My First Indoor Triathlon

This afternoon I completed my first indoor triathlon!

indoor triathlon 003

How cute is the race shirt!? They’re just about the least hardcore race shirts I’ve ever seen and I think the “completed because I tried” message is adorable. It’s like having “everyone’s a winner” on the back of a race shirt or something. As someone who isn’t competitive at all and loves participating in races just for the fun of it, the message suited me quite well and made me smile. Gold medals for all!

Indoor Triathlon

As I mentioned before, Ryan and I found out about this triathlon a few weeks ago and didn’t really have much of a chance to train. Normally I am a big advocate of training, but since this triathlon was scheduled to take place indoor and didn’t require a fancy bike or intimidating transition stations, it sounded right up my alley.

The triathlon included the usual swim, bike, run segments, but people started at different stations since there obviously weren’t enough bikes, treadmills or lanes in the pool for everyone to go in the traditional triathlon order of swim, bike, run.

Ryan and I were assigned the same group and order:

  • Bike: 15 minutes
  • Swim: 15 minutes
  • Run: 15 minutes


Before the triathlon began, Ryan and I set up our bikes in the gym’s spinning room.

indoor triathlon 009

Once all of the participants were seated and ready to go, we were off!

The race coordinator blasted awesome music as we pedaled away which made the bike portion of the triathlon a lot of fun. I found myself singing to “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” as the sweat dripped off my face. My initial goal was to average a 20 mile per hour pace (I honestly had no clue what a good pace on the bike would be!), but I surprised myself and ended up biking 8.3 miles in 15 minutes.

The bike, swim, run order ended up being absolutely perfect for me. Running immediately after the bike would’ve been killer. My legs were like jello!


Next up was the swim. This was the area of the triathlon where I felt the most nervous, not because swimming intimidates me (I love it!), but because I haven’t hopped in a pool and swam laps in well over a year (maybe even two)?

indoor triathlon 015

(The swim was the only part of the triathlon that was outside.)

Ryan and I were assigned to a lane together which was awesome. There was a volunteer stationed at the end of each lane to count laps and keep everyone honest.

I was surprised at how quickly I fell into my groove on the swim. I concentrated on my breathing and my stroke and felt good. It felt great to simply be in the water again.

In the end, I swam 897.6 yards (.51 miles) in 15 minutes.


After slipping my sneakers back on and throwing on a pair of shorts, it was off to the treadmills for the run!

My initial goal was to keep the treadmill at 6.5 miles per hour and I was excited to find myself feeling comfortable running at 7.5 miles per hour for most of the run. I was especially excited to watch Ryan run more than two miles in 15 minutes on the treadmill beside me, especially since I think the swim took a lot out of him. He was flyin’!

For the run portion of the triathlon, I covered 1.84 miles, with an 8:04 pace. I felt like I could’ve booked it a bit more, but I was happy with my distance in the end.

Final Thoughts

When we were done with the triathlon, I was so pumped. I really had a fantastic time and felt like the experience of today’s indoor triathlon was one of the best race experiences I’ve had. I know it was different than most triathlons and a lot of other races out there since everyone simply did what they could in the time given, but I liked that aspect of the triathlon.

I felt like the atmosphere wasn’t crazy competitive and more laid back and fun, especially since you stuck with your same group and cheered each other on.

The winners of the triathlon were calculated simply by adding up the distances covered by each triathlon participant. While this meant that the crazy-good bikers were at a pretty significant advantage since you can cover a lot more ground on a bike, it wasn’t a big deal and everyone seemed okay with the tallying method. Again, this was a fun race not a crazy-competitive race!

After snacking on some bagel halves and a banana, I found out some pretty cool news.

indoor triathlon 017

I ended up placing second place in my age group (there were about 40 participants in the triathlon), and covered a total of 10.65 miles over the course of the triathlon.

indoor triathlon 016

The triathlon was honestly such a fun experience and I will definitely sign up again next year. I wish more indoor triathlons existed out there, especially for people like me who would love to do a triathlon, but don’t have a fancy bike or are intimidated by certain aspects of a triathlon that may take place in open water or on real roads. I know that’s a big part of the sport, but for beginners, this was a really neat way to experience a triathlon in a different, comfortable format.

I had a blast!


  1. Christina says

    congrats on second place!! that sounds like such an awesome race and something i would totally love to do!! i love that its not to competitive and sounds fun. i’m going to have to check if they do a race similar to that in ny!


  2. says

    Julie, check triathlon clubs or training groups – they usually offer indoor triathlons during the winter months or “off season.” I’m doing my first triathlon on September 1st! Its an outdoor sprints distance which is also a good starting point if you’re interested in doing a tri but aren’t ready for the full blow olympic distance quite yet. Since I didn’t even know how to swim as of Dec ’11, I thought this would be a good place for me to get into tri’s.
    Glad you had a great time and I love that t-shirt! Are those the little minions (sp?) from Dispicable Me?


  3. says

    Sounds like the best of fun!! The shirts really ARE adorable! 🙂
    I wish we had indoor triathlons where I live.. I’ll look it up right now, because I really want to try one, but don’t feel like swimming in a lake or buying a bike to race in.


  4. says

    I would love it if something like that existed up here in NY! I just signed up for my first sprint distance tri and I am so nervous about transistions and riding on wet roads/swimming in open water…lots to be nervous about! So glad you did so well! Congrats!


  5. says

    So fun! My husband’s medical school did a triathlon to raise money for a free clinic the med school runs. Participants could do the whole triathlon by his- or herself or could do it as part of a team, with each person doing one part of the triathlon. It was really fun, and they made a ton of money doing it!

    Congrats on your distance! Seriously impressive!


  6. says

    That is actually a really cool idea. I would normally never want to do a triathlon, but this would be less intimidating. My fiance does them all the time and did an Ironman two year ago so this wouldn’t be for him. Maybe I’ll let him teach me how to swim… maybe…


  7. Odette says

    that’s an adorable shirt!! is it a play on “tried” as in completed a triathalon b/c the shortform of it is try? So it’s like everyone’s a winner…but it’s also accurate 🙂 Not a clue- just a guess!! Congrats on your placing!

    PS – Just tried my first bodypump class yesterday. After reading about them on your blog, I just had to try. LOVED it!! So glad I tried bodypump- I will definitely be a regular!


  8. says

    That looks like so much fun!! I wish that had something like that where I live. I love the atmosphere you described and the way it seemed totally attainable to almost everybody without too much (if any) training. Awesome!

    I’ll be excited to see how much you improve on your distance next year 🙂


  9. Corinne says

    That sounds so cool!!! I’d love to suggest the idea to my gym, it’d be the perfect set up for something like that and I think everyone would be all for it. Congrats on 2nd place girl!


  10. @pluvk says

    Congratulations! Talk about a fun experience… I wish that they had something like that near my home.

    How did Ryan do in the race? I think it’s great that you both are so active together! Any tips for a husband and wife who’ve never ran before? We’re thinking of trying a 5k in November.


    • says

      he got fourth in his age group. 🙂 as for running w/ your hubby, i’d definitely check out the 5k training plans on he has some great plans for novice runners that i loooove. there are also “couch to 5k” programs you can find online that are great!


  11. says

    Congratulations on second place!! I’d never heard of an indoor triathlon until now but it definitely sounds like something I’d like to try as I don’t like the idea of swimming in open waters either. Glad you guys had fun 🙂


  12. says

    I would so be up for an indoor triathlon but I would be WAY too intimidated to do a regular one. Like you said, I think that would be the perfect way for a beginner to get a feel for one!!

    Congrats on coming in 2nd in your age group!!


  13. Veronica says

    Hi Julie,

    I will totally suggest doing a outdoor triathlon start with a sprint and since you are afraid of the ride on he streets maybe doing a relay 🙂 You can swim, Your dad can bike and Leslie can do the run. I think will be great experience and no need of fancy bike if the main purpose is having fun and exercising.
    Congrats on your first Tri 🙂


  14. says

    Looks like such a fun time! Congrats on your final results! I love that Ryan came up with the equation to make things more equal in the final standings…where did he even start with that one?! haha


  15. says

    That sounds like such a cute race (and the shirts are adorable!)

    If I were ever going to attempt a triathlon, it would have to be something like this. My swimming and biking skills are far too non-existent to try any sort of regular triathlon.


  16. says

    congrats! the indoor tri sounds like such fun! i would be intimidated to tackle a traditional triathlon for all the reasons you mentioned but this definitely seems more doable – I need to keep an eye out for one in my area 🙂


  17. says

    Great job!!! For more indoor triathlons, you’ll have to move North 😉 We have a ton of them over the winter and I like to use them to train for the summer tris. I’m surprised they put the bike first before the swim, since that isn’t typical of triathlons, but it makes sense that it would be much easier on the legs that way. So fun!


  18. says

    YAY!! Nice job!! Swimming is my favorite part too.

    I love doing triathlons–they are super fun. I get to do a half Ironman in a few weeks, so we’ll see if I am singing a different tune then. Hah 😉


  19. says

    Congrats! Such a nice surprise to go out just for fun and then realize how well you did! 🙂
    I would totally do a triathlon like that. Wish we had some here in Iowa.


  20. says


    I’ve been following your blog (love the recipe ideas and workouts!) …If you want to try triathlon, I highly recommend Team In Training!!! It’s amazing. I’ve been doing triathlons for the past two year with the team and I’m doing my second Ironman in a few weeks. I’d never done any endurance sport before. They are amazing for beginners! 🙂


  21. Amanda D says

    I did a relay triathlon with my 2 co-workers last summer and it was a lot of fun. Plus it took out the intimidation factor (since I don’t own a bike or anything, my cyclist boss did that part, etc). Many triathlons offer relay as an option, check into it next time you see one!


  22. says

    Congratulations!! :)) I don’t think we’ve got something like this in Poland… but even if we don’t, one day I would like to try 😉 and your t-shirt = is very nice 😉


  23. says

    This sounds so much fun- I am going to forward this post to the management of my gym…would be cool if they organised something similar! Congrats on your placing 🙂


  24. Ashley says

    Just out of curiosity….was this at a Y? I really want to see if mine is doing something like this! Looks like so much fun!


  25. says

    I’ve never heard of a gym doing this before but I would love to do one! I agree that a *real* triathlon seems really intimidating. This would be a nice glimpse at one while still being fun and difficult. Congrats on getting 2nd place!


  26. Hayley says

    This looks so fun! I am not competitive either, one reason why I have never had the desire to run in a race until this year. I am more competitive with myself but never have that “I need to catch up with that person” mentality. I need to find an indoor triathlon like this near me!


  27. says

    Wow Julie looks like you had a lot of fun and i would definitely also wanna try it; it would be an amazing experience to see how much you can push yourself. Congrats in coming second place too 🙂


  28. Merri says

    Wahoooo!!! Great job Julie!!! hat is totally my kind of tri too! i would love to do a real tri but frankly, they scare the bejeezus out of me! AWESOME!!! xoxoxoxo

    Miss you tons my dear!



  29. says

    that is such a great idea! an outdoor triathlon intimidates me but this sounds totally doable! i am definitely going to keep my eyes peeled for some in my area 🙂


  30. says

    Congrats on finishing, and getting 2nd in your age group! The idea of a triathalon sounds so intimidating, but this definitely seems doable (and fun!). You put up some really good times in all events. Good job!


  31. Brittany says

    That’s great that you got 2nd in your age group! I’ve been watching the Olympics this weekend and I have to say that water polo is one of my favorites. I think it’s cool you played in high school!


  32. says

    Congratulations on a great finish! I’d love to do a triathon, and I’m hoping to get a bike next summer and hopefully do one sprint tri, but I’m definitely intimidated by the whole process. This format would definitely be a great springboard into the real deal!



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