Categorized as: Alamo180

TriPearl Team Race

Alamo 180 Team Race: TriPearl


Congrats to Alamo 180 triathletes Lexa Rijos, Jamie Roadman, Bud Winn, Will Gonzaba, Suzy Casas, Tony Rodriguez, Manny Longoria, Diana Estrada, Rob Scott, Noah Alamanza, Miriam Medina, Crystal Tomlinson, Maria Ortega, Joseph Ortega, Al Alvarez, Marc Toppel for participating in the 2nd annual TriPearl triathlon in San Antonio, Tx.

Special Shout-Outs:

Crystal Tomlinson did her longest triathlon distance to date and finished strong with a huge smile on her face. Tony Rodriguez improved his time from last year’s TriPearl by 14 minutes!!! Joseph Ortega improved on his performance from last year by 2 minutes in the water! Lexa Rijos got 2nd in her age group in the sprint distance. Marc Toppel won his age group in the super sprint distance. Will Gonzaba won his age group. Amy Buben got third in her age group.


Sinking from swimming?

The most common complaint we get from swimming, especially from beginner triathletes, is being tired and out of breath. Most cannot swim more than a lap without having to stop and rest. Frustrating? Yes! Doomed? No!

Swimming is a hard sport. It takes time and patience to develop an efficient stroke. Also, it takes time to develop endurance. Next time you find yourself tired and out of breath, spending more time at the wall than swimming, go through this “trouble shooting checklist” and see if you can find the culprit to your woes.

1. Form

Proper form allows you to work with the water, not against it. You want your body to be level on the water’s surface. Too many athletes swim with their chest and head up and their  hips and legs down. This causes the body to act like a seesaw in the water. When you raise your head, the legs sink. Focus on keeping the head and chest down, and your chin slightly tucked – this keeps the legs from sinking, allowing you to swim completely on top of the water.

Along with form, don’t rely solely on your kick to propel you forward. Many beginner swimmers think the forward propulsion comes from the kick, and the faster the kick, the faster the freestyle. Not true. Soon your legs will tire and your freestyle will fall apart. Much of the forward propulsion comes from your arms. A strong underwater pull propels you forward and your kick is there to help out. In the sport of triathlon, you want to use your arms more than your legs when it comes to swimming. This saves your legs for the bike and run.

2. Speed

It’s not a race to get to the other end of the pool.  Also, swimming fast is not going to keep you afloat. It’s about form and cadence. Imagine this – You are stranded out in the ocean and your only hope for survival is to swim one mile to the shore. Are you going to swim fast or slow and steady? You won’t last long going fast, but you will cover more distance and save energy by swimming slowly. Same is true in the pool. If you want to last more than 25 yards and finish your workout, slow your pace down. Speed will come with time. It has to be easy first before you can be fast.

3. Lack of Proper Warm Up

This happens three ways: One, you jump in the water and start swimming. You feel good, so you swim fast, hoping it will last the entire workout. Two, the water is cold and you swim fast to warm your body quicker. Or three, you only have time for a short swim, so you decide to shorten the warm up, or skip it altogether, and head straight to the main set. All three can tire your body and ruin your workout.

Liken it to this: You plan to go out for a 30 minute run. Would you start the first 10 minutes running fast? No, you would run slow and wait for your body to warm up. Same applies to swimming. Don’t skimp on the warm up. Be patient and swim a few laps slowly focusing on form and cadence.

4. Breathing

Too often, swimmers purposely refrain from breathing to try and keep their form. Swimming while not taking frequent breaths means less oxygen to your muscles, and in minutes you will tire and your form will fall apart. Slow down your speed, focus on form and breathe as needed. Additionally, make sure you breathe bilaterally – both sides. Too many favor one side only, and this can negatively affect your form.

We specialize in swim instruction, so if you wish to improve your form and efficiency in the water, contact us for a private swim session.





Swimming Can Be A Drag

There are several ways to build strength in the water and drag sets are one of them.

To perform a drag set, wear a T-shirt or an apron with pockets in your main swim set. Try to swim at your regular pace and power through the water as your t-shirt or apron “holds” you back. Your warm up and cool down should not include the drag suit.

These drag sets are great to do during your endurance base training phase – during the off-season and in the early part of in-season training.

Give it a try in your next swim workout!

Triathlon Team Training Event

Alamo 180 was out a Boerne Lake on Saturday, March 17, for the first open water swim/bike brick of the season.

The water was a chilly 60 degrees! Two athletes swam 1500m and the rest swam 800m. Everyone did great! Congrats to Manny Longoria, Miriam Medina, and Crystal Tomlinson for doing their first open water swim. What an accomplishment!

Windy conditions on the hilly 25 mile bike course. Not an easy feat, but everyone braved it and finished strong. Our awesome Triathlon Team Captains, Lexa Rijos and Jamie Roadman, were riding alongside the athletes and cheering them on.

Next event at Boerne Lake is the Alamo 180 Rock the Mock Triathlon. Come join us!

Check out the album on facebook

Kick Off Party

Alamo 180’s 2012 triathlon training season is underway!

We celebrated the way we know how! A kick-off party for our triathletes with delicious food, a chocolate fountain fondue (yum!), beer, and a game of charades. LOTS of laughter and good times! 

Wanna join in on the fun? Come try us out! Try us free for a week, no obligation. Email us at info@alamo180.com for more info!


Triathlon Training for FREE!

Interested in the sport of triathlon? Interested in trying out Alamo 180’s triathlon training program? Now is your chance to try it out FREE! Alamo 180 In-Season Training begins February 6th and continues through October 21st.

We offer 3 Triathlon Team Training Programs for the Sprint, Olympic, and Half-Ironman distance events. We also offer training level options to fit the needs of beginner and experienced athletes.

Try us out FREE for a week. No obligation. Several people have already tried out this great deal.

Call or email us for more information! We even love to meet over coffee if you want to meet face-to-face. We would love to hear from you!

~Alamo 180

Keep Your Head in the Game

Some lucky runners will go their entire running lives without a misstep, but many more will face an injury that requires the ultimate sacrifice – no running. No runner welcomes that prescription, but those that grin and bear it generally fare better than those who do not. This is not to say you shouldn’t get upset, because it is completely normal to be disappointed, but do not let it get the best of you.

Research shows that people battling sports injuries tend to have slower or less satisfactory recoveries when they are depressed or distressed. The exact reasons are not understood, but it is suggested that athletes with better outlooks adhere to rehab better. Other studies suggest that depressed moods may generate an immune response that compromises recovery from injury.

Coping Mechanisms:

Perspective – You can adopt a defeatist attitude, or you can ask yourself, “What can I do to get optimal healing?” It’s all about your perspective. Think about things that are purposeful, productive, and focused on possibilities.

Rather than say…”Rehab takes forever. I’m never going to get out running again.” Say…”If I focus on my physical-therapy exercises right now, I can speed my recovery.”
Rather than say…”Why me? What if I never run again? Say…”This injury can teach me to incorporate better recovery habits into my training plan so that I’ll be less likely to get injured again.”
Rather than say…”I’ll never get back to the fitness I had before my injury.” Say…If I use my rehab as an opportunity to develop some new strengths, I’ll come back even stronger.”

Injury Assessment – Get a clear understanding of what your injury is and what rehab entails, and ask about the best-case and worst-case scenarios. Not knowing what to expect can bring about anxiety and can cause you to lose focus during the recovery process.

Positive Behavior – Studies have shown that “psychological intervention” (distracting yourself with positive behavior) such as goal setting can speed recovery. Aim for realistic targets such as increasing your flexibility, getting more sleep, eating healthier, drinking less alcohol, etc. These little victories help you stay positive on the road to recovery.

Don’t let an injury get the best of you. Reflect on what may have caused it, develop a recovery plan and remain positive.  It’s all about your perspective.

Reference: Article adapted by Runner’s World, A Healing Head.

Patience and Planning for the Long Run

by Jeff Soileau, V.P. + Training Coordinator of Alamo 180

As our big race approaches and your training mileage gets longer and longer, it is important to remember a few simple tips to make the long runs and race day more manageable.


Imagine preparing for a cross country trip in your car. You make sure your car is in great working order, your tires are properly inflated, your oil changed, and your antifreeze/coolant replaced.  But wait! You forgot to put gas in the tank! Guess you won’t be going too far after all… The same goes for your body.  You do your maintenance runs during the week. You take care of your shoes. You wear proper apparel.  Don’t forget to eat!  It can be catastrophic to go into a long weekend run without “gas in the tank.” It doesn’t have to be much either; wheat toast or a bagel with peanut butter, a bowl of oatmeal, or a scrambled egg with some juice.  Heck, even a donut is better than nothing!  Every athlete is different as to what they can tolerate, so start experimenting now to find what works best for you. The morning of your big race is the wrong time to change or start a new morning meal.  It is also important that you refuel during your run.  This can be accomplished with various gels and supplements, but most professionals agree that refueling is necessary in workouts exceeding 1.25 hours and should be ingested every 45 minutes to maintain peak performance.


As an athlete exercises, the body’s core temperature rises.  The body responds to this increase in heat with a ‘unique-to-mammals’ cooling system: perspiration. As the body perspires to regulate temperature, water and electrolytes are released onto the skin. As the water evaporates, the body cools itself; at a cost.  Under extreme conditions like heat, humidity and prolonged physical activity, (marathon training in south Texas, anyone?) sweating causes the body to lose water and electrolytes, so it is important to hydrate during exercise.  Humans are uniquely developed for endurance events in that they can drink and eat while moving, so plan on taking some water with you.  Some good advice is to hydrate early and often, and to mix water with electrolyte replacement, as water alone will not be enough.  Hydrating early also refers to the day or days leading up to your big event.  Some things to limit or avoid are caffeine and alcohol, as they are diuretics, which can cause the body to excrete water (makes you pee).


It is easy to run fast for short distances, however, many athletes have difficulty with runs in excess of 5-6 miles. This is where having a plan comes in handy.  Plan to use short, walking intervals to help conserve energy and to recover.  An example would be to plan to run for 5 minutes, walk for 1 minute.  Do this the entire duration of your run.  It doesn’t have to be exactly this formula, so work on what works for you.  You can plan your walking recoveries based on water stops, time, or distance covered.

Also be aware that pacing is often affected by things that are out of our control, like heat and humidity. It is suggested by Olympian and coach Jeff Galloway, that for every 10 degrees above 60, a runner’s pace may be affected by a much as 30 seconds. So based on typical temperatures in south Texas during the summer and early fall, (averaging 100 degrees!) a runner’s pace could be slowed by approximately 2 minutes per mile!

All of these things combine to make for harsh training and racing conditions, however, practicing in these conditions will help prepare for racing under the same conditions.  Start experimenting with different fueling, hydration and pacing methods, so that when your big day arrives, you will feel confident in your abilities and will have a great marathon or 1/2 marathon race experience!