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Lifetime Indoor Tri Hour

Date: January 7, 2017
Event: Lifetime Indoor Tri Hour
Results: Click Here

Lifetime positions its indoor tri event as an introduction to the beginner tri-athlete and the “tri-curious”. Give or take, about 1/3 of participates are newbies. But what about the other 2/3?

The competition is open to both members and non-members. It is a great opportunity to check out this posh club and experience all it has to offer.

The Indoor Tri is a time based competition. There is a 10 minute swim, where laps in a 25 yard pool are counted. You swim two to a lane. With only 6 lanes, there can be up to 8 waves and staggered starts.

There is a 30 minute bike on a stationary Stages bike. The bike estimates speed and calculates distance based on power. This means to go farther, you have to turn the tension up. Way up!

Finally, there is a 20 minute treadmill run. The faster you run, the farther you go. Simple enough.

To keep things moving safely, there is a fixed 10 minute transition between the swim and the bike and 5 minutes between the bike and run. It’s all over in 75 minutes guaranteed.

The Indoor Tri is offered in January and again in April. Regardless of the competition, it is an excellent benchmark of fitness for all three disciplines.

But competition? OMG there is plenty of that! Veterans and pros attend. This gets to be serious business in a hurry, with plenty of people from the previous waves looking over your shoulder to keep you honest and cheer you on. Yes, it is possible to laugh and joke around running on a treadmill at 10.5 mph!

This time I managed 20 laps in the pool. That is four laps more than last time. Yippee! I have finally achieved a decent but mediocre result in the water. The winner did 31 laps! And he is a 2017 Ironman Pro. Check out Daniel Clarke’s vlog on the day here.

This time I managed 11.2 miles on the bike (about 212 watts average). This is a touch low, but no different than last year. I have not been doing much on the bike so no complaints. That written, the best results are claimed by the “big men” who own absolute power and can crush it. Again, check out Daniel Clarke with his mind blowing 370 watts average!

This time I managed 3.11 miles on the treadmill. This is, by my standards, a touch slow. But wait! Coming back from an injury layoff and a dance with the flu bug, and I’ll take a 20 minute 5k off the bike any day. Further, the entire effort was painless, and included a few minutes clipping along at 3:30 min/km pace. Last year I suffered on almost every run so this felt wonderful. My hamstring rehab is definitely making good progress.

I do continue to criticize the scoring system. Each part of the race is ranked equally on roll-down points. That means the swim counts for just as much as the bike and the run. It also means that weaker swimmers (like me) don’t stand a chance. In an outdoor tri, the swim rarely makes or breaks your day. So that part just doesn’t seem right. Everyone knows about it and talks about it. But so far, Lifetime won’t change its scoring system. I will not give up lobbying for it.

And, as I was third in the run overall, there is little incentive to chase down the top guy, and I am one of the few who is able. But for what? Two more points? That’s for bragging rights and not much more. I can gripe all I want, the truth is I just need to shut up and become a better swimmer.

Nonetheless, the event is still an excellent fitness test and benchmark. This point alone will see me back again in April to test my progress.

Author

Born and raised in Hamilton & Stoney Creek. Ran X-Country in high school, but not really special at it - a middle of the pack finisher. But then again, really didn't know how to train. Didn't run after Gr 12 due to nasty shin splints. Really never ran in proper shoes back then. Didn't try to run again until age 30. Then tried. And tried. And tried. Shin splints every time. Finally got it going for good at 38 in proper shoes and I have vowed never, ever, to stop running again.

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