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The Tao of Ironman

A tree is grown from a tiny sprout; 
A tower is built from a modest mound, 
A far-reaching journey is begun from a small step. 
--Tao Te Ching
A 2.4 mile swim begins with a single lesson? Lora's got her work cut out for her tonight. I don't expect her to turn me into Michael Phelps. But, at the very least, I'll feel better about starting to do some of my swim workouts knowing I'm not simply building on horrible habits. She may want to start by practicing blowing bubbles though. Give me the third grader version! lol

Swimming is definitely my entry problem into the sport. As one of my heroes, Matt Fitzgerald says, it's the reason there aren't more triathletes...and yet, triathlon is more popular than duathlon. There's something simultaneously pulling us towards and pushing us away from swimming.

I think I've been trying too hard to think of swimming as the water companion to running and cycling with the focus on long runs, long rides, and building endurance. But the more I'm exposed to, the more I'm shifting my attitudes a little about the primary need for short to moderate interval work with only occasional endurance swims slipped in. It's so much about technique. The fact that I can already make it quite a few laps of the pool says something. I'm not afraid of the water, I just lack training.

Anyway, as I wrote about last week, I had a meeting with my instructor last week about what I want to work on and hope to get out of our meetings.

Her: "So, when was the last time you had swim instruction?" Umm, summer camp?

Her: "Were you on any swim teams?" Definitely not.

Her: "How comfortable are you in the water?" Well, if you mean do I think I'm going to drown and I panic? No.

But you also didn't see me hop right into the pool with the triathlon class either. Baby steps.

By the end of the week, I'm sure I'll have the kickboard and pull buoys and be ready to slow my stroke down to work on putting all the little skills together. My goal is to eventually be able to swim 2.4 miles for an Ironman, but as I told her, swimming is probably just a life skill that everybody should have. Let's start start with several laps of good form and build from there.

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