As I talk to people who would like to run a triathlon I have noticed a reoccurring theme. Most everybody is afraid of the swim. I have to say this is completely understandable. Most of us can imagine ourselves getting on a bike and flying down the street because we unbolted the training wheels from our bikes at five. As for running, we all have run at some point. Be it with a junior high school teacher screaming at us to go faster or playing tag with our friends in the front yard. It is not beyond imagination that we can overcome either of these two disciplines with enough time or practice. With the water there seems to be more fear and worry. This was one of the biggest obstacles for me to overcome as well.
Let’s face it there is an instinctual desire in us not to drown! That is a good thing. I say use that feeling. I did. So afraid of the swim portion of the race I trained harder on the swim than any other part of the race. That work paid off. It was my best split and I found that it was the easiest to squeeze time in to train for. You can get a great swim workout that hits your whole body including your core in thirty minuets or less. And to remind you I was not a swimmer. When I started I swam just well enough to keep my nose above the water. I turned to Youtube to gain some knowledge on how to stroke. If you are just starting check out:
Or you could look at:
Lastly, I would watch the other people swimming around you. Can you pick up on what makes them look like they are moving through the water with out effort? Can you see the people who are struggling? Pay attention to what they are doing that is causing there struggles. Then make sure you are not doing that.
Like with cycling and running you have to put in the time. You can’t run a marathon your first time out don’t expect to keep up with Michael Phelps either. I promise that if you put in the time all of a sudden you will notice that you are gliding through the water as though you are flying. It happened for me and if this horse can swim so can you.
For more tips and check out the Podcast on How to run your first triathlon where the Prepared Idiot talks to Shawn from firsttimetriathlete.com.