Just keep swimming

Hey everyone, can you believe its February already! The weeks are just flying.

So this week I have been concentrating on lots of swimming and trying to spend more time in the pool as this is one of my weak areas. I finally invested in a decent pair of goggles and a nose clip. I really struggle putting my head in the water because no matter how hard I try, I still get water up my nose, hence the nose clip. I’m not going to lie, I was so nervous about putting my head in but I knew I wouldn’t be able to do my first triathlon swimming the way I currently am. So I did it, I braved the water and hoped for the best. It was as traumatic as I expected it to be. I managed 2 lengths of the 25m pool. I just couldn’t get my breathing right, so I had a little tantrum at the side of the pool, took my goggles and nose clip off and swam without. I was looking around at all the ‘pro’s’ thinking, how do they make it look so easy, why do I find it so hard. I can swim, my mum put me in swimming lessons as a kid, I even hated it back then, but why am I finding this so hard?! After a few lengths of ‘holiday swimming’ as I like to call it and after having a firm word with myself I decided to try again. I felt like everyone was watching me, thinking ‘what is that girl doing, goggles on off on off’. I made myself a promise that I was going to do at least more than 2 lengths with my goggles on. Off I went with the biggest push off from the side that I could manage. I took my time instead of trying to swim my usual pace and tried to concentrate on what my body was doing and my breathing. I managed 6 lengths this time before I had to take a break, I was really happy with that and decided it wasn’t as bad as I first thought.

I went swimming another 4 times that week wearing my googles and I feel like I’ve found my rhythm and finally feel comfortable putting my head in the water which is a massive achievement for me. My next challenge will be to try and make the change from breast stroke to front crawl. The swim part of my triathlon is open water so if I did swim breast stroke this will really slow me down and I will probably use more energy than I need to. I want to try and save my energy for the bike and run and use the swim as a warm up to loosen myself up. I am currently thinking about maybe booking some swimming lessons to help me with my stroke and make me a stronger swimmer but I will see how the next couple of weeks go. This week I have learnt to not compare myself to other swimmers in the pool. I don’t know anything about them or there training, I have no idea how long they have been swimming or if they are training for anything in particular. I felt paranoid on that first swim with the goggles and felt like everyone was watching and laughing at me, but as the week progressed and I built up my confidence I realized, everyone is going about their everyday swim as they usually do, they’re not interested in what I’m doing. So, here is to becoming a fitter, stronger, more confident swimmer as the weeks go by.

I’ve spent more time swimming this week than anything else. I have done a couple of runs, including park run and some HIIT sessions but no cycling! I’m finding it difficult to get out on the bike during the week as its dark by the time I finish work, and weekends have been busy. However, I am not all about the excuses, there is a cycle track close to where I live so I will try and get there this week and starting increasing my cycling and start racking up the miles.

I also finally gave in and allowed myself a couple of rest days. It was just what I needed and my training sessions have been much better and feeling stronger and more energized. Although after 1 day off I was itching to put on my trainers and start training again! Again this is something that I am going to have to learn to allow myself to enjoy without feeling guilty, these things take time after all!

‘Of all the judgement we pass in life, non is as important as the one we pass on ourselves’- Nathaniel Branden


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