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Old 11-06-2010
JoePetto JoePetto is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 6

I can personally bear witness that 7 months is 100% doable. Exactly one year ago I embarked on a similar goal with the encouragement of my wife who is also an excellent swimmer. I had signed up for a late June tri and participated in a TI workshop at the end of November. Almost seven months to the day I completed an OWS in a river as part of a sprint tri and two months later I completed a 1 mile OWS as part of an Oly tri.

Prior to the workshop, I had reviewed the TI DVD and books and tried to start working on some of the basic drills. Quite frankly, I'm personally not a great visual learner and I struggled mightly. It was at the TI workshop that the blueprint for developing some swim technique came together. The hands on instruction made all the difference for me.

I would not be concerned at all that the TI workshop might be too advanced for you. In the session I attended, there we guys who had completed long course distance tris and newbies like myself. Since the instruction begins with the most elemental drills, everyone starts in the same place. Granted, the more advanced swimmers may pick up things more quickly, but by no means did I feel that I was way over my head. Everyone struggles with the new techniques at first.

Don't get me wrong, TI did not come easy at all. As a more experienced cyclist turned runner, I quickly realized I did not naturally have a propulsive kick (which, while frustrating at first, made it easier to learn the 2BK). I also had to come to terms with an irrational fear of the water. However, I stuck with the program, did my drills, focused on technique, calmed my thoughts, focused on rythmic breathing and then after 3 solid months of practising, it came together. I went from struggling through 50 yards to swimming almost a mile in the course of 2 weeks. What I have come to appreciate about TI is there always "eureka" moments when things come together when you are least expecting it.

As an aspiring triathlete, I would recommend that you avoid focusing on the quantative aspects of swimming. Distance, time, speed are largely irrelevant and may hamper your efforts to focus on the continuous improvement of your technique. Swimming, unlike running and cycling, you simply can't muscle through. Echoing the advice on many on these boards, speed will come with technique, but your technique will absolutely suffer if you concern yourself with speed.

Enjoy the journey.
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Old 11-06-2010
JDK JDK is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5

I was also in the same situation of wanting to compete in a triathlon without the ability to make it across a 25yd.pool.I signed up for lessons at the local pool and realized quickly the young instructor-lifeguard was not going to teach me what I needed to learn to be able to swim 1.2 miles in open water.He offered tips but not much else. After discovering T.I I bought the freestyle DVD and then invested in a workshop in Lake Placid and it was the single best money spent to ensure a positve triathlon experience. The workshop cut the learning curve considerably by having instant feed back and encouragement, but I am sure that by really focusing on each step of the video instruction and mindfully applying it in the pool your progress will be steady. It is all based around balance in the water and really relaxing in the water as well. Whatever you are working in the pool,and even more importantly in open water,relaxation of your mind and muscles will help things come together. The seemingly simple drills will be a bit tougher until tension is released from your body and this will make breathing easier to learn also. Trust the T.I method to make your triathlon swim enjoyable.
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Old 11-10-2010
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 402

Originally Posted by barnanimal View Post
...I'd like to sign up for a workshop, but these seem more geared toward people who can swim well. I am on the beginner level, if that...
You definitely don't have to swim well to take a workshop. I took T.I. lessons from a coach in Calgary who broke the usual weekend workshop into one-hour lessons over 6 weeks. Some of the people in the class could barely swim, some were plodders who could plug away at laps but not efficiently (like me), some were triathletes who could swim quite well. As long as you're not so terrified of water that you can't go in the deep end, you'll be fine.
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Old 11-10-2010
PASA PASA is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central California
Posts: 49
Default The Easy Freestyle manual in the Free Stuff section is great

Originally Posted by barnanimal View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I would be training in the pool in my gym... so I wouldn't have the book or DVD in front of me to go by. For those of you who have used the DVD, how difficult is it to apply what you've seen on the DVD somewhere else?
In addition to viewing the lessons on the video and making notes to put in a ziplock bag for the pool deck, as flppr suggests, I suggest printing and reading the Easy Freestyle manual that is available in the "Free Stuff" section of the TI website.

For my first few weeks with TI, I used these lesson explanations to make up drill cards that I put in a ziplock and took to the pool. I sometimes would put two pages of the manual back-to-back in a gallon size ziplock and take that to the pool.

Happy swimming.
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Old 11-12-2010
CoachRyan CoachRyan is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 52
Default 7 months is more than enough

Hi barnanimal,

I personally learned to swim with TI and took my 1/2 mile time down by several minutes in just 3 months of TI practice (swam a 22 minute 1/2 mile before and a 17 minute 1000m after 3 months). That was all by watching the DVD and going to the pool and practicing with notes.

Now I am a certified coach with TI and I have made tremendous improvements with students in just 3 or 4 weeks. I have some videos that I can send you links to that show what I mean but the point is that being able to comfortably complete a 1500 m swim for a oly tri is doable in much less than 7 months with TI.

The best way, as mentioned before, is to find a TI coach and work with them. Next best is getting the DVD as mentioned before also.
Ryan Chapman
B.A.S.E. Training
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