Iowa Indoor Triathlons 2016: Race Reports

Iowa Indoor Triathlons 2016: Katherine's Race Reportby Katherine A. Roccasecca

This year it is my intention to race every single central Iowa indoor triathlon. And this will be a season-long indoor triathlon race report. Winter is the perfect time for me to focus on triathlon. And I want to share my love the unique sport of indoor triathlon with you.

I began getting active in 2009 and immediately gravitated to the sport of triathlon. I love all aspects of it... balancing the three sports, all the cool gear, figuring out just how fast I can change my shoes! But gradually I began focusing on mountain biking and now devote all my summers to that sport.

This winter, I will collect all my triathlon race reports here. If you live in Iowa, I hope you find them useful in choosing some of these races for yourself. If you live elsewhere, I hope you find them entertaining and hope you share the races in your area with us in the comments.

Life Time Fitness Indoor Triathlon Hour

Katherine enjoyed her run at the Life Time Fitness Indoor Triathlon HourLife Time Fitness Indoor Triathlon Hour
10 minute pool swim, 30 minute exercise bike, 20 minute treadmill run
Urbandale, Iowa
Sunday, January 3, 2016

Life Time Fitness is a super nice facility. Very fancy, all wood and carpet and potted plants. I felt a little bad about sweating all over everything. Though, if it were closer and I had a membership, I'm sure I could get used to working out there. Lots of equipment, lots of natural light.

The pool area was spacious, with a large warm-water rec pool that had lap lanes at one end and a cooler 5-lane lap swimming pool where the race was being held. I was able to get a 500 yard warmup while the wave ahead of me was competing.

The swim leg was 10 minutes to try to swim as far as you can. I completed 23.5 lengths (587.5 yards). There were a total of 67 people in the race (women and men combined). The person who swam the most lengths got 67 points; the person with the fewest got one point. I did fairly well compared to the field and earned 51 points.

Transition was 10 minutes long. It took everyone in my group too long to get changed and up to the cycling studio, so we didn't get a countdown. I didn't realize that the gal touching my computer was the start of the race. Actually, the race had started 30 seconds prior to her touching my computer. It took me a bit even after that to figure out how to make this brand bike give me the best result. So I wasted some time there. Other waves didn't seem to have as much trouble, so I guess that's just the way it goes some days.

The bike leg was 30 minutes long. I got 10.2 miles which was good enough to score 36 points, just above the midpoint of the whole field, so that made me happy enough.

The second transition was only 5 minutes, but all we had to do was walk out the door of the cycling studio and change our shoes before stepping on the treadmills.

The final leg was 20 minutes to run as far as you can. I got 1.87 miles, but what I'm proud of is that I ran 17 of the 20 minutes and only walked 3. For me, that's a big accomplishment. That scored me 13 points.

I had 100 points total and finished in the top third of women. The Life Time Fitness Indoor Triathlon Hour was my first triathlon since last January and my goal was to see where I am and to prepare for my indoor triathlon season. I feel pumped up and ready!

Full results from the Life Time Fitness Indoor Triathlon are online at

More photos of the event can be found on Eric Roccasecca's SmugMug.

InCydeman Triathlon

Katherine concentrates on her RPM for the bike leg of the InCydeman indoor triathlon

InCydeman Triathlon (Iowa Games Indoor Triathlon)
500 yard swim, 12.9 unit Keiser M3 bike, 2 mile run on indoor track
Ames, Iowa
Sunday, January 17, 2016

InCydeman is sponsored by the Iowa State University Triathlon Club (so they awesome name with the play off Cyclones). It is also the indoor triathlon event for the Iowa Games. It's held in State Gymnasium and Beyer Hall on the ISU campus in Ames. I wasn't sure this one would be worth the drive, but I had such a great time I likely will do it again.

Sunday morning at 8:00, we met in State Gymnasium room 0112. There were plenty of volunteers pointing the way, but I was still glad I had gone to the Friday night check-in. That allowed me to scope out the parking, find this tucked-away room, and get all the paperwork out of the way. Because the race is USAT sanctioned and I don't have an annual license, I had to buy a one-day.

We walked over to Beyer Hall via the skywalk and used the locker room there to get ready for the swim. It's a 6-lane pool, and we swam two to a lane. There were two waves of 12 people. The swim was 500 yards, and I finished in 8:04. I had plenty of time to dry off and change and pack up my stuff, and then wait in the hallway to be escorted as a group back to State Gymnasium and the cycle studio.

The bike leg is a race is to 12.9 units on the Keiser M3's tripometer. The organizers referred to the units as kilometers, but I know that 1 unit is simply 200 turns of the crank regardless of the gear you are in. And we were allowed to put it in any gear we wanted.

I started at 130 rpm to get my legs used to moving quickly. Then I ramped it up. The rpm display blanks out at 140, and I had never researched if that has any effect on the tripometer, so I held it at 138–139 rpm. After about 15 minutes I got brave enough to hold it above 140 and check. Dang, should have checked sooner, cause it works. I kept it above 140 the rest of the time and finished second in my wave with a time of 19:13. But I did not beat Doc Laura (from my triathlon club).

The bike was challenging in the sense of keeping my legs moving in a coordinated way, but not in a muscle kind of way, so I went into the run feeling pretty fresh. I also had plenty of time change my shoes before my group had to be over at the track.

I was planning to use walk breaks, but everything felt smooth and pain-free and I just kept going. Even though my longest straight-through training run was only 15 minutes, I ran for 19:20 straight today! And it was two miles! I averaged 6.2 mph, which is the top speed I have ever practiced at. Gavin (from my triathlon club) was awesome at keeping me calm and focused! He yelled something supportive every single lap. I would not have done nearly as well without him.

They let us use the locker rooms in this building before we headed back down to room 0112 for the award ceremony. Laura, Gavin, and I each won our age groups. A very good day for the Tri Racers!

We will post a link to the results when they are up.

More photos of the event can be found on Eric Roccasecca's SmugMug.

Remaining Tris

I had a DNF at the Ice Breaker Tri and didn't make it to any others. Sometimes your season just doesn't go the way you would expect.

To find more indoor triathlons, check our recent article Iowa Indoor Triathlons 2016.

Photo credit: Eric Roccasecca
Used with permission.

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Katherine is our Content Champion. She has done triathlons in the past, and now focuses on mountain biking and long-distance gravel riding. She still has a soft spot in her heart for weird multi-sport events like indoor triathlon and aquabike. She also teaches indoor cycling.

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