Lifetime fitness Indoor triathlon

Lifetime Fitness (aka Lifetime Athletic) health clubs sponsor an indoor triathlon series held at their beautiful facilities typically in January. This year myself and a few friends  decided to give it a try at their location in Florham Park. Keep in mind the main purpose of these events is to have fun and to introduce some new folks to the sport, not necessarily for competitive athletes.  For more tips on completing in indoor triathlons, take a peak at DC Rainmaker’s How to kick butt in an indoor triathlon.


Brittany , myself and Jose before our swim wave

Brittany , myself and Jose before our swim wave

The swim was in the 4 lane pool , for 10 minutes we swam all-out and volunteer  counters would count how many lengths (and half lengths) we did. We swam two to a lane, and overall it was pretty straightforward just like any good pool training swim. A swim clock at the end of the pool plus a finish whistle told you when your session was over.


spin class - not really

spin class – not really

The bike portion was on the provided spin bikes which were moved out of the spin class into a designated area for the event. Again here it was pretty straight forward ; hop on the bike reset the counter and await the timer instructions to begin. then pedal as fast as possible for 30 minutes. Unfortunately the spin bikes vary wildly in their ability to be calibrated and properly measure distance and speed. Some bikes the speed is tied to the resistance, (more resistance, more watts= more speed) , sometimes not. On my particular bike my speed would fluctuate between 14mph to 21mph even though my cadence and resistance stayed virtually identical. So my performance on the bike was sub-par, but clearly I drew the short straw in terms of bike calibration. I ended the 30 minutes with a paltry 9.3 miles completed, my compatriots were in the 12+ mile range.


me dying on the treadmill

me dying on the treadmill

The run is on a treadmill, and again pretty much similar to the bike , every one in your wave starts at the same time and runs as fast as possible for 30 minutes. Calibration here seemed a little less of an issue than on the bike. Although I did accidentally press the stop button (when meaning to increase speed) and had to have my intermediate distance recorded before I finished the final 5 minutes.


The scoring in our case (your indoor triathlon experience may vary), was not based on fastest time over the three distances. Rather it was points assigned based on how you finished (placing) in each event. So if 100 people signed up and you were the 20th fastest in the swim you would get 100-20=80pts for the swim and so forth for the run and bike .  The results were based on the tally of the each of the points in each event. This actually helps normalize the events and folks who are stronger swimmers are not penalized because of the shorter amount of time spent in those events.


It was a fun positive experience and a great way to do some winter training and intensity training. I stress fun and training since this is radically different from a real race, but it gives folks especially those not ready to do open water a nice mellow  introduction to the sport.

I would like to see other gyms do similar events and not just limit it to Swim Bike run, but perhaps add in weight lifting or cross-fit style events, I think that would really give folks one more fun and entertaining reason to visit their local gym, and tie in relays to get everyone involved.

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