Indoor triathlons: the closest to a race that many can find in the frigid winter. Winter is typically an off-season, whether you live in a warm climate or not. I know I miss the feeling of competing, and these events bring you a step closer. These races are meant for training and offer motivation due to their competitive nature, but that is where the similarities end. The main thing to understand is that these triathlons have a set time rather than distance. For example, a normal triathlon might have a 750-meter swim, a 15-kilometer bike, and a 5-kilometer run. The measurements of the indoor triathlons I do are a 10-minute swim, a 30-minute bike, and a 20-minute run. The facilities they take place in are all indoors, and the transitions are incredibly different. This post explains what these events typically are like and the way they work.
1. The Swim
The swim begins in the pool, with about two racers per lane.There are usually people on deck counting your laps, so all you need to worry about is swimming! You start in the pool and swim until the time is up, which will be indicated by a horn or another sound.During your last length, be sure to pass the dividing cone beside the middle of the pool. If you do, the length counts toward your distance, if not, it doesn’t. That’s how the swim leg works.
2. The Transition
The transition is very different in indoor triathlons. Instead of having to speed through and get out in order to keep a good time, you have about 5 minutes to change into your bike clothes (In a changing room) and bring running shoes up to the area where the event is taking place. Often there is a volunteer to guide you to the cycling area, and then you can begin your ride!
3. The Bike
The bike ride is done on stationary bikes, sometimes in a room used for cycling classes or they might be brought out to an open space near the running area. You usually have the option of wearing clip shoes or normal running shoes. The bike event is unique compared to the swim and runs as it is measured in average watts, so before going into it, be sure to know your goal range and try to stick to it throughout the ride. I recommend wearing bike shorts for this part, as it is a long time sitting and riding in place. Lastly, be sure to have water or a sports drink around, and bring it with you to the several events.
4. The Run
The run is done in two ways depending on the triathlon. If you’re lucky, they can be run on an indoor track. There will then be volunteers counting your laps as you come around. The last leg is commonly done, though, on a treadmill. They give you free reign
of the treadmill controls, so run at a speed that is comfortable for you, as well as the incline. I recommend using lock laces for your running shoes because you don’t to stop and have to tie them mid-race. Throw on your running shoes, and run until the time is up… that’s all there is to it!
In conclusion, indoor triathlons are a great way to add another dimension to off-season training and allow you to have a goal to work toward before the spring rolls around. If you’re interested, be sure to look up indoor triathlons near you!