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.
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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!
I never figured out breathing while stroking. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you can figure it out quickly.
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).
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.
This is EXACTLY how I felt when I went to the swimming pool for the first time in forever. Breathing is overated !