Beginner Swimming Lessons – Done

This week marked the end of my 2-week beginner swimming class. It was successful in that by the second day, I was swimming freestyle with side-breathing.  Mind you, I wasn’t swimming fast nor was I swimming far, but I was swimming nonetheless.  I would swim 25m and then need many minutes of rest before I can swim another length.

That was when the lessons became somewhat useless.  I was in a class with folks that were afraid of the water, but by the second day, I was mostly on my own as the instructors focused on the beginner adults.  I would swim lengths of the pool taking breaks while the class did other things.

For the second week, I aimed to swim at least 200m each day in total and I managed to do that.  While I can’t swim more than 25m at a time without a rest, I have noticed the amount of rest I need is getting less and less.

I have signed up for the advanced class which starts in two weeks time, so for the next two weeks until then, I’ll simply go swim 4 days a week and work on reducing the rest time even more and aim to try and swim 50m at a time instead of 25.

This reminds me of when I first started running where I could barely run a couple blocks without huffing and puffing and having to walk, but over time the amount of walking got less and less until I didn’t need to walk, and the huffing-and-puffing went away.

I just need to keep working at it.

My first swim goal is to swim 400m without stopping.  That would be quite a milestone as that is the distance I had to swim for my Divemaster certification and it took me 17min 39secs.

Week in Review: July 2 – July 8 2018

The highlight for this week was the first week of the beginner swim class that I’m taking.  By the second day, I was able to swim freestyle with side breathing.  Now, I can only swim 25m at a time then have to take a brief rest then swim another 25m, but after that 50m I need about 5 mins rest.  The goal though was to learn to swim with side breathing and I accomplished that.  Now I need to work on my endurance.

In running and biking, I did the same distances as the previous week.  11 miles running and 60 miles biking.  I did my second ever brick session today, running 1.5 miles right after my 30-mile bike ride.  Legs felt like jelly, but that was to be expected.  By about the 0.75-mile mark, my legs felt fine in that they didn’t feel like jelly, but they were still tire though, but more like the tired feeling at the end of a long run.

Here is my week from TrainingPeaks:


Goals For Next Week: I will keep the amount of running the same.  For the biking, I will add 5 miles to the long bike ride.  For swimming, I hope to log at least 200m for each of the 4 days of my swimming class with a stretch goal of reaching 400m on one of those days.

Bike Fit

Today I had my first bike fit done at PlayTri. When I first got my bike, I did all the adjustments myself.  I was quite happy and I’ve been riding on the bike for the last 3 months without any issue when used as a road bike, but I recently installed some clip-on aero bars had some discomfort when riding it for the first time. I wanted to have a proper tri fit.

The bike fit was the Retul system.  I didn’t expect to have to do so much riding, but in the end I was happy with the result.  My seat got raised a bit and I did replace the saddle with a tri specific saddle.  It was much more comfortable when I was in the aero position.

I have my long ride tomorrow of 30 miles and that will be a good test.  We’ll see how long I can stay in the aero position. I’ve only ridden two others times this past week with the aero bars.  I think I spent perhaps 40-50% of the time in the aero position on the first 15-mile ride, but only 20% of the time on the second 15-mile ride due to the discomfort.

I have also done the 30-mile ride for last 3 weekends so I have a good baseline for my power and speed to compare against.

Learning to Swim

If I got into a pool and was told to swim to the other side, I can do it, and I can even swim back, but was I swimming?  I guess it depends on how you define swimming.  If it is simply to propel oneself, then yes, I was swimming!  But, the way I swim is not typical.  It would be a combination of freestyle with my face out of the water the entire time and a lot of splashing, a little breast stroke when I got tired, and flipping over on my back and making what my wife calls snow angles in order to move.

None of my strokes were normal.

When I was doing my Divemaster Scuba certification, one of the requirements was to swim 400m.  You got various points depending on how long you took with 5 points for under 9 mins and 1 point for at least finishing.  I only got the 1 point having taken around 18 mins to swim the 400m.   At the time I was doing 10-mile long runs, but I was exhausted after that 400m swim.

I know this will not work for any kind of long distance triathlon.  So in order to accomplish my goal, I had to take some swimming lessons to learn to swim properly so I can be more efficient in the water.  I found a 2-week beginner class that started this past Monday and after just a couple days, I can now swim freestyle with side breathing.

Now, I’m not breaking any speed records and I’m tired after just 50m, but at least I have the technique down and now I just need to work on building up my endurance.