Friday, September 7, 2018

Let The Training Begin!

I heard a line in a movie recently that stuck with me, “If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now”.  This leads into my swimming ability - I definitely feel comfortable riding a bike and running has always been a big part of my life. However, until recently I was only a leisure swimmer, and not a good one (to put this in perspective, 25 meters was a challenge). That didn’t discourage me though, if there was ever a time in my life to learn how to swim properly, it was now.

I needed a plan to transition from an endurance runner to an endurance triathlete. With some research on the web, devouring triathlon books, and talking with a few triathletes, my goal for 2018 was to complete a sprint triathlon (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) in the early summer and then an Olympic distance triathlon (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run) in late summer.

I was very fortunate to be given a hand-me-down road bike from my good buddy Alan. It was more than I needed to get going. I started off biking in my basement with a bike trainer. I had a perfect set up, with the bike in front of a TV. It kept me occupied while I put in the hours. Training started off slow. The first few weeks I didn’t bike longer then 45 minutes working my way up a little further then the first race distance.

At this time, I continued my running 5 to 10 Kilometers a couple of times a week. Early on in training, no matter how fast or hard my run was, it was by far the most enjoyable workout. Biking was harder, I had to acclimatize to sitting in 1 position for an extended period of time and……… swimming sucked!

I started my pool swimming in March, 15 weeks before the race. The first swim was 125m long, with a break after every 25m. The rest breaks didn’t last seconds, they lasted minutes. I didn’t even track time, because I knew this was going to be a struggle. I was so tired by the end, I got out of the pool and left. That was all I did for my first swim. The second swim didn’t look pretty, but I made it 500m. It took a long time! I knew something needed to change in order to get better at swimming. I obviously didn’t grow up taking swimming lessons and needed to fill in the knowledge and technique gaps. I began researching proper swim techniques and watching youtube videos. That’s when I realized that proper swimming technique included exhaling into the water. It was a game changer. Exhaling into the water felt awkward at first, but the more laps I put in, the easier it got.

For the 12 weeks leading up to the sprint triathlon in June, I followed a training program I found online.

I’m sorry these blog posts aren’t in real time yet. I started posting late and am trying to catch up before my next race. I want to give a race review for the sprint triathlon that I completed, so stay tuned! Once I catch up, I will try blogging at least once a week.

*In case you’re wondering, the quote from the beginning of the blog is from Master Shifu…..Kung Fu Panda 3 (I watched it with my girls!)

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