I Want to be a Triathlete

I have told many friends that I want to do a triathlon soon.  The journey to becoming a triathlete is the main reason why I want to do this.  I’ve been out of shape for far too long and its not merely about being “skinny” and fitting into trim cut clothing.  I really am out of shape.  I can’t run for long during a soccer match and I have overall less stamina than I used to.  My life used to be surrounded by sports: soccer, roller skating and recreational biking.  That was almost ten years ago; and a slow but sure process began then of my body losing its ability to perform active sports at any high pace.  Enough of that.

Swimming, the first step

First of, this is not a plan I just came up with.  I’ve been at this for at least two years.  I’ve been slowly working on my swimming.  You have to start somewhere, after all.   When I started to swim at a recreational pool, I could hardly finish two laps.  There’s two reasons for this: I was not pacing my self and, the second is related, I didn’t have the stamina to do more than two laps at a time.  Once I slowed down to a more comfortable rhythm, I doubled my distance and was able to do 4 laps.  A very small increment but a very big victory.  Increasing the distance was the first step in the challenge to swim 800 meters in one session.  All this time I was swimming at my local pool—only 10 meters long at the most.  So my overall distance was merely approaching 100 meters in one session!

Persistence is key and form helps

Having set a goal was a lot help in the journey to reaching it.   The first summer was merely a taste of what was ahead: a very difficult, but attainable goal.  I did not swim after the summer was over but I longed for it and the very next summer I was back at the pool.  This time however I was learning to pace myself and to improve my form.  The need to improve my form came from noticing the swimmer in the lap next to me going a longer distance with less effort.  I was in the other lap rushing my arms into the water but not going any faster and getting more tired.  I looked up some videos and began to learn the proper ways to swim different strokes.  Everything began making sense and I got a morale boost out of knowing that I was becoming a better swimmer.

A bigger pool and

I swam last summer and once I felt that I had reached a nice consistent pace I found out the schedule for the local aquatic center.  I began going there more consistently and finally reached my goal of 800 meters!  That is not the end of my swimming adventures, however, since there are some things to work out.  First of all, I have been too busy over the past month to show any consistency in my training but I will be back at the pool within a week and work slowly back to my goal and beyond.

What needs work

I still take a few breaks during my swimming sessions and my pace is quite slow.  The fix for this of course is simply to keep swimming!  I also have to improve my nutrition to target this type of workout.  Without proper nutrition, the pace of progress slows down severely.  On future posts I will be looking for a decent bike to ride on once the weather warms up.

Stay tuned!

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