I know you’re probably thinking that you’ve seen this one before or know exactly what I’m talking about and how the heck am I going to get myself back in the pool again this year. What many triathletes don’t really like is the swimming aspect of Triathlon. I’m not being funny. In fact, I know quite a few who absolutely can’t stand it. Some hate the monotony of swimming in a pool – that enclosed box of water, they don’t like the cold dark of the open water, heck some do not even like getting wet. Being that it’s January this kind of thinking has got to stop – this is not dry January!
We need to consider the big picture and why we’re doing this. I’m working on other things now where I’m considering how I got where I am today and why I do what I’m doing (but that’s something to talk about on another day). Swimming is fundamental to Triathlon and it’s something that beginners or even full-time athletes need to get to grips with. I’m not saying you should be one with the water like some Zen master looking over a flat calm pool of water. I’m not even saying that you’ve got a force yourself to love something. I’m just being realistic!
Bear in mind that the swim is the shortest of the three events in most triathlon distances. You’re probably thinking that you can just get by doing the bare minimum. That’ll get you to the finish line and yeah, that sounds like fun, that is until you realise that you’ve still got to hop on your bike huffing ang puffing like a 75-year-old smoker! You must put in the work!
So, let’s not forget that swim training provides you with a huge range of benefits to all levels of endurance athletes. Yes, I know I can wax lyrical about the fact that it’s low impact and that you can increase your lung capacity and that can spill over to other aspects of your triathlon training and make you a better athlete. I’m not going to talk about that. I’m not even going to mention the fact that once you get out of the water, you’ll have a distinct advantage over other athletes who are struggling away and gasping for air. Swim training is hard work, so why would you want to be work so hard just to gain a tiny advantage over other athletes? It’s all part of the process.
I’m not going to lie, the first day back in the pool is going to hurt. You will be gasping for air in that first 25 meters is going to hurt. But you’ve got a start from somewhere. Everyone does this and everyone feels the same. So, embrace the suck and have zero expectations of how this is going to result. Don’t look at the numbers, don’t look at what other people are doing and get that feel for the water. It may take the first session it may take three weeks. And as I always say to my athletes that consistency is key. It will get easier, and you’ll feel better for it. And once you have gotten back that feel for the water you will not regret it! 😉
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