Swimming and I have a love/hate relationship. I love that I have experience swimming in high school and therefore I am considered a “fast” triathlon swimmer. I hate that despite this, swimming is still my least favorite sport of the three.
Here are my 3 main reasons for disliking the swim:
1) It’s cold. I hate being cold. I seriously would not survive living anywhere but Southern California. I drive with seat warmers on in my car all the time, even most days in the summer, and I turn the thermostat up to 76 at work if I can. Even though I can swim in a heated pool, getting out of the pool wet is cold. Even worse is swimming in the ocean because it’s never warm, even with a wet suit on. Yes I’m a baby.
2) It’s boring. Let’s be honest, swimming the same 25 meters over and over isn’t fun. Swimming is like running on the treadmill ALWAYS. Except, when you’re swimming, you can’t watch TV on mute or people watch the variety of characters that frequent the gym. Instead, you just stare at the bottom of the pool for an hour straight. How is that not boring?
3) I constantly question if I’m doing it right. I know that I swim faster than a lot of my age group, BUT I still know I have work to do and I constantly question it. It frustrates me!
There are some ways for me to alleviate the pain of swimming. #1 is a lost cause – I just have to get over the cold. I will be getting a spiffy neoprene cap soon to help with open water swims but I probably won’t sport it at Master’s swim. #2 can be remedied by doing more group swims where my interaction with other humans will be more than just asking if I can share their lane at the gym. The problem with that is that the group swims through the Tri Club meet at 7:30 p.m. and end at 8:45. That means I don’t get home til past 9 when ideally I like to be in bed reading a book, not frantically showering and trying to shove a hot dinner down my throat. As I mentioned in a previous post, I found out that the local YMCA has drop in Master’s Swim classes every day of the week starting at 6 a.m. This could be a good solution. I haven’t tried the classes yet because I’ve just gotten back into swimming and I’m not sure I’m ready for a Master’s class yet.
I’m currently in search of an answer for my last problem. Although I think I’m doing a lot right when it comes to swimming, I know I’m doing some things wrong. I just don’t know exactly what they are and how to fix them. I’ve been reading the Triathlete’s Training Bible and doing online research on technique so I know what good form sounds like and looks like, but I’m not sure how to implement it. I’ve gone to the TriClub’s technique swimming class and listened to each of the motions of the freestyle stroke explained and I’ve done drills to practice each stroke, but I still don’t know if it’s right. I had a swim instructor at Master’s swim this summer point out that my stroke has a poor catch so I have been focusing on that, but I still don’t know if I’m doing it right. Right before TriRock I thought I had a breakthrough and fixed my catch but I think I lost it during the 4 months I took off from swimming after the race.
So my solution is that I am going to pay a pretty penny to have my swim stroke videotaped and analyzed. I’m still on the hunt for a swim coach to do this with me. I’m hesitant to spend the money on arguably my strongest sport of the three, but since I am an over-thinker, I know that if I don’t find out what’s wrong with my stroke and figure out how to fix it, I will constantly question it and probably never get any better.
What is your least favorite part of triathlon? How do you make it more fun? Have you had your swim stroke analyzed? If so, did it help?