Just Keep Swimming

Are you on of those triathletes just just jumps into the water and wings it for a sprint or Olympic distance tri? I am! One of the biggest pieces of feedback I got from the 3 coaches I met with before signing up for Ironman 70.3 Eagleman was…don’t do that!

I’ll be in the base building phase of training until early 2018 when things kick into high(er) gear and part of that means becoming a more well rounded athlete at all 3 sports. My goal for this cycle is simple:

  1. Meet with a swim coach to analyze my stoke, breathing techniques, and maximizing my swim effort
  2. Get in the pool and swim laps one night a week
  3. Figure out what this open water swim (OWS) panic was all about

So where am I now about 2 weeks into training?

  1. I met with a swim coach, Katie Scott, and she was fantastic. I highly recommend her if you are looking for a swim coach in the DC area. She was a NCAA collegiate swimming and recently swam the 34 mile English Channel in 13 hours and some change — insane. Even in just our first lesson I learned so much that a casual summer pool swimmer would never have been able to figure out. For example, how to properly finish my stroke, when to change arms (I am a fan of the catch up drill now), proper breathing, better use of my legs and efficient kicking. We’ve got a ways to go but I look forward to more lessons throughout the year.
  2. Aside from my coaching session I did get in the pool one night this week and more importantly — figured out my pool options. Thankfully, I can swim at my near-by alma mater as an alumnae (but their hours are a little late in the evening…coffee maybe??). As a second option, passes to the county rec centers are reasonable and I purchased a 10 swim pass for about $40 so that should help fill in the gaps for days I want to swim early in the morning or swim earlier than 8pm-10pm!
  3. I am still working on the panic bit and it is hard because it does not happen in the pool. I think it is a mix of a few things like being kicked and punched in the water during the insane fight to get going and not being able to see anything in the murky water. One of my tri coaches also pointed something interesting out that I have a bad OWS habit of doing that has to do with my breathing. When I go into survival mode when a panic attack sets in I start holding my breath when my head is in the water which means I am both exhaling and inhaling while my head is out of the water/to the side. Holy high heart rate bat man! Talk about inefficient! So breathing techniques will be a big focus for me along with getting in some OWS session closer to Eagleman.


So what does training look like?

AM – run/walk to the pups (so that is not on Strava cuz it has a lottttt of stop and go…no shame!)

PM – 1 day pool, 1 day hill repeats on bike, 4 day run, 1 day long ride on bike

That’s all for now!


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