So Saturday marked my 25th birthday, bringing with it such exciting things as...well nothing really. But that's ok. I like my birthdays to be pretty low-key. I'm not much of one for going out and getting crazy anymore (it's not as though I used to either...I spent my 21st birthday watching Lord of the Rings solo at home and it was awesome!). The Tour de el Amigo was on the schedule for the birthday but sadly mother nature had other ideas and the ride had to be canceled. It will likely be rescheduled for mid to late January when it is still cold and everyone is still out of shape - as this makes it more 'epic.'
This week I got in one spin class, some running and a LOT of swimming. 17,000 yards worth of swimming if 5 workouts. That equates to (roughly) 10 miles. It felt awesome. It's hard to describe the feeling associated with getting better at something and feeling like you're finally beginning to understand it. Getting in the water is no longer the worst part of my day; in fact it has become one of the best. I look forward to almost every workout in the pool and I am absolutely demolishing times that I never even sniffed before. Scott and I have been swimming almost every workout together and it's really nice to have someone there to motivate you and push you through the workout. He's a lot faster than me but I still think we manage to push each other despite our disparity in speeds. I'm really looking forward to seeing how much my times drop during next years' triathlons. Obviously, that could just fail to happen but I have a good feeling that this work will really pay off in the future.
I think the problem for a lot of triathletes, especially the ones that I train with and know, is that they have somehow convinced themselves that they just don't like swimming. It seems that for almost every triathlete there's a person that gets zero enjoyment out of it. Swimming, in reality, is probably the best all around workout of the three sports that we engage in as triathetes. It gives you a great aerobic workout, strengthens your upper body, promotes flexibility, and is a zero-impact sport. Of course, there are times when it feels like you're going to black out but it's all part of the game!
Back to the point I was trying to make; if more people that hated swimming invested just a little bit more of a percentage of their weekly hours in the pool I think they'd see more gains there than in any of the other segments. People that view swimming as their weakness consequently - and for no real explanation - tend to ignore and just plan to 'survive it.' They subsequently become better cyclists and runners but what if they took an hour away from running (6-8 miles/week) and just tacked that on to their swimming totals (~3000 yards?). They'd definitely get more benefit from that swim workout than they would from that run workout. That opinion holds even truer when it comes to cycling. When you're training for endurance events (long course), what is a 20 mile (~1hr) ride going to get you? Not much... Add 3000 yards to your weekly totals and you'll probably see more gains than you'd expect.
Well, that was just me spouting a lot of word vomit. People that don't like swimming are never going to get better because they've managed to convince themselves that they A) hate it, and B) are always going to suck at it. So they will...