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Wetsuit Care by ROKA

First of the Water

It is very important to thoroughly rinse your wetsuit with cool, fresh water after each use. Long-term exposure to the sun, saltwater, and chlorine can slowly damage your wetsuit. In addition, your wetsuit may produce an odor or lose flexibility if not properly rinsed. A good rinse with clean water will help remove residue and keep your suit smelling like new!

Hang and Dry

Once removed from the water, you want to completely dry your suit by hanging it, ideally on a wetsuit hanger. Wetsuit hangers eliminate stress on the shoulders and help speed up the drying process. Most wetsuit hangers have a special padding across the shoulders to support less pressure points on the neoprene. If one is not available you can also hang the suit from the midsection over the bottom of a strong plastic hanger. Make sure you let the suit dry inside out and turn it back to ride side in for storage.

Washing Instructions

At the end of the season, we recommend soaking your wetsuit in clean water for 10-15 minutes. It is a good idea to invest in shampoo specially designed for cleaning and preserving wetsuits. Wetsuit shampoos are used during the soaking process and remove salt, odors, and other residue to ensure a squeaky clean wetsuit. You do not want to use a household detergent, they can be to harsh and could damage the suit.

Storage

Wetsuit material can develop a permanent crease if left folded for an extended period of time. It is best to store your wetsuit laying flat. If that is not possible, you can store your suit on a padded wetsuit hanger. If a wetsuit hanger is unavailable – drape your wetsuit over a normal clothes hanger, it will look similar to how you would hang a pair of dress pants. Simply fold your wetsuit at the waist over the bottom bar of the hanger. It is important to stay away from metal hangers. Metal hangers will cause the neoprene to degrade over time. in a cool, dry and protected place out of direct sunlight. You will also want to check your suit for small tears. These are common and easy to fix using a wetsuit specific cement or glue.

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Mailchimp account update

Dear Athletes –
As many of your know, our Mailchimp account was hacked on Saturday 3/18/17.  An email went out to everyone in our network claiming to be an order notification for a product you did not purchase (a coaching package for $319).  We are aware that you did not purchase this item and apologize for any confusion.  We have done our very best to reply to all the messages we received through Facebook, Twitter, Email and Text as quickly as possible.  We have been working tirelessly over the past few days to get to the bottom of this and keep you informed of the situation and will continue to do so until the issue is resolved.  If you have not done so yet, please DELETE the email and DO NOT CLICK on any links!
We have new information to share from Mailchimp….”Based on our analysis the link contained a trojan file, trojan.valyria.  Anyone who clicked the link should perform a full system virus scan and remove any found malicious files. We suggest one of the following programs:”

We want to ensure you that while the email was disguised as an “order confirmation” eliciting people to click on a fake “receipt” you were not charged, nor do we store credit card information in Mailchimp so there is no way for your card to be affected.

We understand that this malicious email was confusing and upsetting to many people in our community.  (Trust us, we were just as shocked!).  We truly hope that you follow the above instructions to ensure your computer is rid of any potential virus.  We sincerely apologize and will continue to keep you updated of any new information as it becomes available to us.

Best,
Alison & Jessica
Co-Founders, Empire Tri Club

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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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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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9.5 Must Knows & Haves for the NYC Marathon

9.5 Must Knows & Haves for the NYC Marathon

By Alison Kreideweis

Empire Tri Club Co-Founder and Team For Kids Coach

  1. Warm “throw away” clothes for race morning. (NYRR will donate them to charity).  A plastic bag to shield the wind and sit on is also a good idea.
  2. Race Nutrition – Your favorite gels, blocks, chomps, etc.
  3. Good socks!  Blisters are annoying.  Especially for 26.2 miles.
  4. TP!  You’ll be waiting on Staten Island for hours.  You never know when toilet paper will run out with 40,000+ runners using the John.
  5. A hearty breakfast – You wake up before 5, your race starts at 9:40 or later.  Make sure you have enough fuel to keep you going strong!  If you don’t account for this long wait before the race, you could wind up hungry before the race even starts!
  6. Permanent marker & your team colors! – Sport your team gear so teammates can spot you on the course.  Write your name on your shirt (or piece of cloth pinned to your shirt if you don’t want it to be permanent) so spectators can cheer for you by name!
  7. Set your clocks back!  Don’t forget that daylight savings ends this weekend so set your clocks back 1 hour on Saturday night.
  8. Meeting spot- Coordinate where friends & fam will be cheering, and where you’ll reunite post-race.
  9. Bib & Chip!  Your most important items of the day.  Without these you won’t be able to race!  Pin to your shirt before leaving home to make sure you don’t forget!

And Finally…. 9.5      ½ Liter of beer to celebrate!  … (Step 9.5 may be repeated several times)

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10 tips to a successful NYC Marathon

 

10 Tips for a successful NYC Marathon!


The ING NYC Marathon is just 2 weeks away!  You’ve put in hundreds of miles, months of training, maybe a few massages, and far too many ice baths to remember… but the end is finally near!  In less than two weeks you’ll toe the line on the Verrazano with 40,000 runners from near and far to begin your journey through NYC’s 5 boroughs.

Now’s the time to make those final preparations for your race.  What you do in these last 2 weeks can be the difference between your best race and a not so great experience. We asked 5 coaches from the Empire Tri Club & New York Running Company for their advice about what you should do during these last 2 weeks to have your best race.  (With over a decade of experience and 50 marathons under their belt, might we add).  Here’s what we learned:

1. TAPER! Reduce your running volume, and increase recovery time between workouts. Don’t try to get that last 20 miler in!

2. Prep early! Make sure you have everything you need for race day well in advance. You don’t want to realize the night before your marathon that you left your favorite race shirt at the gym, or you ran out of energy gels that you planned to use for your race.

3. Cross Train – It’s OK to include low impact cross training activities such as yoga & swimming into your training – especially since you are tapering down your run mileage. However, this is NOT the time to try something totally new like a kickboxing or HIIT class! Save it for after the marathon so you don’t wind up sore or injured.

4. Sleep! It’s important that you get a good night sleep starting several days before the marathon. It will be hard to get a good night sleep the night before your race- especially since race nerves may kick in and you’ll be waking up very early. Bank an extra few hours on Thursday & Friday.

5. Nothing new on race day!! Stick to what you know and what you’ve practiced! This holds true for your clothing, nutrition, pre-race meal, etc.

6. Visualize your race – your successes as well as how you plan to deal with situations that could arise such as losing a gel or “hitting the wall”. Visualize how you will cope so you have a plan of action should you need one!

7. Map out how you’re getting to the race start & make note of any road closures, subway or bus changes! Plan ahead so you don’t stress on race day and leave plenty of extra time!

8. Dress in layers! You never know what race day weather conditions will be!

9. Pace yourself! The key to a successful marathon is to maintain a comfortable pace in the beginning. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and energy from the crowds and go out too fast, which you’ll pay for later on in the race.

10. Set your clocks back! Remember, daylight savings ends on Sunday, November 4th, so be sure to set your clocks back 1 hour before you go to bed on Saturday night!

Be sure to check out our calendar for more clinics and events. Visit our Facebook event page for more tips, spectator info, volunteer opportunities and a post-race celebration. Have a great race!

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Determining your heart rate (HR) zones for the bike or run

There are many ways to determine your heart rate zones. HR zones are important tool for gauging effort and incorporating this key indicator into any good training plan or workout.  Many Empire Triathlon workouts will reference these HR zones – so it’s important to know your zones!

The common and least effective is 220-age formula (with differences in the formula if you’re a female).  A more accurate way of calculating your HR zones is located in an article here.  I like Joel Friel’s method because it is simple to use and doesn’t require any special testing equipment. Once you calculate these zones, you can set your heart rate monitor to targets to see if you’re meeting your training requirements.  If you have a mid-high end heart rate monitor, it’ll be able to tell you the amount of time that you spent in any particular zone during the training session, and the minimum/average/highest HR achieved.

When conducting this test, either indoors or outdoors, it is very important to test under the same conditions.  For this reason, I like to do the run portion on a treadmill or a track (with a GPS watch) and the bike portion on a Computrainer – on any indoor trainer/bike. Make sure if you’re bike outdoors that you 1) have a bike computer and that you 2) choose a consistent route and this relatively flat.

Be sure to test every fourth week if you are following a training plan. That “recovery week” should also include consistent benchmark tests so see if your training plan is effective or not.

Be great!

Bob Leong, Empire Triathlon Club Ambassador

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Important info for NYC Marathon runners!

 

Good luck to all of the Empire Tri Club runners who will be participating in the NYC Marathon this weekend!  Some of you have run this iconic NYC race several times, while others will be toeing the line for the first time on Sunday.

 

 

To help Empire members connect with one another, we have established a team meet up location at the start of the race, and created a group on our Forum so you can chat it up!

 

 

MEET UP LOCATION IN STATEN ISLAND
Our team meet up location is in Staten Island in the “Open Zone” by the runners stage.  It is centrally located between all of the colored zones, and in close proximity to the starting line on the Varrazano Narrows Bridge.  View Map. We recommend you share cell phone numbers with your teammates and check the Empire Facebook Page frequently, as the Start Map is subject to change, and it may be challenging to find people amongst a sea of thousands of runners.

 

 

FORUM
If you are a NYC Marathon veteran, help out a first timer by offering advice for how to navigate through the expo, pick up your race packet, get to the race, what to bring, and other things you wish you knew before YOUR first marathon!  Start posting.

 

 

SINGLETS
Empire Run Singlets have arrived!  If you pre-ordered a singlet, they will be available to pick up on Tuesday 11/1 at Jackrabbit’s UWS store at 7pm, or Thursday 11/3 at the NY Running Company before / after the run.  If you cannot make it either of these nights and would like your singlet for this weekend, please contact alison@empiretriclub.com to coordinate another meet up. Singlets are black with white/red print.  Please bring $30 cash or check.  If you did not pre-order a singlet, there may be a handful still available so contact Alison for availability!

 

 

USEFUL RESOURCES

 

GOOD LUCK:
Brad Gansberg
Leigh Gansberg
Sabrina Juran
Kelly Gandre
Jay Gottfried
Jay Pascual
Yael Langman
George Marroig-Tagle
Bobby Leong
Dave Mendelsohn
Dave Hollely
Enrique Abeyta
Joe Bachana

 

… am I missing anyone?  Click here and type “I’M IN” to let us know you’re racing!  That way we will be able to track you and cheer for you out on the course!

 

 

If you are not racing, but want to connect with other Empire members to cheer on your teammates, please visit our Forum group: NYC Triathlon Spectator’s Info!

 

 

Celebrate the season at our Post-Marathon social next week.  Wednesday, Nov 9th at 8pm.  Jake’s Dilemma on 81st and Amsterdam. Enjoy $3 drink specials all night long!  View Calendar.

 

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It’s Time to Tri Handout – Transitions & Bricks

TRANSITIONING AND BRICK WORKOUTS

INTRODUCTION:

Triathlon is a unique sport because it’s comprised of 3 different disciplines.  Not only do triathletes have to practice swimming, biking and running – they have to learn how to put all three together in a race.  The most successful triathletes are not necessarily the best swimmers, best bikers, or best runners.  They are the people who can put all three sports together the most efficiently.

BRICK WORKOUTS:
What is a brick?

A brick workout is any combination of 2 or more disciplines practiced immediately after one another with very little rest time in between.

What is the purpose for doing a brick workout?

The purpose of a brick is to get you used to transitioning between different muscle groups, which are used in each of the three sports.  In a race, you will be swimming, biking and running right after one another without resting in between, so it’s a good idea to simulate these types of workouts in practice.  The first time you do this you may feel sluggish, experience cramps, a tingling in your feet or “jello legs.’  By doing frequent brick workouts, these symptoms will subside, and the more quickly you will be able to get up to a comfortable ‘race pace’.

How to implement brick workouts for beginners / advanced triatheltes?

For beginners, try to incorporate 1-2 brick workouts a week.  Start by going for a 10min jog after your bike workout, or a 15 min bike ride right after you swim.  Gradually increase the amount of time, and intensity.

For advanced triathletes, practice doing longer brick workouts, as well as doing bricks at a faster pace & higher intensity.  Also, practice transitioning between disciplines multiple times. (ie. Run, bike, run, bike, run, bike).

At first it may take a little while for your body to adjust to the new demands put on it, but the more you practice the sooner you can get into a comfortable stride.  You can do this outdoors or indoors going from a trainer or spin class to a treadmill.

 

TRANSITION INTRO:

Transitioning is a skill that must be learned and practiced.  Unlike swimming, biking and running, this does not relate to strength, endurance or athletic ability.  It’s all about being organized, planning ahead and being efficient.  You can shave seconds or even minutes off your time by being quick and efficient.  Many people neglect to do is practice their transitions, and end up bringing too much, forgetting things, losing time or getting flustered.  For more competitive athletes, the amount of time you save in transition can mean the difference between placing or qualifying.  Whether you are a beginner or seasoned triathlete, plan to do at least one transition practice before your next race.  Lay out your gear, and do a complete run through.  Everyone can learn new tricks to shave time in transition!

Every triathlon has 2 transitions.  They are commonly referred to as T1 (swim to bike) and T2 (bike to run).  Here I will explain:

  • How to set up your transition area
  • What equipment you will need
  • Walk through of T1
  • Walk through of T2
  • Time saving tips and strategies

TRIATHLON CHECKLIST

Click here for a free triathlon checklist.

HOW TO SET UP YOUR TRANSITION AREA:

  1. Find where to rack your bike (usually marked by a range of #’s that correlate to your bib #)
  2. Rack your bike from the seat, handlebars, or wheel in some cases.  (it depends on the race and the type of transition set up used).  Rack it in an easy gear, so that its easy to pedal when you jump on your bike.
  3. Place your helmet upside down on your handlebars with the straps already adjusted to your head and folded open.
  4. Place your sunglasses open inside of your helmet.  (When you run into transition, you will not forget either of these items because they are laid out in the perfect place and you can’t miss them.  You will not waste time trying to open your sunglasses or adjusting your helmet straps)
  5. Place your cycling shoes on the mat with the straps open
  6. Place your running shoes open right next to your cycling shoes.
  7. If you plan to wear socks, place 1 sock folded open inside each shoe of the pair you intend to wear first.  (I don’t wear socks cycling, so I put them in my running shoes).
  8. On top of your running shoes, lay out your race number belt (unclipped and number facing down), or shirt with your race number pre-pinned to it.
  9. Place any gels you plan to take on the run next to your shoes (not in them).  You may forget they’re in there and end up smooshing one in the toe of your shoe by accident!

**  Important**  Before you head down to the water, be sure to make note of where you are set up in relation to the entire transition area.  Find out where you enter transition from the swim, as well as the bike, as these may be 2 different locations.  Use visual cues to help you navigate (are you near a fence?  Or on the aisle?  Up 2 rows and to the left?  Some people tie a balloon to their spot to spot it easily from a distance).  This may seem like common sense, but remember that there may be hundreds or thousands or bikes, and you can get disoriented.

WALK THROUGH OF T1:

  • As you exit the water, promptly remove your goggles and swim cap
  • Unzip your wetsuit, pulling it off half way as you run to transition (take your arms out and pull your wetsuit down to your waist)
  • As you run into transition, look for visual cues to help you find your bike
  • When you reach your bike, pull your wetsuit completely off and leave it next to your stuff.  Put on your socks, shoes, sunglasses and helmet (nutrition should already be on your bike) and head for the transition exit
  • Remember to clip your helmet before leaving transition or you could face disqualification.  Usually there is a line that you must pass before mounting your bike.  The volunteers will help you by pointing this out.

WALK THROUGH OF T2:

  • Dismount your bike (usually there is a line that you must dismount before crossing.  There will be volunteers directing you where to go and when to dismount)
  • Run with your bike to your transition set up (again, look for visual cues to remember where your stuff is (a sign, balloon, or simply by counting the racks, keeping in mind that you may be entering transition from a different location than you did in T1)
  • Re-rack your bike
  • Unclip & remove your helmet
  • Remove your cycling shoes & put on your running shoes.
  • Put on your race number belt or shirt with your number pinned to it.
  • Grab any gels or nutrition if you need for the run.
  • Head for the transition exit.

 

10 TIME SAVING TIPS:

  1. Plan ahead (know what you’re going to need in your transition area, and don’t bring anything else).  You don’t want to have to make decisions mid-race about what you want to take with you on the bike or run.  Unnecessary gear will only clutter your space (you’ll soon realize that you don’t have as much space as you would hope).  Often bikes are racked really close to one another without much space for bags, shoes, and other gear.  Do everyone a favor and keep it concise!
  2. Lay things out in the most efficient manner, to help speed up the process
  3. Use a race number belt to avoid pinning your bib to your shirt mid-race or put on additional clothing.
  4. Bike nutrition should already be on your bike – carry nutrition in a bento box or tape gels to your top tube.  Fill water bottles before the race and have them on your bike before the start.
  5. Use body glide or another lubricant on your ankles, wrists and neck so that your wetsuit slides off easily
  6. Rack your bike in an easy gear – this way when you jump on your bike and start riding, it will be easier to start pedaling, especially if there is any sort of hill at the start of the ride.
  7. Replace your shoe laces with speed laces.  Don’t fumble with tying your shoes – simple slide your feet in, pull the cord to tighten and go!
  8. Wear a tri top and tri short (or 1 piece tri suit) to avoid having to change mid race.  You wear this under your wetsuit, and leave it on for the entire race.
  9. Have visual clues to remember where your gear is racked.  You can waste a lot of time and get stressed out if you’re running around transition looking for your gear.
  10. Remember that you may not enter T1 and T2 from the same location.  So know how to get to your transition area from both entrances!  Walk through it race morning.

Just remember that whatever happens, just keep going the best you can!  It’s easy to be 100% prepared going into your race and get flustered and disoriented on race day.   Remember “it’s ok!”  Practice, Practice, Practice!

– Alison Cooper, Empire Tri Club Founder & Coach