Friday, August 26, 2011

Shop ride Sundays: Schedule update

Just another reminder that this week is a shop ride Steiner Ranch Steak House Edition, don't be late, 8:30 sharp!

Since I know lots of people like to know what rides are coming up, here is the schedule through the end of October. We reserve the right to cancel or change the routes based on weather conditions(yeah, I know, the forecast through the end of October is dry and hot...), ride leader availability and, well, because sometimes people ask to change ;-)

Unless otherwise noted, there is ALWAYS a No-drop ride, and it will be 10-miles out, 10-miles back. The intermediate ride goes 1-hour out, 1-hour back and covers varying distances and inevitably splits into a steady based group to enourage people moving up from No-drop and a faster paced group looking to move up to Advanced. The advanced does, well what it does, sometimes the same routes but faster, sometimes with add on miles.

You should be ready to leave at 8:30, we are always on time, and even for the no-drop we cannot wait if you have a puncture, problems parking etc. The groups are simply too big to wait. The Sunday shop rides always leave from the shop EXCEPT the Steiner Steakhouse edition.

We have a few simple rules
  • Be safe, follow the rules of the road
  • No music players or telephone headsets for ANY reason
  • Don't overlap wheels
  • No aero bars excpt if you are riding at the front of the group
  • Call-out road traffic, surface and debris problems as soon as you can.

7th Ride: Unplanned

14th Ride: North West; No Drop - Shoal Creek

21st South - Intermediate and Advanced have 30, 34, 38, 60 mile options
Other Events Transition Clinic 11:15-12:15;Butler Park

28th Ride: Steiner Steakhouse Ride

4th Ride: NO DROP ONLY - South
Other Events AUSTIN TRIATHLON(5th)

11th Ride: All routes go east! No Drop(24), Intermediate/Advanced(36)

17th Ride: Austin 70.3 Course ride
18th Ride: Cedar Creek; NO DROP - South

24th Ride: Austin 70.3 Course ride
25th Ride: Steiner Steakhouse Ride

2nd Ride: NO DROP ONLY - Shoal Creek
Other Events - Kerrville Triathlon w/e

8th Ride: Austin 70.3 Course ride
9th Ride: Hills clinic, Lost creek; No Drop goes out to 360.

15th Ride: Austin 70.3 Course ride
16th Ride: Creedmore; No Drop - South

23rd Ride: NO DROP ONLY, Shoal Creek.
Other Events - AUSTIN 70.3

30th Ride: Steiner Steakhouse Ride
Other Events Run for the water 10k/5k


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Prep for the Austin Tri Swim

Swim like a River: Preparing for the Austin Tri & Lady Bird Lake
by: Pro Triathlete Kelly Williamson

Whether you are an Austin Triathlon veteran from 2007 or a triathlon rookie, Lady Bird Lake is a very nice swimming hole for a race. It is situated around the 'hub' of exercise in Austin, with the running trail lining its shores. Scouting this course is not too difficult, as it is essentially one large rectangle, most of which you should be able to view from shore before plunging in.

After setting up your transition area, head towards the swim start with plenty of time to spare (20-30 minutes before your wave takes off). Find out the wetsuit call. This is sometimes not made until race morning, so be sure you know if wetsuits are legal or not. In making your decision, remember a few things. While they are faster (up to 2-3 minutes over the course of a mile), they are very warm; so if you tend to get hot easily, consider how warm the day is and if you may overheat. Acknowledge what is most important to you, speed or comfort?

Scope the course. Look at the path you'll be swimming and try to see all the buoys you will pass. Note their color, location and also if there are any 'large, immobile' objects beyond these buoys. These large objects can be used to 'sight off' in case your view of the buoy is blocked from fellow swimmers, waves or sun. If you can, count the number of buoys you will 'pass' before making a turn. Try to locate the turn buoys, sometimes these are a different color or shape. Decide based on weather if you need dark or light goggles. An overcast day may call for lighter lenses, while a sunrise on the horizon may require dark lenses to eliminate glare.

This race will be a deep water start, so you'll be treading water. With about a minute to go, try to start to move to a 'horizontal' position. When many people standing in a small space go from vertical to horizontal, crowding entails. Try to 'mark your space' before the gun goes off, so you are ready to move forward. Start to the 'outside' of the crowd, so you can make a diagonal line to the first buoy or turn buoy. If you are directly in front of the buoy, you may have to fight your way 'around' it because people will converge there. Starting to the outside or to the back of the crowd may eliminate some fighting when swimming.

When the gun goes off, go hard at the start but be careful of maxing yourself out. Many people will sprint and fade quickly. If you monitor your intensity to a strong but sustainable pace, you will likely catch people as you swim and gain confidence in the process. These first few strokes focus on getting into a rhythm, and do not worry about sighting too much until you settle in and the congestion calms down. Once you feel comfortable, begin to sight often (every 6-8 strokes or as needed) and each time you look up try to get a glimpse of your guide buoys. Do not blindly trust the feet in front of you!

As you near the finish, start to think about what you will be doing next. Once you feel the ground (the swim ramp or the bottom of the lake), start to stand and get vertical. Catch your breath, and immediately begin to unzip the wetsuit (if you have one), remove the cap and goggles and get running to transition. As you run, think about the steps you'll do in preparation for the bike leg...congratulations, you are already 1/3 finished!

Kelly Handel Williamson is an accomplished triathlete and has been racing triathlons professionally for 9 years.

Check out Kelly's website...



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Austin 70.3 Bike course rides

Something I've done over the past 4-years is to lead organized group rides around the Longhorn aka Austin 70.3 bike course. They started as a way to get the Austin Triathlon meetup group together, then the 2nd year once we'd started the shop rides, I had some people ask for them, then 2009 while I was in my final training period for IM Arizona they were great way to finish, doing the course twice, once with the fast folks at 7am, then with a steady group at 10am.

I've already ready been asked numerous times if we plan to do them again this year. Yes, but there is no we in this. They are not formally J&A Shop rides, there are none of the normal post race delights of Taco deli breakfast tacos and ice cold water, and most importantly, the rides start out at Decker Lake and there is absolutely no, no-drop.

The rides will start on Saturday September 17th at 7.00 a.m. sharp. The late start is mostly due to my availability in the preceding 3-weeks. What we will do for the first week is effectively re-group at each major turn. I'll have course maps.

That will leave 3-weeks, excluding October 1st which is Kerville Triathlon Festival, for those 3-weeks we'll form groups at the start based on estimated bike course finish times and then go at race pace.

Things to know. 1. There will be NO hydration or SAG support on the ride/route. That means bring your own things for repairs; bring at least 3 bottles. 2. After the 1st week you need to know the course or bring a map. 3. There will be many people, including me, that will do a post ride run. We mostly will NOT be using the official run course. 4. No post ride breakfast tacos, but plenty of chance to disappear back into town to grab lunch with fellow riders!

Any questions, post here, or come see me at the Transition clinic after this weeks shop ride. ++Mark.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Transition clinic this Sunday

A good T1/T2 will save you more time in a race than most people can save from a month of swim practice, yet so few people treat it like the 4th discipline of triathlon, and practice, practice, practice.

This Sunday, 21st August, see's a chance to come learn and practice after the shop ride. My transition times for T1/T2 are inevitably less than a minute, in these pictures that's me mounting my bike in a duathlon back in 2002; the 2nd picture by Tom Marek, is of Michelle Garel, formerly Jack and Adams, and current J&A Race team member about to dismount, and the perfect transition set-up is from my friend Jen Mathe.

Sundays Transition Clinic will be in Butler Park, the other side of the railway tracks from the shop, starting at 11:15 and running through until everyone has had a chance to try both mount and dismount, ask questions etc.

This time, after feedback from the prior clinics, I will have a handout of key tips for attendees. See you there! ++Mark.


Monday, August 15, 2011

PRO-File: Richie Cunningham

When you hear the name "Richie Cunningham", a few faces may come to mind. Richie was the son of Howard and Marion Cunningham on the hit show Happy Days. He was also one of the most successful place-kickers ever to play for the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League. But when I hear the name "Richie Cunningham" I think of the lean and scrappy Australian-turned-Austinite who in recent years has dominated the multisport world with impressive performances in the Olympic and 70.3 distance races, and even Ironman.

Richie began his triathlon career in 1995 and became a professional in 1997. He lived in Germany for 10 years, training and competing, and was able to earn himself 9th place in the world ITU athlete ranking, and finished 1st in the Team Relay World Championships in 2004.

After placing 3rd in the 70.3 World Championships in 2006, he moved to the United States to spend more time focusing on the 70.3 series. He trained for 2 years in Boston and added to his World Championship resume by finishing 5th in 2007 and 3rd in 2008, then moved to Austin after braving the cold winters in Massachusetts. He finished off the 2009 season with a 3rd place finish at the German 70.3 National Championships, a second win at the Longhorn 70.3 in Austin and a 4th place finish at Ironman Arizona, his first ever Ironman. He also just wrapped up his 2010 season with another 5th place finish at the 70.3 World Championships.

Next up for Richie is the European 70.3 Championship, taking place August 14th. You can also see Richie compete at the Longhorn 70.3 on October 23rd, where he has finished in the top 3 for the past 3 years, two of which he took the title. Richie and his wife Melissa frequent Jack & Adam's Bicycles (even had their wedding there) and their warm demeanor is always welcome. We look forward to seeing what he does in the future. Richie, well done sir.

You can learn more about Richie on his website

by Mike Thompson of Jack & Adam's Bicycles



Thursday, August 4, 2011

USAT Elections

Want your opinion to be heard on things near and dear to your heart? Or maybe you're just bored at work and want something to do. Either way your vote counts the same and you don't even have to leave the comfort of your chair. If you're a card-carrying USAT member, be sure to vote!

Here's why we're backing Candy Cheatham in the South Midwest Region for the National Board:

Candy started as an Age Group Athlete in 1998. Her experience has ranged from competing, officiating (USAT Official Cat 1), Technical Official (ITU style racing), WTC Official (Ironman, 70.3) and serving in the governance of the sport.

Her service to the governance of triathlon has included serving on the SMW Regional Board of Directors for seven years (2001-2008). Candy was elected President of the Regional Board for three years. (2005-2008) In 2010 she made the decision to run for the National Board of USA Triathlon and was elected to represent the SMW Region of USA Triathlon.

Her service has consisted of the following:

* Elected Secretary of the Board
* Liaison to International Relations Committee
* ITU Women’s Committee
* Board Liaison for Nominating and Governance Committee
* Board Liaison for USAT Women’s Committee

From Candy herself, "I feel that my service on the Board is not complete and that is why I am running for re-election. My greatest strength is that I stay close to the grass roots of the sport and I listen to what the members have to say. Whether I am dealing with athletes, race directors, officials, coaches, or volunteers I always give each my undivided attention. I am asking for your support and vote so that I may continue to serve our region. I will always strive to represent the entire membership of the SMW Region."

To vote CLICK HERE and enter your USAT number and your individual election passcode. The passcode was sent out to members via email on July 29th. If you did not get your passcode, call in to USAT for technical assistance: 952-971-2339