Race Report – Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri

Okay, so it wasn’t really a race.  But there is a results page, so it counts.  Plus I learned a lot.

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So backing up.  A few weeks ago, Laura mentioned to me that her gym was doing an indoor tri and asked if I wanted to join her.  For $30, it seemed like an interesting idea.  A good way to test out doing all three sports in a short period of time.  Sure, it doesn’t replicate a real triathlon, but at the very least, it sounded like a good workout.

So here’s the setup:

  • Swim – 10 minutes
  • “T1” – 10 minutes
  • Bike – 30 minutes
  • “T2” – 5 minutes
  • Run – 20 minutes

I put the transitions in quotes because it’s nothing like a real transition in an outdoor tri.  The first transition was ten minutes to give you time to change out of swimwear and into run/bike gear.  Laura had a good idea though –  do the tri in my triathlon gear!  I don’t have my Team Fight stuff yet, but I do have a cute outfit from SkirtSports that I will probably use for my tri in June.  So that’s what I did.

I was a little nervous as to how this would go, but I kept telling myself that it was all for fun.  And hey, I got a nice HeadSweats visor out of the deal too.

First, the swim.  I made the traditional newbie mistake and started out too fast.  Considering my heart rate issues, that’s clearly something I shouldn’t do.  I really struggled in the beginning because of it.  Definitely a bad move and something that I have to watch out for next time.  But eventually, things calmed down and I kept swimming.  I got in 15 lengths, or 375 meters.   Not the slowest, but I could have done better.  I liked swimming in my tri gear though.  It’s a bit loose in my midsection, so it spins a bit as I rotate my body, but it really made me feel the rotation, plus if it were tighter, I wouldn’t feel as confident in the bike and run.

Next up, the bike.  We were on spin bikes, which is a new experience for me.  That clearly doesn’t translate into outdoor bike miles, but it was a good strong workout.  Definitely something I need to continue to work on.  The nice thing about outdoor biking is the option to coast on occasion.

Finally, the run.  My gear was still a little wet, and I noticed that it was pulling down a bit, but not visibly so.  Still comfortable though.  And it definitely helped keep me cool.  The downside?  I’m not a sprinter, so 20 minutes of a run isn’t all that great, but I pushed it as much as possible.

Over all, it was a pretty great morning.  I wasn’t great, but I did my best and it has definitely taught me where I need to train over the next few months.

Edited to add:

Results are up!  I wasn’t last!  You get points based on blah blah blah, but I wanted to write down how I did so that for next time, I have something to beat.

Swim lengths: 15 (375 meters)
Bike miles: 18.3 (if only that translated to outdoor miles)
Run miles: 1.65

4 thoughts on “Race Report – Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri

  1. Fascinating. Thank you for sharing.

    When you say tri gear, do you mean wet suit?

    I had been thinking about renting a wet suit but my trainer (who is a real triathlete) told me that he just buys inexpensive wet suits from an inexpensive online source (Swim Outlet I think he said). I must confess I had not really given much consideration to wet suits prior to working with someone with real experience. My theory was that since the triathlon I am thinking about is in July, so even in Rhode Island the water temps should be in the mid-sixties — but my trainer told me that the other benefit of a wet suit is that it gives you added buoyancy, which also can reduce fatigue from swimming.

    He told me he wears a sleeveless wet suit because he finds the sleeves to be restrictive (let’s just say he has well-developed arm & shoulder muscles) — but his wife (who also is a triathlete… and a fitness trainer at a different YMCA) prefers a full suit because she is small and feels cold in the ocean even in the summer.

    I’ve got to get moving on my training because I think I will need all four months to get to the point where I have enough stamina to handle all three sections (plus the transitions).

    My trainer’s advice to me about swimming technique is to mostly use freestyle (a/k/a Australian crawl or front crawl) but then periodically switch to the breast stroke because that lets you get your head up higher to check the swimming traffic and to check your position relative to the buoys that mark the course.

    He also has suggested including the use of an Expresso bike when I am training indoors. (Our Y has two Expresso bikes in addition to the more usual exercise bikes.) These bikes have a flat panel display showing the course you are riding. There are a series of built-in courses (at different levels of difficulty) and you have to shift gears and the effort varies according to hills and your current gear setting. It is more difficult and more realistic than a regular exercise bike — and it is connected to the Internet so the results of each ride are stored and displayed for you when you log in to their website http://www.expresso.net — I’ve taken two rides and I do like them — the best, of course, is to ride outside, but that isn’t always practical (or safe) so then the Expresso (or CyberCycle) is as close as you can get to reproducing the ever-changing levels of effort in real bike riding. (Did an 8 mile ride with my daughter on Saturday — first outdoor bike ride since autumn — oh, it was so cold — low 40s and windy.)

    I also have to start running soon. I got on a treadmill at the Y on Sunday and covered a mile, alternating between walking and jogging. My left foot is still not happy with that (and I keep mentally picturing putting stress on the steel plate and screws). I have another post-op visit coming up with my podiatrist next Monday.

    Good luck with your training — and thanks again for sharing…

  2. Thanks for the info, Jim! This is really useful!

    When I say tri gear, I mean just my kit, no wetsuit. My longer tri won’t be wetsuit legal (August in MD) and my shorter one is too short to make it worth it. Also, I’ve got a good amount of natural buoyancy – though I can see where it would be helpful for someone with less body fat.

    I don’t actually belong to a gym, so my only option for indoor riding is my bike in my trainer, but I try to tighten it up to make the ride a bit tougher. I’m hoping to get the bike outside soon – maybe this weekend if the weather holds.

    As for swimming, the open water sighting is what I’m most concerned about. It’s not something you can legitimately practice in a pool, but I figure I’ll just do my best.

  3. Way to go! It sounds like the indoor tri was a great way to see how your training is coming along. I’m looking forward to future tri training updates!

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