[003] The swim

Swim: 500 m/500 m

Bike: 0 miles/6.35 miles

Run: 0 miles/2.4 miles

I’m jumping in with both feet, literally, to start getting a handle on the discipline that is, by far, my weakest. I have never been much of a pool person, and certainly never a good swimmer. Mostly I have relied on some form of breast stroke to get around in the water, and it has served me well enough during relaxing dips in the pool or ocean.

But, obviously, a triathlon is not about relaxing – I need to figure out how to get through the water quickly, and how to exponentially increase the distance I can cover. I essentially need to start from scratch and learn the proper stroke and breathing techniques. As I look around the pool, I sometimes feel like the only adult who has made it this far in life without really knowing how to swim properly. I desperately want to take lessons, but I’m not sure that there is a program remedial enough for my needs.

For my first workout I swam 20 laps, resting after (and sometimes during) each, attempting a variety of strokes. I was not very good at any of them. I generally don’t like starting new pursuits, because I like to be good at something quickly and not struggle with the basics. But, in a way, it’s an exciting time because I know I will be improving quickly, just because of how far behind I am at the beginning. I just need to put in the work.

My goal is to focus on swimming in the next few weeks, so I can really reinforce the skills I need as I learn them. Once I establish a comfort in the water I can turn to biking and running once again.

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3 Responses to [003] The swim

  1. David H. says:

    Good idea to focus on this weakness first and get better at it. Don’t completely stop running or biking though. You won’t want to lose that fitness and the muscles involved. I’m awful at swimming — I’ve called myself an advanced doggy paddler — so I’m interested to see how you transform in this process.

  2. Dad says:

    With every stroke you get: Effective cardiovascular exercise–increased heart rate, improves circulation; endurance, stronger muscles, tones entire body, increased lung capacity, increased flexibility. Helps relax/ reduce stress & regulat…e breathing pattern, increases oxygen to muscles; leg, joint, & backache can be cured, helps spine relax, known to cure high blood pressure, almost always prescribed for recovering athletes, regardless of injury.

    Yes, Feed your strength! Conquer mind, body will follow. Conquer spirit, mind will follow 😉

  3. I’m a bit late on this, and maybe you’ve already made some new discoveries on swimming, but I’m just like you in the fact that I’m an adult that “can” swim, but really has no idea what I’m doing. Someone recommended the book Total Immersion to me, which has taken my 1 mile swim time from an hour, to 40 minutes, so far. You can find Total Immersion YouTube videos too. Very helpful stuff, it’s all about how to slide through the water efficiently.

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