Swimming in the Pool…

So I hit the pool last night. It was cheap night and opened to the public, what better night to try out the facility. After I frolicked around in the water for a bit, and eyed the few lanes available to swim lengths, I decided to join the half a dozen or so in the “Fast Lane”.  I must have looked real amateurish as I showed up goggle less and took a space in an already clogged lane.

 I had no plan of action… I started to swim, settled into doing 100 meter sets. After several of these (I lost count after swimming the first 50 meters) and a couple 200’s, I had 1200 meters (or so) in the bank. Not bad for the first time in the pool.

 I managed a one hour run before hand… My legs, particularly lower legs, are still tight following Sunday’s race. The cold took more out of them than a half marathon usually does.

 I should have taken rest time prior to training again… Note to Mr. Eager Beaver

 What I learned from swimming;

 I need to purchase goggles, my eyes stung for hours afterwards. It was as though I had put myself through self-induced torture…

 Regular scheduled visits to the weight room are mandatory in order to build upper body strength and stamina… Swimming isn’t easy!

 Length swim would be better scheduled for morning opposed to evening… Half the city was in the pool for cheap night…

 I will hit the pool again…

Any words of wisdom???



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About bearrunner

I am a resident and employed in Halifax N.s... I love to run marathons and half marathons... Employed in the health care industry, enjoy photography, music, warm weather...

23 responses to “Swimming in the Pool…”

  1. cutedogsandhugs says :

    Buy a swim cap. You might feel silly wearing it, but it can help your time (less resistance.) Also, look up some sets to do rather than just swimming laps nonstop. It’s good to have a routine, just as you do with your running. =) Lastly, rinse off in the shower after your swim. It helps the chlorine linger less in your pours. I was a swimmer for 6 years, but not anymore.

  2. Lian Munday says :

    Get in as they actually open first thing in the morning & defo avoid family time!!

  3. runningthewindycity says :

    I recommend the swedish style swim goggles. You hae to put them together yourself but they fit better and leak less.

    Good luck!

  4. spudgt2 says :

    Sounds like you had a similar first time to me the other night!

    I’d like to know how you keep count of how many lengths you do. I forgot too. Upper body strength is my problem too. I also have pains in the hips. Prob DOMS tho.

    I’m hitting the pool again tomorrow to see how I get on the second time.

    Good luck with yours

  5. applepiewithwensleydale says :

    Morning swims are awesome, you just get into the zone. Lots of good swim plans available online, depending on what you want to work on. And try hypoxia training – really helps with breathing for running.

  6. iamjuans says :

    I took a swimming class in college and I guess from what he told us (older man) he trained swimmers professionally back in his hayday.

    Anyways, he said for a more “professional” swim that will help your speed and help with muscle building: When pushing down on your down stroke keep your arms as close to your body it will help fight water lag ALSO by keeping your arms close to your body you will use more chest muscles helping you also work on building chest muscle.

    A quick and easy way to know how close to your body is good is to go to the side of the pool. Put both hands on the edge of the pool making a diamond figure and to push yourself up on the edge without getting out of the pool. That motion of getting out of the pool mimics good swimming form.

    I also like motion of getting out of the pool as its an awesome tricep work out.

  7. elisariva says :

    You have got to get the Speedo Sprint goggle. They are thebest, good fit, don’t leak and don’t leave suction marks. Great job on your swim! Keep up the 100 and 200 meter repeats. Best way to improve time. You may want to to a distance time trial once a month. You are doing an iron distance, correct? Keep up the training and the motivation!

  8. The Edmonton Tourist says :

    Now you are speaking my language! I swim in a salt water pool so rarely use goggles, unless I have too. I keep the same pattern as for running. Long swim once a week, sprints etc. I also swim right after work because the lanes are less crowded. Do long swims in the gear you plan to do the ironman in. That way you can feel confident. There are also underwater earbuds to listen to music to. I love those!

  9. irunonpbandk says :

    you swam that much without goggles?! my eyes are literally watering and burning just thinking about it! haha

  10. blessedwiththunderthighs says :

    I took a swim class last summer and we mostly did drills, like a pyramid workout that could be done on the treadmill. After warming up, we would sprint 25, then an easy one for 25; sprint 50m, then 50 easy; sprint 100m, then 100 easy; then you can come back down doing 50- 50, and 25-25. I enjoyed this one because it keeps things interesting and it’s not so hard to keep track of the laps. Then perhaps a longer, slower swim once a week.
    But, by no means, am I an experienced swimmer. I just enjoy being in the pool.

  11. The Incredible Shrinking Girl says :

    I have no words of advice, I’m afraid, but have to admit that I laughed a little when reading your post because I had a very similar experience. I am stopping tonight on my way home from work to get goggles. I definitely need to move my workout sessions to the morning when I can. And I was tempted to give up my strength training/weight lifting at first, thinking that swimming would be enough to build up my upper body strength. Then, I started my swimming training and realized very quickly that I need to lift weights FOR these swims! =)

    Good luck!

  12. Michael says :

    You can always combine the strength and swimming when it’s not busy. I used to do a length of the pool followed by 10 tricep dips on the side, another length followed by 10 press ups on the edge of the pool and repeated this taking the reps down to 9 then 8 etc etc until you get to 0. It makes the swimming so much harder and feels like you can barely lift your arms but it’s great for strength endurance!

    OR…..use a float between the legs and do a length of pure arms, then float in hands and a length of pure legs and then no float and a normal swim. I used to repeat this cycle 10 times (30 lengths) before my normal swim.

    Another thing worth concentrating on is your breathing and technique. Controlling your breathing makes you more efficient in the water and helps with the technique. Conquer your breathing and you’ll conquer the pool!

    Good luck 🙂

  13. AndrewGills says :

    Ouch on no goggles! Definitely get yourself a pair. They don’t need to be expensive or fancy – sometimes the basic cheap ones work best. If you have them where you are, Speedo brand are fantastic. I have found Vorgee brand leak like sieves.

    I recommend mixing your swimming up a bit by doing at least a quarter of your session as breast stroke. Having an off-stroke to fall back on during a triathlon swim is handy – you can switch to breast stroke and still overtake the splashers who are determined to struggle through with freestyle no matter how poor their form has become. You’ll be grateful for it later in the race and will come out of the water more quickly. Breast stroke is also excellent for navigation – you won’t lose time looking for the next buoy because you naturally lift your head looking straight ahead. I swim about 1/3 of each swim leg as breast stroke and come out of the water in the top 10-20 athletes of the whole field every race (a small race here is 500 athletes and an average race is 1,000+ athletes so that’s not a bad record).

    I always do some butterfly during training too. I find it good for both strength and fitness because it pushes you. It’s a bit like doing sprints during a running session or a hard standing hill climb on the bike. I never use butterfly in a race but I have noticed the improvement in my upper body strength from doing it.

    If you haven’t ever had proper swimming coaching I recommend a stroke correction class. You’ll be amazed at the difference. I see lots of swimmers struggling with incorrect form and feel kinda sorry for them (esp those who allow their legs to drop because they are losing all their kick & flotation power).

    I never do weights because I find them too tedious. I sometimes do pushups or chin ups but only sporadically. I reckon the best training for swimming strength is getting in the pool and swimming (if you can).

    Enjoy the pool 🙂 Hope you find a way to avoid those annoying crowds.

  14. libraryscenes says :

    I’ve skimmed comments, so, no idea if mentioned, but Google and YouTube Total Immersion( I think that’s it) major swimming bible/style the tri peeps follow in my neck of the world.
    Bravo. Sounds like you’re comfortable in water, that was my battle. Find your rhythm, try to think of a song it mincs the beat. I has a young life guard say to me: you dance? Yep! Then u can swim, it’s all about smooth Rhythm. Cheers ~

  15. jellyfishdreams says :

    Goggles are a definite must! Take your time on your laps, concentrating on keeping your arms low, and your fingers slightly cupped. Keep your foot movements spare, the less splash the better. You can swim a few laps just concentrating on you arms and then on your legs. Like running it just takes time and building up strength.

  16. girlturnedrunner says :

    I used to swim competitively as a kid all the way through my senior year of high school and then stopped. I really miss it sometimes and should figure out a way to work it into my busy schedule one of these days.

    I remember during practices that in addition to getting the distance in, drills were a key part of our workous. I googled it and found this page that has some good ones to try out. http://www.mvm.org/workouts-drills.php

    Good luck with your training! 🙂

  17. 7theaven says :

    Go and keep swimming. It takes constant practice. I love swimming. Tight college schedule has kept me away?

  18. Happy Fit Mama says :

    I wish I was more of a swimmer. That’s always been my weakness.

    BTW, I tagged you for the 11 Random Things. Don’t feel obligated to do it at all!

    Good luck with your training! 🙂

  19. FindingMyHappyPace says :

    I also showed up to the pool without goggles the first time. I remember an older man telling me, “You’d be moving a lot quicker if you got goggles and put your face in the water”. It’s true, goggles helped.
    Get a swim cap too if you don’t already have one.

  20. george-b says :

    Awesome post, very inspirational I don’t like earplugs, never did, or water in the ears. goggles are OK. If I was to choose from a pool, and a pond, I’d go for the pond, whenever possible.

    Thanks for visiting euzicasa, and comments:

    There is more to come!

  21. Sandra says :

    Speedo sprint goggles are the cheapest–and no goggle lasts forever. Men don’t need swim caps, if they have short hair. More important than distance is form. Form is more important than any other sport in the triathlon–I should know, mine has sucked for the past 4 years I’ve trained and completed Sprint Triathlons.
    This year I’ve joined Team-In-Training (http://pages.teamintraining.org/ne/JOrourke12/smathewsbe) and received a personal coach to help me with all sports. He has given me GREAT tips, including the numerous drills and helpful hints I put on my blog (in two places):
    And a personal favorite:
    Anyway, the best resource you can get is Terry Laughlin’s TOTAL IMMERSION (the book/video/online resource).
    I cut ten seconds of each of my 50 yards by having the proper form! And I’m still learning!

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