This is less of a race report, and more of a review of the Indoor Triathlon that Lifetime Fitness put on.
The Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon in Ajax was my first indoor triathlon. The race was measured by time (10 minute swim, 30 minute bike, 20 minute run), and we were given points based on distance travelled. It’s a fun, welcoming format that works for everyone from first-timer to experienced athlete; we saw a couple people who couldn’t swim, but wanted to give it a shot, so they were walking back and forth in the pool.
We had 10 minutes to swim as far as we could. I’d swam 10 minutes in the pool a couple times this past week at a medium-hard effort to get an idea of how hard I could go for 10 minutes. Lisa and I shared a lane, and there was someone from Lifetime at one end keeping track of our laps. The gun went off and we were swimming. It was neat to be able to see everyone start without the normal malay of a triathlon start. I’ve never done any sort of a race in a pool so this was my first experience. I’d tried to practice flip turns over the past week, but I was very inconsistent with them, and often struggled for breath, so I decided to skip them. As I was swimming back and forth I began to notice that other swimmers in my heat began dropping off my pace (there were 10 or so heats total). Before I knew it we got the 5 minute warning, and then 2 minute warning. When I heard the 2 minute warning I went all out. I knew I could do 125-yards in that time but I wanted to stretch it to 150. I went as hard as I could and just made it by about a second to finish with 28-lengths for 700-yards.
Swim Results: 28 length, 700 yards
We had 10 minutes to get from the pool up to the bikes on the 3rd floor. The pool didn’t have too much chlorine, but I still wanted to shower off because I really dislike the chlorine smell when I’m sweating. I didn’t manage my time well because by the time I got to the bikes I only had 2 minutes to get set up. I’ve never ridden a spin bike before, so I wasn’t familiar with how they adjust. There were a couple people from Lifetime in the room to help people who didn’t know what they were doing get organized, and everything got sorted out and I was settled in just as it was time to ride.
The spin bikes showed watts, which would be great help in pacing. I wasn’t really sure what my pace should be. My FTP is currently about 315 (though I didn’t actually test it to get this number), so hypothetically I should be able to hold this number for 30 minutes and still run. Also, I’d heard the best result posted to that point was 13.1-miles covered, so a speed of at least 26.2mph was also a target. Through the first 5 minutes I was around 320-watts, but then I slowly began to pick it up. This meant my average speed was also going up, and since there were no hills or obstacles, it was easy to calculate how much distance I would cover if I maintained the pace I was on. 20-minutes in I was at 330-watt average and still pushing upwards. I was on pace to do 13.2-miles, but I wanted to push it a little further, since I didn’t know at what point that extra .1 mile would click over, and the clock could stop before it happened. I was in the mid-high 330’s with 2 minutes to go when I emptied the tank. I gave no regard to the fact I’d had to run after this and pushed as hard as I could. I finished with 13.4-miles, and I wish I noted what my watts were, but I wasn’t thinking straight and didn’t notice.
Throughout the ride, Ryan, an uber-strong local athlete, was riding next to me. Seeing him push big numbers definitely helped me to work hard and keep my pace rich (nobody’s ever criticized me for not being competitive).
Bike Results: 13.4 miles
For T2 we went down a floor to the treadmills. I had wanted to change into run shorts, and go to the bathroom, but there just wasn’t enough time. By the time I had got to the treadmills and laced up my shoes we were 1 minute until the start.
They yelled go and we were off, well sort of. We were inputting the speed we wanted to start out at into the treadmill screen and waiting for the belt to move. It did make things a little anti-climatic. I set the treadmill to 10. The belt finally got up to speed and I regretted my decision of 10. After 2-3 minutes I backed it off to 9.5. As I was running I was surprised at how slow the time seemed to go. In the swim and bike the time seemed to go by relatively fast, but the run was monotonous. I began inching my speed up by .1 every few minutes. I was working, but I didn’t feel low energy or any sort of stomach issues. By about 14 minutes I was back at 10 on the treadmill, and thinking to myself just 4 laps of the track to go. Around 17 minutes I went up to 10.5 and then not long after somewhere around 11.7. I visualized sprinting to a finish line. When they called time I had covered 3.28-miles.
Run Results: 3.28mi
The Lifetime Indoor Tri was a lot of fun. It was well organized, and Lifetime Ajax is an awesome facility. After everything was said and done I was surprised how sore I was. Having other people around motivated me to push harder than I could have doing a solo effort. This format is a great introduction to the sport for beginners, as well as a great workout for more experienced athletes. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and it’s something I’d absolutely do again.