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Never Raced a Swim

August 22, 2011

I’m really surprised I actually went for a swim tonight. I came home from work and thought to myself that I would wait a little while for the gym crowd to die down and I’d go for my planned swim later. I got home and had dinner (left over pizza) and started snuggling with my hubby and doggie and watching TV for over an hour. Usually when I hit this point of relaxation all bets are off when it comes to getting in a workout and I almost convinced myself to stay and perhaps do some yoga or something instead or just skip it altogether. After all, how can anyone resist hanging with this crowd all night….


But, alas, I dragged myself off the couch for a swim session.

I got to the gym and realized I had forgotten my towel and then the pool was really crowded. I was about to call it quits (again-hah!) until this kind woman motioned to me that I could share her lane with her.

I did:

400 yard warm-up- easy pace

10 X100 yard repeats in 2:15 including rest

400 yard cool down- easy pace

Total: 1,800 yards- 37:00

For the 100 yard repeats my goal was to finish each100 yards in about 1:45, have about a 30 second rest, and get going again after 2:15. Each 100 was completed in 2:15, but rest time was more or less than 30 seconds given how fast the 100 yards were complete. I hit 1:45 for most of them and 1:50 on 1 or 2 laps. It ended up being a really good workout and a great pace overall I think I can keep.

While I was swimming I got to thinking about the 3 different triathlons I’ve done and how I’ve performed in each one. I realized in all 3 of them I’d never raced a swim, meaning, on the swim leg of the triathlon I never go all out and I never really push myself. I’ve always gone into the water telling myself to just get through it, pace myself, and don’t expel a lot of energy. I have pushed myself on the bike and the run part of the different events, but I find myself just kind of “getting through” the swim portion. Now that I have completed 3 triathlons I think one day I want to actually try to go all out and race the swim. I’m unsure my upcoming Olympic triathlon is where I really want to try this especially since it will be the longest open water and straight swim I’ve ever completed, but we shall see how I feel come triathlon day.

triathlon swimming

Holding back during races, especially longer distance events, is something I struggle with. For quick 5k races I find it a little easier to let myself go and try to run as fast as I can, but I have trouble finding that perfect balance where effort and distance meet when it comes to endurance events.  Although I am usually  content with my performance I guess sometimes I’m afraid of burning out and I hold back and leave the race feeling like I might have had something else to give. I always enjoy each and every event I complete because I love getting outside and being active, but I am also a competitive person by nature and find joy in knowing I tried my hardest at something and gave it my all. I remember after my first 5k race I ran with my dad he told me to never leave anything out on the field. I really want to learn to channel that attitude in each race I complete.

Do you tend to really push hard when you do an event or hold back and play it safe? Any tips for giving it your all on race day?


6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2011 10:34 PM

    Whooo! good job for not giving up!! (:

  2. August 23, 2011 6:24 AM

    It is definitely way too easy to stay in the house once you’ve already gotten comfy. Good for you for getting out there and doing it!

    I think the whole pace/endurance thing is a tricky one…especially when racing a new distance or event.

    I just can’t wait to read all about your Olympic Distance Tri – how very exciting!!!

  3. August 23, 2011 9:09 AM

    My last tri I found myself slacking on the run because I didnt want to walk. Now I am ready to push the pace and walk if needed. i have not done an open water swim tri but Im ssure the first one will be a focus on completion and not drowning!

  4. August 23, 2011 11:46 AM

    I agree with Kim, it is very hard to get back out of the house once you’re settled. Go Britt! Love that picture of your little family. So sweet.

  5. August 23, 2011 3:16 PM

    I’m a pretty good negative-splitter. I’m always worried about going out too fast, so I’ve never actually been too crazy at the beginning. I actually think I could use a little more speed at the start!

    I am envious of your ability to swim — I’m still trying to figure out how exactly I can learn in New York City. (Clean) pools are so expensive!

  6. August 23, 2011 8:22 PM

    I have a really hard time giving it my all during a race because I’m so scared of burning out! During a 5k, I try to tell myself that nothing too bad can happen in 3 miles (I hope!) so I find it easier to push myself, but during a half or full marathon I start freaking out that I’m going to burn out!

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