IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Indoor Triathlon

What really ticks me off is that I wrote up a nice little entry on Sunday night about my experience at the indoor triathlon. Unfortunately, before I could post, I lost my internet connection as well as everything I had just typed up! How frustrating!!

The Midwest Indoor Tri-Classic Series ( is held about this time every year. It consists of 4 races at various premier clubs in the western suburbs of Chicago. To compete for series standings, you must participate in at least 3 of the 4 events, each of which is a 10 minute swim, 20 minute bike and 15 minute run. The athlete that covers the most distance wins.

There are a couple of problems with this format:
  • Calculating total distance equally among disciplines strongly favors the strong cyclist. If you're a really good biker, you can skip the swim entirely and still win this event. Some events use a weighted formula that corrects this discrepancy.
  • The bikes used are stationary bikes that cannot possibly be calibrated equally. Therefore, someone pedaling at a much higher level (i.e., gear) sometimes gets no further than the athlete who leaves the bike at an easy level, even if cadence is equal.

Then why enter an indoor triathlon, you ask? Well, it's fun. I did this series a few years ago and thought it was well-organized, the clubs they use are awesome and I thought an indoor triathlon was a good indication of my fitness. I no longer feel that an indoor triathlon is any great indicator of fitness level, but it was nice to see that I was able to run more laps this year than in years past. My favorite part of participating in the event this year was to see so many familiar faces I haven't seen in a while. I also was able to meet some really great people.

Even though I'm not a huge fan of the indoor triathlon, I do feel it's a good way for a newbie to become acquainted with the sport. I know there are some pretty strong opinions of indoor triathlons out there. Do you participate? Why? Why not? What would you change to improve them?

1 comment:

Griz said...

Yeah, i was thinking about it this year but could not get motivated when I heard there was 10 min. in between swim, bike and run. Also I do not know how to flip in the pool. I would still only be able to do 500 meters in that time. 10 min on the bike I would only be getting warmed up. I might be able to do a little over 2 miles on the run. I look forward to outdoor activities when the weather let up and the snow melts.