17 months ago I could not swim. If I was on a ship that had just hit an iceberg, I could swim enough to save myself…but this is very different than swimming in a triathlon. When I started training for my first triathlon in July of ’08, I quickly realized that swimming with my head above water was not actually swimming. My hips were sinking and I was going nowhere fast. So I took some swim lessons and eventually learned how to swim “properly”.
The hardest thing for me to learn was the breathing. I couldn’t get a good rhythm going and could only breath to my left. After practicing all last winter and visiting another swim coach this summer, I was able to perfect breathing to both sides.
Most competitive swimmers can breath every 3 or 5 strokes. I can start with doing every 3, but then I feel like I’m holding my breath…waiting for that third stroke so that I can take a breath. After a few lengths of the pool, I quickly switch to breathing every other stroke to one side…alternating which side I breath to with each length of the pool.
As I swam this morning, I kept feeling like I wasn’t using the full capacity of my lungs, my exhale under water wasn’t emptying them out completely, so I could only take a partial breath when I turned for air. This will be a big problem if I don’t get it fixed. An active exhale will fully clear your lungs and they’ll fill effortlessly on the inhale, since God made your lungs like a vacuum. Using the full capacity of your lungs is vital to being able to swim long distanced. Stuck in between breathing every 2 or 3 strokes is where I am right now…
3 x 480yd (20 lengths) intervals with 1:00 rest in between
1 – 9:18 (34:05 mile pace)
2 – 9:28 (34:42)
3 – 9:33 (35:00)
Average pace = 34:45 min/mile
Still trying to build my endurance back up in the water after 3 weeks off. Shoulder feeling fine so far (fingers crossed!)
25 minutes of weights (chest, triceps, abs)