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.