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Empire Spotlight: Meet Maud Walas!

Maud Walas raises her arms as she crosses the finish line of her first Half Ironman, IMAC 70.3 last September. This summer, she is training to become an Ironman!

Empire Spotlight!  Meet Maud Walas

Last week we had a chance to connect with Empire Member Maud Walas and dig a little deeper into where she’s from, what she’s training for and how she’s coping with COVID_19. Read more to find out!

Empire: Were are you from?
Maud: I am from Paris, France.

Empire: When did you move to NY?
Maud: I moved to NY in March 2017.

Empire: What brought you to NY?
Maud: Work, I am working for a French Bank.

Empire: When did you start racing triathlons?
Maud: My first triathlon was in June 2019 – The Wyckoff / Franklin Lakes Sprint Triathlon in NJ.

Empire: When/Why did you join empire?
Maud: I joined Empire last year as part of the beginner program to prepare NYC triathlon. Unfortunately, it was canceled so I never raced an Olympic distance!

What were some races you did last season?
Maud: Wyckoff, some sprints and Atlantic City 70.3. I also ran NYC marathon and NY 60k.

Empire: What are some of your races / goals for this season?
Maud: Hopefully, I will race Escape from Alcatraz (although I am a little nervous about the swim).  And thanks to Empire and to my inspiring Teammates, I will try to become an Ironman in Lake Placid next summer.   Then, I plan to race the Chicago and NYC marathons.  

Empire: How are you adjusting to the changes imposed by COVID 19? (are you still able to work?  working from home? do you have very structured hours or a flexible schedule?)
Maud: Except that I am working from home, there is no change in my schedule. I am still working in front of my computer all day long -the only change is that I can wear comfy outfits.  I am an early bird and I continue to wake up at 5:30am every morning to go for a run or to jump on my home trainer. To have a good day: “Coffee, but first gym!”

Empire: What home equipment do you have access to?
Maud: I am so glad I bought a home trainer last year. Except that, I use elastic bands and a bottle of laundry detergent as a weight for my strength routine!

Empire: How are you adapting your training due to social distancing?  When/how/where are you working out?
Maud: I run early in the morning, when everyone sleeps. I love the morning lights, that is so peaceful and the sky and city offer a different show every morning. As the streets are empty now, my husband comes with me with his scooter, for safety (I must admit that it makes me happy to spend this time with him too 🙂 ). After my morning ride or run, I do my 20 minutes strength routine defined with the help of my PT Dave at Finish Line Physical Therapy. This is not what I like the most but time, injuries and 12 years of running teach me that this is part of the training.

Empire: Has it been helpful to be a part of a team during this time? (if so, what have you found to be most helpful)?
Maud: It is more than helpful! Here in NY, Empire is my second family. I have made so many training partners but also friends since I joined the club! And today I am happy to share my love for biking with my Teammates. Before COVID, I started to propose new routes for outdoor long rides but now that we are not able to go out, I organize four virtual rides per week on Zwift. People join the rides when they want and we bike together in virtual worlds. I love to prepare the rides in advance to add some fun, like jokes or our weekend achievements. I hope these rides help to spread a little bit of joy and entertainment in my Teammates’ life.  In addition to these rides, Empire is proposing a lot of different activities, like strength workouts, yoga classes, socials, clinics. It almost feels like we are still seeing each other’s four times a week as during race season. For me, that is a game changer to handle the actual situation and the anxiety related to it.

Empire: Is it true that you rode 100 miles on your indoor trainer last week? What prompted you to do this? Was this part of a training plan or just something you decided to do?
Maud: Good question! One of my weekend treats is my long ride! I love spending a day outside on my bike discovering new places. I guess it also releases all the stress of my week at work. On a rainy weekend, I decided to replace my ride with a home trainer session and picked a 80 miles route. But 80 miles is not an achievement, it is like running 23 miles when you know you are able to complete a marathon… so I decided to go for 100! And to be totally transparent, one of my Empire Teammates did it one week before and I wanted to prove to myself that I was also capable of the same madness.

EmpireAnything else you’d like to share? (something non-triathlon related that people may not know about you?)
Maud: Fun fact: In school, I was always the last at every race and I hated running so much that I hid behind the bushes of the track field to avoid running!

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A Different Kind of New Years Resolution

Every year, we see ad after ad, encouraging us to “lose weight” “get healthy” “join a gym”, etc.  Year after year, gyms are packed from January to March with the promise of a better body, more energy, etc. etc. etc.  But why is it that within a few short weeks, that annoying shower line at the gym dissapears?

There’s a big difference between a CROWD and a COMMUNITY, which is why you can go to a croweded gym and still feel no connection to the people in it.  How is it that you can feel alone when you’re surrounded by people? That’s the difference between joining a PLACE and joining a TEAM.  People who are part of a TEAM are more likely to STAY THE COURSE. 

What I’ve learned over the years from competing and coaching hundreds of athletes, is how big of a role COMMUNITY has on your ability to stick to your resolutions.

When you join a TEAM, you’re instantly connected with likeminded people with similiar GOALS and ASPIRATIONS.  You BOND over early rides and coffee instead of beers and wings.  You’re somehow convinced that a Ragnar Relay is a good idea, and that it would be fun to ring in the new year with a midnight run in Central Park.  Suddendly the one triathlon you set your sights on morphs into five, and you find yourself contemplating an IRONMAN for next season (what?!?).  You find your benchmarks shifting from “to lose 10 pounds” to “to PR my next race” and you’re looking for ways to make your body PERFORM at its best rather than LOOK its best.  (When you shift your perspective, the latter often follows!)

Before long, your teammates become FRIENDS who will hold you ACCOUNTABLE every step of the way.

You look forward to meeting your friend for a morning run and wouldn’t dare hit snooze and stand her up.  You LEARN what to wear as the seasons change to stay dry and comfortable when working out.  You realize that lending an ear on on a long run can often be better than a therapist.

It takes COURAGE to get involved and taking the first step may not always come easy.  I’m PROUD of you for making that committment to yourself.  SHOWING UP allows you to see that you’re NOT ALONE in this venture.  Triathletes come in ALL shapes, sizes, paces and ages.
This year, I encourage you to make a different kind of resolution.  RESOLVE to become an active part in your COMMUNITY and the payoff will far surpass the investment.  Crossing a finish line alone is one thing.  Crossing it in the company of your teammates with encouragement, laughter, and the promise of a post-race party, changes the entire experience.

I’m THANKFUL for each and one of my teammates and EXCITED about all the new friends that will join us this season!

With love,
Alison
Co-Founder, Head Coach
Empire Tri Club
alison@empiretriclub.com
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Sascha’s story…. from nearly losing his leg to completing the Dirty Kanza

2019 Challenged Athletes Foundation Million Dollar Challenge bicyle ride from Palo Alto to La Jolla, California.

I have been very lucky in being able to take part in athletic competition from early on in my life. Growing up in Germany, I competed as a track runner and swimmer. I took part in my first triathlon at age fourteen. To date, I competed in three Ironman events (just missing a Kona spot in my first attempt), ten Half Ironman events (including the 70.3 World Championship), two NYC marathons and over one hundred smaller events. I was named 2007 Best Male Triathlete by SBR Multisports, 2007 USAT All-American, and accrued many podium finishes. My true passion being cycling, I rode my bike over 1,100 miles in nine days from Germany to Barcelona entirely self-supported in 2009. The highlight of my short bike racing career was winning my category at a New York Time Trial in 2010, placing sixth overall, including pros.

However, only a few weeks later I experienced first symptoms of what was soon diagnosed as Popliteal Artery Entrapment causing a severe reduction of blood flow below my left knee resulting in immediate surgery. The following years lead to eleven more surgeries including a bypass which then failed in 2016. Replacing this bypass was a high-risk procedure which could have led to immediate amputation, so instead I have been rehabbing my left leg from only 30% blood flow with the goal of making it the best it can be. When faced with the decision to keep or amputate my leg, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) introduced me to athletes and their families who have gone through similar life experiences. It is through my whole family’s interactions with the CAF family we have been able to push through merely losing my left leg. Rather than watching TV in self misery, I was inspired to rally and eventually complete events such as the Dirty Kanza 200, a 200-mile same-day race on gravel with over 11,000 feet of climbing. Now, I am hoping to qualify for Leadville 100 and then attempt the Leadboat after that.

Beyond my personal experiences, CAF is an inspiring non-profit organization that gives hope to thousands of individuals with physical disabilities around the world by providing support, mentoring and grants for adaptive sports equipment, competition and training expenses. The courage and perseverance of these athletes has influenced me and my entire family since we first attended their Heroes, Heart & Hope Gala in 2007. From then we have only become more involved by offering athletes to participate in Empire workouts, volunteering at adaptive swim & run clinics as well as the NYC triathlon and participating in the Million Dollar Challenge , a 7-day cycling event over 620+ miles together with para-athletes.

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Holiday Giveaway

Are you an aspiring triathlete? Bummed you can’t afford the necessary equipment and resources you need to get started?

We know triathlon can be an expensive sport. The cost of training, equipment, races and travel can really add up! This holiday season, Empire Tri Club will be donating a FREE 1-YEAR tri club membership to one athlete who needs a little extra help getting started. To top it off, we’ll throw in some awesome gear from our sponsors!

That’s it. No strings attached.

Email info@empiretriclub.com with “Empire’s Holiday Giveaway” in the subject line and tell us some of your goals and why we should pick you in 200 words or less. One lucky athlete will be announced Christmas Day on Social Media. We will name additional sponsors contributing to our holiday giveaway over the next 2 weeks, so get excited by following us on Facebook and Instagram. Appications must be received by 12/20/19 to be considered. You may apply for yourself or a friend! Happy Holidays!

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We’re excited to announce that the following partners and sponsors will be contributing to our Holiday Giveaway!  On Christmas Day, one deserving athlete will be selected to receive:

  • Empire Tri Club – FREE 1-YEAR Club Membership
  • UCAN – A season’s worth of UCAN products of your choice up to $250
  • Nutrition Energy – a sports nutrition jump-start package including:
    – one 60 minute nutrition consultation with a Registered Dietitian in either our midtown or downtown location
    – one Resting Metabolic Rate test
    – one race-ready nutrition session to discuss race day needs and strategy!
  • Clif Bar – $100 nutrition package
  • ROKA – swim caps, goggles, and a mesh bag
  • ITU World Triathlon Bermuda – 2 FREE race entries (for you and a friend)
  • …. Stay tuned for more contributions!
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What type of bike should you use for a triathlon?

One of the more common questions we hear, especially from new triathletes, is what type of bike they should train with and use for a triathlon. After all, a bike has the potential to be the largest single expense in the sport.

There are several options available for triathletes, and which one is best for you largely depends on your goals — both short-term, and long term.

If you want to be competitive in your race, to really test yourself and see how well you can do, or if you think you might want to do several triathlons over time, it is best to invest in a road bike or tri bike. You can buy a new bike at a local bike shop, or find one used.  If you buy a used one, just be sure to be picky on fit — don’t settle for something that doesn’t feel just right. And make sure the frame is in good shape with no cracks or major chips.

In any given race, the most common type of bike will probably be a triathlon bike, or time trial bike. A tri bike looks like a road bike, but has slightly different geometry that creates two advantages.  The seat tube will usually have an angle of around 78 degrees (vs. 72-74 degrees on a road bike). This geometry allows the rider to save more of the quadricep energy for the run leg of the race, and also be more aerodynamic in a tuck position, because of your ability to lay forward on the aerobars. Aerobars are standard on tri bikes. You can find a more in-depth explanation of the finer points of triathlon bikes, here.

A road bike is the next most common type of bike you will see at most races. In fact, we know some avid and very competitive triathletes prefer to use a road bike. The geometry of a road bike is slightly more relaxed, meaning that you don’t quite get the same aerodynamics, and you sit a little further back on the bike. A road bike has a couple advantages of its own, though: It is typically going to be more responsive on hills or less predictable terrain, and it is more multi-purpose. Long, touring rides are usually done on road bikes, not tri bikes (but not always). For someone who wants to just own one bike, this might be a factor.

The fact, though, is that either a road or tri bike will allow you to be quite competitive in a triathlon. If you think you want to someday become a serious triathlete, we say go for the tri bike. Otherwise, choose whatever your budget allows and what feels most comfortable. The price for such bikes in recent years, even at the entry-level, has gone up. But there is always the option of borrowing, buying used, or using a different style of bike that you might already own.

What about other bikes? Can you simply use the mountain bike or hybrid bike in your garage for a triathlon?  Of course. In any given race, you see several racers complete the triathlon on a mountain, hybrid, or commuter-style bike.

The only issue with not using a tri or road bike is that if you want to be competitive, and challenge yourself to see how high you can finish, then a mountain, hybrid, or commuter bike will hold you back a bit. The gearing on these bikes just cannot match that of the road and tri bikes, and the frame geography isn’t conducive to cranking out speed during the bike leg. This means that they are less efficient. For example, if you can crank out 200 watts of sustained energy on the bike, those 200 watts will result it in less speed on a mountain bike than they would on a road or tri bike.

One thing you can do to a mountain or hybrid bike to modestly increase its speed is to add racing slicks as the tires. It won’t solve the problem, but will help. Additionally, gearing the bike with clipless or clipped-style bike pedals, along with the matching cleat on a bike shoe, will increase your output significantly versus a standard-issue pedal.

Still, we would much rather see you try a triathlon with your mountain or commuter bike than not do one at all. You won’t be alone. The triathlon community simply wants to see as many people enjoying the sport as possible!

Article provided by Paul at Complete Tri 

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Go Go Gone

15% off All Purchases at Go Go Gone

GoGo Gone is a start up boutique bicycle shop in the heart of the Lower East Side satisfying every customer needs with products at great prices and great quality.  At Go Go Gone, you’ll find a great selection of Giant, Trek, 6KU, Marin, Golden and Orbea Bikes, as well as computers and accessories. We offer a complete list of bike services including tune ups, assembly and repairs. Additionally, if you’re looking to upgrade your bike we have a bike trade in program.  Please visit our shop at our NEW location on the Lower East Side (317 Grand Street, NYC) or shop online!   Or better yet, contact the owner & Empire Tri Club Member Diego Costales at diego@gogogone.nyc.

Discount Code

 Whoops, this content is for members only. If you have a membership, please log in. If not, you can definitely get access! Purchase a membership here.

Shop Now 

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Group Riding Etiquette

Cycling in and around NYC can be a wonderful experience. But it can also be very dangerous if you’re not careful. Whether you are a new rider or have been cycling for many years, it is important to understand group riding etiquette and common cycling rules.

1. Safety is the number one priority when riding solo or with a group.  You MUST wear a helmet for all group rides.  Make sure your helmet fits well, is correctly adjusted and doesn’t have any damage. If you crash, replace your helmet immediately.

2. ALWAYS bring a flat repair kit. This includes a spare tube, tire levers, C02 Cartridge, Micro-inflate (optional patch kit and hand pump)

3. Carry ID (Road ID or Drivers Licence), Money / Credit Card, MetroCard & Phone

4. Dress for the weather! Especially in transition seasons! The weather is unpredictable and temperatures change drastically throughout the day. If it’s 35 degrees and supposed to warm up to 55 degrees, wear/bring breathable layers – including vests and jackets that you can stuff in your back pocket, arm / leg warmers, gloves, shoe covers, etc.

5. Bring nutrition. It’s always a good idea to carry a gel, some chews or a PB&J with you in case you start bonking (or to share with a friend in need). Salt pills will help prevent cramping. Hydration is extremely important. Make sure you have water bottle cages mounted to your bike, and fill your bottles before every ride.

6. Plan ahead. Make sure you have the necessary gear you need before Saturday morning. Stop at a bike shop to pick up things you need during the week.

7. If you prefer NOT to ride through the city, feel free to take the subway to the GWB and meet us at Strictly Bicycles. Don’t forget to check for any train delays or schedule changes.

8. When riding, behave predictably & hold your line. Avoid any sudden movements, stops or turns. You can avoid dangerous situations and crashes when other riders can anticipate your riding behavior.

9. Never “half-wheel” someone. If you’re going to draft, get directly behind them. If you’re wheel is right next to theirs (aka half-wheeling) and they make a sudden move, there is a good chance you’ll have to swerve or crash.

10. Bicycles are considered motor vehicles and are subject to all the same laws of the road. Cyclists are legally required to stop at red lights. (often times cyclists ride through a red light in the event that the intersection is “clear.” Please be aware that while this is often accepted, you are still subject to ticketing should a police officer spot you, and safety always comes first).

11. Pedestrians always have the right of way.

12. Sharpen your senses. You are not permitted to wear headphones on group rides or runs. Save the music for days when you workout solo.

13. Wear eye protection. (Empire Members get deals on Rudy Project & other brands at Promotive.com)

14. Cyclists are required to ride “with” traffic not against it.

15. When making a left-hand turn, you must get in the left hand lane, signal your intentions and turn when clear. Even on a multi-lane road. This is predictable behavior and the safest way to ride.

16. Whenever possible, make eye contact with drivers & pedestrians so you know they acknowledge your presence.

17. Stay in control of your bike at all times. Releasing both hands from the handlebars or hopping the bike over objects in the road, for example, can cause a dangerous loss of control.

18. It is not advised to draft behind someone in your aerobars, as you are less in control of your bike when steering with your forearms, and your hands are not always able to grab the brakes quickly.

19. If an intersection is clear, yell “CLEAR” so the rider behind you knows its safe to cross. If it’s not clear, yell “STOP or HOLD UP” so they know to break. If you’re leading a large group and it’s only clear for a moment, stop and wait until its safe for the group to cross. You can also signal with your hand.

20. ON THE ROAD: Stay to the right and pass others on the left. Do not ride directly beside someone on a busy road or one with no shoulder. Never pass on the inside. IN CENTRAL PARK: observe the cycling lanes (there is 1 for faster riders and 1 for slower riders)

21. If you see an obstacle such as a hole or glass that might endanger another rider behind you, it is important to call it out or motion for riders to move out of the way. Use hand motions (such as pointing at the object) or yell out if you’re unable to take your hands off your bars.

22. When riding past parked cars, beware of doors opening!

23. When riding near busses, beware that they may suddenly turn into a bus stop!

24. If you cannot see the full crosswalk due to parked cars, beware that there might be a dog or pedestrian that could step off the curb without you seeing them.

25. Know your ability. Establish what you are capable of doing before showing up for a ride. Determine what ride category suits you best and go to rides which are your level. If its your first time riding with a group, please attend a Monday night ride first, and/or an introductory ride over the GWB.

26. Take care of your bike! Ensure your tires are pumped and your water bottles are filled for every ride. Ensure your bike is in good working condition!

27. If you don’t know how to fix a flat, take a class or attend one of our tire changing clinics. (bring a flat repair kit even if you’re unsure of how to fix it!)

28.  Be cautious of paint &  leaves – particularly when the ground is wet!

29. Be respectful of other cyclists, drivers, police & other authority with whom we share the road. Politeness can go a long way. Say hello to other cyclists on the road as you pass. Be polite and respectful to authority.

30. Be polite to riders on other teams. A competitor one day, might be a teammate the next. At the end of the day, we’re all just out there to ride bikes and have fun.

31. Lastly (and maybe most importantly)… If you need to spit, pee, blow a snot rocket, etc…. make sure no other riders are in close range!!

This list is not meant to scare anyone or deter you from joining the group ride. It is to ensure that everyone comes on time and prepared, and understands the rules of cycling. We want to ensure that everyone is safe and has fun.

Have a great ride!

-The Empire Tri Club

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Saturday Riding Guidelines

2017 Saturday Group Ride Information

Twice a month from April – October,  Empire Tri Club hosts an Ambassador lead group ride on Saturday morning.  Reminders and additional workout details will be sent to club members via Training Peaks.

On weekends where there is no Ambassador lead ride, Empire members are encouraged to coordinate meet ups with other athletes using the Google Group (Empiretriclub@googlegroups.com).

Details for group meet ups: 

When: Meet at 7:45am. Ride starts at 8am SHARP!   (Please note that we will do our best to leave PRECISELY at 8am! If you text or call a ride leader that you’re running 5 min late or got a flat, please be aware that the group will not wait up – Simply ride up Riverside Drive and meet the group on the way or hop on the subway to meet the group at the GWB. Make arrangements to leave your apartment EXTRA early to ensure you don’t get left behind. We cannot hold up the entire group for every individual who runs a few minutes late)

Location / Route:  Meet at the Eleanor Roosevelt Statue on 72nd & Riverside Drive.  Ride north along Riverside Drive.  Turn Right at 165th Street. Turn left at first stoplight onto Fort Washington Ave. Turn left at W 177th Street. Turn Right onto Cabrini Blvd.  Cross the GWB using the pedestrian/bike path on the South Side of the bridge.  (If the pedestrian crossing on the South Side of the bridge is closed, we will cross on the North pedestrian/bike path).  Exact route & distance from this point will vary each week. Ambassadors may make changes to the scheduled route without notice due to road closures, road safety conditions, weather, congestion, etc.   MAP

Distance:  Our rides will begin at 25-30 miles and build up to 65-70 miles throughout the course of the season.  The distance of our group long rides coincide with our training plan building up to a Half Ironman in September.  See calendar below.

Stops & Re-grouping:  In an effort to minimize stops and get the group moving steadily, we will NOT stop and re-group at every light, every turn, and most importantly on the GWB.  The bridge becomes very congested on weekend mornings and we don’t want to obstruct the path.  We will re-group ONCE at the base of the GWB in NYC before crossing.  If necessary, we will make one additional 5-minute stop at Strictly Bicycles in Fort Lee.  Please look at the map and know the route!

Mid-Ride Meet ups:  Throughout the season, the team may make brief stops along the ride at locations including Strictly Bicycles, the Police Station in Alpine, The Market, Bunberry’s Cafe, and The Runcible Spoon, and Pier i Cafe.  Depending on the nature of the ride and where we are in our season, our stop will range from a muffin / coffee break to a short stop just to refill water bottles. We encourage athletes to properly fuel up before each ride and bring ample nutrition and hydration with you.

Ambassador Support:  We will have 2-3 Ambassadors leading each ride.  Ambassadors will brief athletes at the start and re-group points of each workout and do their best to ride with athletes of different paces and abilities throughout the ride.  Please be familiar with the route and note that you may not have an Ambassador with you for the entire ride.

BRICK Workouts / Transition Clinics & Introductory Rides over the GWB: Twice a season Empire Tri Club will host an organized bike/run combination workout for both Club Members and athletes in our Beginner Tri Program.  These workouts will also serve as an introductory ride over the GWB for new / beginner athletes.  Once we cross the GWB, we will turn LEFT and head to Ross Dock on River Road, where we will host a transition clinic. This will also serve as our transition area where coaches will watch bikes & gear during the workout.

New Riders:  If you are new to cycling, have never crossed the George Washington Bridge before, or average less than 13mph, we recommend you attend a Monday night ride in Central Park before joining the Saturday rides.  Please contact us at info@empiretriclub.com if you’d like to reach out to the Ambassador before your first Saturday ride.

What to bring:  Please remember to bring food, water, ID, Money, Metrocard, and a flat repair kit.  Helmets are REQUIRED for all group rides, and we encourage riders to wear a Road ID.  An Ambassador has the right to turn a rider a way if he/she comes without a helmet.

What to wear:  We STRONGLY encourage all riders to wear Empire Tri Club gear!  It helps your coaches & teammates identify who’s with the group, which is VERY important – especially when the group is large. We cannot remember who wore a blue jersey and who wore black, etc. Plus our gear is high quality, comfortable and looks great!

Pair up. At the start of a ride, find a buddy (who is going about the same distance you plan to ride and who is about your same pace). Since the entire group will not be stopping for every flat, bathroom break or stoplight, you have a buddy so you should never be left alone.

Cancellation Policy:  In the event that we need to cancel a ride at the last minute (ie: weather, road closures, etc), we will send the team an email through the google group.

What to expect:  The Saturday Ride Schedule includes build, peak and recovery weeks.  Additional workout details including pace, intensity, intervals, and recoveries will be included in the plan provided in Training Peaks, and discussed at the start of each workout.  Athletes are welcome to join for some or all of each ride.  Cyclists who choose to ride a different distance may turn back sooner or continue further, but will not have Ambassador support for their entire ride so please know the route and coordinate amongst your teammates.

Notable points of reference & approximate distances from 72nd & Riverside Drive:

  • Base of the GWB (NYC): ~5.5 miles
  • Strictly Bicycles: (Hudson Terrace & Myrtle Ave) ~7.5 miles
  • Start of 9W (@ E Palisades Ave) ~9 miles
  • End of River Road (By Palisades Police Station) ~14.75 miles
  • Stateline: ~18 miles
  • Downtown Piermont:  ~21 miles
  • The Runcible Spoon in Nyack: ~25 miles

Saturday morning group rides are for Empire Tri Club members only. Dates are subject to change so please check Training Peaks for any updates.

Questions? Email us at info@empiretriclub.com.

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Riverbank State Park Pool Information

About Riverbank State Park

What:  Riverbank State Park is a 28-acre park built on the top of a sewage treatment facility on the Hudson River, in the New York City borough of Manhattan.  The facility includes an indoor 50m Pool (open year round) and an outdoor 25m Pool (summer only – July 4th to Labor Day).

Location:  679 Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10031

Contact:  (212) 694-3600

Directions:  Take the 1 Train to City College – 137th Street & walk west to Riverside Drive.  Bike racks are available outside of the pool if you wish to ride there. Locks are strongly encouraged.

Updated Information about Lap Swim Policy:

  • The pool cashier will no longer sell tickets for cash during the morning swim session (6:30-8:15).
  • Athletes must purchase a punch card OR monthly unlimited pass
  • Cash or Credit Card Accepted
  • Purchase at the skating rink anytime after 8am (cannot buy online or at the pool)
  • Athletes must purchase a minimum of 5 days (can be refilled)
  • Cost is $3/swim
  • $30 for 30 day unlimited pass also available
  • July 4th – Outdoor pool opens
  • More sessions can be added to your card from the Skating Rink at any time.

Lap Swim Hours:  The pool is open for lap swim from 6:30am-8:15am daily.

Refillable Multivisit Card

  • Single visit = $3/swim – There is a 5 visit minimum upon purchasing a punch card ($15.00). After that, sessions can be added in any increment. 
  • 11 visit card = $30.00 (1 extra visit)
  • 22 visit card = $60.00 (2 extra visits)
  • 33 visit card = $90.00 (3 extra visits)
  • 30 Day Unlimited Swim Pass: $30.00 – Pass is valid for 30 days from time of purchase OR the next day if purchased after 8:15am
  • Visits are valid for (1) year from date of purchase
  • Card can be used more than once on a daily basis

Empire Tri Club Group Meet Up Details:  

Empire Tri Club members are invited to attend a group swim workout on Wednesday mornings from March – October.  This is an opportunity for athletes in the club to meet up at the pool to swim together.

NOTE: this is NOT a coach-led workout, it is a group meet up!  Club members can meet at the pool and follow the posted swim workout provided in Training Peaks.

  • We recommend printing a copy of the workout and brining it to the pool deck
  • Athletes are encouraged to wear an Empire Tri Club swim Cap or bring an Empire water bottle so that other swimmers can identify you at the pool.  Shop Now
  • Meet up on the pool deck or in the pool
  • There is no formal “start” or “end” time for this swim workout. Athletes can drop in at any time between 6:30-8:15am to complete the workout.
  • Pool policies are subject to change at any time
  • Pool access is not included in the cost of membership. Rates and information about how to purchase a swim pass can be found above.
  • Athletes looking for more formal swim instruction can sign up for private, semi-private or group classes. Info about Empire Tri Club swim programs can be found here: https://empiretriclub.com/swim-instruction/
  • While we only coordinate 1 “group meet up” swim on our schedule, the pool at Riverbank State Park is open 7 days a week in the mornings & evenings. Athletes are encouraged to swim as often as you’d like.
  • Tri Club members are welcome to coordinate meet ups at other pools as well. This can be done via our google group (by emailing the team at empiretriclub@googlegroups.com). We encourage members to use the email forum to share pool information, announce deals & specials, etc.
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How to read a swim workout

For many swimmers, particularly those who have never swam on a team or had formal swim instruction, swimming can be a little intimidating.  Just reading the workout can be tough if you don’t know the “language”!  Here we explain some basic swim terminology that will help you understand how to read our posted swim workouts in Training Peaks.

Key: 

Swim: Freestyle unless otherwise noted VIDEO

Kick = kick only!  No arms.  You can do this with or without a kickboard. VIDEO

Pull = arms only!  You can place a pull buoy in between your legs if one is available. VIDEO

Drill:  Sometimes we will post a particular drill (ie. Catch Up Drill, Fingertip Drill, Sighting), and other times we’ll just post “drill” and you can work on a drill of your choice.  We demonstrate some common swim drills on our How-To Video Page.  Other videos can be found on YouTube or other Swimming Resources.

Pool Length:
It’s important to find out how long your pool is.  Most standard pools are 25m (or 25 meters) long.  Some pools are measured in yards (which is slightly longer than a meter).  Some pools (such as Riverbank State Park) are 50m long.  Many pools in NYC are much shorter than your standard 25m pool and may only be 12 or 15 meters (or an irregular distance like 22 or 23m long).  The workouts we post are based on a 25m pool.  You many need to adjust the workout accordingly based on the length of your pool.

25m = 25 meters (1 length at John Jay College or 1/2 a length at Riverbank State Park)

Rest Intervals:
15′ = 15 seconds rest
ie:  4x 50 (15′) means swim 50 meters (or 2 lengths in a standard a 25m pool – aka “there and back”), 4 times.  After each 50 you’ll take a 15 second rest before starting the next interval.

Build:
Build by 25m means go slightly faster each length of the pool.
ie. 4x 100m, build by 25 (15′) = 100m (4 laps), where you start slow and each lap gets faster and faster.  After 4 laps (or 100m), take a 15 second break.

Descend:
Each lap gets slower
ie. 3x 100m, descend by 100 (10′) = 3x 100 meters (12 laps) where your first 100m is fast, and each 100m thereafter is a little slower. (10 sec rest between each 100)

Tread Water:
If your pool has a deep end, go to where you can’t stand and tread water.  If your pool does not have a deep end, skip this exercise!  A great drill for triathletes, since you’ll often have to tread water in a race.

Ladder:
A set where your intervals get longer and then shorter.
ie. 25m, 50m, 75m, 100m, 75m, 50m, 25m  (1 lap, 2 laps, 3 laps, 4 laps, 3 laps, 2 laps, 1 lap)

Hypoxic Breathing (ie. Breath control training)
Popular sets usually require athletes to limit their breathing once every five, seven or nine strokes during a repeat distance or throughout a set.  A more extreme version of hypoxic training involves “no-breather” 25s, or limiting your breaths to only 4, 3, 2, or 1 per lap.

Open Water Swim (OWS)= Swimming in a body of water that is not a pool. For example a lake, bay, ocean or river.  This kind of training is very beneficial to triathletes because most races are conducted in open water.

WU = Warm Up

CD = Cool Down
Your warm up and cool down are always done at a nice comfortable pace where you’re in control of your breathing.  If you wish to do a different stroke (like breast or back stroke) its totally fine (unless otherwise noted)

TT = Time Trial.  A test where you go a set distance as fast as you can and record your time.

Additional information about our group training schedule including what to bring & where to meet for our group swim workouts can be found here: https://empiretriclub.com/group-training-information/

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