Well… Here we go…

With all the fury of a goldfish, today I made my first foray into the water on my journey towards my first triathlon.  I didn’t have a plan or even a distance in mind, I just wanted to see what I was in for.  Other than re-discovering a couple of things that I already knew, namely that water is still wet and I still sink rather than float…  everything else was new.  I have never swam for anything other than self preservation or to get back to the boat after skiing.  So to say that I have NO idea what I’m doing would be a slight understatement.

So armed with what little knowledge I could glean from fellow triathletes and The Triathlete’s Training Bible (or something like that), I decided to introduce myself to water as a training device.  Here were my goals for this session:

  1. Make it to the other end of the pool (25yds)
  2. Don’t drown
  3. Drink as little pool water as possible

So how did I do?

Well… This is definitely a relationship I am going to need to ease into…

Goal number one went fine.  I swam 16 X 25 with a 30 second break in between.  I felt that this would be the best way to ease into the training without killing myself, especially considering how sore I was from the 13 mile run the day before.  I forced myself to swim slow, reach with each stroke and focused mainly on my breathing.  I could tell when I did it right and failed goal number 3 miserably when I did it wrong.  I forced myself to push my head into the water, look down and roll on my breathing stroke.  Don’t ask me how my kick was.  It was too much to pay attention to.  I kicked.  I think…

Goal number to was a complete success.  I came up sputtering a couple of times, but lived to tell the tale.

Goal number three was the worst.  I drank a bit too much water for me.  It caused me to panic a bit a couple of times and pop my head up out of the water.

I guess, all in all, I did ok.  I was incredibly slow and really don’t care.  I’m more concerned at this point with making sure I concentrate on form and getting COMFORTABLE in the water.  Which, in at least this first case, I can’t say that I really was.  But hopefully I’ve got 5 months of swimming 3 times a week to make that better.

What I learned:

  1. I panic too much in the water
  2. I have weenie, runner arms (my shoulders are really weak)
  3. I need a lap counter of some sort.
  4. I need lessons

My questions:

  1. Should I get Jammers?
  2. Do I need a swim cap?
  3. Are there training aids I should use (i.e. kickboard, etc.)
  4. Are there beginner training routines?
  5. Do I REALLY have to shave my entire body to be a triathlete?  …that’s a lot of de-pelting…
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2 Responses to Well… Here we go…

  1. Sara says:

    1- Yep, jammers are great. My husband has them.
    2- Yes swim cap.
    3- Consider ear plugs, kickboard, fins, knee-buoy thing, and paddles when your shoulders are ready.
    4- I have links to beginner forums and more on my blog. http://www.ironmakeover.blogspot.com/
    ex: what not to say on race morning, your first triathlon, etc.

    There is a ton of great info on the newbie sections of:
    active.com, trifuel.com and beginnertriathlete.com
    5- My husband shaved his legs for his first Ironman. You see a lot of shaved legs, but it’s personal choice of course!

    Enjoy!

  2. Sheila says:

    Do you have a tri picked out? I’m thinking New Orleans 2010 😉 I hate the bike part and so I have to get over that.

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