Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Swimming - Am I really starting to enjoy it?

I will be posting the Race Report from the flying pirate half marathon, hopefully tomorrow.

However, today I wanted to take a second and reflect on my weakest of the three disciplines. I started a 2 month long swim clinic about 16 weeks ago. Looking back at the first few entries in my workout log with those biweekly swim workouts it is amazing that I can actually tell you that I am starting to enjoy the swim workouts. Don't call the mental institution just yet, its still not what I love to do, give me my bike any day, but it is much more enjoyable that just a few short months ago.

#1:Swimming is much harder than cycling or running but I picked up a lot of great tips and swam farther tonight that I’ve swam in a day before. I’m pretty incredibly sore in my shoulder blades post workout.

#2:Swam a total of 850m. Felt much less sore after workout than on Sunday. Left shoulder still kind of sore but now know stretch to help that.

I failed to include in the journals how wiped out I felt after leaving the pool, or the fact that I had no idea how you were supposed to get that swim cap on your head. Just ask my parents who I usually called while driving home how tired I sounded.

My previous swimming experience included, swim lessons when I was in elementary school, and since then I've played in the pool on vacations and at my apartments but I don't guess you really call that swimming. So I didn't have to learn to swim in the sense of I will drown if the water is deep, but I did have to learn how to get my body from one end of the pool to the other(and that was a hell of a feat when the clinic's started).

Suzanne asked me how I was doing during the first clinic and all I could say was I missed my bike, but I kept going and have started to enjoy the swimming because its so interesting with improvements, set backs etc. My analytical mind tries to absorb all the information and process how it feels, when I think I'm doing the stroke right, or wrong and just figure out how to improve.

I've improved by leaps and bounds thanks to that swim clinic and then joining a masters swimming group that I swim with during lunch on Mondays & Wednesdays. Thankfully if I go in early or stay late my job allows me to take a little extra lunch time those 2 days so I can drive, swim, shower and get back to work.

There have been workouts when I've swam over 2000 yards now, but mostly its between 1500-2000 during masters and those include all sorts of various drills.

Tonight's swim workout prescribed by my coach(www.SuzanneDuncan.com) who rocks was:
200 w/u
4/50 side kick drill
3x300 (30 sec rest between)
4x25 slow choice cool down

Even thought I've been swimming more I've only swam 300 non stop once up to this point so being able to complete the workout made me feel great! With my first triathlon coming up on May 2nd this workout (along with the open water swim clinic from April 3rd) made me feel good about being able to complete the swim.

White Lake Sprint Tri I is a 750 lake swim, 14 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. I know that I should be okay to finish as long as I can get out of the water. I'm really hoping to enjoy the swim, and then see what I can do on the bike and with the run.

Completing a Triathlon has been a goal of mine for over 3 years. While I've been fascinated with them longer than that it was when I decided that it was time to change my life and that I didn't want to be the 250+ pound fat guy anymore that I first decided I really really wanted to be able to do a triathlon and call my self a triathlete! I saw an add for Beach 2 Battleship that year and I've wanted to do that ever since, that is why it is the final goal of my 2010 gauntlet.

But before i get there I've got to cross a few other finish lines(White Lake Sprint & Nations Tri Olympic Distance) to build towards the Battleship finish line. When I cross the finish line on Sunday may 2nd I will be so elated that I've achieved another dream and so thankful that I've got my wonderful fiancee, family and friends supporting me to DREAM BIG!

Thanks for reading.
Until Next Ride...


  1. You make me want to start swimming, Derek!

  2. Way to approach the swim. You recognize the need for help, you get and now you are seeing the improvement. That is awesome! I am sure you will rock all your triathlons!

  3. Thanks Guys!
    Dana- you definitely should. It is a hell of a workout but can be fun at the same time. Something different too, if you get bored with the usual.

    Christi-Thanks, I'm really looking forward to White Lake next weekend and seeing how it goes.