Chlorine – It’s What’s For Dinner

Ragen Swimming

Trying my best not to swim uphill, my bun like a shark’s dorsal fin warning those around me that I have no idea what I’m doing and, also, I forgot my swim cap.

A couple of weeks ago I started working with a swim coach.  After doing a bunch of research I decided on the total Total Immersion technique and set about finding a coach in the area.  I found Ingrid Miller of FearlessSwimming.  She has done IM Arizona several times (which is the IM that I’m doing) and trains IM athletes so she totally understood my goals. So I haul my ass to my lesson at 6:30am every Thursday because apparently any and all adult swimming must happen at the crack of freaking dawn.

Our first test showed that I was “swimming uphill” (a common problem where the body angles down from the head to the feet) and  using a “Tarzan stroke” (wherein I keep my head up looking forward all the time  – a function of the lifeguard training of my youth no doubt.)  No good according to Ingrid, and who am I to argue.

We started with Supermans, then Skating, then Switches and all of that went great.  Things were going swimmingly, as it were, until it got to breathing.  I sent Steve, my tri coach, the following update after my swim practice tonight:

Completed swim practice – if I didn’t have to breathe this would be going great, unfortunately my current “strategy” seems to be to drink a bunch of water every three strokes. The lack of oxygen seems to be affecting speed and sighting and I feel like the incessant choking may be slowing me down a bit. I’m not sure how much chlorine is safe to ingest but I’m pretty sure that’s the only area of my training where I am currently exceeding expectations. Am just hoping it looks as graceful as it feels. This IRONMAN was a fantastic idea.

I have another swim lesson on Thursday where I’m fairly certain that breathing will be the main topic of discussion and practice.  For now I’ll just dream about the endless laps I’ll get to swim once I get this breathing thing down.

More Cool Stuff:

If you have questions about my IRONMAN journey  the FAQ might help!

If you’re looking for a place to talk about fitness from a weight neutral perspective, check out the Fit Fatties Forum. and the Fit Fatties Facebook page.

Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

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About Ragen Chastain

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be Iron-distance triathlete, Activist, Fat Person.
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5 Responses to Chlorine – It’s What’s For Dinner

  1. Tiana says:

    Sounds tasty! I think that’s the motivation I’ve been missing to finally take swimming lessons of my own. *wink, wink*

    But seriously, you sharing your experiences, the good and the challenging, really makes this fitness stuff seem much more within reach. Thanks, Ragen!


  2. lsstrout says:

    I never figured out breathing while stroking. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you can figure it out quickly.


  3. Cindy says:

    The Total Immersion gets easier, I promise. Once you get past the new way of breathing you’ll be amazed (Or at least I was).


  4. Email me your postal address. I wanna send you a gift from a fellow long, curly-haired swimmer that’ll make your life easier in the pool or open water.


  5. Léna says:

    This is EXACTLY how I felt when I went to the swimming pool for the first time in forever. Breathing is overated !


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