March 2018 - TRIATHLON & DUATHLON
Tri a Club
By Kristen Hislop
Brick, aero, clipless, bonk, DNF, lace locks, RPM, MOP, OWS, fartlek. Is this Greek to you? One reason people join one or more of the local triathlon clubs is to better understand the jargon and learn about training. Greg Hewlett of Adirondack Tri Club says it well, “Every club member was a ‘never, ever’ once before.” The passion for the sport exists in every club with members who are just itching to share their experiences, trials and tribulations, and of course, successes.
Should you join and if you do what can you expect? Heather Hopke of Clifton Park, joined the Capital District Triathlon Club for the group open water swims in Averill Park, with a challenging bike ride to follow. CDTC offers a brick (stringing two disciplines together) opportunity each Tuesday from June through August. The swims start in Crystal Lake at 6pm and then athletes either ride or ride/run the club’s triathlon course. It is great practice for the Crystal Lake Triathlon, which will be held on August 16.
Out on the bike course you might hear the words aero and clipless. Aero is short for aerodynamic. The goal in triathlon is to be an efficient as you can going through the air and water. Aero bars on your bike allow you to get into a more aerodynamic position. Are they necessary? Absolutely not, but as you get more into the sport you might find yourself eyeing those aero bars. Clipless refers to the pedals and cleats on cycling shoes. Just to make it a bit more confusing, you clip into clipless pedals! Any of the tri clubs will have experienced cyclists around to help answer questions on pedals, helmets, wheels and more!
Rebecca Evansky, president of Adirondack Triathlon Club in Glens Falls, says their women’s cycling series, “Brings together veterans and newbies to ride and have fun. Along the way they learn how to change a tire, road safety skills and more.” ATC offer events and activities throughout the year. Rebecca, an experienced triathlete says, “I feel like I am always learning something new from my fellow club members.”
When should I use lace locks and what does it mean to bonk? New triathletes learn these terms when they attend Sacandaga Tri Club’s “Tri 101” clinic. Many of the clubs offer clinics to help debug tri training. Rob Whitaker, one of the founders, notes that Sacandaga Tri Club is “A family-oriented tri club focused on fun and growing the sport.” The proof is in the pudding as their Great Sacandaga Challenge triathlon is held on Father’s Day (this year June 16), which brought 100 youth and 250 adult triathletes to the start line in 2017. It is sure to grow again this year so get registered now.
Triathlon clubs are a great way to get over the fear of OWS or open water swimming. When Saratoga Tri Club sent out a survey to create a new kit (outfit) design, members used the words; fun, friendly, inclusive, supporting and swim to describe the club. So if you are scared of your first OWS, take the lead from Sharon Maltbie of Nassau. Sharon said her nerves got the best of her and she watched the flow her first day. After seeing the non-competitive and fun nature, she was in the water the following week. She also notes, “When you see someone wearing the same kit you instantly have someone on your side whether you have met before or not.”
At most races in the area you’ll see the club kits on people. The Bethlehem Triathlon Club kits are black and easy to find on the course. When you join BTC you have access to the off-season yoga, strength and cycling sessions. At the winter spinning sessions you’ll learn about RPM or revolutions per minute from cycling coach, Andy Ruiz, of Delmar as he preps everyone for the outdoor riding season.
The clubs offer nutrition clinics so that you don’t bonk on the course, otherwise known as running out of energy. At social events you’ll likely hear someone refers to themselves as MOP or BOP. They aren’t cleaning or dancing, but giving you an idea where they finish in a race – middle of the pack or back of the pack!
There were a couple of LUNA Chix teams in the area (mountain bike and triathlon) for over a decade. The goal was to get women active. When the teams retired, we had to keep that welcoming atmosphere for women alive resulting in Upstate Warriors. The group has runners, beginner triathletes, and those who like to go long. Cilicia Bigler of Saratoga Springs, appreciates the support adding, “I’m much more motivated to push myself around you guys!” They all go a little harder at the early morning track workouts where you’ll likely hear fartleks (Swedish for speed play) and other running terms.
As Darlene Kusaywa of Clifton Park says, “It’s finding those like-minded people that make the sport even more fun.” Whether you are looking for people to share your passion, you want to learn the jargon, you need a push in your workouts or you just want to have fun, joining and getting active in a triathlon club or two is a great resource!
Capital District Tri Club (cdtriclub.org) – Members: 200. Membership: $60, Open water swims pre-paid $100. Race: Crystal Lake Triathlon. Activities: Tuesday night swim/bike/run, clinics and social events.
Saratoga Triathlon Club (saratogatriclub.com) – Members: 173. Membership: $25, $40 for swim season (state park entry $65 per season or $8 per day) and $5 per swim. Race: Hudson Crossing Triathlon. Activities: Tuesday ride/run at Saratoga Battlefield, Thursday swim at Moreau Lake State Park, hill challenges, clinics and social events.
Bethlehem Triathlon Club (bethlehemtriclub.com) – Members: 120. Membership: $95 includes weekly swim at Warner Lake, and off-season training. Activities: Swim, bike and runs on Thursdays during the season. Yoga, strength and indoor cycling in the off-season.
Adirondack Triathlon Club (facebook.com/adirondacktriclub) – Members: 110. Membership: $30. Race: Beginner tri series, off-road duathlon series and two club destination races. Activities: Open water swims in Lake George, group runs, weekly group ride, along with hikes and XC skiing in the winter.
Sacandaga Triathlon Club (sacandagatriclub.com) – Members: 30. Membership: $25. Race: Great Sacandaga Challenge. Activities: clinics on Tri 101, bike maintenance, swim and nutrition.
Upstate Warriors (email@example.com) – Members: 77 women. Membership: Free. Activities: group rides, track workouts, Facebook page and social events.
Clifton Park Triathlon Club (firstname.lastname@example.org) – Members: 25 youth. Membership: Free. Activities: two coaches introduce and mentor youth athletes to train and compete in the sport of triathlon.
Kristen Hislop (email@example.com) of Clifton Park is a certified multisport coach who wants everyone to ‘Do, Believe and Achieve.’