Swimming Ain’t Easy

Seems I have “tri”ed to tackle a lot this week. New bike, a stupid amount of stair climbing and swimming in public. My body isn’t sure what it wants to do with me.

Can't I use my floaties?!

Let me tell ya about my bold underwater attempt. After Elena the Ironman waxed me with stairs I needed something exercise that was low leg impact. My gym has a beautiful Olympic-tested facility, but I have a private pool for a reason, such as it keeps me from looking like a schmuck in public or wondering if I’m gonna lose a boob or butt cheek. Yesterday morning, I somehow mustered up the courage to hop in the pool at the gym. (I swear I thought I’d back out). I was SO nervous, I seriously felt like everyone was wondering wth was with my swimming technique. My version of freestyle I guess could be confused with sinking. I begged my pal Megan (remember our triathlete?!) to give me some flippers pointers.

Swimmy Suggestions
If you are beginner continue reading, if you are advanced, chime in and feel free to scroll on down to the bottom.
Me: Picture me sinking.
Meg: Relax, this may be hard if you are new in the water. The best swimmers swim long, strong and smooth. Try to slow down your movements and feel the pull of the water. Strength is your friend, flailing your limbs only sucks the energy out of you.

Me: I can’t BREATHE when I am focused on trying to stay afloat, woman.
Meg: Make good habits early on. Work on streamlining off your walls and holding a steady breathing pattern. These two things will save you time and energy down the line – it’s much easier to start swimming the right way, than work on breaking bad habits later down the road.

Me: Paddle, as a in a weapon? (I Googled, they look like fins for your hands)
Meg: Invest in paddles, not only will they help you be stronger in the water and really focus on pulling through and finishing your stroke – but they are great for stroke technique if used properly – if nothing else these bad boys will give you beautifully sculpted shoulders

Me: I like the pool, I get a nice tan! Wait, no time for tanning?
Meg: Go to the pool with a plan. Swimming can get boring if you think of it as just swimming back and forth non-stop. Write yourself out a workout, put it in a little plastic bag and paste that sucker at the end of your lane. Break down your workout into 25s, 50s, etc. Mix it up and make it interesting.

Me: Supposedly I’ll get better.
Meg: Like with running or any other sport set goals. Let’s face it anyone who is into running, swimming, triathlons most likely will have a competitive edge. After a few days in the water, time yourself swimming 1 lap (25 yards/meters). Then once a week end your workout with 1 lap “all out” for time. It’s fun to watch your progress and this will help you stay motivated.

I know, I know, patience. I am trying, that’s step 1. Mikey’s words o’ wisdom, “Don’t drink any carbonated beverages. Gives you MAD gas in the pool.” He actually swam in HS. But this completely describes how I felt about my goggles yesterday, until Meghan told me they were too tight and not right on my head:

Carmen Sandiego: Weekend Edition

And in closing for the weekend kids, we are headed somewhere. I know of 3 destinations, and I guess the 4th could be right here in Atlanta. Never know how this travel stuff goes.

Anybody out there a land lover fearful of water? I’ll take any words of encouragement, advice, or maybe bottles of wine.

Have a loverly weekend kids!


16 responses to “Swimming Ain’t Easy

  1. Ha, this sounds like my thought processes. I’m definitely not a workout-swimmer! Therefore, I have no tips, but I do have a few bottles of vino. Just sayin.

  2. It has taken me FOREVER to be able to swim. I’m still crazy slow, but now I can swim for some distance. Once I learned how to float/keep myself up, I had to slow down my kick to be able to swim without losing my breath or raising my heart rate too much. Each of those steps took months, but keep at it. It is SO hard, but so fun once you catch on.

  3. Oh it will get easier! I promise!! I don’t know if I have any tips…I have alwas been a swimmer so it comes really naturally to me. But I guess the best thing is to not panic! 🙂

  4. Well done on facing your fear!! I was really intimidated when I first showed up to a public pool (I don’t have my own place, let alone pool =P) as well! Like you though, I managed. I was to get a pair of flippers and paddles too.

    Anyway, well done and keep going. I know it feels like everyone is watching you, but, and don’t take this the wrong way, but no one cares what you’re doing 🙂 They’re there to swim, not to watch you swim. So, as Megan said, just go about doing your planned workout and it will get easier 🙂 Best of luck!

    PS: I’m not a great swimmer either, so I’m in the same boat =P

  5. First of all, awesome video for your post. I am a huge Simpsons fan.

    Secondly, I always suggest breathing on the side of your dominant hand. So if you’re right handed, breath from your right side. Also the training paddles (http://ow.ly/1XerN) are a great tool. I am a regular swimmer and have a pair. They not only teach you the proper way to bring your hands into the water but they do wonders for your lats. Remember to keep your head down, push all your air out of your lungs under water and inhale when out of the water, and most importantly – don’t worry about people around you. I tell that to my friends all the time. Who cares if the person next to you is going non-stop and doing flip turns. Everyone has to start out somewhere and your day is today!

  6. I wish I had some good advice! I got very used to swimming in the ocean but the salt water makes you float so that was easy. Laps in a swimming pool? I picture myself choking on water and and can’t imagine I’d be able to swim in a straight line.

  7. Good for you for getting your feet wet! I love pools and beaches, but I’m deathly afraid of swim workouts. I would love to do a triathlon but the water is holing me back.

  8. perseverance with swimming is tough. way to be a baller and cross train!

  9. I takes a while. It took me about 8 months to get into the groove to do a mile. Good news is once you have it down it comes pretty easy. Stick with it, runners make good swimmers and vice versa.

  10. Congrats on taking that first step. Loved hearing your thought process, haha. I’m not a confident swimmer either. We used to do it for cross training in track and cross country. I felt soooo slow, but it did get better over time.

  11. You are so awesome for trying all of these new things. I have zero desire to get anywhere near a pool this century, but you seriously inspired me to start cycling. Not to mention that you’re thoughts during this process are hysterical! Can’t wait for more to come.

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