Although I’m technically in “Week 3” of Ironman training and my Half Ironman is just a little over 3 months away, that I haven’t actually donned my swim suit, goggles and cap yet. Actually, I haven’t sported sexy goggle lines since September 11 when I completed the TriRock Olympic triathlon. Oops.
First Excuse Not to Swim
Despite being most competitive in my age group in the swim, it’s my least favorite part of triathlon. Although I swam 4-5 days a week in high school, I have no real excitement about swimming now. I actually didn’t even swim my senior year of high school because I was just over it. I got a job and decided working was more fun than swimming. I got back into swimming last June in preparation for my first sprint triathlon and continued to swim throughout the summer. I swam about 2 times a week on average and competed in several Aquathons put on by the TriClub. I found that I was pretty competitive when it came to swimming despite not practicing much. I was out of the water quickly at the Aquathons and finished well in both of my triathlons.
So maybe the fact that I am a little confident in my swimming abilities has something to do with the fact that I haven’t made swimming a priority. Biking has been a big priority of mine since that is my weakest leg of the race and the sport that is most new to me. And now that we are training for a marathon, running has become an even larger priority. However, I know that the inevitable is about to happen and I will need to start getting in the pool. Ironman training will require that I swim at least three times a week so I’ll need to get started soon! I actaully scheduled one swim a week on my Ironman training plan for the month of December, but I have managed to skip it every week due to all the holiday obligations. Simply, swimming is my lowest priority and usually gets put on the backburner.
More Excuses For Not Swimming….
Another reason I’m avoiding swimming is that I have only 2 options for workouts – swim on my own at the 24 Hour Fitness indoor pool or swim with the Master’s swim group at 7:30 pm on either Mondays or Wednesdays in a COLD outdoor pool. Ok the pool is heated, but the air isn’t and it’s chilly! Not to mention, the Master’s swim is about a 20 minute drive away from home (in the opposite direction of work) and I usually don’t get home until after 9 when I participate. Ideally, I’m getting ready for bed at 9, not arriving home starving and amped up from a swim. The alternative to Master’s swim is to swim on my own, but I know that it is more effective for me to follow a structured workout with a group. During Ironman peak training, I do plan to swim on my own at least once a week.
A Solution to My Problem!
Luckily, I’ve recently come across a fabulous solution to my swim problem. The local YMCA (less than 1 mile from my house) has a Master’s swim workout every morning from 6-7:15 and they allow drop ins!!! For only $6/swim, I can get a fabulous workout before work. Although it is more expensive than my Tri Club swim ($2.50), I will spend less money on gas and the time savings is totally worth it! Plus, I can get the dreaded swim out of the way first thing and can’t make excuses come 7 p.m. not to swim like I usually do. Instead, I can get a good swim in during the morning and then get in a bike or run after work and be completely finished with workouts by the time I’d be starting my TriClub swim. This is going to be good!
Come January, I plan to get in the pool 3x a week, no excuses! The holiday season has been putting a slight crimp in my Ironman training but I plan to go forward full force in the new year. My goal is to swim so much that the 2.4 mile swim on race day barely phases me.
How do you motivate yourself to workout when you don’t want to?