That Intimidating Swim……

The SWIM?!?!?! 


No but really…… the swim!!!!!


Or for arguments sake, 

Let’s just say…..


The swim.

Regardless of how you look at it, the swim can be the most challenging aspect of the race, even to those of us who are part fish.   Sometimes, just looking across the pool or the lake brings feelings of unease, uncertainty and self-doubt.   In fact, the other day I got in the water and struggled to find my feel of the water.  The 500 yards I swam was one of the most difficult and challenging swims I have ever done.  Whatever the reason that made it so difficult, I chose after that to hop out and tackle it a different day.  (Some days are like that.  Not worth the fight). 


I get asked a lot to evaluate and help individuals who are new(er) to the sport of triathlon to assist in the swim.  In fact, I had one such conversation last evening.   The person wasnot certain how to tackle the swim training, learning the stroke and building endurance.  She accomplished a 500yard swim and was amazed at how challenging that could be.  

I suggested breaking it down.  For example:

100 warm up

8 x 25 yard catch- up drill

8x 25 yard swim

8 x 25 yard kick (with or without board)

8 x 25 yard swim 

100 yard warm down

And ever so simpy, that 500yard swim has now become 1000yards.   And because of the way it is broken up, very achievable.  Not intimidating at all.   And as the swimmer progresses, add variety and distance to the sets and reps.   

I also suggested looking at the time spent swimming in the water, and how that increases.  Using a variety of measurements increases the feeling of success, especially on those days that 500yards is daunting.  

It is the accumulation of volume that builds the endurance, so the swimmer can swim longer and further.  


Like eating an elephant,

It can be accomplished one bite at a time.

I think we like to over-complicate things to help us feel accomplished.  Instead of taking it one step at a time, one lap at a time, and looking at what was completed, instead of the seemingly large and daunting size of the tasks yet undone.





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