Multiple Swimming, Biking & Running Options
We realize that completing a virtual triathlon may be daunting. How do you find the proper routes to do each distance? Where do you start? Can you do part of this event on a bike trainer, a treadmill, in your neighborhood? How do you get the swim done?
DON’T WORRY! We have many options available. You can also do your own course so long as the distances are correct for the event you are doing. You can go a little over the distance but the additional time will be factored in. We will also be adding more alternate courses in the coming weeks.
To complete the swim leg of our virtual triathlon, you can use an open water swimming (OWS) resource that is available. You can also swim your event distance in a pool if you have access or if gyms have reopened. We will be providing a list spots very soon around Grand Rapids that are available for OWS practice and to do your event distance in.
How to Record Your Swim
IF you are competing virtually in your age group and will be uploading your timing files to Sportstats timing system, then the best way to record your distance for the swim is to use a GPS enabled watch. Set it to beep at regular intervals so that you’ll know when you are at the turnaround and when you have completed the distance.
IF you are not going to compete in your age group and are just looking to complete your personal event, there is no requirement to use any GPS device. However, they will be helpful to know you have gone your individual event distance.
It’s always best to swim with a buddy. If possible, try to talk a friend into coming out with you in a boat, stand up paddle board, or kayak. Bonus, if you don’t have a GPS watch they can use an app like Strava to track your distance and time!
Wear a wetsuit. Aquaman (www.aquaman.com) is a long time sponsor and an incredible resource. If you are unsure as to your size simply email Emmanuel and he can make an amazingly accurate recommendation with just a few measurements.
Use a swim buoy. This is another great product from Aquaman that helps you stay visible to boaters on the water. Race director, John Mosey tested his last year with his wife standing on shore and she was shocked at how far away she could see him. An added benefit is that it works as a dry bag so you don’t need to leave your keys, wallet, or phone on the beach while you are swimming.
Grand Rapids OWS Resources
We will be providing a complete list of OWS access in the coming weeks so that you can start getting back to swimming, while observing the safety tips above.
Our official Grand Rapids Triathlon bike routes, including all distances, will be available on Strava and can be imported to your Garmin or other GPS enabled device.
Feel free to ride the actual course if weather and social distancing rules allow.
You can also download the course and ride it on your smart trainer (instructions below).
This is the best way we’ve found to ride a real outdoor route indoors. It will adjust the resistance of your smart trainer to match the elevation changes on the course and it will also give you real world HD video of the course. A sample can be seen in our course video here. They offer a 14 day free trial so there’s no risk to you if you’d like to give it a shot.
To ride GR Tri courses, search for “GR Tri” in Rouvy. We will be adding ALL event distances very soon!
Zwift is a fantastic platform but it doesn’t work as well as Rouvy when it comes to riding a real route, but it can be done. You will not be able to visualize the course, but you should be able to ride it complete with elevation changes, it just won’t match what’s on your Zwift screen.
BKool is an interesting alternative, but in general the video quality is going to be higher on Rouvy.
You can also ride the course using your Garmin or Wahoo bike computer. It’s not nearly as immersive of an experience, but it is an option and will work fine for tracking your distance and for those competing in their virtual age group.
There isn’t much to explain for the run. We have linked to the actual routes below but if you can’t make it out, use these files to try and find a local route with a similar elevation profile. You can also do your distance on a treadmill, your neighborhood, where ever you can.
We are not counting them as part of the timed portions of the event. We will however be providing guidelines athletes MUST follow for the amount of time between event legs in order for participants to be counted for timing and age group awards. Those details are coming soon.
For more information about the Grand Rapids Triathlon please contact us here.