My First Day Swimming Laps

Celebrate Small VictoriesFor a while now I’ve been working on swim technique.  I’m doing Total Immersion Swimming (shout out to my swim coach, Ingrid Loos Miller from Fearless Swimming, who just finished the Arizona IRONMAN – her fifth IMAZ I think and her sixth IM.)

So anyway, I’ve been learning technique during my weekly lessons and doing technique drills between lessons, but so far I have never swum even a single lap, mostly owing my tendency to drink poolwater in lieu of breathing.

Today was the moment of truth, time to swim some laps. The plan was 10 minutes of warm up drills, followed by however many laps I could fit into the remaining 50 minutes, focusing only on technique and not at all on speed.

I definitely had to take some breaks – things would start off solidly but then my breathing issue would reappear, and everything would be suddenly bad – like, flailing muppet arms bad – and I would need to stop and regroup. I also felt like I was molasses slow but, like Dory taught me in Finding Nemo, I just kept swimming until the time was up.

At the end of the 50 minutes I had completed 37 laps.  So on my very first attempt at distance swimming I did .83 miles in 50 minutes.  For the half IM in Austin next November I’ll have to do 1.2 miles in 70 minutes, and in the IM a year from that I’ll have to do 2.4 miles in two hours and twenty minutes (though of course I plan to be faster than that to buy myself as much time as possible for the run!)

It will be in open water, I won’t be able to take the kind of breaks that I took today, but still – I’m feeling pretty good about where I am for my very first day of laps!

More Cool Stuff:

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

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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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8 Responses to My First Day Swimming Laps

  1. Great work! That’s way faster than I was doing my first laps.


  2. I’m celebrating a great first laps day!


  3. nosnikrapzil says:

    That is a good time for your first long swim Ragen, I was much much slower than that at first. I can now do a mile is 56 minutes.


  4. Cate! says:

    Terrific job! Go you! Glad you went with the TI method.


  5. lsstrout says:

    Woot! One step at a time!


  6. Susan Mohlman says:

    Happy for you! It’s always exciting to face challenges and feel successbful.


  7. LizziATX says:

    Congrats on the first laps! It’s nice to have another fat swimmer out there 🙂 I used to be a competitive swimmer (more of a sprinter, but at my peak I could swim the mile in just over 20 minutes) and it was always hard being the one chunky athlete trying to squeeze into those absurd one-size-fits-all racing suits haha but glad to have you out there too 😉


  8. M Paullet says:

    Holy cow. I’ve been doing laps for a while but can’t do more than 30-minutes’ worth. Way to go!


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