“Uh this swim better be wetsuit legal, otherwise I might legitimately drown!”
“The more I swim, the slower I get!”
“My stroke is ‘freestyle of last resort’–I could swim if I had to save my live, but that’s it!”
“Just get me out of this water!”
Ok, ok. So I can be a bit dramatic about my sluggish swimming. In reality, I’m a “middle of the pack” swimmer–decent enough for a solid standing as an age grouper, which (until recently) has been good ’nuff to get me by in triathlon.
“But the swim is only 10% of the race, so why invest time on it?”
“I’m better off riding or running where the returns are greater”
“As an ‘adult onset’ swimmer, I’m incapable of being as fast as a lifelong swimmer anyway (those jerks!), so why bother?”
“And besides, I hate swimming!”
These are a few of the many excuses I’ve employed over the past two years since I started swimming (as a mere means to my bike). But all of this needs to stop! It’s about time I quit whining and just did the work to gain swim proficiency so my stroke sadness becomes water under the bridge. It time for a swimtervention!
What is this so-called swimtervention?
It’s a period of time dedicated to improving my swim technique to hopefully gain some speed! It’ll consist of Dynamo Masters classes three days a week and two shorter swims focused on form. It seems as though all of the competitive triathletes I’ve encountered that were adult onset swimmers have endured some sort of similar rite of passage into their mature (and fast) triathlon lives. I might as well dive in now!
The longer I participate in triathlon, the greater the chasm created by my slow swim causes between me and my competition. Yesterday’s performance at Raleigh 70.3 confirmed that I need to emerge from the water closer to the front of the pack if I want to really make waves in triathlon. All five girls that beat me swam significantly faster, but none of them were top three out of the water. Which provides further evidence of the timeless adage that triathletes don’t win on the swim, but they lose on it.
Additionally, swimming helps raise VO2 max, or your body’s oxygen carrying capacity (read: performance potential). Plus it allows for higher volume of general conditioning without the wear and tear that running certainly causes and cycling too, to a certain extent.
What do I hope to achieve?
A faster swim, duh! But, more importantly, confidence in my swimming abilities so that I can enter races feeling strong and without doubts (nor excuses!). If I can finish top 25% on the swim, then I’ll bike my brains out to gain enough of a lead to ward off others on the run. Also, I’ll have no choice but to ditch my bad attitude toward swimming. Who knows, maybe I’ll even like it by the time I’m through!
Time to sink or swim!
Here’s how it’s going down:
Day 9: Shut the Front Door!