Things got real this week an impromptu Lifetime indoor triathlon that my friend Colleen and I did while while I was visiting family at home in Michigan. We signed up for the time-based event (10-min. swim/30-min. bike/20-min. run) on a bit of a whim because the theme was, “Inspiration Without Intimidation,” so it seemed like the perfect way to ease into racing season.
Final results are still TBA (update: I finished fourth among the ladies and twelfth overall) but I’m happy with my performance. The swim, as expected, still needs some work. I completed maybe 17 or so (update: 17.5) lengths of the pool before the whistle blew, but I never got my breath under control enough to get into a real rhythm.
I did make up for it on the bike because we were allowed to keep a low resistance while spinning, so I tried to maintain a quick cadence and a speed in the 46-50 mph range. After a half hour, I hit 23.9 miles, and even got a kudos from my lane partner from the pool because we were pacing off each other for most of the ride.
Before we knew it, it was time to hit the treadmill, which requires a very different mindset from running outdoors while racing. As long as we kept the incline at zero, we could set it to whatever pace we wanted, which is definitely more art than science when you’re used to running more by feel towards the end of an event.
I warmed up with a minute at 6.8, then decided to push it up .2 mph faster every two minutes for as long as I could maintain it. There were a few minutes around the 8.8 and 9.0 mphs points where I almost hesitated when it came time to speed up, but knowing that there were just a few more minutes to go helped me hold on.
Well, that, and the fact that my new racing buddy next to me had his speed set to 10.7 mph near the end. My competitive juices started flowing; I wasn’t racing him, per se, but the fact that he was still going strong made me realize I could give more, as well. So I kicked it up to 9.7 mph for the last minute to hit 2.8 miles at the end of our 20 minutes.
I highly recommend an indoor race if you’re wanting to test the triathlon waters. Not only is it a great way to get a feel for the flow of the different disciplines (and the transitions in-between), but it’s also the most controlled environment possible for an event.
Bonus: It’s also smart to do it with a good friend, so you can help each other wrestle into your respective spandex outfits after the swim portion; we all had a few good laughs in the locker room trying to streamline that process!
Here’s what the rest of the week looked like from the training plan…
Week 4 Olympic Distance Training Plan – planned & (actual):
- Swim 60 min. (50-min. pool swim)
- Bike 60-90 min. / Run 30 min. off the bike (55-min. spin & 25-min. treadmill run)
- Swim 60 min. (Lifetime Indoor Tri: 10-min. swim, 30-min. bike, 20-min. run)
- Easy run, 45-60 min. (60-min. runch)
- Rest or active recovery (rest/travel)
- Long bike, 90-150 min (45-min. recumbent bike)
- Long run, 9-12 miles (9-mile treadmill run)
And here’s a few highlights from the week, starting with a “Ladies Who Runch” edition of our Monday SweatGuru run. It was just Maria and me this week, as most of the usual crew was traveling or recovering from last week’s LA Marathon.
Tuesday was a travel/rest day, as I said goodbye to San Francisco for a bit. I heard I left some pretty amazing weather behind, but was rewarded with this parting shot from the plane on my way out.
Quite a different view from my current one, which is winter in the Midwest — and that means one thing: Snow. Throw in some cold temperatures, wind chills and ice for good measure, and you’ve got a recipe for a modified training schedule.
Especially when the roads look like this; the last thing you want to do is leave the warm house and go jump in a pool. But I did it! It’s all about being flexible and changing with the environment to hit your mileage for the week.
And as much as I wanted to get another run in outside, the fluctuating temperatures and weather conditions have made it more of a gym-based training week, which is fine by me. It’s fun to switch things up, especially when you can enjoy a nice view during your treadmill runs.
And I’m loving this pool. I used to be a member at Lifetime Fitness when I lived in Michigan and Illinois, so coming back for some workouts always feels like a happy homecoming — especially when I have the lap pool to myself. No better ‘me’ time than an empty pool and 2,000 meters!
Stay tuned for week five…