Thursday, March 3, 2016

In the deep end (again)

For the last year or so, I've talked about doing a triathlon.  Crossfit is too expensive here, I had been getting bored with running and I've realized that I need a goal in order to effectively work out.  I simply don't have the motivation to just work out regularly without a plan and a goal.  I don't push myself.

So, with the support of my wife (she bought me a nice bike for Christmas), I have begun training for a triathlon in June.  This week, I started my swim training in earnest by joining a "master's swim class" at the YMCA.  It is completely kicking my ass.  Although I learned how to swim as a kid and I know all the strokes, etc., my form is crap.

Frankly, I am embarrassed by my complete lack of skill in swimming.  It is WAY harder than I thought it would be.   I struggle with breathing, kicking and "pulling" (as I learned the part with your arms is called).  Not only am I relegated to the "slow lane" during the class, but I am also easily the slowest of the three guys in this lane.  I can barely swim 50 meters without needing a rest. It reminds me of how awful I was at running when I started.  I am still not a fast runner - I never will be - but I can run  5 miles if I need to.

To make matters worse, we swim A LOT.  When I was learning to run, my first race was a 5K.  During practice, I only ran that distance once or twice before the race.  I mistakenly assumed the same theory would apply to the swim in the triathlon.  For my tri, I have to swim 750 meters (30 lengths of the pool).  The WARM-UP at the first practice was 500 meters!  The total work out was 3400 meters.  I am limiting my workout to an hour, so I only did about 2200 meters. That is still three times the length of my race.

As bad as it has been (and it's been pretty bad), I just have to remember how it was when I started running and how it was when I started cross fit.  In both cases, I was by far the worst person doing this when I started.  But, over time, I improved (incrementally) and other worse people started up.  Improving my technique and building my endurance made it so I eventually wasn't the worst.  I assume and hope that will be the case again with swimming.

Additionally,  I went on a long bike ride (7 miles) a few weeks ago.  I could barely walk for 3 days, so we'll see how that goes.

Wish me luck.

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