BTC Fun! USAT National Challenge Competition

BTC - NCCBuffalo is under siege from the weather and this time of year by other triathlon clubs! Northtowners need to head to the Southtowns with their shovels to help dig our snowed in members so we can get busy kicking butt in the USAT National Challenge Competition starting December 1st!

Some of you may have seen on Facebook or email about the upcoming USAT National Challenge Competition (NCC). This post is for anyone that is new to the NCC as well as a hint to the competition veterans to get off their butt and get ready to dig in.

What is the USAT NCC?

The easiest thing to do here is to refer you to their website for more details or to look at this Flyer (Click image below to make larger). However in its simplest terms the BTC will be competing against other clubs (Division 1) accruing points each time one of our registered athletes logs their data (swim/bike/run)into the system. The competition is broken up into sessions: December/Swim, January/Bike and February/Run.


Click to enlarge

How to Sign Up

Join up with your fellow BTC’ers for some fun and stay in shape, heck get in better shape, this off season!

Step One: Send an email to with your name, USAT membership #, and age.

Step Two: You will get an email conforming your registration. It will look something like this:

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Step Three: Go to the login page in the email and login to confirm your registration. Once the competition starts December 1, 2014 (Swim Session) you will see a place to log your distances, time and any other factors they ask for like mileage. You will return to this page often throughout the competition so save the password and bookmark the page.

It’s really that simple!

Interclub Challenges and Fun!

Lets face it. The offseason is sometimes hard to get motivated. While the NCC is fun we also like to give out some prizes and challenge each other to be our best. There has been lots of chatter about this on Facebook so if you are not active on our Facebook page get on over there and join the fun. Charlie Watson is not only the NCC club coordinator but has also come up with some ideas for fun inter-club competition. His idea from Facebook:

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 11.40.03 AMThis year I propose we hold a competition that is more interactive and more personally oriented: Goading.

Let’s turn the “Challenge” into “Challenges” (friendly, fun challenges). Personally challenging a friend, training partner or training group into a duel. Use your own creativity, but be cautious; your pride is on the line.

Here is a basic example:
Joseph M Drees could challenge Keith Burtis to bike 100miles in a week. He could agree to it and they would decide some ground rules (independently on trainers, together in spin classes etc., ). At the end of the 5 days if Keith completed it and Joe did not because he is instead drinking busch light in some tree stand, I’m sure there would be some good spirited Facebook trash talking. We could also assign some point system to challenging and completing challenges. All the while building miles for our NCC.

Another good example:
Greg Murnock would challenge Jennifer Toth Astalos to his Birthday swim years x 100yds. Obviously they both would complete it because Greg is so young and they are both good swimmers. They would both get a point but Greg may get two for being the challenger.

A bad example:
I could challenge Joe Pautler to 20 running miles in a week. This would be in bad form because we all know Joe is recovering from knee surgery last year. He may counter challenge 10 miles in a week. It would still be a stretch for me right now.

Another bad example:
Jennifer Sullivan Bell could challenge Derek Bell to anything but because he’s a wimp and opted out of our Ragnar team this year due to “buying a house”, she may need to challenge someone better equaled to her abilities. (Oh snap)

All of the rules would still need to be ironed out but the basic rules are:
#1. this is for fun and fitness. But mostly for fun.
#2. you need to be in the NCC and probably should be in the BTC Facebook group for communicating purposes. And good old fashion group smack talking.
#3. Be creative with challenges but keep it NCC oriented so we build miles. We could create a point system so at the end of the competition in February maybe you’ve done 20 challenges and we can have a grand challenge prize winner.
#4. Keep your challenges within or near to your training plan. Let’s not make this “that winter when everyone got stress fractures”.
#5. Be cautious of who you challenge. e.g. Don’t challenge Josh Hanley and Kristina Marquez to run 100miles in Leadville because before you know it, you’re in Colorado running in the woods at 2am. There are various levels of crazy in this club. Stay within your level.

Lets have fun and stay fit this offseason. Join the NCC and challenge someone to a duel!


Winter Swim Tips & Pool Swim Opportunities

This week the BTC Blog is Swim focused. We have some winter swim tips from Russ Scherwitz, information on BTC winter swims as well as some information on the USAT National Challenge Competition. Enjoy.

Swim Tips from Russ: Taking Your Swimming to the Next Level in the “Off-Season”

So winter is upon us and besides a polar bear swim, all of our efforts are contained to the pool. How do you make the most of this time and improve your swimming? Here are some easy concepts to consider:
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  • Attend a swim clinic that focuses on rebuilding the stroke from the most basic concepts toward a full stroke
  • Try swimming more often versus more volume. Instead of 2 swims each week totaling 8000 yards, try 5 swims totaling 8000 yards. Increasing your exposure to the sport.
  • Make one swim each week a chance to play and explore how your body moves in the water. Add this into your workout plan and learn through experimentation and creativity. Possible concepts to learn – buoyancy, breath control, drills, speed play, sculling, and body alignment.
  • Hire a coach to work with you on your stroke – good coaches are worth this investment and can often make significant changes in a few hours
  • Enter a Masters swim meet! We have many opportunities to isolate the running discipline to gage our improvement, do the same for swimming and biking!
  • Add “drylands” to your swimming workout. Push-ups, squats, lunges, crunches, pull-ups, and other body weight exercises right on the pool deck between swims.
  • Remember that the fastest vessels are all pushed, rather than pulled. Work on developing a powerful finish to your stroke and really develop the kick. Come race day when you “shut your legs off” and 50% of your kick effort is better than others at 100%, you’ll reap the rewards of having a good kick in training.
  • Work on ankle flexibility and shoulder flexibility to increase range of motion for better propulsion in the water.
  • Develop your kinesthetic awareness. Being able to control your movements to greater degrees of accuracy and awareness is an important self-coaching tool that everyone needs.

Winter Organized and Open Swim Opportunities

ECC and UB PoolJoin us for Sunday morning BTC swims at the ECC Flickenger Center (across from the Buffalo Bison’s baseball stadium), hosted by Brad Boyle. Complete swim details can be found here.
Many BTC members also use the UB pool to do their swim training.  Although the UB pool has a variety of daily “open swim” times, we have designated Wednesday evenings, from 7:00pm-9:30pm, during the indoor swimming months (October – April), as “BTC group swims at UB.”  We do not provide any specific workouts, or coaching services.  However, this is a good time to get tips from experienced members as well as meet people in the club.

UB Pool Discount and Rates Information

swimmersIn order to access the UB pool, you must have a UB recreation membership (or purchase a 1-day pass for $5), howeverBTC members can purchase a discounted membership for $15 per month to get access to all of the UB facilities. Complete UB swim details.

USAT National Challenge Competition – Log Your Workouts!

Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 9.40.26 AMThe 2013-2014 National Competition Challenge (NCC) started on December 1st.  December is swim month!  This  FREE  3 month USAT club challenge  is where you log your own workout data into the USAT website and we (the BTC) compete as a team against other USAT registered triathlon clubs across the country.  Clubs are ranked each month, based on total training mileage.  We are also running our own contest within the BTC where members that reach certain monthly thresholds and are included in a raffle for prizes.  Did we mention that it is FREE!?  All you have to do is swim, bike, and run, and enter your workout data into a web form.  And, every mile helps!  Even if you only log 1 workout during the next 3 months that will still help to increase the total mileage for our club.

Our involvement in the NCC is being coordinated by Charlie Watson.  In order to participate you must send an email to Charlie, using the address, and include your name, your age, and your USAT number.  You must have a valid USAT number to participate.  Charlie will then register you, and you will receive an emai from USAT directly that will include your login credentials so that you can log your workout data.