Hillingdon Triathletes Swim Training | Eclectic Cake: Hillingdon Triathletes Swim Training

Monday, 3 June 2013

Hillingdon Triathletes Swim Training

"Do one thing everyday that scares you". That's what Eleanor Roosevelt and in fact Baz Lurman said. And deciding to train with actual triathletes certainly gives me a big tick for Monday. I was terrified! Not counting swimming lessons when I was 8, I've never swam with a group before and certainly not whilst doing an hour of drills. I'd seen swim clubs before, pelting up and down the lanes, and it always looked pretty full on. I'm not even sure I ever saw them breathe!

As soon as I nervously approached the side of the pool where the group from Hillingdon Triathletes were gathering, sheets of paper were thrust into my hands. "Ah, a welcome pack", I thought. On closer inspection, I noticed that in fact, before I'd even completed a minute of training, I was holding details of the next lot of races! This turned my fear level up a notch. I wasn't ready to race yet!

As the coach lead me to the not-so-scary lane 3 (the lanes increase in difficulty, 1 for beginner swimmers, up to 8 where the pros live), I was reassured that just turning up was the hard part. Watching everyone jump in and bomb up and down the pool just for a warm up, I wasn't convinced.

Luckily, I shared a lane with just one other person who was kind enough to show me the ropes as we started our first lot of drills – 3 x 150m (6 lengths) with 4-5 seconds rest between each set, which would be "plenty of rest"(!!!). Amazingly, I managed to cope quite well. Possibly a little too well – after the first drill, I found myself waiting around for everyone else to finish. Convinced I must have miscounted lengths, I didn't even have time to protest before I was ordered to go into lane 5 ready to start some sprint training.

I may have found an excuse to upgrade to this Speedo swimsuit!

Lining up behind the seven other people in my new lane, I just hoped that I wouldn't fall behind too much. They were all used to going at this pace as regulars at the club and I'd not sprinted in a pool for years! The pace was fast but I managed to keep up, even on set five when I thought I may throw up – please don't let me be 'that' girl! – I kept up with them.

We worked on improving our arm technique – getting high elbows above the water and a long reach for the pull. It was great to have coaching on technique and I immediately felt the benefits as I almost glided through the water. It also dawned on me that the drills we did previously – one arm held out for 12 kicks, pull with just arms, then hold the other arm stretched out – all built up to improving technique. Rather than considering them as simple strengthening exercises that focus on arms or legs, I realised that you can learn from these sets too.

I actually really enjoyed the session. The whole team seemed friendly and welcoming, and I felt that just a bit of coaching could help me go a long way.

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