Above: A bunch of swim gear for triathletes.
Try an Ironman Triathlon
Yesterday I posted up how I was thinking about doing an Ironman triathlon in 3 years time: Bike Diva's Ironman Triathlon Plan. I am not a swimmer, so am guessing it will take me approximately 3 years to work my way up to doing a 2.4 mile swim, which is the distance of an Ironman swim. I have been a duathlete for the past two years, so I'm not as worried about the 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run portions of an Ironman distance race.
I will still have to amp up my training to be able to bike and run those distances, as part of an Ironman race, but the bike and run don't terrify me. There is always coasting, while on the bike, if things go really bad, and there is always the Zombie Death March, errr, I mean walking, if things go really bad during the run. What happens if things go really bad during the swim? DROWNING - bummer, game over. :(
I am totally new to swimming, and find aspects of it quite amusing. Sunday was my first time swimming at an indoor lap pool. I posted up some of my thoughts about that first swim on my Facebook page and am sharing those observations on the Bike Diva blog.
Above: Two kinds of ear plugs, swimmer's ear drops, goggles, SBR tri swim shampoo and conditioner, 2 swimming caps. My friend Tami Young gave me the awesome fishy swim cap from one of her Multirace.com triathlon races!
Bike Diva's Swim Observations
- I swam in a pool today and didn't drown. Don't ask me how long I was there or how many laps I did, I'm just so happy I DIDN'T DROWN!
- Yes, the insanity begins. Like I need another athletic event to become obsessed with. Now I can be mediocre at 3 sports; swim, bike, run. At least my newest sponsor, Profile Designs, makes wetsuits. I think I'm in the market for one.
- Delusions of grandeur. I might have the shortest triathlon career ever if I freak out during my first ocean swim and end up switching back to duathlons.
- The second most amazing thing about swimming today, the 3 life guards didn't mistake me for a beached whale and try to roll me back to the ocean. First view of myself in full length mirror in the locker room wearing a bathing suit was a bit of a SHOCK. I might have let out a litle yelp of surprise before daring myself to exit locker room and make my way to the pool area. At least I was sexier than the 3 ladies soaking in the family pool. They were in their 80's but I'm just saying.
- I sure do like those swim caps. And no, I am NOT talking about the day glo orange kind with the neon green and pink flowers. I have a black Speedo swim cap, tight like sausage. If you can get over the fact that it feels like you have an axe poking through your brain after putting the cap on for the first time, the instant face lift effect is pretty amazing. I'm 47 years old so instant face lift effect is quite nice. I think I'm gonna start rocking that look 24/7.
- Back fat, what the heck is that and where the F*CK did it come from!?! Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh! Racer back swim suit is NOT attractive. But I did get a black one with purple trim to match my Team In Training triathlon shorts, so at least I'll be STYLING!
Like I Need More Athletic Gear
I thought swimming would be a relatively inexpensive sport to get into. You don't need a heck of a lot of gear. Just strip off all your clothes and jump in the water! Uh, well I guess that would be okay if you are swimming at home, but most people don't have a pool at their house, and will need to find a local lake, pond, ocean or gym with a pool in order to conduct their swim training. So you will probably want to invest in some sort of swim suit.
I thought I would just swim in one of my triathlon outfits. I have quite a lot of triathlon clothing, for all the duathlon training and racing I have done in the past two years. But it's all pretty expensive, and/or a tri team kit that I only have one uniform to last the entire season. Chlorine can eat through your tri suits pretty quickly, so I plan on doing most of my pool swimming in a bathing suit. I will do one or more ocean swims wearing my tri suit, just so I don't have any surprises on race day.
It must have been 1892 the last time I went shopping for a bathing suit. Sports Authority was having a sale on bathing suits, but I still paid $$ for a Speedo one piece suit and the TYR suits were just as expensive. $60 on sale? They were normally $75. What the heck, it's just a tiny piece of stretchy material, those prices are ridiculous.
I also had to buy swim goggles, don't have any interest swimming with naked eyes in chlorine pool water or salty/sandy ocean water. And I had a problem with water getting in my ear during my very first swim. So I had to go to the drug store to buy swimmer's ear drops and soft silicone ear plugs.
I already have a Garmin Forerunner 310XT multi sport computer which I use to keep track of all my cycling, running and gym workouts. It's waterproof, so I should be able to use it in the pool to keep track of my swim workouts. I've seen some swimmer's use water proof MP3 players, so they don't die of boredom during their swim routines. And I know a few people that workout with one of those waterproof metronomes, to keep track of their swim pace. Other swim gear I've seen listed in triathlete magazines include:
- kick board
- pull buoy
- swim fins
- hand paddles
That just seems like a lot of junk to be carting back and forth to all your swim workouts. And if you aren't a very good swimmer to begin with, isn't all that gear just a bit of overkill? I'm just happy to be able to do a few laps in the pool. Not ready for any kind of fancy pants swim drills.
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva