What’s worse than a fish out of water? How about a runner trying to swim?
It’s not that I can’t swim. I mean I can keep myself from drowning and get from one side of the pool to the other. But my form is bad enough to scare the other swimmers out of the pool.
I remember the first summer I had met Rob he made a comment about how bad my swimming form was. After swimming about 8 feet across my backyard pool (and I had been drinking) but it was bad enough for him to comment, and this was before we were even actually “dating”.
Last summer I decided I wanted to add swimming to my exercise routine. I ordered a bathing suit and a pair of goggles, and went to my gym pool. I think I made it back and forth freestyle for about 20 minutes. The problem was I knew I was doing it wrong (I was keeping my head above water the whole time) but still somehow getting a nose full of water. I think I did that routine 3-4 times last summer, but was proud of myself for trying.
This summer I tried pool running while at my in-laws in Florida. I think I was much more successful at that than swimming, but I feel too weird doing in in front of people I don’t know. (I still don’t know if I’m doing it right. Do you take up a whole lane just to stay in one spot the whole time/run around in circles?)
So I tried swimming again last week. Same issues- head above water, water in the nose. I had looked up some info about how to properly swim, but just couldn’t actually put that information into practice. I know- you’re supposed to stay down and come up every 3 counts to breath in. That just wasn’t working for me. As a runner, I was used to breathing in and out as I pleased. I continued doing my head above water thing and it worked for me (sort of- I would probably get some sort of neck injury if I did it more frequently).
As I was leaving the pool that day, I saw that the lifeguards offered free 30 minute swim sessions. So I signed up.
On Tuesday morning I met with a lifeguard and told her my troubles. She had me use a kickboard while I worked on form and breathing. During the first few times trying this I convinced myself that it wasn’t going to work, and I would just continue swimming with my head above water, or just stop swimming altogether. But since I had 30 minutes with her, I kept trying. And by the end, I sort of got it! By focusing on breathing out while I was under water, it stopped me from breathing in. (It sounds so simple now!) It is definitely a work in progress and I am worried I will revert back to my old ways when I’m not being watched/instructed, but it’s nice to know that it’s not impossible.
I should also note that my gym only has an outdoor pool, so I can only use it from May-September. Hopefully I will get myself back there a few more times this summer so I can perfect my technique (ha!) but I’ll happily stick to running the rest of the time.
I feel like I’m one step closer to ever thinking about considering a triathlon. You know, besides the fact that I haven’t rode a bike outdoors in about 15 years, I don’t own a bike, and I need to use a kickboard to swim.
Do you know how to swim?
Ever consider a triathlon?