Yesterday evening, I attended my first group training session for people who want to do a sprint triathlon. Now, I have done three sprints in the past, but it was my hope that the swim training by a professional coach would help me as I move toward open water triathlons and hopefully Olympic distance tris.
We met up at the YMCA, and after introductions, it appeared that most of the group had been there before. They all new one another, was asking about events and what each other was up to. That set my nerves tingling … nothing like being the outsiders in the group. We changed and headed to the spin room for the first portion of our first brick workout: an hour long spin class.
We got on the bikes and started to warm up. Suddenly the coaches left the room, only to come back with yoga mats. We needed to stretch first! So after about 8 different core stretches, it was time to pedal. It was a sweat fest, and also an enjoyable workout.
While spinning, we got to meet a few members. That made us feel like we were a welcome part of the team. We chatted during recovery portions of the class, and we grew quiet as the workouts intensified. The coaches also let us know that they were here to help us, and that they would do everything they could to help us succeed.
That comment came true on the next portion of the brick workout: the swim. We had to swim after the cycling due to a swim class going on, so now after a hard workout on the bike, we were going to try and swim. Even though I’ve read several books on swimming, I don’t know what I am actually doing. It was calming to hear my coach tell me that I looked comfortable in the water. He then explained what I should change, and why it should be changed. He is a believer in minimizing energy output while maximizing distance. So we worked on stroke angle, hand insertion, along with drills such as the fingertip drag to help with form. I also noticed him walking back and forth along the pool watching us and evaluating our form. While this would usually make me nervous, this time it did not. It was reassuring that someone was taking my best interests to heart and wanted to see me reach my goals.
We were given a sheet with the first four weeks of workouts, for both the beginner and intermediate level. I am at one level on running and biking, but a complete newbie when it comes to swimming. I figure we can discuss it next week, but for this week I will mix the two.
This morning I had the chance for my first workout with the training plan. After a 400 total yard warmup, I did 600 yards of drills, followed by a 200 yard total cool down. I thought 1200 yards wasn’t too bad. I then changed and hit the track for a 6.5 mile run.
I have this feeling that as these weekly classes progress, I am going to enjoy it more and more. Just having something to work on today was worth it. I’ll post more as the training continues. As I type this, my body is a little stiff and sore, but it feels good!
Live healthy, be happy!