The Swim…

Happy Friday FitFam!!

I have been thinking about this post for quite some time.

THE SWIM….

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For most new triathletes the swim is the most difficult portion. Many new triathletes are cyclists or runners who are looking for more of a challenge.

The scariest part of Tri is the swim, for many, and often holds people back. More and more I read about women wanting to get into Tri but are afraid of the swim.

Recently, I have been hitting the pool a lot! My new job is one minute away from the pool and I have been taking full advantage with short 30 minute lunch hour swims. It feels fabulous to hit the water, get some exercise, followed by a hot shower and sauna to break up my day.

Swimming is a terrific workout for anyone at any age! It works your entire body and provides not only a terrific cardio workout, but helps strengthen your core and muscles. Not to mention its perfect for injured runners or as a recovery / cross training workout!

Now that I am frequenting the pool more often, I am starting to see a few “beginners” testing the water. While I absolutely LOVE seeing new people getting active or trying a new sport part of me wants to stop them and tell them what they are missing! But that would be rude and I would hate to intimidate anyone, especially someone who had the courage to put on a swim suit and hit the pool.

So instead I thought I would get it off my chest here with:

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TIPS FOR NEW SWIMMERS!

  1. Learn to put your face in the water – while head up front crawl or breast stroke has its place, learn to be comfortable with your face in the water. You will have a much better quality workout once you become comfortable swimming face in.
  2. Buy some goggles – It is a heck of a lot more fun to swim when A) you can see B) you don’t have chlorinated water burning your eyes C) see suggestion 1!!
  3. Take a class – I can still remember learning to swim, I signed up for surfing lesion in Tofino with Surf Sisters and knew I needed to pick up some skills. I was dreadfully embarrassed that I couldn’t even manage 25 m. By the end of my lessons I could swim 1000m in an hour, now 1000m in 25 mins.
  4. PRACTICE – You can’t get better of something without practice. All the lessons in the world won’t help you improve without a lot of time and effort.
  5. Move out of your comfort zone – all of this advice comes down to you trying something new and possibly a little scary. Move out of your comfort zone, try new drills, swim sets, and strokes.

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Don’t be afraid to join a swim class and meet other swimmers. Even if triathlon isn’t a goal of yours learning to swim is a life long skill that everyone should have. Whether you are playing at the beach with your kids, learning to wake surf, scuba diving, or racing in triathlon swimming is a sport that can continue with you for a life time!

Sample Workouts:

1000m Time Trial

After a short warm up, swim 1000m consistently (40 laps of a 25 m pool) for time. Watch how your time improves.

 

Speedy Ladder – 1200m total

Warm up swim 200 m

25 m fast

25 m easy

50 m fast

50 m easy

75 m fast

75 m easy

100m fast

100m easy

Repeat going down from 75m to 25 m

Cool down 200 m

Pull Kick Swim

warm up 200 m

pull 100m

kick 100m

swim 100m repeat as many times as desired

cool down 200m

Do you swim? Have you taken lessons?

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