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Triathlon Training: June 10 & 11, 2023 - Group Training

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

On Saturday, June 10, 2023, I had a great swim. I was at the back of the pack, which I probably would be for quite a while, given the experience level in the group. Unfortunately, being at the back of the pack means that the others may wait for you at a certain pont. However, they may not wait for you to rest as well. It's a challenge. It's also motivation to improve. 

One of my new swimming friends kept me company again during my first attempt across the full length of the lake. This was my furthest distance so far. Realizing that the swims are not quick, I kept reminding myself to prepare for a marathon of a swim rather than a sprint swim.

It was exhausting and still a bit intimidating. However, it was a confidence builder to know that I can swim that distance. Some of the other swimmers, with an interest in helping me improve, continued to bring to my attention that I have too much head movement during my swims. I would lift my head almost entirely out of the water. This takes more energy by creating drag with my legs.

I needed to do a lot of work to on breathing technique. Apparently, the dog out of water breathing approach is not that efficient! This would be a long process.

On Sunday June 11, 2023, I was back at the pond. I was happy to be part of a group rather than swimming by myself, as I did during the summer of 2022. I was working on head movement. I tried and succeeded at staying at the tail end of the pack instead of being completely left behind. It took more effort. I had to realize that I had the strength and needed to use it to come close to keeping up.

After the swim, few of us had a beautiful ride. We had planned on it the day before. I was pleased to be able to show the swimmers that, although I could not swim well, I was a decent cyclist.

The ride did not cost any money of course. But, I would have paid for it. It was a nice route that was created by one of the group members. We had some good scenery and a variety of hills, straight areas and windy roads. And, it was in an area that I was familiar with from living in Rhode Island, prior to coming back to Massachusetts.

I was impressed by the conditioning of the swimmers that were much older than me. The leader of the group was a very good cyclist as well.

During the week, I fell off my three days a week strength training plan. However, I was able to get my Tuesday and Thursday runs in, a couple of bike rides, and some pool swimming.

To help improve my swimming technique, I listened to "Triathlon Swimming Foundations" by Taren Gesel. He has some great advice in his book. Some of the advice I knew from taking triathlon swimming lessons. However, there was a lot of additional advice. He has chapters on breathing, staying on the water and trying not to drag, sighting and staying straight, and then combining the techniques. He has a lot of suggestions for drills which are probably great. However, I typically would rather swim consciously rather than use swiming tools. As hard as it is, it is better to work on technique than distance. Rich Roll oftens says that as well on his podcast. I enjoyed the book and found his podcast "Taren's Mottiv Method Podcast." He is friendly, upbeat and easy to listen to.

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