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.

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.