This weekend we took a road trip to the other side of the state for a little indoor triathlon action. Before this weekend we really didn’t know much about this event, we just knew it sounded fun and a little different and we had a friend of a friend who lived nearby and offered us a place to stay. So, as usual we were ALL IN!
So we did a little swimming, took a couple of spin classes and of course started marathon training. We had some open questions about how all this was supposed to work. How would the YMCA feel about us dripping through there corridors? What should we wear to swim and how was that going to translate into the bike and run? What kind of bike was it and how did they figure out the distance you biked? What we did know was that you had 15 minutes for each activity and 5 minutes for transitions. So we figured squeeze as much as you can into each 15 minute segment. Our gracious hosts filled us in on some specifics over a glass of wine on Saturday evening since they had done this event, and similar ones before.
Things I was very happy to hear:
– You get a lane to yourself in the pool – no overtaking or being “swum-over” required!
– Someone counts laps for you during the swim – I lose count over about 8 lengths on a good day!
– The bike leg was likely on a trainer – resolving all questions about whether an exercise bike racks up more miles on a higher resistance level!
Thing I was not so happy to hear:
– The run would be on a track above the basketball court….yes, there was a sign….18 laps=1 mile…I think I recently read about someone running a sub 3 hr marathon on an indoor track. This person has my complete and utter admiration!
We arrived at the Y in Muskegon, which is picturesquely positioned on the waterfront, on a slightly damp 30 degree morning at which point our 5 yr old cheerleader said in a slightly alarmed voice “is that where you have to swim? It looks kinds deep…..” She may have just been concerned about how she was going to get a ride home, but we appreciated the concern and reassured her that we were swimming in the pool!
We were about 30 mins before my heat, we were in different heats, and after getting our numbers epic-ally sharpied onto our arms (something we had joked about doing ourselves not realizing that they would take care of it for us!) So we managed to walk the transitions, the pool, bike room and track were quite far apart within the building and make a plan of where to strategically dump our stuff!
TThen it was time for me to get into the pool. I knew that 15 minutes was a decent amount of time to swim for, so I focused on not going out too crazily. They counted by the lap, with half a length counting as a 1/4 lap and were kind enough to let you know when there was 10 minutes remaining, 5 minutes remaining (thank goodness nearly done!) and 1 minute left! 12 laps down.
After the pool I grabbed a towel and headed up the stairs to the bike room. I had swam in my shorts and sports bra and stashed my socks, shoes and shirt in the bike room to avoid a trip back to the locker room to change out of a swimsuit. The bikes were really nice Trek road bikes set up on trainers with computers (that a local bikestore had apparently bought for the indoor triathlon series – what great support!) Since we had 5 minutes for the transition I had a little time to make sure that the seat height was correct and get into the right gear, and the rest of my heat made it in plenty of time. Then we were off to cycle for 15 minutes. I definitely had a better idea of what I could sustain for 15 minutes on a bike from spinning class. I made it just over 7 miles.
After jumping off the bike, we made our way up the stairs to the track above the basketball court. They positioned half of the heat on one end of the track and the other half on the other to try to spread everyone out and had volunteers to count the laps. I knew that I could go pretty much all out for 15 minutes and my legs didn’t feel too bad after the run, but the track was slightly banked in the corners and the surface wasn’t very grippy. A sign on the wall said that 18 laps = 1 mile, and apparently I made in through 38 in 15 minutes.
So, that was that! It all went by pretty quickly! I made my way back down to the locker room to change and cheer Kacey on in the pool. Here are the final results. Definitely a fun event, and a great introduction to triathlon without the open water swim or needing much equipment.