What is an Indoor Triathlon?

For Early Season Training or Shaking out First Tri Jitters, Bring it Indoors

A standard triathlon involves swimming in an open body of water and biking and running on a road or trail. So, what is an indoor triathlon? How could you possibly complete all these events inside?

Indoor triathlons have become hugely popular at gyms and athletic clubs as a fun winter event. Usually, the indoor tri is composed of a swim in an indoor pool, cycling on a stationary bike, and a run around a track or on a treadmill.

Indoor Triathlon- Cycling

Advantages of Indoor Triathlons

1.     It’s a great way to give it a “tri!”

An indoor triathlon is a great place to start if you’re looking into competing in a triathlon but don’t want to make a full commitment just yet. If you’re hesitant about what distance to sign up for, an indoor triathlon is great because participants will usually be asked to race for a set amount of time instead of an actual distance.

2.     Indoor triathlons can save you some of money.

If you’re not sure you would even enjoy competing in a triathlon, an indoor tri is a great place to try it out without making the investment. No need to invest in a wetsuit or a bike! The only thing you would want to purchase is a swim cap, goggles, swimsuit, running shoes, and possibly some padded shorts to help ease the pain of those stationary bike saddles.

 3.     What weather?

Another great thing about indoor triathlons is that you don’t have to worry about the weather. For those of you that live in places that get hit with cold weather, an indoor tri is a great way to still be able to compete during the winter months.

 4.     Change up Your Training Routine.

If you have already started training for an outdoor triathlon later in the year, an indoor tri is good motivation to start adding in those brick workouts.

Dry Tri

I recently participated in my first indoor triathlon, only this one was a “dry triathlon.” Similar to the indoor triathlon, the cycling was on a stationary bike and the run was on a treadmill, but since it was dry, swimming wasn’t involved. Instead, we used row machines. There were three teams, and each team started in a different event or sport of the triathlon. Team 1 started at the row machines, Team 2 started at the bikes, and Team 3 started at the treadmills. I was on Team one, so I had the row machine first. During this, we had to row the entire time for a set amount of time.

After the row machines, my team and I headed to the treadmills for precision running. The precision running event was a lot better than anticipated. I mean, precision running doesn’t exactly sound like a fun activity, right? We learned how to increase and decrease our speed in an effective way. I got a great run out of it, and I’ll definitely be using this in the future, especially on days where I may not feel like running for a long time.

The third and final event was probably my favorite, it was a studio cycling class called "The Pursuit." I’ve been to a few cycling classes before, but this class was so unique. Similar to other classes I’ve taken, the room was dark and the lights coordinated to the music, but in The Pursuit we got the chance to compete against one another in teams, like a video game. There was a large screen in front of the room and each bike was displayed as a circle on the screen with the designated bike number in the middle of it. It was a great workout, fun and motivating. After completing all three events, we submitted sheets that kept track of our distances for each event. Whoever had the highest total was the winner.

Indoor Triathlon

Still unsure if and indoor (or outdoor) triathlon is for you? Step out of your comfort zone and give one a try. You won’t be disappointed. You’ll feel so proud of yourself and accomplished!

Photography by Christiana Basso.