Thursday, July 1, 2010

18 Lengths

18 lengths is a half mile in the pool at work. 
A half mile is the swim distance of my August 22nd Triathlon. 
This is how I feel about swimming a half mile. 

And that's in a pool, not a murky lake with a hundred other people fighting for space. 
BUT, it's a new challenge and I will do my best! I started this past week with a few little steps. The first was getting in the pool last Sunday and REMINDING myself what swimming feels like (ie: cat picture above). The second time was on Wednesday of this week, between a split shift at work, I went down to the pool and talked a bit with the life guards about how far the pool is: 

18 laps or 36th lengths for a .5 mile distance. 
They gave me this cool leg float, that you put between your thighs so you can focus on your stroke form. It was kind of my best friend. 

I was told by a triathlete at the gym that during the swim, the racers try to save their legs a bit anyway for the other 2 events so they stress upper body! My main concern is form and breathing. 

And Just FYI, wearing your goggles with your glasses is ALL the rage! 

I am thrilled because I found out that the gym where I work has a Triathlon Training Swim class offered on Monday nights. My goal is to swim three days a week at least for July. I am going to read up on what Beginner Triathlete has to say on swim form here and follow this training plan: Sprint Triathlon

I feel like there should be more Bricks and some runs will be open water for me, it's the land of 10,000 lakes! 

My SECOND time in the pool this past week I swam 7 laps, or 14 lengths, so not quite half of my race distance, but they were NOT consecutive and they were NOT pretty, but I am working on it. I will have my Tri class and I am determined to practice 3 times a week, I WILL improve. The whole reason I signed up for this event was to become a better swimmer anyway, I need to remember my goal.  

The training plan I am following is tracking everything by TIME and not by distance...which for the bike and run seems fine, but concerns me for the swim.   I will need to make sure I am hitting my distance and beyond even if it means swimming longer than my program calls for.  Have you encountered this with a Triathlon program design?  

Friday giveaways! Check it out: Steve at Steve in a Speedo is giving away a foxy skirt for the gals and glasses for the guys!
Mel over at Tall Mom on the Run is giving away a book called Life is Sweet.  It is! It is! 

Have you completed a Triathlon? If so, what is your best training tip or piece of advice? 


Miz said...

Ive nary a training tip fer the tri but LOVED the photos and am cheering you my own awkward non-triathlete way.


Kelly said...

You'll do great. Here are a couple of tips:

1. Think positively about the swim. i.e. "I am a swimmer." "I am brave." "I will finish the swim strongly."
2. Don't just swim laps at the pool, try to work on some drills that will help your stroke like the six-kick switch, catch-up drill, and side kicking. You can see all of these at
3. Don't forget to have fun (but it looks like you are doing that already!)

Good luck!

teacherwoman said...

Triathlons ROCK!

I agree with the person who says to try and save your legs for the other disciplines, but it's important to pick up your kick towards the end of the swim to get those muscles warmed up for the bike.

I know that does their training plans by minutes and I don't like to go buy that because I am a bit slower in general. There are books out there that have training plans based on distance. I haven't really found any online.

Lori said...

I did a tri last year and I dreaded the swim part because I am just not a swimmer. However, that was my challenge and I just did it :D. It's really not so bad, and the best part is that the swim is first so you get it over with! LOL

Tips - practice your transitions a lot. Practice how you want things laid out and what order you will grab them, because you will be fuzzy on race day.

Also - practice a lot of bricks. One tip that helped me with going from biking to running is that for the last 1/2 mile of the bike ride, go into the lowest gear you can that mimics the pace of your running stride. That way your legs won't feel quite so funny when you start the run.

This year - I am doing a duathlon so I don't have to swim :D

Dr. TriRunner said...

I recognize that pool ;)

My one piece of advice that I've given all people who are doing their first tri, is to not forget about proper rest/sleep during training. if you're already in good shape (ie YOU!) it's easy to go from one sport to three without really realizing the extra work you're putting on your body. SLEEP. IS. GOLDEN!

Also.. don't forget your helmet!! Haha you can forget lots of things and still be fine, but you can't race without a helmet!

Deanna@MilesToRun said...

I just started following your blog and I love it!

Julie said...

Woo hoo! Mary is doing a sprint Tri! Awesome job in the pool and I love your positive attitude! Enjoy your weekend!

That Pink Girl said...

That cat pic is hilarious!
Good luck with your swimming - you will rock your tri!

desi cration said...

I did a super sprint tri 2 years ago. being that it was so short i didn't do much training other than some running (my weakest area). i swim occasionally for a change in my workouts. the biggest thing that effects my swimming is my breathing. i breathe every 3 strokes and exhale through my mouth and nose constantly while my face is in the water. this will also help with keeping water out of your nose and mouth!

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