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2024-04-05 1:43 PM


Subject: Hello! New guy working at it.
43 - had double hernia surgery a few months ago. While recovering I watched a variety of health and fitness videos online. Became inspired to try a triathlon. Have an issue with my foot that makes walking tough, running almost completely out of the question. So aiming for aquabike. Hoping to lose around 60lbs, maybe that will help my foot also. Got a garmin watch, and kinda have been working on cycling with the zwift trainer, and this week started swimming again.

I thought the zwift training was tough, but I cannot believe how tough the swimming has been. I was on the swim team in high school for a bit, I spend a ton of time in the water, every summer race the kids in the pool, and still goof around with the kids off the diving board. But have not swam with a purpose in a very long time. It felt so effortless 30 years ago.

I'm fairly self conscious about being overweight, and unsure of my ability compared to others. The Y ended up being packed the first time, I pulled into the parking lot and almost didn't even go in. Choked on pool water my first lap, and had to rest after almost every 25 and had to share a lane. The lifeguard was pacing up and down alongside me confirming my assumption I was the most out of shape person in the room. The man next to me easily 25 years older than me just kept swimming by, the entire time I was there, he never stopped other than to tell me to just keep swimming. 275m and 15min later I was out of there, and spent the next 2 days sore all over.

Lifeguard recommended a different start time when there were usually less people. Second time was even that much more packed and had to share a lane with even more people. Poked my head in the pool area before walking into the locker room and almost walked right back out. Sat down for a min and gave myself a mental pep talk and did it anyways. Was a bit stuffy from allergy's and struggled breathing out fully from my nose, which of course only allowed water to go up into my nose. Keeping the cadence.. right arm, left arm, right arm - make sure there is no more air, left arm and breath in.. 1 mix up and the rest of the length of the pool is catch up to regain my breath control. 325m and 16mins later I hopped out.

I just found this site,and I am looking forward to reading some of the tips from others that have been there or are just trying to start out like me.

2024-04-06 6:35 PM
in reply to: TommyTtapz

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Atlanta, Georgia
Silver member
Subject: RE: Hello! New guy working at it.
Welcome to BT! Those first few times at the pool can be the biggest hurdle to getting in the habit of doing swim training. It's intimidating and doubly so if you have a lot of people you're trying to swim around. Just keep showing'll get there.

Few things in life are as satisfying as crossing the finish line at your first Tri..good luck with your training, it's totally worth it.
2024-04-08 9:09 AM
in reply to: alltom1

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Middle River, Maryland
Silver member
Subject: RE: Hello! New guy working at it.

I was an adult-onset swimmer and really struggled my first couple of months (years??) with swimming.  It'll come back to you - and don't worry about being self-concious, we're all built how we're built and just putting the effort in means a lot.  Each time in the pool just try to do a little more than you did before, and you're actually better off swimming shorter intervals anyway until you get the feel and some endurance in the pool.  Good luck!!

2024-04-08 3:07 PM
in reply to: TommyTtapz

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Hello! New guy working at it.

Welcome to BT and the multisport community. 

Obviously, be careful with your foot.  We had a guy in the local club (this was a while back, when I was in Illinois) who also had a foot problem so he WALKED the "run" including a sub-14 hour Ironman.  He'd don a cat-in-the-hat outfit (hat, white gloves, tail) and his hiking boots, so don't rule out doing all 3 just yet. 

If you swam on a team as a kid, you certainly can understand that technique is important for swimming. 

Are you swimming in jammers or trunks?  My guess is trunks which function as a drag suit.  Get yourself a pair of jammers (cheap lycra for now, since losing 60# will drop you several sizes).  As you get closer to some "final form" you should switch to more durable polyester jammers. 

Take your time.  I tell people starting out in the pool to swim like you're taking a "walk in the park."  Too often, because of fear, anxiety, etc. they'll get in the water and then swim like mad to get to the other end of the pool which is like trying to run a 100-yard sprint.  They're tense and holding their breath (which adds to the tension) and don't understand how lifting the head rather than rotating causes the legs to a rock...They're breathing is the "blast and gasp" method where they hold their breath, blast it out all at once, and then gasp for another breath. 

S-l-o-w d-o-w-n.  Go really easy, taking your time on the arm strokes.  Rotate to get a breath and then exhale (I suggest humming which helps keep water out of your nose too) while your face is in the water. 

Easy to say "don't worry about your weight".  Not sure where you are, but I recommend you volunteer for a nearby sprint-tri.  You'll typically see that competitors have every body style imaginable and are generally focused on their own race and not how anyone else looks (at least that's how it was when I started in 2005).  Some will look fast.  Some won't look fast but will be fast.  There will be a few very high-strung participants, but most of them are probably smiling and enjoying the day. 


2024-05-29 8:14 AM
in reply to: #5288333

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Subject: RE: Hello! New guy working at it.
Welcome to BT!! One step at a time! Proud of you for just getting started with it; that's more than some will do.
Be patient with yourself, and enjoy the journey and the process!
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