Tri-ing to swim

I've never been any good at sports all my life. As swimming goes I'm not very good at all. I can stay afloat and swim from one side of the pool to the other but that's about it.

However, a colleague of mine challenged me to a triathlon on 21st August. I seriously considered saying no but decided to give it a go. The event is a novice triathlon which consists of a 250m swim, 12.5km bike ride and 3km run. Knowing that I can comfortably do the ride and the run, the only thing that concerned me was the swim. I'm a recreational swimmer and get in the pool for fun. The idea of swimming 10 lengths against the clock scared the crap out of me.

However, one of my colleagues, who is a triathlete was on hand to offer advice. He told me what equipmen to purchase and put me in touch with a local club that offer swim coaching for all levels. I was bricking it the first time I turned up for a lesson.

I got in the water and started to swim. After two lengths, the coach informed me that everything I do when swimming is wrong. After that he got me to try various styles to get me to improve on what was effectively no technique at all. What I soon realised was that swimming was so physically demanding. Because of my inefficient tecnique and body position my heart rate was going sky high as I was battling through the water.

After many lengths with various swim aids I realised this wasn't going to be easy. I thought cycling was hard when I started and recently running was even worse. Swimming has made anything else just seem easy in comparison.

I can expect that swimming will get easier over time as my strength and technique improve, but for now, after two coaching sessions, it's the hardest thing I've ever done!


  1. Toby - I've just started running again. It's been 25+ years since I ran (poorly) for my High School Track and Cross Country teams. Branching out and expanding our challenges is hard, it hurts.

    But I'm expecting similar rewards to those we got from the bike the last few years.

    Good luck, I look forward to reading more about your experience with this.


  2. I'm sure you'll best this challenge as you have everything else mate.

    Looking forward to hearing all about it.


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