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Welcome to 2019

Apr 11, 2019 12:17:48 AM

It is hard to believe we are already into April. It seems like just yesterday, we were celebrating New Year's knee deep in snow, and now the snow is giving way to clear roads allowing us to get out and turn the pedals, and the team at TBT is in full swing transporting bikes to races. As we enter 2019, our focus for our 15th year is servicing more races to more places... not only in North America.

As announced earlier in March, this year we are taking our HASSLE-FREE bike shipping to Europe. Now, not only are we the proud Official Bike Transport Partner of IRONMAN® North America, but also for the European series as well.

Our 2019 event calendar is beginning to take shape. We currently have service planned to over 60 races in North America, and nearly 40 for European based athletes. So regardless of which side of the “pond” you are on, you can experience TriBike Transports Hassle-Free, Economical, Unparalleled bike shipping service.

To view our calendar for North America service, click here, and for European serviced races, click here.

Make sure to check back often, because we are adding new events all the time. And stay tuned to our website, as well as our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for all of the latest news.

Last, but certainly not least, we want to thank you, our customers, for this growth. You’ve supported us, made suggestions, and recommended us over the past 15 years and we are beyond grateful to you for keeping our business growing. Just for your information, you help support 10 admin staff members and their families, and more than 20 drivers and their families in the U.S. alone. This doesn’t include TBT Mexico and the new team in TBT Europe. We will forever be indebted to each and every one of our customers for being an integral part of the TBT team.

Here’s to a great year of racing, and another great year of providing stress-free bike shipping, allowing you to focus on your race.

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Guest Blog - Meredith Kessler

Mar 27, 2019 1:11:16 AM

Years ago, as a struggling age grouper, I remembered thinking to myself, after observing a professional triathlete glide across the finish line after a full Ironman, how she was able to get there so effortlessly? She was coherent, fluently talking to reporters and carrying on as if she hadn’t worked out for nine straight hours. Why was finishing strongly so seamless for her and so difficult for myself and the majority of age groupers plugging away to compete in a lot slower time?

It is impressive to watch professional athletes in a multitude of sports achieve remarkable feats consistently. I have always wondered how Roger Federer can travel across multiple time zones to parts halfway around the world and play to the best of his abilities. How does Lebron James fly on a nightly basis from city to city and bring his A game for nine months out of the year? They make it seem so smooth when most of us struggle to maintain the right balance in their lives, let alone be the best at something.

Now, after being a professional triathlete for more than nine years, I still am in awe of other performances. Even though I am going faster, I am also human, and no one is above pain, sick days, horrible workouts, and failing multiple times. The struggling age grouper Meredith from nine years ago still has some of the same doubts even with the experience of age and ample racing. How do my competitors do it or how do some of the age groupers perform so well when I can barely talk or move at the finish line?

The reason I am writing the above is to say the thing we all inherently know but sometimes gloss over; pros, just like age groupers, struggle to achieve their goals and it doesn’t get easier. No one is bulletproof even if it appears that they are and everyone faces a battle that we know nothing about. However, the challenge is why we all keep racing, and this is the human spirit. Roger Federer and Lebron James are fighting battles that we rarely see, or they don’t want us to see to keep up the illusion of their superhuman abilities. I wanted to take a step back and tell you about some of my personal failures which are part of the process of learning and getting better. There is no such thing as that perfect workout, lead into a race, or race; there is always adversity and things that don’t go the way you envision or diligently prepare for every day.

I believe that training, racing and navigating through life is a mindset. The slightest shift in our mindset can make or break so many things in triathlon and life as well. We have to train this mindset to deliver in practice and on race day. This thought brings me to what I like to call "WEB" workouts (WEB = why even bother) or “WEB” days. If you let those WEB workout days go without dwelling on them too much and put them in your back pocket, it makes the fantasy epic workouts (and days) take precedence in your mind.

I believe that preparation breeds confidence and comfort. Not only preparing the body for what we put it through yet also preparing the mind. This is where I would like to dive into the art of GETTING COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE.

Within specific (BUT certainly not all) workouts/racing/mindsets, it is these raw, tender, gentle moments of discomfort where the magic actually happens. I have seen people question this “magic” if it’s deemed as ‘uncomfortable’ and while I respect that mentality for some, that is precisely what enables us to grow and prosper in both sport and life.

What I am touching on is that every workout has a purpose, even those where you feel awful, and you wonder why you are even doing it. As an age grouper, a lot of my workouts were ‘pointless,’ and even now as a pro, I sometimes am not feeling vibrant and productive in many sessions. This is OK because these workouts will get you through those tough times during the race! In the dark North American month of January, there were times I was on my cycling trainer wondering what I was doing because the body wasn’t matching up with the mind. This was three weeks before a month-long racing trip to New Zealand with Challenge Wanaka and Ironman New Zealand. I knew not to fret because it is nearly impossible to crush it every workout.

As with WEB workouts, there are also times where we fail in training. I experienced this just last week after an emotionally charged two races in New Zealand, countless hours of travel, and jet lag. My workouts couldn't even be classified as WEB they were so goth! In one of them alone, I got off my bike and went to go take a hot shower since my son was napping. A shower was far more productive than the bike session that I was royally failing. Sometimes, you need to listen to your body. You are not wimpy or not tough enough to get through it; you are being smart and listening to your body that has gone through a lot of trauma that you may not even realize. There is a difference between a WEB workout, getting comfortable being uncomfortable, and not hurting yourself further.

A significant aspect of training and racing that is not really talked about is how mental and emotional stress can affect your body. This is outlined in our book, Life of a Triathlete: Race Preparation, where it is described how much I try to control things that are controllable to reduce stress in intense training or race time. This could be as simple as having your partner Sherpa all your gear and drive to all the destinations in your travels or limiting unnecessary clutter from your daily life during race week especially. We don’t know how the stress of driving in a foreign location can put a strain on the body so, eliminate it to help your overall chi. I recognized my chi was drained after a long month of racing and travel so I decided to stop my workout halfway through; no harm no foul and move on. Your body will thank you.

So now it is understood that pro athletes sometimes stink in their workouts and may shut down a training session completely when something is not right. My last thought is dreaded sickness but how the body is resilient if you have practiced WEB workouts, getting comfortable being uncomfortable and failing. I distinctly remember flying from Dubai to Auckland, a few years back, and being violently ill. The chills were turning to uncontrollable heat and back again. It was one of the worst flights of my life! Coming into Ironman New Zealand, my body was a wreck, and I had four days to snap out of it.

I didn’t know it at the time, but my preparation helped my body get through the funk and perform admirably on race day. The body was resilient, and racing practically cured my illness. In fact, to this day, that was one of my better Ironman races which you would absolutely have not thought was possible even 1-2 days prior to the race! We are all human, and your body is not immune to the threat of sickness but you may surprise yourself so don’t lose hope when that dreaded bug hits.

We have all heard stories of Michael Jordan playing sick to will his team to victory in the championship or athletes playing hurt only to come through with a fantastic performance. I am by no means in the same category as Michael Jordan, but he is an athlete, just like all of us with constant curve balls being thrown our way in the game of life we all play. So, do not get down if your training has been compromised. Your body may surprise you when the time comes to perform. Find comfort in that resilience and gusto!

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Happy Thanksgiving

Nov 22, 2018 5:34:26 AM

It is hard to believe we are already nearing the end of 2018. It seems like only yesterday, we were kicking off our season, and now we’re weeks away from our final race for 2018.

As we plan for our Thanksgiving festivities later today, I wanted to sit down and put a post together to take a look back at our 15th season as a company and express our thankfulness.

2018 was another banner year for TBT. Wee transported almost 10,000 bikes to more than 60 triathlon and cycling events in half a dozen countries on 4 continents. We also continued to build our presence in the sport by growing our strong partnerships as the official bike transport sponsor with a number of major triathlon based organizations, including IRONMAN® North America, USA Triathlon, Team in Training, and Life Time Fitness. This year also saw TBT develop a stronger presence in Mexico and Europe, as well as non-triathlon events - stay tuned for even more activity on these fronts in 2019!

I am truly thankful for our amazing staff. Our success would not be possible without their hard work. This year, more than any other, they have gone above and beyond. From everyone on our management team, to our customer service team, to our team of drivers, each team member has made providing better service to our customers their priority. I am constantly hearing from our customers at events, on the phone, or via email, that our staff has taken one of the more stressful aspects of traveling to a race away, and significantly improved the race experience. We are extremely proud of our team.

But most of all, I am thankful for each of you, our customers. None of what we have done this year as a company would have been possible without you. Each time you sign up for our transport service you put your trust in the Tribike Transport team to transport your “baby”. Whether your bike is traveling across the country, or across the ocean, we value your trust and do not take this responsibility lightly.

As we finalize our planning for 2019, we have some even bigger things in store that I know you are going to love. We are looking at expanding our services from North America to Europe, adding even more non-triathlon races to our schedule, servicing more events from more partner shops, and even have a few other surprises planned. Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for all of the latest updates.

So, sit back today, enjoy some turkey, some football, and some time with your family, I know I will be….and don’t forget to head over to www.tribiketransport.com to plan out your 2019 race schedule. We already have 50 races posted for next year and are adding more all the time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Marc

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4 Training & Racing Tips For Cooler Fall Weather

As temps start to cool and you’re about to finish out the race season with a final event or two, these are a few good reminders for race day.

Hydration is still a thing!

While your body temp will likely be lower than in the hot summer months, you still need to hydrate! Stick to your race day game plan even if you don’t feel thirsty and the temps aren’t blazing. When you lose water and salt they need to be replaced, it’s that simple.

Sun’s not out? Still, use sunscreen.

Again, the temps are lower, but that sun is still out even on the cloudiest overcast days. Avoid a dreaded sunburn and apply sunscreen just as you would on a summer race day. Make sure you use sunscreen that allows your skin to breathe and sweat. Sweating is essential for allowing your body to self-regulate and avoid overheating. Zealios Sun Barrier SPF 45 sunscreen won’t clog your pores allowing your skin to breathe and freely sweat to regulate your body temperature.

Layer up!

Be prepared for all kinds of fall weather with a light shell, base layer, and gloves. Yeah, at times these seem like overkill, but in the most dire times, they’re the difference between racing comfortably and miserably. Beat mother nature at her own game!

Weather prep.

Take the time to train in the elements you’ll likely be racing in. When you’re headed to a destination race this can be well worth the effort and cost to arrive a few days early. The fall season can bring unexpected weather and you want to make sure you’re comfortable and prepped with all the necessary gear on race day.

Good luck out there!

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Guest Post - The Recovery Run

Aug 3, 2018 10:08:57 AM

If you have worked with a coach you may have seen the workout on your training plan that states “Recovery Run, Bike or Swim.” Many athletes seem to be very diligent about keeping their legs spinning and their watts or speed low when doing a recovery bike session or subsequently, with the swim, keeping the focus on drills and really easy swimming but when it comes to the Recovery Run, that can be a whole different story.

Often, we see athletes doing their recovery run only marginally slower than their Z1 or Endurance run efforts. If I am looking at pace alone, this tells me that they have either been doing their Endurance Runs way to slow (dogging it) or their Recovery Runs – way too fast. This is where using a heart rate monitor can help to paint the real picture. For Recovery runs – heart rate should be ideally, anything less than 76% of Threshold Heart Rate while Z1 Endurance Runs should be between 80-86% of threshold heart rate.

Let’s take a step back and define what Threshold Heart Rate is. This is the average heart rate based off approximately one hour of maximal intensity effort that can be maintained (also known as Functional Threshold). To help determine this, and if we stick with running as our example, there are a few different methods that can be used. A field test such as race might be a good starting place since in most cases you will be putting forward your best effort.

If using a 5km Fun Run to determine your threshold, determine your average HR (generally based off your watch) and then subtract 15 beats to extrapolate the result to be based off a one hour based effort. Alternatively, if you have completed a recent 10km race, then subtract 10 beats off the average HR and for a Half Marathon subtract 5 beats. Another method that works well is a 4 x 1 mile test (with 1.5 min recovery) and then subtract 2 beats off the average HR.

The Karvonean method which takes into account the maximal and resting heart rate is also a nice way to approximate threshold HR. Since most athletes will know what the highest heart rate is that they have seen and are also familiar with their resting heart rate, this is an easy method to try. Using these numbers they can be applied using the following formula: .81*(Max HR – Resting HR) + Resting HR = TH HR.

You may decide to use one of the above methods or try each of them to approximate your Threshold HR for running. Keep in mind that due to differences in the nature of running and cycling and athletic experience, threshold values are generally different for each discipline and therefore should be tested independently.

Once you have determined your Threshold value then HR training zones can be established. Using our HR training zone system and also that adopted by USAT, heart rate training zones are as follows:

ZR: (Recovery/Pliability) Everything below 76% of TH HR

Z1: (Aerobic) 80-86% of TH HR

Z2: (Tempo – Sub Aerobic Threshold) 86-83%

Z3: (Tempo – Sub Lactate Threshold) 93-100%

Z4: Best Sustainable Effort

Now that you have a basic understanding of Threshold HR, let’s return our attention to ZR Recovery Runs. I am sure you are asking so what is the purpose of doing a Recovery Run. The recovery runs purpose is not necessarily to derive direct “fitness” gains; instead, a recovery run is Active Recovery. It provides an opportunity to actively engage the soft tissue: muscles, tendons, and ligaments by promoting blood flow without the catabolic effect of over stressing muscle fibers. The low-intensity active effort helps to flush the muscles of accumulated by-products of lactic acid. Mentally, the recovery run also gives an athlete the opportunity to recharge, a mass volume and subsequently, add to the durability needed for long course racing.

Athletes that struggle with injuries such as chronic Achilles Tendonosis and Plantar Fasciitis tend to respond well to inserting regular short recovery runs into their training as opposed to simply having long periods of rest between runs. Since tendons receive very little blood flow it makes sense that keeping the tendons actively engaged but not overly stressed helps promote blood flow to the area and help with the recovery process.

So, what should a recovery run look like? A good rule of thumb is to keep the run under 35 minutes and while HR should be in the ZR range this would generally equate to a pace of at least 1.5 to 2 minutes slower than current Z1 pace. Interestingly enough some of the fastest runners have the biggest differentiation between Endurance and Recovery paces. Just look up some of the Kenyan runners and you will see just how easy their recovery runs are. Keeping the cadence high will also help ensure that you are keeping the feet under you as you run and not overstriding and placing additional stress on the extremities.

Next time you see a Recovery Run on your schedule remember the many other benefits associated with it and embrace the challenge of going slow.

Karen Allen Turner is a coach for QT2 Systems for both the QT2 and OutRival Racing brands and has been involved in the sport of triathlon as both a participant and a coach since 1986. As a regular national presenter for the USAT coaching certification program, Karen's ability to draw on her many years of coaching experience and ongoing quest to expand her understanding of the sport provides a valuable resource to new and experienced coaches alike. For her athletes, the combination of her analytical approach, teaching methods and her ability to look at each athlete as an individual with unique needs has lead to her success as a coach.

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