Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Swimming

In the winter of 2009 I began to dedicate myself to the sport of triathlon. My theory was that with my strong running background, ocean rescue/surfing history, and large aerobic/anaerobic systems that I would instantly have success across all three disciplines. My theory was not correct. It did not take me long to realize that swimming is tough! It is so technique driven, as opposed to muscle driven grit strength and endurance athletic talent. Of course, those things help but I was completely just slapping water. I began swimming by myself and followed my coach's programs. It took me a long time before I can swim a set longer than 1000yd. It was not until I began swimming with a Master's swim team that I saw how far behind real swim training I was.
For the past 16 months I have been working with two different groups - San Rafael Aquatics Team and North Bay Aquatics.
San Rafael Aquatics Team is a wonderful and kind group of early morning swimmers based out of Terra Linda's 33.33 yard pool (or as I call it - "Marin Long Course"). The swim is coached by Phil DiGirolamo from the water.
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Phil practices what he preaches and is an amazing swimmer, especially when it comes to triathlon specific swimming. He has coached many top triathletes to improved swims and recently worked with Leanda Cave, former World Champion and Ironman World Championship contender. Not only does he know his stuff but he is an amazing person. Phil has helped with more than swimming and for that I am grateful. This very morning we went stroke for stroke in the middle lane on a set of 3x700. I am happy to say that I am minutes per interval faster than last year on this workout. Thanks Phil!

The other group that has helped me tremendously is North Bay Aquatics (northbayaquatics.org).
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Coaches Ken DeMont and Don Schwartz have refined my "slapping water" technique that took me 24 strokes to get across 25 yards to a more smooth respectable 16 strokes from wall to wall. I am a different swimmer because of Ken and Don. If they only had evening swims I would be set!! (hint,hint)

So, I am less than a year and half into this amazing sport and I know that I am far from where I want to be. My swim/bike need a lot of work to compete with the top professionals in the sport. I can't always rely on running these guys down, that is not going to get me on the podium and it is not going to fulfill my goals. I've learned that this sport is an ongoing progression and improvements come with time, but with the help of my Coach Tony DeBoom and local access to some of the country's best swim coaches then I know I will get where I need to be sooner. Not to mention, the Zoot Zenith 2.o and Zoot Speedzoot have been helping the process along more than any other suit I have worn.

Look for me getting out of the water a lot quicker, than my former run-reliant self, this 2010 season.
Happy training!

JP
RunRamsey.Com

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