Thursday, September 30, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: The Mystery of the East

This Sunday we are taking the shop rides east. The rides will all go out from downtown to controlled groups to make a safe egress from the city.

No-Drop - A few more miles than normal out to Decker Lane and then back. About 28-miles roundtrip. You'll get the chance to cycle in downtown roads in light use; this will help you develop a few additional skills. There is a faster section once you get out to Johnny Morris, but otherwise we'll be looking for the group to stay together and take guidance.

Intermediate - Will follow the same route out, and then make a left on Decker Lane, follow the Tri course around the back of the lake and then back into town via Loyola Lane. Depending on who the ride escorts are this week, this may be another paced ride. Distance if I remember correctly is about 34-miles, again up a few but a good chance to learn some city group riding skills.

Advanced - Following on from last times east ride, and with the fact the Austin 70.3 is not long, we'll be extending the Advanced ride to the same route around the back of Decker Lake, then when we get to the bridge over Toll Road SH45, we'll take a left and take on 16-miles of the Longhorn 70.3 course before dropping down Burleson Manor Rd, FM969 and back via Decker Lane to Loyola and into town. The advanced ride will complete 52-miles.

The route for all 3-rides is here on - for some reason, it has made a mess of the actual turn directions, although the route(s) are correct. See you Sunday, we leave at 8:30a.m.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Join Team Livestrong for The Austin Marathon


With the triathlon offseason right around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about your winter training. One of the big events in Austin this winter is the LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon on February 20, 2011. LIVESTRONG has become the title sponsor of the LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon & Half Marathon through 2013, so being part of the inagural 2011 event will be one to remember! Whether you are new to running or a seasoned veteran, the LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon course offers something for everyone. Another way that you can get involved beyond just running the race is to participate and fundraise with Team LIVESTRONG. Raising just $500 will get you some coveted Team LIVESTRONG race gear and free entry to the event. You can sign up as an individual or you can get a group of friends together to train and sign up as a team. By participating and fundraising for Team LIVESTRONG, you join a group of committed individuals dedicated to inspiring and empowering people affected by cancer.

If you would like to learn more about fundraising with Team LIVESTRONG, stick around this Sunday 10/3 after the J&A Shop Ride. We will have Team LIVESTRONG representatives on-hand to answer your questions and also provide some cool LIVESTRONG give-aways and gear!

Join the fight at


Friday, September 24, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Fun in the saddle

Sundays ride for all groups is heading South. It's the Silicon Labs Marathon relays which to a degree restricts the choice of routes, plus at least the Tempo Multisport ride leaders will be racing as a team.

As always, we will have the 3-groups, leaving 8:30 a.m. prompt. First up will be the Advanced group, 38-miles inc. the River Road loop; Second will be the Intermediate group. I'll again be pacing that for 16MPH out to the CVS where the Old San Antonio Road gets to Buda.

Finally "Jack's famous no-drop" ride, will do 10-miles out and 10-miles back with ride escorts. As always we wait for the last ride escort and rider after crossing traffic light junctions and turning left, we'll also be there to supervise repairing punctures, and other minor problems. The rides are not sagged though, you need to be prepared.

AUSTIN 70.3 rides. This is the last w/e I'll be riding the course before the race, I'm going to try for race pace, so no sag, no support but I will be there with maps and to answer questions before the ride. 7am prompt. Park outside the park. Here is the meet-up point.

Safe rides this w/e, see you in the saddle! ++Mark.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Transitioning to Off-Season Running

In this article, Kelly and Derick Williams offer some great tips about transitioning from tri season to off-season running. Of course, if you have any further questions, stop by the shop. If we don't have the information you need, we'll find it for you!

J&A: For some of us die-hard multi-sport athletes, it might not make sense to trade in three sports for one. Why do some athletes spend their winter training for running races; what are the benefits of this over a swim focus or spending multitudes of time on the trainer?

DW & KW: It is important for triathletes to change up their routine, especially when they live somewhere like Austin, where we are able to train swim/bike/run year round. For those living in colder climates, it is an easier thing to change it up in the winter (when they are buried in snow, cannot ride outside and have the opportunity to ski, do other outside activities or they are 'forced' indoors).

Not only does a running focus in the winter simplify a triathletes training schedule, but running is the best way to increase your fitness off of a minimal time commitment. So for a couple of months, they can enjoy a change of the 3-sport grind, lighten up their training load yet still maintain and even gain fitness. Running is the most efficient way to increase fitness because for the most part, you will burn more calories per minute as well as gain more cardiovascular fitness than you will swimming or cycling. One great thing about run training in the Fall/Winter is that you'll notice that as the temperatures come down, so will your paces for the same given effort. We notice that athletes can generally run 5-15sec/mi faster on their training runs once temperatures start dropping below ~75deg. This means that you can get in some much higher quality workouts during the Fall/Winter and see some nice running fitness gains that you can then carry over into the following season!

J&A: When is a good time to start making your transition from triathlon to run training. What are a few good events to plan on doing during the winter in Austin?

DW & KW: The transition really depends upon when someone ends his/her season. I'd say in the range of October or November is when most of the bigger triathlons and series' come to an end, and with the cooler weather, the shift to running is a welcome change. That said, I think that people should take 2-3 weeks "off" or of low key, very unstructured training. During this time, it is good to limit training; do not make it a priority, and simply do whatever sounds fun each day; if that is nothing, that is alright too.

In terms of winter Austin running events, a few fun and laid back ones that fall in the November-February time frame are the Dirty Duathlon (an off-road run/bike/ run in November), Thundercloud Subs 5 miler (on Thanksgiving), Decker Half Marathon (early December), Jingle Bell 5k, and then of course the Austin Distance Challenge will run from October through the Austin Marathon in February, each race progressing in distance. Another fun activity to try is open water swim events, which I know also take place over the winter months in Austin as well. Also consider trail running races for a change of pace and scenery and to limit the pounding on the body.

J&A: Triathletes tend to be an intense crowd, what are some good rules to remember when you're transitioning from three sports to one to avoid overdoing it and putting yourself at risk for injury. Does swimming and running still have a place in a winter run training program?

DW & KW: While a run focus can be a welcome change in the winter, it definitely does need to be approached with caution. Remember that if you are a triathlete, this is STILL the 'off season' so best not to completely wear yourself out running too much (or worse, risk injury). If you do not have a program you are on, be careful of your total run volume. (What do you usually do in tri season?) and of course, light swimming and cycling are always a good idea to keep the body healthy. Also consider adding in some other complimentary activities you may not have time for in the summer months like yoga, pilates, light strength training, mountain biking, etc. Just about the only thing you have to rule out in Austin is snow skiing!

J&A: How can athletes 'keep it interesting' without three different sports when training for running races (especially longer-distance races like marathons)?

DW & KW: See above; try to find activities you would like to do during triathlon season but never seem to find time for. Again I re-iterate that a good yoga instructor can be invaluable; you will discover imbalances you have in your body from all of the "single plane" activities (meaning they are repetitive and take place in a simple forward-backward motion, and provide little need for lateral stability) and you will probably even be sore from the first few sessions! Keeping it interesting really comes up to how creative you want to get, so in this respect, do what sounds appealing to you; know that if you stay active, you can start up the official season with not only renewed excitement for the sport but also with good base fitness.

J&A: After culminating a winter season with a challenging race, what are a few tips for recovery and getting back into multi-sport training?

DW & KW: Just ease back to the routine. Triathlon season is very long in a state like Texas, when local events begin in March and go through November. Create your race plan for the season, then step back and figure out when you need to be training most heavily. If you do not know how to do this, find a coach to help guide you through the season. With a good plan, you should never feel 'rushed' to get back to your peak triathlon fitness; the process to start your season should be a gradual build. A lot of athletes start the year off with so much enthusiasm and zeal that they over do it for those first few months and are either injured or burned out by June. Pace yourself and focus on a progressive training program so that you are continually getting better and limiting the potential for burnout and/or injury.


Athletes as well as trusted coaches, Derick and Kelly Williamson have been in Austin for about 5 years now. They draw from their broad experience as athletes and awesome educational backgrounds to provide excellent and accessible coaching for all levels of athlete. Check out the Durata Training website, to learn more about them.

Barton Springs clean-up

Last week I posted an appeal for our community to come together and help out with the Barton Springs cleanup after the "Hermine" storm.

I took part in the 4pm shift, I was delighted to meet a few new people from the tri/cycling/swimming community but even more delighted to see hear about the community coming together throughout the day, supported by groups like Austin T3, Trizones and TexasIron. There were just 2-people not from the tri community on the 4pm shift. I heard the same was true for almost all of the other shifts. Later in the day at the Austin Triathlon Volunteer party, I saw two people not from the 4pm shift in Friends of Barton Springs t-shirts!
According to news reports, during the day "Volunteers cleaned more than a foot of silt and debris".

Barton Springs re-opened Saturday for swimming, but there is still much work to be done. We've scheduled a J&A Swim workout at the Springs this Friday at 7 a.m. so come enjoy the work already done.

There is still a significant deposit of leaves, mud and muck down in the most difficult area to clean. Down in the north west corner where the plant growth is most abundant, and where the Austin Blind Salamander has been known to appear. So that area needs very gentle sweeping with brooms to try to remove the silt without damaging the plants or any salamander present. If it's not effectively cleared once all the leafs start decaying it will effect the quality of the water in that area.

So, lets get out and help the Friends of Barton Springs again on the next public help day, October 7th. They are once again asking for volunteers to do 2-hour shifts, 10,12,2,4pm. Please find time to help out. I'll be at the 4pm shift again.

You do get a Friends of Barton Spring t-shirt and membership if you work a 2-hour shift, but more importantly you get to put something back into the community! Spread the word, when you volunteer, tell them where you heard about it and which group you represent. Please don't assume someone else will do it, training sessions are no excuse...

To volunteer, contact
Robin Cravey, president
Friends of Barton Springs Pool

You can probably sport a few people you know in this gallery of pictures from the - Also the Friends of Barton Springs has a collection of videos and media reports from last weeks efforts.

Thanks. ++Mark.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Saturday Austin 70.3 again.

The last 2-weeks of informal, semi-lead, rides of the Austin 70.3 aka Longhorn half-ironman course are this week, September 18th and next week.

I say "semi-lead" because I will show-up, offer maps, leave at 7 a.m. prompt trying to keep a steady pace to start. Once we get over the toll road bridge and away from the Decker lake circuit, everyone will be warmed up and then it's form groups based on pace.

The course is well marked with yellow arrows before, on and after turns. It's 56-miles, starts from just outside Walter E Long Park aka Decker Lake; last Saturday we had about 30-people start in various groups, everything from fast to slow. The only thing you need to know, the ride is unsupported, and there really are no water stops until 38-miles, then its the East Travis County Metropolitan Park where they have bathrooms, after that its not until 44-miles in Webberville. An earlier stop option is to detour into Elgin which adds about 4-miles to the.

Bring 3-bottles and you'll be fine to Webberville... be there for a prompt start, no need to reply, I have some spare course maps as well... You don't have to be racing to do the ride!

This ride is really not sponsored, organized or otherwise endorsed by Jack and Adams, riders participate at their own risk. ++Mark.

Shop ride Sundays: It's Steiner Steakhouse time

An early, but brief reminder that this week's shop ride will start at the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse and head west out into Cedar Park. There will be the "famous" no-drop ride, 10-out, 10-back; a paced intermediate ride, an hour out and an out back, paced at 16MPH; and a controlled start, fast paced advanced ride, for about 32-miles.

Don't be late in arriving, the ride starts at 8:30 a.m. prompt, last time we pretty much filled the parking lot and late comers had to walk up from the overflow lot. Also, for the triathletes, there is a good 3-mile brick run from the parking lot, down the hill afterwards, so bring your run shoes[and I promise to bring my cycling shoes this week!].

After the ride and run it's brunch Steiner style. There will be plenty of water, but you can't beat a mimosa and half price brunch with live music as a pick-me-up.

REMEMBER, NO RIDE FROM THE SHOP THIS WEEK! Join us at the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse. ++Mark.

Directions via Google Maps

Monday, September 13, 2010

Barton Springs Rescue

One of the great things about Austin, IMHO, is the sense of community. Everywhere you look or go there are established and spontaneous communities. This is especially true amongst the triathlon, cycling and running scene. Another great Austin tradition is Barton Springs. Arguably a community tradition from the start, Barton springs is maintained by the city, but only with the help and perseverance from the Friends of Barton Springs, along with a number of other groups.

Last weeks storms not only closed Barton Springs, it created a huge mess. If you have not seen this video, you should, yes the springs is under there somewhere...

Triathletes benefit from Barton Springs in a huge way. Who can say they have not been down to the springs in their wetsuit for a cold water, early morning swim? Runners and cyclists too, how great is it to sit on the side or stand in the shallow end after a hard ride or run and just calm down those raging muscle fibers?

So, nows the time we need to give back as a community. Wednesday September 15th the Friends of Barton Springs, in conjunction with the Pool manager to organize an emergency pool cleaning. There will be two hour shifts at at 10 am, noon, 2 pm, and 4 pm.

PLEASE SIGN UP for at least one shift. I have no idea what will be required, but it would be great if we could get all the athletic communities to sign-up, irrespective if you are from the J&A Sunday shop ride, Austin T3, Texas Iron, Trizones, Rogue Running, Run Tex, Tempo Multisport, and Austin Cyclecamp.

If you are from one of these communities or any other, now is the time to act. Please contact FoBS President and register for a shift. Tell Robin which group you are from so the FoBS know we are giving back. Act now! I'll be on the 4pm shift. Pass it on!

Robin Cravey, president
Friends of Barton Springs Pool

The Austin Cross Country Kid's Run

Looking for a kid's run to get the kiddos out and about? This year marks the 34th annual Austin Cross Country Kid's Run.

The event will be held along the Lady Bird Lake Trail on November 20th. The event seeks to provide an opportunity for any child, ages 5-14, in the Austin and local communities, to experience a fun and welcoming cross country run. The purpose of this event is to promote the idea that fitness is fun, challenging, rewarding, and necessary in order to achieve lifelong wellness.

This year 1379 is teaming up with the Austin Association of Physical Education and Recreation (AAPER)to give any child the opportunity to participate. The event will be made affordable by having an entry fee of only $5. Funds are being raised to help so that even those who may not afford it, can still have this experience. Any additional funds raised will further support Austin's youth in their PE classes by purchasing equipment and other instructional materials.

Registration forms, flyers, and further information about the event can be directed to Lindsay Rosenthal, 1379 Family Sports Store, by calling 512-779-4761 or by emailing Nick at


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rolfing @ Jack & Adam's this Sunday

Please join us for the Jack & Adam's Sunday Shop ride...wheels down at 8:30 a.m.

This week the ride will be greeted at the finish by Christopher Horan from Austin Rolfer.
Rolfing clients experience reduced levels of acute and chronic pain and higher levels of physical, mental and emotional vitality because Rolfing focuses on bringing better alignment and balance to your entire body. Rolfing structural integration is a sophisticated and effective form of hands-on therapy and movement education. Its goal is to create structural, functional and energetic changes within the body that help free mind, body and spirit from limitations, injury and pain.

Rolfing works to bring higher levels of function, efficiency, balance, and strength to the body’s posture and movement patterns by improving joint alignment, increasing range of motion, evoking inner body awareness, and establishing body-wide coordination and continuity of movement.

Chris will be available to work on athletes from 10-12:30 on the Jack & Adam's deck.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ironman 70.3 Austin

Do you want to be a part of the 2010 Ironman 70.3 Austin race but do not want to race the event? Well look no can volunteer!!

The 2010 Ironman 70.3 Austin Triathlon is looking for a few good men/women to volunteer at the event.
There are several different categories in need of volunteers. For more information please click here


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shop ride Sundays: Catch-up

First up, a big congratulations for everyone from the shop ride who raced at Austin Tri. I hope we managed to catch up with most of you and either wish you good luck before the race, or congratulate you afterwards.

Big-up for Tracy Ohargan who finished 2nd in her age group at the sprint race, Tracy has been riding with the no-drop group!

Next-up a big thanks to Tammy, Kelley from Tempo Multisport for taking care of last weeks ride with most of us helping out with the Austin tri. Good luck to Kelley who takes on the road racing scene for the next 2-weeks as a member of Velossimo racing

We have decided to change around the schedule for the rest of September based on the success of the Steiner Steak House ride and slot another ride in on the 19th. So the schedule for the rest of the month looks like this:

12th No-drop does Shoal Creek, Intermediate and Advanced will go North
19th Sunday Brunch Ride, Steiner Steakhouse Style (details here)
26th No-drop and rides go South

I'll be hosting unofficial rides of the Austin 70.3 course on Saturday 11th, 18th and 25th, leave at 7 a.m. sharp from the entrance to Walter E Long Park aka Decker Lake. For this weekends rides, and any before then I'd recommend taking extra spares, and a puncture kit. The roads will have all sorts of trash on them after the heavy rain. Be careful out there.

Finally, many of you were on the shop ride last month when Sandy Carson came along to take pictures for Bicycling Magazine. Sandy has put the pictures online here, and you can order copies. They also serve as a great summary of the general ride(s).


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

J&A Tuesday Night Run

The Jack & Adam's Tuesday night run for September 7th is cancelled due to rain. See you next week!