Swimming is my
weakest discipline biggest opportunity to improve when it comes to triathlons. We could really dig in and do some research to determine why, but here are a few reasons that come to mind right away.
- You need a pool. Unlike running and biking, you can’t just walk outside and go.
- People were invented to be on land, not water. Otherwise we’d all be fish.
- I hate it.
Those are just a subset of the infinite reasons why swimming is unquestionably going to be my downfall.
Being the hater that I am for swimming you’d
think I’d keep away from it altogether. Unfortunately it seems to be an unavoidable, necessary evil in the swim-bike-run formula. So instead of staying away, I’m
whining and embracing my nemesis with a full-on bear hug.
Starting in January, I have four months of sporadic swim data in the books (once a week here; oops, missed a week there; etc). Regardless, when possible I aimed to swim the same 2100-ish yards whenever going for a dip. Below you’ll see the 9 times I hit that 1.2 mile mark (coincidentally the exact distance for the Half Ironman swim). For reference, that’s 64 mind-numbing lengths of the pool.
What has surprised me is how much my time has improved in 3.5 months. From the first time (55 minutes) to yesterday (46:14), that’s 9 minutes improvement! Even more surprising, however, is how I feel when swimming. The first several times I needed periodic rests. Maybe every 8 lengths; maybe every 10. Yesterday I did the entire swim without a single break. I’m not quite cool enough to flip-turn just yet; at each end I stop, turn around, and go, all in one relatively smooth motion.
p>I definitely still need some coaching, but the progress I have made thus far is promising. It’s also fun to see immediate improvement compared to my running, which is taking a much slower track to greatness.