do not have access to a place to swim you can complete the event as a duathlon. Participants will track their distance and time using their watch or a smartphone app.
Sprint Tri: 750 meter swim, 12.3 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
Sprint Duathlon: 2 mile run, 12.3 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
Olympic Tri: 1500 meter swim, 24.3 mile bike, 6.2 mile run
Olympic Duathlon: 4 mile run, 24.3 mile bike, 6.2 mile run
Registration is open for the Free CapTex Tri from April 29th through Monday, May 25th. You can submit your results through May 29th, the Friday after registration closes. The official results page with finisher certificates will be updated on April 28th, May 12th, and May 29th.
Want to take the challenge to the next level? Complete the Rookie Tri Virtual and the CapTex Virtual Triathlons by their respective dates and you will earn this limited edition Back-t0-Back digital finisher medal! Registration is open for the Free 2020 Virtual Rookie Triathlon from through May 3rd.
How to Participate
With this virtual tri, you can do it all at once or can complete each segment of the triathlon on your own schedule. For example, you can do part of the swim on Monday, part of the run on Wednesday and part of the bike on Friday. You can do each part in a location and time that’s convenient for you. Even if you weren’t planning on joining us for CapTex Tri, now is the chance to put yourself to the test at the pace you’re comfortable with.
- Register for the event on EventDog.com.
- Follow the link in the confirmation email to personalize & download your bib.
- Document your journey with a before and after photo. Optional but totally encouraged!
- Swim (Run), Bike & Run!
- Keep track of your time with your watch or a smartphone app like MapMyFitness. Complete your distances indoors or outdoors during the time frame.
- Post your results before May 29, 2020, to the link in your confirmation email.
- Connect with us on Social! Tag your photos on Instagram & Twitter with #RookieTriVirtual
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
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!