Monday, February 13, 2017

What type of swimmer are you?

Happy Feb! 

Maybe you've been swimming all winter (congrats, die-hard!). Maybe like me, you've been avoiding swimming in the winter (getting into cold water is bad enough - why get out of the water into really cold air??). Or maybe for you, no time is a good time for you to be thinking about swimming? 

I thought it might be fun to do a little "visualization" - it's supposed to be good for personal growth after all. And seeing as how we're in the month of "love" with Valentine's Day, I want you to close your eyes and think of the type of water that you LOVE to be in the most. 

OK, eyes are closed? 

Got your visual? 

OK, which of the images below looks most like what you imagined? 

The open water swimmer -- you love to swim long, usually with no agenda other than a time or distance to cover. You might work on technique as you swim, and appreciate the uninterrupted time you can spend focusing on working on an aspect of your stroke. With no good way to measure your pace, you swim by feel and not by numbers, maybe slower than you could if you worked on it more. But, hey, you don't smell like chlorine when you finish a session. 

The pool swimmer -- you may have grown up doing swim team (even if just for a year or two as a little kid), and you feel comfortable swimming with a line on the bottom to follow. Without a coach on the side, you may not really know what you should be doing when you come to swim, though. "Clock skills" come easy to you, so you probably know how long it takes you to swim every 100 of a set of 10 x 100 on 15 sec rest. Chances are you've still got that one stroke flaw that you don't take time to work on between sprint sets. And your open water navigation and confidence could use some work. 

The non-swimmer -- you get in the water now and then so you can survive a triathlon, but maybe with a bit of loathing or trepidation. Not yet a fan of open water, not yet a "fish" in the pool either. When you are in the mood to think about swimming, you have a tight relationship with YouTube and devour swimming videos. Masters swim lingo is indecipherable, and you're not really sure where you're at with your technique development. Hot tub is calling... 

Seriously though, no matter what your type, unless you're training hard for Ironman Texas or Galveston 70.3 right now, you're likely only just starting to think about getting any serious swimming done. If the hot tub is sounding like a great option, but you know you should be in the pool working on your technique and conditioning, here's a good blog from Paul Newsome of Swim Smooth to help you get your mojo back for a good triathlon swimming season -- get started, set a mini goal or two, commit to swimming, and track your progress. 

Go read it! And then pack up your swim bag and get ready to get wet!


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Casey Arendt of Go the Distance Coaching specializes in freestyle stroke mastery for triathletes.
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