Toronto Triathlon Club Indoor Tri Race Report

Toronto Triathlon Club Indoor Tri Race Report

March 20 Toronto Triathlon Club (TTC) held it’s first Indoor Triathlon at Ryerson.  The 15min swim was in a 25-yard pool, the 20min bike was using your own bike on Wahoo Kickr’s, and the 15min run was on an indoor 140m track.

I was in the last wave at 11:30AM, this meant sleeping in.  Check-in was relatively easy, our bikes were tagged with our numbers, a volunteer would set it up when it was time, and then we headed down to the pool.  There was some miss communication on TTC’s end which meant that Lisa and I wouldn’t be competing together, she ended up in the wave just before me at 11:00AM.

10 minutes before my wave started we could get into the pool to warm up.  I had never swam at the Ryerson pool before, and it felt a bit off.  I’m not sure if it was the lighting, but the wall seemed to sneak up on you.  As I swam I felt like there was still room for another stroke, but then there wasn’t.  I was warned about this by someone in an earlier wave, which likely saved my head from hitting the wall.  In my warmup I did a couple quick 100’s to try to figure out what I thought I could do in 15minutes.  In the 25-yard pool a hard 100 was about 1:15, so I decided I’d try to hold 1:20, which would give me 45 lengths.  There was a clock at the end that I’d try to glance at it after each 100 while I was turning.

Swim

After adjusting to the pool in my warmup it was a straight forward swim.  I was against the wall on the left side of the pool.  Off the start I went hard to try to get into a fast tempo.  I felt like I was swimming good, but not great.  I just wasn’t focused on my stroke like I should have been.  There was a ladder at the end of the pool that made it difficult for me to see the clock as I was trying to quickly turn.  This really didn’t make a difference, it just meant I wasn’t able to keep track of how far through the swim I was.  I ended up swimming 43.5 lengths for 1,087.5yards, or 980m.

T1

Unlike the Lifetime Indoor Tri this race didn’t have defined transition times.  I liked that at Lifetime the next sport started at a specific time whether you were there or not.  I quickly washed my hair and rinsed off to try to get the smell of chlorine off of me.

Bike

I hadn’t ridden on a Wahoo Kickr previously.  Everyone was riding a course that had some ups and downs, so you’d have to switch gears.  My trainer at home doesn’t adjust resistance, so it took me a minute or two to realize that I would need to switch gears.  I started at about 330W and I worked my way up from there.  I told myself that this was a FTP test, and I’d just try to slowly turn the screws and crank up the power for 20 minutes.  I had a bottle on my bike and drank almost the whole thing in 20 minutes.  I finished with a NP of 351 and AP of 350, completing 12.24km of the course.

T2

I towelled myself off, switched into running shoes, and then went next door to the track.

Run

The track at Ryerson is a rectangle with sharp, banked corners.  We had 15 minutes, and someone would be counting our laps.  On the gun I took off and quickly realized that trying to hug the inside was just an injury waiting to happen.  Instead I approached the corner wide, cut it, and then finished wide.  It also was very difficult to pace, between running around people, and 4 corners per 30 seconds I never really got into a rhythm.  When they announced 5min to go I picked it up as much as I could.  By the end of the run the outside of my left foot was really sore, I expect from all the turns.  In the end I was told I ran 30 laps.  I lost count of my laps after 5 or so, and there seemed to be some confusion when I finished, so I’m not positive this number is accurate.

On the track

On the track

Thoughts

I really enjoy indoor tri’s, I think they’re a great way to get in a really tough workout in the winter.  It also helps break up the normal winter training and help stoke those competitive fires.  I was happy with my bike, I thought my swim was alright, and I don’t really have thoughts on my run.  I definitely enjoyed myself, and was surprised at the number of volunteers to help things run well.  I only have the Lifetime Indoor Tri to compare this event to, and it really isn’t a fair comparison because Lifetime holds hundreds of indoor tris every year.  The only thing that would really hold me back from doing this race again is the indoor running track.  The turns are too tight, and the track is too narrow to do a 15min run.  If it was an 8min run, or they used treadmills I think it would work a lot better.

Achilles 5k Race Report

Achilles 5k Race Report

March 13 was the Achilles 5k.  One of the nice things about this race is the start/finish is only 500m from my condo, which made pre-race logistics super simple.  This would only be my second 5k race.  I did the Ajax 5k back in 2014 when I was training for the Chicago Marathon.  During that time I was completely focused on running, and I ran 17:17 at that race.  I haven’t done much high end speed work this year, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I pulled sub18:00 out of thin air as the time I wanted to run.

*One thing I wanted to note, I do not think a hard 5k is easy given that most of my races are much longer.  A 5k run well really hurts.  It starts hurting early on and doesn’t stop until after the finish line.

Pre Race

The race didn’t start until 10:30, so I went for a swim before the race.  I really didn’t think a 30 minute swim a couple hours before the race would hurt my run, and it might even be a good warmup to get my heart pumping.  I had an english muffin after my swim, and then waited until about 10:15 to head over to the start.  I never do too much of a proper warmup before a race.  As I made the short run over to the start I accelerated to max speed a couple times.  I figured that was good.

The Race

I lined up near the front, the gun went and we were off.  I usually check my watch a lot when I run.  I calculate my pace, what pace I need to hold to finish in X time, etc.  I didn’t do that this race.  I checked my watch when it went off for km splits, but otherwise I just ran.  As I mentioned, I haven’t done much hard running, but I have done a lot of really hard bike workouts.  Early on as I settled into a pace I told myself this is just an FTP test; it’ll be done in less than 20 minutes, it’s going to hurt, and it may even hurt early, but you will make it.

The 5k was out and back in the shape of a ‘C’ on streets I was familiar with.  After the first couple hundred meters the race really thinned out in front of me.  There was a gap that had opened up in front of me of about 25m to the next runner.  As we ran along Wellington, the longest section of the course, the gap was holding at about the same distance.  I made it to the turnaround in about 8:28.  On the way back I began closing in on 3 runners in front of me.  I focused on running tall and kicking at the back of my stride to take full advantage of the tail-wind.  The runners just up the road were the carrot for me all the way back on Wellington, and I made it past them before we turned back onto Spadina.  At that point the next runner was well up the road and the wind was no longer at my back, it was just a matter of toughing it out for about 4 minutes to the finish.  I was red-lining all the way to the finish, and one of the guys I had passed on Wellington came back around me within sight of the finish line.  I was already going all out and had no response for him.  I crossed the finish line in 16:53, a new PB.

Coming into the finish (thanks for the photo Maria)

Coming into the finish (thanks for the photo Maria)

Result: 16:53, 3:23/km pace, 11th overall

Post Race Thoughts

I learned a bunch of things at this race:

  • I always believed the best way to run faster is run.  I still believe this to be true, but I now believe there is more carry over fitness from the bike that translates to the run than I once thought.
  • I should look at my watch less and run more.  Often in races I’m checking my watch every couple minutes to ensure my pace is steady.  I didn’t do that this time, I just ran.  I think that relying too heavily on my watch could hold me back at times if I’m seeing numbers I’m not used to seeing (i.e. pace under 3:30/km), especially in such a short race.
  • This result means that when I do get back to regular track workouts and intervals (which I plan to this week) I need to raise my expectations for my paces.  I find the mental aspect plays a major role in tough workouts.  I need to wrap my head around expecting to run some faster times in my speed work.