Monday, March 29, 2010

Watch first, then do your intervals.

Hi everybody...

Sprint and olympic race season is upon us already with events like the Protest DU, the Rookie, and the Skeese Greets Tri all knocking on our door. Just a quick video reminder that these races, although significantly shorter than a 70.3 or full Ironman, demand just as much focus and effort. In fact, unless you're comfortable with a heart rate of 180, these races can hurt quite a bit more than their longer incarnations.

Listen to Jonathan Vaughters, director of the Garmin-Transitions pro cycling team coach one of his stars, Christian Vandevelde through a shorter time trial. Vandevelde, incidentally, is a man of serious talent, having finished fifth in the Tour de France a couple years ago. Oh... And if you've got about 12k burning a hole in your pocket come and see us, because he's riding a tricked out Felt DA. Now I'm in no way implying that if you buy one, you'll average 30mph at the Rookie. But one thing I can do, is follow behind you on my scooter yelling clich├ęd phrases of encouragement to make you feel faster.

Watch the video. Get pumped up. 30mph or 13mph, it makes no difference, you're out there doing it.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Schedule for April and May

We had a great long ride this morning, 38-miles about as fast as I recall it. Well done to the lead group including Roberto the owner of Taco deli who provide those delish' breakfast taco's we have each week for hanging with the long ride, also good to get to ride with Dan Carroll from High 5 Events and Dave Mclaughlin from DCM Photography and those great pictures from the last Driveway Crit bike races.

Also a great turnout for the Intermediate group, lead by Laura, Shane, and Kim from the LAF; in fact with a few new riders in the no-drop with Jeff and Hugo, including Elizabeth Quintanilla, CEO of EQ Consulting on her first ride on her new Felt bike from the shop, we had a real cornucopia of Austin amateur cycling and business.

Just a reminder, no headphones please, no aero bars while sitting in, and no taking risks. If in doubt or confused, have a read of the shop ride etiquette rules posted on the web site.

So, well ahead of the game, here are the planned rides for April and May 2010! Thanks for the feedback, please feel free to comment here, or on the facebook page if you want to see something else, some changes, or just to tell us how much fun cycling in the ATX is!

4th NO-DROP SHOAL CREEK Special ride;Intermediate: South +Intervals; Long: South(38-miles)
11th All rides: South + Mechanic workshop at High School. Rides then continue (NO-DROP 20,30,38-mile routes)
18th NO-DROP RIDE; South + Transition clinic ready for Lonestar Sprint/70.3
25th NO-DROP ONLY! (Lonestar Sprint/Olympic/70.3)

9th NO-DROP ONLY! (The Rookie Triathlon!)
16th NO-DROP RIDE; Intermediate+Long: HILLS
23rd NO-DROP RIDE; Intermediate+Long Head North West; Transition clinic (Basic+Advanced for CapTex Tri)
30th NO-DROP RIDE; Intermediate+Long: South


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Back to normal

This week the shop rides are heading back to the traditional south routes after a few weeks of variation. One reason for this is it's a race weekend, another is because well, we understand some people want to measure their progress against static routes.

More interestingly for this weekends ride, we will have a handout with a schedule for all the rides through April and May. Copies of these will also be available from the shop. I have to say we've got some useful and fun things planned for the ride, including a mechanics workshop out on the ride, two transition clinics ready for the races and some new and alternatives routes.

So for this week it's No-drop 10-miles out and 10-miles back; Intermediate about 30-miles South; and the Long group will do the Buda+loop and always I suspect there will be an informal blast back into town. All rides leave 8:30 prompt.

As always, can I remind the riders to stay single file out on the old San Antonio Road, it makes things safer for you, and easier for the car drivers to pass. See y'all Sunday!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lake Travis Tri, Sunday, April 18th

Lake Travis is officially 100% full so says the LCRA. Can you believe its' been two years since we've seen lake levels this high. Thank you El Nino!

A great way to celebrate this good news is by registering for the Lake Travis Triathlon and CapTex Swim scheduled for the weekend of April 17th and 18th.

These two events are hosted by Rick Margiotta and Brad Davison owners of RB Sports and the Capital of Texas Triathlon.

This weekend has something for everyone. All the details are listed below. If you're not ready to toe the start line, why not sign-up to volunteer. Hope to see you out there!

The CapTexSwim at Lake Travis

Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010

What: Open water swims of 750 meters, 1500 meters, and 1.2 miles

Where: Pace Bend Park - Mud Cove, Spicewood, TX 78669

Start Times: 1500 meters at 9:00am

750 meters at 10:00am

1.2 miles at 10:30am

Entry fees: $40.00 for one event, $50.00 for two, $60.00 for all three. Day of event registration will be available with an additional $10 late fee.

Sanctioning: USA Triathlon sanctioned. Non-USAT members will be required to purchase a one day license

Awards: Top overall and masters (40 +) male and female, wetsuit and no-wetsuit, in each event

Age groups broken down by male and female, wetsuit and no-wetsuit

19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+ (14 and under in the 750 meter event only)

Special recognition is planned for multiple event finishers

The Lake Travis Triathlon

Date: Sunday, April 18, 2010

What: Sprint Triathlon, 750 meter swim, 20 Kilometer bike, 5 kilometer run

Where: Pace Bend Park, Spicewood, TX 78669

Start Time: 9:00am

Entry fees: $60.00 early entry thru 4/12, $70.00 late after 4/12

Sanctioning: USA Triathlon sanctioned. Non-USAT members will be required to purchase a one day license

Awards: Top 3 overall male and female

Top Masters male and female

Top Grand Masters male and female

5 year age groups starting at 14 and under (special consideration must be given for participants under 15)

Top Clydesdales and Athenas


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Give it a TRI!!

What: Tri Zones Training Camp
When: Sunday, March 21, 4:00pm
Where: Jack and Adam's, 1210 Barton Springs Rd.
What to bring: a towel or camp chair

What you need to know to begin triathlon training?

Is that a triathlete you see in the mirror? Have you heard that the Danskin Women's Triathlon is a life-changing experience and you wonder if you can do it? Learn about what it's like to train for a tri and what you'll need to do to get started. Gain the confidence that YOU CAN DO IT whether your goal is Danskin, Skeese Greets Women's Tri, or The Rookie! We'll have fun as we show you the basics of what to expect as you train for your first tri.

Tri Zones also has other free training clinics throughout April and May!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Long and steady

This week the Intermediate and Long groups will be "going long" and "taking it steady".

Unlike last week where we set out to do pacelines, this week see's just a slightly longer ride for those getting ready for their first Olympic or Half Ironman triathlon. Tammy, Kim and James will take the Intermediate group about 40-miles, ideal over distance for an Olympic triathlon. Zac and I will be taking the long group somewhere near 60-miles. The rides will take different routes, so you'll need to decide prior to leaving.

As always, the No-drop ride with Jeff and Hugo will go south, 10-miles out and 10-back regrouping when ever needed. As always with the other groups there is scope to go off the front for all or part of the ride and go faster if needed. The point of this week though is long and steady rather than race pace.

The group ride leaders are meeting tonight to work on the ride schedule through May, we'd love to hear feedback, please leave comments, here or on Facebook and we'll work them in.

One last request, the ride escorts got together to discuss ride guidelines and Zac put this together[PDF]. We like to make sure everyone reads it at least once.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Training for training

This past Saturday morning, some friends and I rode the hills of Westlake, chewing our respective stems up Terrance Mountain, Redbud and Toro Canyon. Not really talking, just feeling the burn of long slow climbs, and the sting of the steeper pitches. There were a few deer still feeding on the side of the road and hardly any traffic at all. People walking their dogs, and houses with mortgage payments that I can not fathom. A couple of the out and back climbs so steep that we stated laughing and collapsed on our bars at the top. No heart rate monitor. No computer. No zone to stay in or planned route.

At Taco Cabana then, before work. Checking Paris-Nice updates on Twitter and talking to one of our customers about his race schedule. The blur of work, and laughing with the guys (and girls) about some of the crazy questions we get. Brian, showing me the old steel framed Colnago that he is bidding on. Checking the Chronometro results and talking to Sam about the course at Fayetteville next weekend. Bikes, bikes and more bikes. I love it...

This is not the training plan to win races. This is the training plan to stay fresh in the sport. According to Jack, the average customer in our shop has a life span of about three years. Since I've been working here over two years now, I assume that some of the friends I've made will be gone by seasons end. Triathlon is, quite simply, a sport that breeds neurosis. It can consume our lives and all of the endless details can keep us awake at night. Three complete sports, done back to back, without stopping. It really is a lot to wrap your head around.

After my first three years racing and, unbelievably, never wining Kona, I was fairly spent. Workout schedules are still schedules, it seems. 6am runs never really get easier to wake up to. Essentially, the sport was turning into my grandmother. I loved it to death, I just really didn't want to hang out with it anymore...

Just a reminder to everyone feeling the same this season. It's OK to not race and just have fun. Explore new bike routes. Rent a canoe at Zilker, instead of doing core class. Dodge boulders on the greenbelt, instead of strollers on the trail. Endurance sports are all developmental and as long as you stay relatively fit, sliding back into the sport will be quite easy. Triathlon is only getting larger, the performances more unbelievable and the training methods more scientific. Go out, explore the world, be a spectator for a while and remind yourself what got you started in the first place.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Grease Monkey Wipes Canisters Now Available at Jack & Adam's!

Kong Concepts, creator of the all so popular, Grease Monkey Wipes, is now offering Grease Monkey Wipes in a 30 serving canister.

The citrus cleaning, all natural wipe is perfect for cyclists, runners, and really anyone in need of help with some heavy duty grime.

The 30 serving canister retails for $54.9 and is now available here at Jack & Adam's.

Be sure to stop in this weekend to check it out! Also, while you are here come check out the new TYR Tri clothing just in at the shop.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Hill Climbing redux

We had a fabulous inaugural climbing clinic a couple of weekends back, and as promised Tammy has send along the follow tips as promised

Remember to get out there and continue to practice these skills! In Austin, the hills must be searched out… don’t fear them, OWN THEM!

Climbing - long, steady climbs
  • Weight in the saddle, relaxed upper body w/hands loose on the tops of your bars. If it’s not working to get you up that hill, it should be relaxed.
  • Open your chest, and take deep full breaths to fuel your working muscles with all the oxygen they need.
  • Engage glutes & hamstrings to power your climbing. Scrape that Texas clay off the bottoms of your shoes.
Climbing – short, power climbs
  • Ride into the hill, then stand to attack the short climb.
  • Hands on the brake hoods (fingers off the brake levers!).
  • Use your upper body to PULL on the brake hoods, and allowing the bike to move beneath you.
  • Adjust your center of mass depending on the grade of the climb; steeper hills will require you to shift more forward to maintain balance of weight distribution.
  • Feet/pedals parallel to the ground, with body weight in feet, slightly hovering on saddle.
  • Hands IN THE DROPS! Practice on the flats if this is not comfortable for you, and make sure your fit allows you to comfortably reach the brakes in this position (If not, make an appt at Jack & Adam’s to have your fit checked. A good fit is imperative to good handling skills and safety!).
  • Bend arms to keep upper body low and increase ability to absorb any shock from the road.
  • Shift body weight toward back of saddle.
Thank you to all of you joined us for this clinic. This was our first of many clinic offerings for the Jack & Adam’s Bicycles shop ride. Let us know what you most enjoyed about this clinic, and what we could do to improve it in future sessions. If you have any questions about anything you learned last week, feel free to email me.

Tammy Metzger, B.Sc.
Coach | Owner, Tempo Multisport LLC


Shop ride Sundays: It's Paceline time

This Sunday the intermediate and long group rides will be focusing on paceline training. While many of you may not see the relevance of this to your needs as triathletes and weekend warrior riders, you'll be surprised.

If we can get the group rides to work more together, safely, you WILL learn to go faster, and further. Sure, in a triathlon you can't draft, but if you spend all your time sitting out on your own, you will get tired more quickly using up 15% of your energy for no good reason, and you'll tend to mash the pedals.

Sitting in a group or paceline, taking a turn on the front, etc. will help you be more efficient, you'll develop a higher cadence in an easier gear, and you will have a heightened awareness of whats going on around you. And, yes, through these you'll be able to go further and faster even when you ride alone.

Once the no-drop ride has left, Sundays shop ride will start with a briefing and an explanation and then we will be off to put it into practice. If you don't want to do the paceline clinic, you are welcome to leave alone or in groups at 8:30 as normal, but I'd really encourage everyone to have a go. My biggest cycling improvement in speed was the Summer I spent paceline riding with the St Pete Maddogs and St Pete Cycling rides.

There is a great intro to paceline riding by one of my cycling heroes, Fred Matheny, here. See you Sunday, time to get your paceline on!

No headphones is a must... please leave them in the car.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Champions Triathlon and Duathlon!

Kick off your 2010 racing season with the second annual Champions Triathlon and Duathlon! Sprint and Olympic distance courses are available for both triathlon and duathlon options. Individuals and relay teams are welcome for all events. This years race will be held at Lake Pflugerville TX starting from the new NORTH shore venue. This race is sure to be flat and fast!

This is a wetsuit legal event. The expected water temperature is 57 to 64 degrees +/- depending on the weather leading up to the event.


chain wear

Most people do not replace their chain often enough and this leads to the gears not shifting correctly and excessive wear on the chainrings and cassette. Chain wear is affected by a few things, riding conditions, riding style(masher vs spinner) and shifting technique. When the conditions are wet the chain is going to wear out faster due to the dirt that gets in the rollers of the chain, wet weather also tends to wash the lube off of the chain much faster. If you are the type of rider that tends to ride at a low cadence then you are going to wear the chain faster than someone who rides at a higher cadence. The last major thing that affects wear is shifting technique. If you tend to crosschain a lot(riding in big ring, big cassette cog or small ring, small cassette cog) then you will put more wear on the chain and also the chainrings. The easiest way to check for chain wear at home is to measure 12 links of your chain. A new chain measures 12 inches and anything over 12 1/16 is too long. There is a tool that measures it quickly and costs less than 10 dollars, but a ruler works just fine. You should expect to get anywhere from 1500 to 2500 miles out of a 10speed chain and about 500 more out of a 9 speed chain. If you take very good care of it and keep it clean and make sure to shift correctly and try to ride at a higher cadence you can help the chain to last a lot longer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jack's First Tri

With Triathlon season quickly approaching, many triathletes reminiscence about their first tri, while newcomers eagerly anticipate the endeavor. Here, Jack Murray, owner of Jack & Adam's Bicycles, writes about his first triathlon. (from the J&A newsletter archives, March 2008)

Almost every day customers visit our shop seeking advice on participating in their first triathlon. When I have the opportunity to help someone in this situation, I share with them the story of my first tri in hopes of helping them feel more comfortable about their endeavor.

It was the summer of 1994. The event was the Victoria Splash & Dash in Victoria, Texas. I had trained for a few weeks and was sure I was in peak condition for an easy victory. I was, after all, fresh off a 1600 meter run victory and bronze in the 3200 at the Texas High School Championship Relays. How hard could a little tri be? I thought I knew all there was to know about swimming, biking, and running. Turns out - I knew nothing!

The morning started with me loading my bike into the trunk of my mom's car and driving with her and my sister to the event one hour away. I arrived around 6 AM for an 8 AM start. This was before on-line registration, so I registered for the event that morning and picked up my packet. As people started to arrive, I noticed the differences between my rusty old mountain bike and some of their $2000 race machines. My confidence, however, was not crushed; I was still sure I could win. After racking my bike, I headed over to the pool area where everyone was warming up. As I got closer, I noticed everyone was wearing tight swimsuits and goggles. I was sure, however, that my baggy Umbro "soccer shorts" and lack of goggles was the best way to go. My plan was simple - go as fast as I could for as long as I could.

They were letting swimmers go every 5 seconds and we had to snake up and down the pool for a total of 300 meters. I patiently waited in line until 5,4,3,2,1 go, I was off. I swam as fast as I could to the other side and then back again. 50 meters down 250 to go. By 150 my arms started to hurt and my eyes were stinging from the chlorine. By 200 I was kicking off the bottom every few strokes and swimming with my eyes closed, by 250 I was just trying to get out of the water alive, and without my shorts falling off. After the swim, I was sure I was still in good position to hold my own on the bike.

I grab my bike out of transition and head out on to the 12 mile course. As I start to ride I realize I am not catching anyone. The rusty, old mountain bike that I borrowed from my high school track coach was not the stallion I thought it was. Riding around the block a few times for training was probably not the riding that all these people were doing. The fact that my bike could not shift was more trouble than I thought it would be. And looking back, my saddle was also about 5 to 7 inches to low. Towards the end of the ride I was being passed by a 10 year old girl and her mom; it was then that I started to feel my big victory slipping away. Still I was determined to blaze through transition and light up the run.

Transition to the run was probably my most memorable moment. As I speed to the transition area, volunteers are yelling at me to dismount my bike. As I go to lift my feet off the pedals, I forget that they are hooked in by cages. The combination of speed and my feet getting caught was enough to send me crashing like a bowling ball into a bike rack with about 6 bikes on it. The volunteers quickly help me up and as I throw my bike in the grass next to a picnic table (the rack was down), I remember thinking how much fun I was having. The whole day was something I had never experienced before.

It took about a mile into the run before I got my legs out of bike riding mode. I had no idea how riding a bike would effect legs on the run. As I rounded the final stretch I saw all these happy people cheering for me, eating, drinking, and just having a good time. I talked to people for about an hour. I met a guy my age that had been doing triathlons for years. I met some members of the Corpus Christi tri club and was invited to their next meeting. I signed up for their monthly newsletter. In short - I was hooked. It was nothing I thought it would be. It was fun and I discovered a whole different type of people that did not exist in my 5000 person hometown.

Through the years of collegiate running, duathlons, sprint tri's, half Ironman events, Ironman events, and working in the shop, my first tri memory will forever help me keep our sport in perspective. It is not about where you finish, what type of bike you have, what you do for a living, where you are from or where you are going. It is about having fun and that is it. You can have many goals in our sport without forgetting this key element. I am constantly reminded of this by some of the greatest in the sport like Michael Lovato and James Bonney. If you ask either of them why they have dedicated and built their lives around this sport, they will tell you the same.


The Importance of Proper Fit and ReTul

Why is fit or the incorporation of fitting systems so important? First the most critical aspect is to recognize that most people are taking part in the sport of cycling for the enjoyment, to gain fitness and live healthier lives. Taking this into account, like any occasion, cycling has certain comforts and discomforts and time participating in the activity of cycling can cause a great deal of repetitive movement. Consider that for the average age group rider a steady pedal cadence might be between 80-90 rotations per minute for 60 minutes. That is 4800-5400 revolutions of the crank arms in 1 hour time, for one leg alone and twice those numbers if you consider both legs. If you are performing this activity in a poorly positioned situation, there is obvious cause for potential injury or discomfort.

Secondly, bicycle positioning is largely individual outside the basic biomechanical guidelines of safety. Therefore it is important for injury prevention, comfort, and optimal performance. In the bicycle industry we look for fitting systems to better establish locations of current and new positions, to better aid riders to improving their existing positions or modifying them toward any physical changes: improved flexibility might result in more aggressive positions with less wind resistance. Less flexibility might result in lower seat heights, and less aggressive positioning to optimize limited ranges of motion. All together the goal of any system is to better establish the location of a rider, apply the appropriate course of action for adjustment, and to communicate that optimization more clearly to the customer. Assuming the process is correct, this usually results in maximized performance of pedal efficiency, muscle recruitment, and ultimately power. Remember, as a rider your position will and should change as you do, whether for the worse or better.

That is why we at J&A are very excited ReTul is here. We can incorporate RetTul fits to our already successful fitting procedures. Simply put, ReTul is a tool designed to aid a bike fitter to more effectively see and measure positioning in a 3 dimensional form. The ReTul system utilizes a 3 camera system which video references the rider in space and transposes him/her to the software where the body position and angles can be detailed within less that 1 millimeter of accuracy. The data is then transposed using Bluetooth technology to communicate with the electronic "landmarks" set on the body by the fit specialist. These landmarks provide detailed data that can be reviewed about the rider's position. This data is then interpreted within already established guidelines, all of which we have utilized as the base line standard for fitting in our fit studio prior to owning the ReTul unit. The ReTul system isn't telling us where to move or where the rider will feel most comfortable, the rider is still communicating this to the bicycle fit specialist. Rather, the RetTul System is enhancing our ability to see, correct, improve and record adjustments to the riders fit with a new level of precision.

The advantage of the ReTul system is to offer more detailed communication from J&A's fit department to the customer by way of measurements, better record keeping in an electronic format for the sake of the customer and the store, and to more precisely establish where problems may be occurring. It is important to add that bike fitting is still very much art as well as science, meaning the rider brings a level of individuality to the equation that has parameters of definitive safety and need attention. The unique qualities brought to the process might be the rider's length of upper leg to lower leg or a history of back problems or knee problems. The ReTul system enhances the fitter's eye, providing an opportunity for the fitter to apply our knowledge base to the rider. Additionally, all this is done in dynamic or constant movement format. The data is transmitted during movement and not limited to one dimensional phases of analyses (referred to as static fitting). This permits the rider to be fit in a more natural state, rather then in static states.

ReTul will be a great enhancement of our service both for both data accuracy and time efficiency. It will provide a very detailed standard of fit and precision in about two hours. This precision will prove to be quite advantageous to the enhancement of performance, comfort and efficiency of the rider. Contact the shop to get on the ReTul Schedule List.

- By Fit Specialist Zane Castro

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First Annual 1379 Kids Triathlon Series!

1379 is proud to present the first annual 1379 Kid's & Family Triathlon Series! Our goal with the Series is to encourage activity and fitness through the sport of triathlon for kid’s ages 7-15 and their families.

Triathlon is a sport that combines swimming, cycling and running into one event -- in a fun, high-energy environment! With the Series, we have selected some of the most well-run and popular races in the area – bound to give you and your family a memorable experience. Registering for more than one race will allow you to build on the experience gained from each event. You have the option of taking part in one, two, three or ALL FOUR of the Series races listed below.

1379 is an Austin-based active wear retail store that was founded on the idea that an active community is a better community. We hope that this series is one way to promote this value.

The 1379 Triathlon Series will consist of the following local events:

TSD Ranger Triathlon - Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Cedar Park Kids Triathlon - Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I Tri at The J - Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Hill Country Triathlon for Kids and Families - Saturday, July 24th, 2010