Twelve in 2012I’m considering it my second race of the year even though it probably should more accurately be described as a training event.
By: Carolyn Bray, The Republican Eagle
I’m considering it my second race of the year even though it probably should more accurately be described as a training event.
In our quest to do 12 races in 2012, my husband, Chad, and I were looking for an event in February that would keep us training between the Polar Dash 5K on Jan. 1 and the Get Lucky 7K run on St. Patrick’s Day.
There aren’t many February races to choose from. We decided to sign up for one of the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon events.
These triathlons are set up a little differently than normal triathlons. You start with a 10-minute swim in the pool where your goal is to get as many laps in as you can during that time frame. After the swim you have a 10-minute transition to get out of your suit and into the spinning studio.
There you shift gears and spend 30 minutes on a spinning bike where they have a device attached to your front wheel that calculates distance. Following the bike you have a 5-minute transition to get to the cardio room and get on a designated treadmill. You then run for 20 minutes on the treadmill and they record your distance when you are done.
The way the event is scored is based on how you compare to other athletes. For example, if there are 100 athletes and you cover the farthest distance in any of the three legs, you get 100 points. If you complete the shortest distance, you get 1 point.
We competed in the event at the Maple Grove Lifetime Fitness on Sunday morning. The biggest reason we decided to do this event is because of how non-threatening the swimming leg is. Chad is still just learning how to swim laps and is trying to train for the Wingman Triathlon this summer.
These indoor triathlons don’t require you to swim a designated distance and instead let you swim (and rest) as much as you want during the 10-minute time frame.
Eighty-one athletes competed Sunday. I swam 16.5 laps in my 10 minutes to score 31 points, biked 12.2 miles in 30 minutes to score 14 points and ran 1.67 miles in 20 minutes to earn 17 points for a grand total of 62 points. That earned me 68th place overall out of 81 athletes.
Chad completed 10 laps in his 10 minutes for 4 points (which he knew was obviously going to be his weakness) but then made up some ground with 16.2 miles on the 30-minute bike for 57 points and 2.58 miles on the treadmill for 70 points. He took 39th place overall.
The top swimmer did 29 laps during the time frame, while the top biker logged 19.3 miles and the best runner did 3.23 miles on the treadmill.
My favorite parts of the event were working out in the best fitness facility I’ve ever seen, being able to race next to Chad for the entire event and the fact that my hourlong workout went extremely fast and was a ton of fun.
My biggest laugh of the day was during the swimming leg. I touched the wall after my 16th lap and looked up at the scorekeeper in my lane. He told me I had 16 seconds left and that I could probably get another half lap in. Both he and Chad yelled at me to “GO! GO!” and then once I pushed off the wall, the scorekeeper made fun of Chad for just standing in the shallow end and yelling at me to swim more. Turns out that extra half lap moved me up from 71st overall to 68th.
My least favorite part of the event was the cycling portion. The spinning bikes are only able to calculate distance and not cadence. So athletes could set the resistance as light as they wanted. Some people were spinning as fast as humanly possible and were bouncing up and down off their cycle seat. They definitely got more distance than I did because I chose to make the cycling portion more realistic to an outdoor experience. I put my resistance in the middle and just focused on biking for a good 30 minutes.
In the end, we really just wanted the event to be something we could train for and have fun competing in. We weren’t there to win any awards (you’ll soon learn that I will be saying that about every race this year!)
This indoor triathlon was a perfect training experience and we’ve already started looking at future dates that might work with our crazy schedules.
If we do sign up for another one, however, I will definitely not feel comfortable counting it as another one of my 12 races in 2012. But it would be cool to see if we can make some big improvements — who knows maybe I’ll be yelling at Chad to get his extra half lap next time.
If you have any questions about this event or suggestions for my next 10 races, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.