Thursday, April 29, 2010

Now that our club uniforms have been ordered, we thought it'd be nice to give a shout-out to Mary Bell, who created our Y logo under the guidance of team member Pastor Paul. Mary is the owner of ImageSetters, a local graphics design firm, and did this work entirely "pro bono" for us. Coach Jacklynn and Shirley also worked closely with her to fine tune our uniform design and we all agree that if it weren't for Mary there'd be no uniform.

So thank you, Mary, for helping our team. If anyone has future graphics designs needs, please contact Mary at ImageSetters!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Check out the green box in the center column to see who's been named the Triathlete of the Month for April.

There's also a new Club Sponsors section below that (now clickable!). And the final club uniform proofs are now posted above in Coach Jacklynn's Corner in case anyone should ever want to show them off to others :-)

PS - St. Anthony's Triathlon results and photos are coming!

Congratulations to Doug for being named ‘Triathlete of the Month’ for April!

Not only had he not run in years but he has started from scratch in his swim and continuing to make improvements each practice. Doug has dropped over 10 lbs. in the last couple of weeks as well because of his commitment to practice. His running has improved as well. He's now running 8:30 min/miles at 5K race pace. Doug makes practice a priority ... always has the 'I won't give up' attitude.

Way to go Doug! You deserve the honor. Thank you for being on our team.

Coach Jacklynn

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Below are a few photos from spa party held last Saturday night, a fundraiser for the Blanchard Park YMCA Scholarship fund. All the women who attended got a nice massage, made body scrubs and enjoyed great conversations. Some brought donations at the door. Games were played for prizes and 20% of sales from Mary Kay products, jewlery and purses went to the scholarship fund, along with $20.00 for anyone who places an order from Juice Plus by the end of this month (April).

Thanks to Kim T for hosting the event, helping a great cause and sharing photos!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Last week, World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), owners of the Ironman and Ironman 70.3* Series, announced changes to swim rules and regulations at US races starting September 1, 2010, which is the start of their 2011 season:

"Swimwear and swim apparel must be comprised of 100 percent textile material, such as nylon or lycra, and may not include rubberized material such as polyurethane or neoprene. Swimwear may not cover the neck or extend past the shoulders or knees. Swimwear may contain a zipper. A race kit or trisuit may be worn underneath swimwear.

Wetsuits cannot measure more than 5 millimeters thick.

Wetsuits may be worn in water temperatures up to and including 24.5 degrees Celsius/76.1 degrees Fahrenheit. Athletes who choose to wear a wetsuit in water temperatures exceeding 24.5 degrees C /76.1 degrees F will not be eligible for awards, including World Championship slots. Wetsuits will be prohibited in water temperatures greater than 28.8 degrees C/84 degrees F."

Note that these changes only apply to Ironman and Ironman 70.3 brand name races (NOT all tris). If you're interested in getting a swimming speedsuit or skinsuit (both of which usually contain some rubber or polyurethane) for other races that follow USAT rules, check out the USAT approved list. And since the new wetsuit policy will mostly affect races in the South where water temps are often over 70, here are some expected water temps for Ironman/Ironman 70.3 races in Florida (per race websites):

* Ironman Florida: 68-72 degs (but was 76 degrees in 2000)
* Ironman 70.3 Florida (Disney): 78-82 degs
* Ironman 70.3 Miami: 76-78 degs.

* 70.3 = half iron tri distance (1.2 mi swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mi run).

Monday, April 19, 2010

For those who don't already know, St. Anthony's is a BIG race. Traditionally viewed as the triathlon season opener, it attracts ~4000 athletes from all over the world including many big name pros. It's a favorite among many charity and first-time olympic distance triathletes. And this year St. Anthony's has also been designated a USAT Regional Championship, meaning many of the area's finest will also be in the field vying to qualify for a spot in the USAT National Championship later this year.

Sounds great, right?

YES! Unless perhaps you've never done a big race before and/or are intimidated by large crowds and lots of hard, fast bodies ...

But no need to fear. If you have a race entry, you belong there as much as anyone else. Here are some tips to help things go more smoothly at a big race like St. Anthony's:

- Do your homework beforehand. Organizers of big races usually post a lot of race info online so you can know nearly everything that'll be in your race packet before you even get there. Click here to visit the St. Anthony's website where you can find swim wave start times, course maps, the event schedule, expo location and hours of operation, athlete info, etc. An email that was sent out to St. Anthony's participants with additional race information/clarifications can be found here.

- Get to the race expo early. Unlike small events, packet pickup is usually not available on race day and you'll have to go to the race expo (which may or may not be where the race is actually held) a day or so in advance to pick up your race packet. Packet pickup lines tend to get longer closer to race day as more folks from out of town arrive. Get there early too if you're looking to do some shopping or product sampling as the best giveaways and deals from vendors usually go fast.

- Know all the race rules. Big races with competitive fields will usually have a number of referees and race personnel to enforce USAT rules and other race-specific rules (transition area access, swim wave start times, wrist band use, etc). Review again the most commonly violated USAT race rules. Last year's St. Anthony's race results listed 161 penalties, mostly for drafting on the bike course. In a non-Ironman brand race such as St. Anthony's, you often won't know you got a penalty during a race until you look up your race results.

- Attend one of the earlier athlete meetings. Large events sometimes offer multiple athlete meetings where general race info, more detailed course and transition area info, last minute changes and race rules may be discussed. Earlier ones are often less crowded so you can get a good seat to hear the info and ask questions easier. Remember, you are responsible for knowing all this info whether or not you attend a meeting.

- Be prepared to rack your bike the day before the race (often required at big races). Make sure that your bar ends are plugged and that you rack your bike in the correct spot (often assigned at big races). If numbers on the racks are alternating in direction, that means your bike should face the direction the number is facing (this optimizes limited space on the rack). If in doubt about where or how to rack your bike or whether something is allowed, ASK someone, preferably a ref (yes, you can get a penalty or disqualified even before the race has begun, but you may have a chance to fix the problem and avoid it). Large races will also usually have bike mechanics on hand to help with mechanical issues if needed.

- Pump up your tires with with a little extra air before you rack your bike. That way if for some reason you can't check them on race morning (you didn't bring a pump or forgot yours, lines to use a pump are really long, you're running late, etc), you should be good to go anyway. If you are not sure how much pressure your tires lose when your bike sits overnight, test this at home before you arrive at the race.

- Figure out how to find your transition spot quickly. Big races have HUGE transition areas that are easy to get lost in. People use a variety of ways to find/mark their spots (balloons, bright towels, landmarks, count aisles, count bike racks, look at rack number ranges, etc). Before the race, practice what you'll do to find your spot coming in from the swim and also after the bike segment. Don't worry about looking silly. You'll only look silly if you take 20 minutes to find your bike like one guy did at the Chicago Triathlon a few years back!

- Mark your gear, especially your transition bag and wetsuit. If you misplace your stuff at the race or someone walks away with it by mistake thinking its theirs, you'll have a much better chance of getting it back.

- Allow extra time to get to the race and get set up. Parking may be difficult or not conveniently located so you may have to walk a while or take a shuttle bus to get to the transition area. There'll likely be lines to get body marked, lines to get into the transition area, lines to use a bike pump (if you didn't bring your own), lines to use porta-potties, lines, lines everywhere. To pass the time in lines and reduce pre-race stress, chat with some of the folks around you. You never know who you might meet at a big race.

- Stay calm during the swim. With a large number of swim waves (St. Anthony's has over 30!), people will be spread out all over the swim course. Expect more contact than at a small race as you will be passing folks or getting passed often (unless you are a faster swimmer in an early wave or a slower one in the last wave). Remember this video, smile and keep swimming.

- Avoid the "herd mentality" on the bike course. At every race there are always some who knowingly or unknowingly break the rules. As frustrating as it may be to see pelotons roll by, people blocking, passing on the wrong side (right vs. left), or not dropping back after being passed, you can only control your actions. Pray there is a ref nearby who is taking down numbers and assigning penalties to those who are cheating.

- BYOF. Race organizers strive to provide enough fluids and food for all athletes but a hot day and a large number of athletes can result in unexpected demands. If you have your own supplies, it won't matter if they run out. Also, at a big race it may be hours between the time you ate breakfast and the time you actually begin your race. Bring extra fluids and food to snack on before the race so you don't start on empty.

- Go with the flow. The GREAT thing about large events is there'll be lots of excitement, motivating athletes of all sizes, shapes and speed all around you, and plenty of cheering spectators when you cross the finish line. Embrace these things, let go of the things you can't control and you'll have fun.

If anyone else has other big race tips they'd like to share, feel free to post them in the comments. Good luck to all racing St. Anthony's on Sunday!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Here is a funny list a few triathlete friends and I put together a couple years back.

You know you need help with your swimming when ...

At the pool
- You find out the pool is unexpectedly closed and feel a sense of relief.
- You begin swimming and the lifeguards move closer to your lane.
- The first drill your swim instructor has you do is blow bubbles.
- The instructor looks very concerned when you tell him the tri swim length is 750 meters.
- A little kid wearing floaties can get to the other side of the pool faster than you can.
- You get lapped by the 80 year old woman doing the doggy paddle.
- People offer you swim advice without you asking.
- Someone asks you to share a lane with you and you get the urge to cut your workout short.
- You do kickboard drills and find yourself going backwards.
- You wonder if your swimmer friends are secretly part fish. You wonder if you are secretly part rock.
- The masters swim coach puts you in your own lane and then looks lost for ideas on what to do with you.
- You swim one lap at a masters swim group and everyone else is on their third or fourth lap.
- You don't know the length of the pool you're swimming in and can't tell from your swim times.
- You're not exactly sure how long you're resting at the sides of the pool but all of it counts as swimming.

Before a race
- You get an ear infection two days before your triathlon and hope your doctor will prescribe no swimming for a week.
- You hope the weather forecast will call for lightening the morning of your race so that the swim leg will be canceled.
- You wonder why you look for excuses not to participate in your triathlon. You KNOW you're doing it regardless.

During a race:
- The horn blows to start your triathlon, you swim a few strokes and then think...I'm tired of swimming...where's the end of the course?
- Swim caps from the next wave start passing you in droves. The only person not passing you is floating on his back.
- You dogpaddle your way out to the swim buoy in the lake only to panic halfway there and need to be helped in.
- You are on a first name basis with the canoe guy at the end of your swim leg.
- NO ONE in the water with you is wearing your color swim cap.
- Leaky goggles and losing your swim cap are the least of your worries during the swim.
- When you see the swim finish, you think you've made it to the gates of heaven.
- You get the most applause of the day when you finally emerge from the water, and it is all from the rescue crews. (Everyone else has moved on to the bike course)
- Your idea of a successful swim is not the swim time, but rather the fact that you SURVIVED the swim.
- If it weren't for the swim portion, you'd be a decent triathlete.

So if any of these hit home, you are not alone. Keep working at it and stay tuned for the new date for the second swim clinic!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Update: The poll has been removed because Coach Jacklynn has decided it's best to get a single uniform design for now. We're going with the Gator Skin sides.

With close to 40 people interested in getting our tri club uniforms, we ***might*** be able to get TWO (2) different side panel designs, one with Gator Skin sides and one with Palm Frond sides (another cool design that was considered). Below are the two designs side by side for comparison (click to enlarge):

If you are one of the folks interested in buying a team uniform, please vote in our poll above ASAP to let us know which design you would get if both were available. Our first choice is the Gator Skin sides so that's the one we are getting FOR SURE and hopefully by the June 12 Clermont sprint tri. The Palm Fronds sides is a *maybe* if we have enough interest (need at least 10 folks) and may take bit longer. Please vote right now so we can know hopefully by Monday (4/12) whether we should ask the supplier for the second design. Again, the cost for each tri top & shorts set should be less than $100 thanks to our team sponsors.

Thank you!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

After MANY iterations, our new team uniforms are nearly done!

Below is what they will look like.

Click to enlarge.

We went with a bright green because the high vis(ibility) yellow we wanted in the first design was unavailable. But this green will surely stand out on the roads and in races, and the gator skin pattern on the sides will keep you safe when swimming in local lakes ;-)

If you are interested in getting a team uniform, please see Coach Jacklynn ASAP. She has sample sizes to try on this week ONLY.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ever wondered how half iron and full iron triathletes can go so long and strong for hours?

Do they take drugs? Are they part machine? Do they have special endurance genes?

No. It's really just a combination of proper conditioning (mental and physical training) and proper nutrition. And those same things apply to shorter distance racing as well, although nutrition becomes increasingly more important the longer the event. Coach Jacklynn recommends the following tips from Ironmate's How to Prepare for a Sprnt & Olympic Distance Triathion:

Evening meal prior to race day
- Avoid any red meat the night before your triathlon because it can take up to 18 hours to fully be digested. Best to eat pasta and white meats like chicken and fish, which are easier to digest. On race morning you will then be able to eat your breakfast without too much problem.
- Try and eat your last main meal before 7pm the night before so you can fully digest it for the next morning.
- The night before, avoid drinking alcohol because it is high in empty calories; it boosts your appetite, it can also reduce your body's efficiency to burn fat. Alcohol will affect your body’s ability to keep cool during the triathlon. You could wake up on race morning already dehydrated from even small amounts of alcohol and this will impair your performance.
- Alcohol can stay in your system for more than 36 hours; if you have to drink alcohol, reduce the chances of dehydration by drinking at least 500ml of water before you go to bed.
- Drinking just plain water in the 2-3 days before your event can flush away vital minerals and salts and you could get cramps early in the event. To avoid this, drink 50/50 fruit juice/water or electrolyte drinks. These are a much better choice than plain water.
- Snack on fruits in the 2 days before and avoid going hungry.

Race morning
- Have breakfast 2-4 hours before the triathlon.
- It is normal to not feel hungry on race morning. If you feel full on race morning, just snack small amounts of fruit apples, bananas or energy bars up to 90 minutes before you are due to start.

Preferred pre-race breakfast meal.
- Toast butter with jam or honey (carbohydrate, small amount of fat and simple sugars)
- Banana for carbohydrate and potassium to help prevent cramping.
- Cereal with milk (i.e. porridge slow releasing energy with milk for protein)
- Orange Juice with water 50/50.
- Have a spare snack and extra drink should the start be delayed.

Race day
- Be prepared take your favourite bars out of their packet and stick them on to your bike frame. This will remind you to eat regularly. Some experienced triathletes actually cut them up into bite size portions then stick them on the frame and eat them at regular intervals.
- You can set the alarm on your watch to go off every 15-20 minutes to remind you to eat and drink. This will give you a constant steady intake of calories at regular intervals.
- Use what energy bars you normally have practiced with in training. Take an extra bar in case you drop some or need a few extra calories due to working harder than usual or if the conditions may be cold.

Remember, the adage "Nothing New on Race Day" means you should be practicing your nutrition during your training as well, especially on your longer weekend workouts. More useful sprint & olympic tri racing tips can be found at Ironmate.

Monday, April 5, 2010

What a BLAST!!

Over 20 people showed up last Saturday for our club's first weekend brick workout. Athletes of all levels with bikes of all kinds rode along Innovation Way, a road closed to traffic. Then we headed back to Coach Jacklynn's house to transition for a short run. So cool to see her garage packed with bikes!

If you missed out, don't worry. We will definitely be doing that again. Tough but GREAT workout!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Got sore muscles?

Welcome to the club :-)

Andrea has kindly shared some of her tips on how to treat them. Firstly, a nice video demonstrating how to use a foam roller to release connective tissue tension in the IT band, quadriceps, inner thighs, gluteus, and middle back:

A foam roller can also be used on calfs, hamstrings, lats, wherever body weight can be applied to work out tight spots. They are available at various stores including Target, Sports Authority and Track Shack. Andrea has also found them online at Foamerica for MUCH less (note that shipping is additional).

And secondly, for those seeking/needing professional help with sore muscles, she recommends Hilary Hales, a good friend of hers and a licensed massage therapist with her own table who can come to you if needed. Hilary can be reached at khtcbnhales @ or by phone at 931.217.8309.

Keep your muscles happy and they'll keep you training!

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