Some of you have asked to be updated on my training for my first triathlon in April. Maybe it’s a little like watching a white rat in a laboratory maze, wondering with fascination if he’s going to get the cheese or not. Or maybe you’re thinking of trying a tri yourself, or you just want to cheer me on. Whatever the case… welcome to my story.
I have now gone swimming 8 times in my wet suit in an icy cold pool, mostly at night. Almost every time I do not want to do it. I am tired from a long day at work. I get a brain freeze when I first dip my face in the water. My hands and feet get numb. I get water in my nose. I can’t maintain my breathing in a consistent fashion for very long, and it throws off my rhythm.
And yet I do it anyway.
I’m on a schedule to fit in a certain number of runs, rides and swims every week. If I skip one, I am cheating myself out of conditioning that will help me when I get to the big race. And do I want to do all this work just to fall short? No way, my friend!
My favorite visualization is that I am a shark in the water. I am a powerful and feared predator in the ocean and I keep moving efficiently with my hydrodynamic shape. I stretch out my body with each arm reach and make myself slippery as I slide through the ocean.
I started with 20 pool lengths, just working on my technique and breathing. I’ve already worked my way up to 70 lengths, which is close to 1400 yards. I felt my arms getting tired after about 50 lengths. Apparently I am not as strong as a real shark just yet, but I will get there… one stroke, one breath, one day at a time.
This is my simple formula for success and it works with many things in life. Do a little more each time and stick with it. You don’t really need a professional trainer or coach to be able to do that, do you?