Day 1: A day to remember and come back to

By Skip

My first official day of triathlon training began in the pool.   For months I have been telling my wife that the swimming part of things would be the easiest for me…. I was a fish.  I knew it and everybody else knew it.  Reality soon hit me like a “belly-flop.” 

Sure, I am an advid diver (actually it has been a while since I have been out) and growing up you could not get me out of the water!  I was swimming as far back as I remember and know about swimming performance fundementals like streamlining your body and the most effective strokes for speed.  I guess it has something to do with not using those muscles for years and years.

The pool am going to has two Olympic sized pools with 50 meter lanes and 25 yard lanes.  Beautiful facilities and a really nice environment to swim in.  However, I quickly felt like a fish out of water!  As I started off  and begin my warm up laps I realized this was no warm up at all… it was full on exertion and my form was very sloppy.

I found myself becoming a little panicky and short of breath… I am NEVER like that, especially around water.  After talking myself down off the ledge I continued and worked on all the things I have read about and watched videos about.  Quite honestly, in the end I was just trying to get through the 1050 yards that my program had me designated to do for the day.

By the time I got home (oh yes, I biked 3 miles there and 3 miles back) I was beat up!  I had suffered a pretty severe leg cramp on my last lap and was still feeling that.  I told my wife that I felt like those walnuts she puts in a ziplock to evenly crush them… not ONE sore muscle but an entire soreness across my ENTIRE body. 

In case anybody is intersted, I will be posting my workouts on a daily basis as they happen in case you want to follow along.  Here is what I did today:

  • WU: 200 @ low aerobic intensity
  • 6 x 25 drills, RI=0:10
  • MS: 4 x 100 @ moderate aerobic intensity, RI=0:05
  • 4 x 25 kick, RI=0:15
  • CD: 200 @ low aerobic intensity

Reflecting afterwards, reality kicked in a little bit.   I feel so comfortable with the run because I have trained for 4 months to figure it out.  I know have less than THREE months to figure out two additional sports which I am really struggling at right now.

I am writing all of this down becuase when I am crossing that finish line on August 15th I want to remember today’s post and remember how impossible I thought it would be.  Heck, back in January I was saying the same thing about my run… couldn’t imagine how I would do a 5K and would be happy if I even finished… NOW I want to compete and be the first in my age group.  I only hope I can be saying that about my first triathlon!

If you liked that post, then try these...

One year later and I have the numbers to prove it! on December 31st, 2010

Running for chocolate peanut butter ice cream on November 12th, 2010

Add these to your grocery list! on May 20th, 2010

Filed in: Sprint Training, Swimming, Triathlon • Tuesday, May 25th, 2010


For a first swim workout, I’d say that is relatively intense. I just swam for my first 6 sessions. I could hardly finish 30 minutes, let alone structure drills. I had poor form, and after a while, I sought out coaching. It really helped me since I’m kind of starting from scratch from a technique perspective. (I know how to swim, just not technically efficiently). For me, the swim is damage control. With that mentality, I’ve actually improved beyond my low expectations. But I’ve had about 18 weeks to do it.

Sounds like from your results, you’re ultra competitive, not just a fast runner. I’m not sure you’ll be able to carry that momentum into all the disciplines in a short time. I’d relax the expectations a bit (if you can) and just try to get into the flow of the swimming. If you try to muscle your way into the same swim fitness you have in the run, you may hurt yourself.

For me triathlon is a journey, not a destination. I realize it will take me a couple of seasons to get to where I would like to be (either completing a HIM, or AG podium at Oly distance). As background, I’m in my first Triathlon season, with one sprint under my belt and my first Olympic race on Monday!. I completed a Marathon in January.

Remember, have fun along the way. Good luck.


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So if you have read any of the blog thus far you know a little bit about me… I can not be told what to do and I push myself about as far as I can be pushed!

But how did I get here and why? Well, that is what this page is about.

I was never really the athletic type. Sure, I played tennis in high school (and quite well, mind you) but running CERTAINLY was never my thing!

The start of 2009 was big for me as I came to the realization that I had put on too much weight over the past 10 years (read more...)