Thursday, November 10, 2005


Well, after my rather inauspicious start, I am now swimming twice a week.

I am finding this to be the hardest part of my triathlon training. I am seriously bad at it. Bad enough to have someone snarl at me this morning for being too slow for the slow lane.

I just can't get the hang of freestyle. It's that whole breathing thing, really. Can't get into any sort of rhythm.

I am currently swimming 400m breastroke. So, that's fine, as the triathlon swim is only 300m. If I have to, I can do the whole thing breastroke.

But that doesn't feel right, damnit. I want to do it freestyle. I want to cut through the water like a torpedo.

I've tried alternating lengths between freestyle and breastroke, but still end up going 'Glug' and not being able to finish my freestyle length.

So I hit on a new method this morning. I start each length freestyle and then change to breastroke when it gets too hard. I've counted the strokes I do and will increase it by 2 strokes each week. I'll be swimming the Cook Strait before you know it!

Which is a lovely metaphor for lots of obstacles we meet in life. If you can't beat it all at once, do it a little bit at a time.


Thinner Nancy said...

I actually comtemplated swimming this morning but decided it against it. I suck at it! (which really means I should probably actually do more of it)
When you swim the cook strait keep on going round and down the east coast of the South Island and you can have a coffee with me .. only 10mins (driving) outta Oamaru - not too far to swim!


Slim Suzy said...

Good on you! I think swimming is so tiring. I'm not good at freestyle either and I always wish I had been taught properly. Those who can do it well make it look so easy. At least you are improving all the time and you can do breastroke when needed, so that's good.
Keep up the wonderful work. You are an inspiration.

Anne said...

Well done for perservering with the swimming - I "tried" to learn earlier this year - reckon I swallowed a fair bit of the pool and used to come home feeling quite sick. It looks easy but it's not!

Kate said...

Sounds like a great way to get into swimming freestyle. I love swimming, but I've always found breaststroke much more comfortable.

Well done with all your training!

michelle said...

Love your metaphor for life Sue. I have the same problem swimming freetsyle so you are not alone. Your plan is a good one. Stick with it and I am sure your freestyle will improve.

kathrynoh said...

I suck at freestyle... I don't even attempt it cos I'm worried people will laugh so much they'll drown! If I did a triathalon I reckon I'd have to doggie paddle the swimming bit.

Full marks for effort. I'm sure I'll check back in a few days and you'll be telling us all you are doing laps of freestyle!

M@rla said...

Good for you, swimming is such incredible exercise, isn't it? I've never been a good swimmer, but I'm a great floater - perfectly undrownable.

M said...

What a great metaphor. And life is so much easier to tackle little bits at a time anyway :)

And I am the odd one out. I love freestyle. Having been in a state swim squad when I was little I learned properly and I learned well. I am very thankful now that my parents dragged me screaming and kicking out of my bed at 5.00am every morning to go to training before school. LOL. So what I should do is start to swim butterfly every 5th lap or something like that - to give my swimming a good kick in the tail.

Way to go on your freestyle. You will be swimming full laps before you know it. Have a great day Sue :)

fattyboombastic said...

Awwwww good effort for trying the freestyle. I loveee the pools, its great exercise and I can only do two lengths of freestyle before I get too exhausted and give up. So you ain't alone there Sue! Keep at it, you'll get there *thumbsup*

BigCol said...

You're right about breathing being the trick. Once you're comfortable with that it will be a lot easier, well, relatively easier.. :) Practice using a flutterboard instead of your arms and the breathing thing will come more quickly.

Good luck

Mary said...

You got snarled at!? What a sad individual. Don't let that bring you down. You are so far ABOVE that sort of childish bullshit.

I have trouble with freestyle too so I always stuck to breaststroke. I love swimming and the feeling you get. I think it's great that you are doing this and I am sure with more practise, you will be freestyling like a torpedo in no time. I thought I could never do situps/push ups and now I can! You've got the best attitude!!

Have a great weekend hon :-)

Kt said...

i only do breathstroke as well, i cant actually remember the last time i actually swam & wasnt just playing in the water!
you've got a great plan there, you'll be doing lengths of freestyle in no time!

Kellee said...

Good on you! I started swimming today and I know what you mean - it tired you out! Especially freestyle. If it's any consolation, I think I read somewhere in a WW publication that breastroke burns the most points. Once I've gotten into swimming a bit more I will do what you do with the freestyle - we'll have to compare notes down the track!

Kellee said...

That was supposed to be "tires you out" instead of "tired". That's actually how I feel, which is why I'm doing lots of typos today!