Review Wednesday has a new installment this week.
I have faced the challenge of a triathlon before. In fact I faced the task of a 70.3 Race in heat over 100 degrees just last June. But this weekend I attempted a new type of triathlon that is hard to prepare for. I did my first indoor triathlon at Bradley University this Saturday. Although indoor triathlons do not include the long miles found in outdoor triathlons, it does include very intense workouts meant to have you push yourself constantly for the entire time.
I got to the rec center on campus that morning around 7:20am (my swim wave was at 8:40am) prepared for what I thought would be a fun and exciting new adventure but I was in for a surprise. I got prepared and got into the pool and started my day full of intensity, at a level I have not practiced at in a long time.
Bradley’s pool is only 6 lanes of 25 yards each in a room with one wall of windows. The sun outside made the room bright and the pool warmer than usual. The swim wave consisted of 12 people so we were sharing lanes and I was stuck on the half lane closest to the wall. I only hoped to not hit the top of the wall during one of my strokes (luckily this nightmare did not occur).
As the initial whistle blew I told myself to calm down and take it nice and slow. The swim was for 10 minutes and my goal was to go 500 yards, or 10 full laps of the pool. I got the first couple of laps completed I realized I felt good and was ahead of my pace. I continued to push the pace but as I did I realized something was wrong. I broke my nose in high school and since then I have had issues with water getting into my nose. With that issue I wear a nose piece when I swim but in the middle of a lap at Bradley it fell off. The crazy part was, I kept going with basically no issue afterwards. I finished the session with 575 yards completed, blowing away my goal of 500 yards.
After the swim we had a quick turn around to get to the bikes. The bikes were set up along a wall on their indoor soccer/hockey court. They were very comfortable bikes and I was most impressed with the handlebars and how comfortable they were. The bikes had bike computers on them so we could constantly see our RPMs and distance as we pedaled. Above us we could see the track and the runners from the earlier heat. Also there was plenty of music playing to keep your mind off the business at hand.
I began with a high resistance and an average cadence (95 RPMs) but soon realized it would be better to have a lower resistance and a higher RPM. I lower the resistance until I could maintain around 105 RPMs. I kept this until the last 5 minutes when I continued to increase the resistance during the final push. My goal for the bike was around 8 miles, but it is tough to judge this goal because each indoor bike measures a little differently. I ended up going 8.2 miles which I am a little disappointed with after seeing the other results. I believe the bike is where I need to work the most in order to accomplish my goals.
Not the best posture, but I am putting in the miles!
After the bike my legs felt pretty good and I was going into my best event. I have been a runner for years now and I am confident in myself to push through the pain and to keep running. My goal was to run 2 miles in the 15 minutes allotted, which was 16 laps of the track. I started off at a conservative pace knowing I needed to get my legs back before I pushed too hard. Soon I was up at the pace I felt comfortable with and was on my way. As the time ticked by my legs began to ache from the previous cycling and running efforts. I pushed through and at the 2 minutes left mark I was only one lap away from 2 miles. I completed the lap and a little more, eventually clocking in with a 7:22 min/mi pace for the 15 minutes.
I was happy with my performance and beat all of my pre-race goals. After my work was calculated they estimated my spring triathlon finish time to be 1:05:42, enough for 30 place out of 90 competitors. I am happy with my placing and it shows my training is paying off. I do not consider myself one of the faster people, in fact I have always thought of myself as an endurance person before I was a speed demon but this shows that with practice I can get faster. This provided me with some confidence that I can use for motivation for my longer distances in the summer and fall.
The biggest news of the weekend is by participating in this triathlon, I have qualified for the NCAA Triathlon Collegiate Championships in Clemson, SC in April! Excited, and cannot wait to participate.