Triathlon training has (unofficially) begun

21 Mar

Marie Reed Swimming Pool

“There’s nothing natural about the way you swim.”

With those words of wisdom, Double D finished his first 90-minute lesson with me in the swimming pool.  And that assessment didn’t exactly mean I was ready to challenge Michael Phelps anytime soon.

I have never been a strong swimmer.  I mean, I can stay afloat and have even navigated out of a couple of of riptides, but in signing up for the Nation’s Triathlon in September, my first three-part race, I knew swimming would easily be my weakest link.

Double D, who’s a friggin’ dolphin in the water, is a former water polo player and my swimming teammate in June’s Charlottesville Tri (team name:  Tripartisan Support).  He offered to help me learn some swimming techniques and has been trying to get me in the water for awhile.

swimming“I’ve got plenty of time!” I thought, pushing back his invites.  But finally, I decided to go this evening.  And what a wake-up call it was.

My breathing was inconsistent.  The 25-meter lanes seemed endless.  My “splashy” strokes made me look like a dying walrus out there.  Double D instructed me patiently, though, giving me several different exercises to try, such as freestyle, backstroke, frog-leg kicks, and some weird eel-like move that made me swallow half the pool.

All around me, swimmers glided through the water effortlessly.  I’m sure I sounded like a whiner as I complained to Double D about a variety of things:  when to breathe, how to move my arms, my inability to keep a straight axis, blah blah blah shut up.  Even when I did swim somewhat correctly, going two laps — 50 meters — was so difficult my form would break and I’d struggle.

If there’s one positive, though, it’s that I’ve realized how much work I need early.  So I’ll be hitting the pool at least once a week as I balance running and strength training.  I will soon have to map out a training plan that also incorporates cycling — not just for the Nation’s Tri but for my leg of the team tri in two months.

I hope I don’t drown by then.

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One Response to “Triathlon training has (unofficially) begun”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Staying afloat « DC Runographer - March 30, 2011

    […] One week after my friend and swimming coach Double D told me there was “nothing natural” about the way I swim, I dove back into the Marie Reed swimming pool again last night. […]

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