Training Tips: Why Try an Indoor Tri?

February 23rd, 2015 by Team OAM NOW / Athletic Mentors

By Roxane Kippen, Team OAM Now Triathlete

poolEvery winter, I aim to make myself endure 45 minutes of intense pain at least once. This winter, I decided to do it three times. What is this torture and why would anyone subject him or herself to such a thing? It is called indoor triathlon.

I hear the question a lot, “What is an indoor tri?” Most indoor triathlons are formatted so participants swim laps in a pool for 15 minutes, ride a stationary bike or bike on a trainer for 15 minutes and run on a track or treadmill for 15 minutes, while volunteers keep track of your distances. Duration and point conversions for scoring vary, but the basic idea is to go as hard as you can for short, timed segments

Then the next question I get is, “Why on earth would you want to do that?” While teammate Raquel Torres is off racing in the southern hemisphere, and teammates Kaitlyn Patterson and Alex Vanias are tearing up the Nordic Ski world, I need a way to motivate and test myself during winter training months. Indoor triathlons are a great way to do a speed check  and can also be used as a field test for capturing heart rate, which can then be used in setting zones for training workouts. Indoor triathlon series are even better because the test can be repeated in an essentially controlled environment and an athlete does not have to worry about water conditions or wind variables. In other words, in addition to being motivation, indoor tris can be a valuable training tool.

bikeIndoor tris are also an excellent introduction to the world of three disciplines. For newer triathletes, or those that have never done a triathlon, indoor tri is a great way to try it out in a controlled, safe environment. I would highly recommend that anyone thinking of doing his or her first triathlon this year check out one of the remaining indoor triathlons in the area first to get a sense of what the multi-sport event is all about, but also to get a gauge of what kind of training you’ll need to continue in the off season.


gogglesAll you need to get started are some goggles and a pair of running shoes! In fact, there are quite a few opportunities coming up in the area for you to check out. Don’t be afraid to give them a try!

March 1 – Spring Lake Community Fitness and Aquatic Center Indoor Triathlon

March 21 – IronBAC Indoor Triathlon

March 29 – David D. Hunting YMCA Indoor Triathlon

March 29 – GVSU Try-a-Tri




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