Thursday, March 29, 2012

10 Things

10 things I’ve figured out since I re-started learning to swim:

  1. Goggles are very important.
  2. Ear plugs are important, but not as important as goggles.
  3. A nose plug is not important and actually quite annoying.
  4. A swim cap is also not important but still very cool.
  5. Swimming with your mouth closed (the entire time) is hard and stupid.
  6. Lifting your whole head out of the water to breathe is not recommended.
  7. Breathing with a right side head turn is hard but with the left side it’s easy.
  8. Kicking should be continuous and not once every swim stroke.
  9. Kick turns are cool but physically (and genetically) impossible for me to do.
  10. My shoulders, neck and upper back hate me for trying this.
Oh, and I still have no fucking idea what I’m doing.


  1. #8 is true if you are in a swim race, but all the swim coaches I have talked to about this for Tri training say NO! Only kick once per stroke or you will have no legs left for the Bike or Run.

    #10 You have to do some upper body workouts. Push ups, weight lift, pull downs and chin ups. Your upper body strength is important for the catch and push during your swim stroke.

    You didn't mention your arm floaties!

    1. OK then:

      #11 Arm floaties - Bad. Pool Buoys - Good. :)

  2. Comments from a non-swimmer who has also done triathlons.
    1. Swimming in a pool is easy. No crowds, nice lanes, comfortable temp, no sun, clear water, etc. Practice is good but is only a small part.
    2. Non-swimmers don't know how to swim and we can't learn. We just learn to suck less.
    3. A wetsuit is a must. It makes you float. Period.
    4. The key to the swim leg is to exit the water as fresh as possible. I have NEVER used my legs (for kicking) in any triathlon. I save them for the bike and run. With a wetsuit, this is possible. Without it, not so much.
    5. Open water swimming is...well, maybe I'll let you figure this out for yourself :-)
    6. Swimming in a straight line in the open water is nearly impossible, especially if you only breathe on one side.Good luck.
    7. In a triathlon, you are considered an obstacle, not a competitor. Swim like you own the damn lake.

    More advice is available on request.

    1. Good stuff Steve, thanks. But, I'm not planning on entering any triathlons. I'm just learning to swim for the, ahem, FUN (and fitness) of it. :)

  3. yeah, and I only run for the fun of it! No marathons for me!

    1. Seriously, with two in college and two in full-time day care I can't afford to be a triathlete. The entry fees alone. Not to mention: the tri-bike, tri helmet & tri-wetsuit. No thanks.

  4. I self-taught myself how to swim in triathlons and went from a first Ironman swim of 2:14 to a final time of 1:04. THe good news is is easy and quick to see improvements if you stick with it. It wasn't until I was done with triathlons, that I read the book "Total Immersion" For the first time, I could visualize what good swimming looked like. I don't know if that is considered the best book for swimmers today, but I can still recall the imagery about 15 years later.