Thursday, February 11, 2010

Swim Class and Mini Competition

Sometimes people look at me funny, when I tell them that I am "having swim class" twice a week. This is what it's called! It's not called "Masters" (even so I doubt that anybody that doesn't swim knows what that is), but a swim class. Sometimes it doesn't stop at the funny looks and they ask: "So you don't know how to swim?" Yes, I know how to swim, I am actually a decent swimmer. Okay, let me rephrase that... I used to be a decent swimmer and then I started taking classes (three months early last year and from January through April this year) and it made me a much better swimmer and faster too.

I read something a couple of weeks ago that I think is very true when it comes to triathlon training. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I read it, so I can't link it, but it's definitely worth sharing!

If you want to cycle faster - cycle more!
If you want to run faster - run more!
If you want to swim faster - take lessons!

I believe this to be true, since swimming faster depends way more on proper technique than muscle strength and aerobic capacity. Of course technique is also to watch while cycling or running, but the possibility of poor technique in your swim stroke is by far greater than in the pedal stroke or running stride. Also, if you want to teach yourself better technique, you can read up on all three sports, but putting it into practice seems to be so much harder when it comes to swimming.

On top of getting feedback from the coach, the swim class also provides camaraderie and a structured approach to swim training by having different workouts every time, increasing in distance and difficulty depending how far along we already are in our training. This is already my second year with this group and there are tons of familiar faces and tons of new faces. Triathletes of all abilities and experience levels.

Sometimes the swim class also provides a healthy dose of competition. Like one time last year when we did a kick board race or the multiple times we simulated races with pool swims. This morning we were eight people in the class - 4 guys and 4 girls. We were grouped in teams of two (one guy/ one girl) and then raced the other teams. The team members alternated to swim every lap (50 yards) until the team completed 1,000 yards. Me and my team mate were done in 14 minutes and WON! YAY! Going back after this little race to complete my remaining 900 yards of drills felt really crappy... My arms felt like lead.. But I got it done!

No comments:

Post a Comment