Monday, 3 December 2007

Swimming - step one on the road to the triathlon

Well, I didn't drown. That's got to be a good start, hasn't it?

I was looking forward to going swimming tonight and scared at the same time. I definitely had butterflies. Thank goodness I've been telling people that I'm doing this as it means I'm committed. Otherwise I might just have given in to those pesky creatured flying around in my tummy.

Kellie picked me up at my place. I left work way too early, just in case, and we arrived too early too. Kellie and I are alike in that we like to give ourselves plenty of time the first time we do something. We'll be a lot more relaxed next Monday.

There were only a handful of people there when we arrived. I was expecting a group of maybe ten or twelve people, but they kept arriving. And arriving. And arriving. FIT had booked the pool for the hour. It was easy to understand why they'd felt the need once I saw how many women showed up. All ages, all sizes, all levels of fitness. It was great to see. It was even better to be part of it.

The pool was 25 metres long and there were six lanes. They put the good swimmers in lane 6 and basically seeded us according to how far we though we could swim. I put myself in lane 2, that is, able to swim but not for long. There weren't many people in lane 1 so they asked us if we thought we'd struggle to swim 200 m to go over to lane 1. I quickly moved across.

We were advised to swim freestyle down the pool and run back. I was amazed to discover I could swim 25 metres without stopping. I was glad of the run (bounce) back down the pool though as I was quite puffed. I did that three times, then tried swimming both laps. We did that a few times. After setting the beginning swimmers to work in another pool, our lane coach came and watched us swim. She sent a few of the others over to different lanes. Then we got taken back to basics. They are going to teach us to swim efficiently, so we still have energy left for cycling and running.

First of all we floated on our back, then put one arm out behind us, rotated a little so our other arm was sort of out of the water, kicked our legs sideways and moved up the pool. We swapped arms and went back the other way. Then we added putting our faces in the water and breathing. Then we did a kind of roll over thing while we breathed and then we combined it with changing arms over. I quite enjoyed myself. It was disappointing to realise that the time was up.

I wore my HRM and burned just over 220 calories in 50 mins. My max heart rate was 136. It will be interesting to see how many calories I burn as I do more swimming. Kellie was in the lane 2 group and enjoyed herself too. It was good travelling there and back with her, as it gave us a chance to talk about our impressions and how we're looking forward to the actual triathlon, even though we're both surprised we signed up to do this.

I'm going to have to get myself to the pool during the week to practise my swimming. It's fitting it in that's going to be the problem!

Edit: If you haven't read it yet, have a look at Warrior Woman's latest blog entry. Wow! What fun!


warriorwoman said...

Thanks for the link.
Glad you're enjoying the triathlon malarky so far. You saw how nervous I was for my first tri, you are going to be so calm and collected now you have all this preliminary work in the bank.
Well done.

Andrew(ajh) said...

Yes, not drowning is definitely a great start! Glad you are enjoying it - I think I need someone to teach me to swim efficiently too!