It was 2o F this morning so what did I decide to do? Go swimming! I’m signing up for an indoor triathlon at my gym. It’s held in early March. The race is swim for 10 minutes, bicycle for 25 minutes and run for 20 minutes. Everything is done in the gym, so the run is on a treadmill and the bicycle is a bike used for spinning classes. For me, the order of ease with this is running, bicycling, and dragging up the rear is swimming. I know I can run for 20 minutes. I can ride the bicycle for 25 minutes though probably not very fast. The swimming is a problem.
Initially I thought, swim for ten minutes? How hard could that be? Turns out, a lot harder than I first thought.
I go to the pool at my gym and I’m always amazed at the people who effortlessly swim laps. When I swim, I swim one length, catch my breath, swim back and rest. I’m not sure I understand why swimming is so difficult for me. I obviously have the respiratory capacity and am physically able to swim. There’s something about the breathing that challenges me.
Swimming as a Sport
I’ve not been a swimmer since I was a kid. I remember those Saturday morning swimming lessons I took. I’d like to go back to my instructors and thank them for teaching me something that I can still remember.
I break out the kick boards and use them to practice kicking. It’s a good break from swimming up and down the pool. I guess I just need to practice more and eventually I’ll get better.
Since every sport I take up seems to require special accessories and clothing, I now own goggles, a swim cap, and mini flippers. I have a couple of old bathing suits that fit me. I think I’d like to get a new workout bathing suit. I’m not sure what exactly that would be but I’m sure if I start shopping, I’d find something.
I see people using aquatic headphones and feel that itch to go buy another accessory but I’m not sure that I want to listen to music or podcasts while I swim. I suspect if I ever get to the point where I can swim without feeling like I need to stop to breath that it could become a great meditative exercise.
Here’s my thoughts on swimming:
- It’s easy on the joints and it really doesn’t require much in the way of equipment.
- I can do it at my own pace because, let’s face it, there’s plenty of better swimmers and there’s some who are worse. Doesn’t matter because we can all just grab a lane and go for it.
- It’s a good whole-body workout. It works the abs, hips, legs, shoulders, back, and arms but it doesn’t overwork them. It’s not like going into the weight room and lifting heavy weights. It’s easier on the body than running because you don’t have that pounding on the ground.
- The biggest problem for me, and I know that this is silly, is that I must wear a bathing suit, I have to get wet, and then I’m usually cold when I return to the locker room.
Because I’m going to do the triathlon (indoors, mind you!), I’ll keep practicing my swimming. I’d like to be able to swim for 10 minutes without constantly stopping. I’ll keep everyone posted on how my training and that race goes.