I really want swimming to be my favorite event.  I have been pretty consistent at getting to the pool, but it seems like every other swim goes to hell for me.  And by go to hell I mean gives me little confidence about completing the 2.4 miles. 

Now, I know I will be ready and will finish the swim regardless.  I did an Olympic swim in miserable conditions and was breast stroking 200 yards off shore.  It took about 43 minutes (13 minutes than more than my target pace) but I made it out of the water with plenty left for the bike in run.

The one constant in my bad swims is trying to go to fast too early.  It’s very difficult for me because, similar to the stationary bike, swimming in a pool just gets on my nerves sometimes.  I just want it to be over.  So I push and try to get out faster because the lane feels  claustrophobic and I’m not a big fan of chlorine.  So, I push and wind up out of breath.  Unable to relax.  I swim far less than I’d hoped and promise to do better the next time. 

We were supposed to have a swim lesson from coach this morning at 5am.  I was reticent, but made a decision to go because I need someone to correct my stroke.  Unfortunately, he texted everyone last night and said he was sick, but I’d be lying if I didn’t feel relief.  Still, the mornings! 

It’s all about the warm up.  I have to remember that.  In an hour and a half swim (that’s my Ironman goal) a few minutes of light, slow, and relaxed strokes at the beginning will go a LONG ways for me.  I want to get stronger, not be looking at the shore from a mile away going, “holy fuck… how will I make it?” 


I’ve made a decision that swimming will now get a higher percentage of my workout plan.  I grew up running and biking.  They are built into my fiber and I only have 200 days to do it with swimming.  I really like being in water, but my goal is to feel completely comfortable the moment it starts.  Running and biking will take care of themselves.  Not being ready for the swim could break me. 

Now, I realize people say you don’t lose the race in the swim, but I disagree.  Less people to pass and more intensity from better racers.  15 minutes may not seem like a lot, but when you’re hoping to come in under 13 hours, that will leave a lot less margin for error on the bike and run.  Just sayin…. And the debate starts now . . . .


Swim Training



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4 thoughts on “Swim Training

  • February 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    I think the more you practice race conditions you will get more relaxed and able to handle things come race day. Of course I have not competed yet, but I have found the more I specifically prepare for the distance of the race the better I feel. Don’t worry, you will be awesome when needed.

    • March 11, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Yeah, I’m thinking we’ll be out in the lake in a month or so practicing gang starts with people kicking and pounding on each other…. I tell you, I’m still waiting for the big breakthru on swimming, tho… Just gonna keep pounding it out and hope for the best.

  • February 21, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Maybe work on some confidence building with the rest of the fab 5? Have them grab kickboards and splash you while you try to swim laps in adverse conditions. You could also get a tether and have them splash you while you’re pretty stationary. They could pull on your feet and practice swimming right up on you but in a controlled way so that you don’t panic. Do distance per stroke – sometimes with your eyes closed and see if you can match numbers. Realize that whatever speed you want to go when you get in is too fast and work on slowing it down a notch. These are just some ideas. Good luck!

    • February 22, 2013 at 4:50 am

      Thanks, man. Those are great ideas. I need to take your earlier advice a little more too. After this half, I’m going to really get focused in the pool. I haven’t been bad, but I need to get serious about building base. We’ll be in open water in the next month or so and I’m sure there will be some beat downs! Appreciated!

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