Finally, a post about swimming

For those that read the most recent uehgw hW/ SwimBikeRun post, you read with most likely tepid  interest  tgr; qba/g5ub/qawsb that I’m taking a month off from running 3       uhqve’bwsb/  (please pardon my typing, I’m still getting the shakes from running withdrawal) to heal a nagging and somewhat ignored Achilles injury. Hopefully the rest will allow me to begin Ironman training without any worries, and I can quickly return to my usual lousy form. Since the last post, I’ve spent every waking moment (except during that last Lost episide, wow!) worrying that I wouldn’t be able to last the full month without running as I haven’t not run for that long for well over a decade (sorry about the double negative). Since running is the one of the three disciplines that I do relatively well at (sorry about the preposition ending), I’m consumed with those awful, nagging doubts that I’ll never be able to return to my mediocre form of the mid-to-late aughts. Then what do I do? Give up triathlon and take up golf? Trade in my lightweight trainers and compression tights for a pair of golf spikes and plaid pants?  

My swim splits can't get no respect

If it comes to that, please take me out just like they do to race horses who’ve come up lame – you know what I mean.

mmmmm... jello

Hopefully, it won’t come to that, so instead of worrying, I’ll do something just as counterproductive: SWIM! That’s right I said it, I’m going to swim. Well, you may be asking – you’re a triathlete (allegedly), and triathlon season is now in full swing, don’t you already swim? Well, what I’ve been doing since November or so could hardly count as swim training. Once or twice a week for about 2,000 yards per session may not really count, especially if it’s your weakest event and you have an Ironman coming up.

For the last few months, I’ve been completely unmotivated to swim, and I can pinpoint these reasons for this complacency:

  • I really suck at swimming
  • I’ve always sucked at swimming
  • No matter how much I swim, how many masters sessions I show up to, the gains I’ve made have been minimal
  • I got out of the habit of going to masters class
  • I had no triathlons coming up, whereas I did have a bunch of running races to train for
  • I’d much, much rather run or bike (or sit at home and watch American Idol reruns) than swim
  • If I had to skip a workout for whatever reason, I was going to skip a swim workout
  • I’m allergic to chlorine, and maybe even the plastic that the lane lines are made from
  • I don’t look good with goggle-eyes

As you can see, I can pick from a plethora of handy excuses not to swim. Just like a Cubs fan in May with all the reasons why the Cubbies will win it all (next year), they’re all pretty lame. So, with my running sabbatical it’s time to start swimming, and for real this time, and I really, really, really mean it. I’m going to start going back to masters classes (with this guy); I’m going swim three to four times a week. I’m going to start mixing in speed workouts with my usual doggy-stroke. The swim has always been the bane of my tri-existence; there’s usually only a couple of guys from my wave behind me and every race photo of me coming out of the water looks like I’ve just lost a fight to a hungry Mike Tyson.

mmmm... sky-rat

Becoming a better swimmer, unfortunately, is not just about swimming more yards. Unlike biking or running, proper technique plays a greater part in swimming faster than just swimming more. And since my technique has always lacked, how should I say – everything, it’s also time to improve technique. To aid in this venture, there’s a web site out there on the Interweb called swimsmooth.com. On this web site, you’ll find articles, videos, and photos dedicated to help every level of swimmer perform better. There are plenty of sites like this out there, and most of them have useful information. What makes this site unique is the really creepy animated Terminator 2-inspired  swimmer that graces the home page.

Supposedly, through much research and trial and error, the swimmer (and why couldn’t they have created a lady swimmer with Natalie Coughlin as the model?) exhibits perfect, sleek, efficient form that you can watch and hopefully absorb through watching for hours on end.  With the interactive features, you can change the angle of the swimmer and the swimmer’s cadence. By watching this guy swim perfectly, metronomically for as long as I can without going completely bat-crazy (not at work of course), hopefully I’ll soon possess a swim stroke that will be the envy of nobody, really — I’ll still probably suck. Maybe with this new swim stroke, I can even get out of the water in the middle of the pack of my age group.

Nah, I’ll probably just bike more, or take up golf. See you at the pool /kwgfqegkccqr (there it goes again, the lithium’s worn off) and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who put up with our tri-weirdness.

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