I’ve officially signed up for my first triathlon now! It’s the Cheshire Sprint Triathlon on 21st May and I’m so nervous now that it is actually happening! With swimming being my weakest of the 3 disciplines I went for my first adult swimming lesson this week!
When I was at school I achieved my 100m swimming badge, the attitude then was if you can get from point A to point B without drowning then you can swim. As an adult I never really swam apart from when I was on holiday or at a spa day, and then that was just bobbing about having fun.
The Sprint Triathlon at Cheshire consists of 500m swim in an outdoor brine pool, 20km cycle on open roads (mostly flat) and finally a 5k run on the sports field (4 laps).
My swim training has so far consisted of breaststroke and my confidence in the water is improving all the time, but really I want to be able to swim front crawl on the day as it’s much quicker. However, I can’t do it properly, and I’m so tired after only a couple of lengths!
So as you can imagine I was over the moon when I was asked if I wanted a one to one coaching session with ex professional swimmer Harry Needs!
All of sudden I found myself in the deep end (literally). From being a nervous breaststroke swimmer to being in a pool wearing all manner of ‘training aids’ getting guidance from someone who only narrowly missed out on our Team GB Olympic Team in 2012!
Who knew it was so technical? (Actually don’t answer that, everyone knew…except me)
I wore flippers to help with buoyancy and leg height, a snorkel to learn how to breath properly and a kick board to increase my leg strength. I probably looked like a right Wally but the improvement I made was overwhelming!
He taught me to breath on every second stroke for now, to pivot rather than lift my head. To put a slight pause in my stroke when I did pivot to allow plenty of time for breathing & for my arms to enter the water at 10 & 2 o’clock rather than 12 to engage my larger back muscles.
I swam 800 meters during the session which is the most front crawl I’ve ever done, and I didn’t want to get out (despite being so nervous that I was shaking at the beginning of the lesson!)
Harry was brilliant with me, constantly reassuring & explaining each individual thing perfectly. He even lent me the flippers to practice with.
Harry also runs a masters class in Stockport along with other professional swim coaches. It’s for improvers as well as competitive swimmers & triathletes; so I’m going to pluck up the courage to go there too, watch this space!
When did you learn how to swim front crawl? Are you or anyone you know doing the Cheshire Triathlon this year?