As a beginner triathlete – I just completed my first sprint distance triathlon in June – I find swimming to be the most difficult discipline from a technical perspective. Running requires some shoes (or not so much, I guess, if you’re into barefoot running), but most people can just head out the door and do what comes naturally (I won’t discuss my recent IT band injury yet). And there’s a reason why the saying “It’s like riding a bike” exists – once you know how, you can go out and pedal away (well, that’s mostly what I’m doing at this point anyway – maybe I’ll know more as I progress with my triathlon training). Swimming, though, requires efficiency and good form or else you’re just flailing around, and so almost 20 years after my last set of swimming lessons, I hired a swim coach to get my swimming up to snuff for my first triathlon.
I’ve been working with my swim coach for several months now, but hadn’t met with him since before my race in June. Luckily, I have managed to get to the pool in the past few weeks and get a couple of swim workouts in, but those workouts made me feel like my form was getting rusty and it was time for a tune-up.
Let me just say that I am NOT a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. However, mornings are often the best time for me to workout, as I’m sure many moms (and dads) find. So, I hauled my butt to the pool for a workout with my swim coach this morning. Trust me, it was not the crack of dawn or anything, but it sure felt early after a poor night’s sleep and a late bedtime.
I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to do a hard swim workout, since I haven’t been swimming much, but my fears were unfounded. In fact, I had a GREAT workout. My coach said he thought it was the best workout we’ve ever had! We did a lot of pull drills and focused on maintaining my body form, and he also pointed out that I was over-kicking, so we worked on that, too.
Not every workout is a great workout. In fact, most aren’t. But every once in awhile, the hard work, regular workouts, and (somewhat) early mornings pay off and everything clicks. These are the workouts that I remember. Oh, maybe not the exact workout or the day on which it occurred, but sometimes I remember the feeling – mostly the after-workout, jelly-muscles, happy-tired feeling, and that can be enough to get me out the door to do running intervals or haul my gear to the pool and dive in (figuratively, of course – when can you ever dive into a pool these days? haha).