Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Swimming In Triathlon
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-14-2011
TreeThagg TreeThagg is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
Default First at 50.

So, I decided to do my first triathlon to celebrate turning 50. I knew I could complete the bike and run portion but just wasn't sure about the swim portion. I mean, I know how to swim but just wasn't sure if I could do 400 yards continuously so I went to the local pool and figured I could do it and went ahead and signed up for a series of sprints. During that time I discovered TI and started putting all the drills into practice. It didn't feel natural at first but it really started feeling good in the pool. I did a few open water swims and figured I was ready for the plunge so off I went and signed up for an even earlier one that had a smaller bike portion..just for funsies.
Well the swim starts and I try to stay on the outside of the pack to keep from getting kicked and clawed. I lost all sense of form trying to swim "fast". I even started to kick with my left foot at the same time I was spearing with my left arm! Hello?! Did I not remember ANYTHING that I had been practicing the last 3 months?! But as soon as I chilled out and backed off a bit, I started remembering my form. By then I was a bit out of breath but had cleared the first buoy. Well, I'm still swimming on the outside of the group and I accidently hit the swimmer in front of me...I look up to apologize and there was no swimmer there. The water was very murky because of the waves of swimmers before us and a silty kind of bottom so I saw nothing. Needless to say, I got much closer to the pack of swimmers. I'm thinking it was just a dolphin, but it was a little freaky. I continued on and felt so much better after relaxing and putting my mind back on form and doing what I had been doing in the pool.
The bike felt really good and the run even went well. I'm not the fastest of runners but I think having not totally died in the swim, I conserved some energy for the bike and run.
I have another one to do this weekend and am so looking forward to improving on my swim. I just need to remember not to get caught up in other peoples races and concentrate on my form from the very start...not AFTER I'm out of breath!

Thanks Terry!

Last edited by TreeThagg : 07-14-2011 at 11:26 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-21-2011
TheFrog TheFrog is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Donnelly, ID
Posts: 42

Ah... The first triathlon thread... I've been meaning to add my two cents since Memorial Day Weekend. I've been so busy training for my second triathlon that I've not had the time.

To put it gently, my first triathlon was an unmitigated disaster. Picture this, if you will. Previous to the race, my experience in open water was limited to four occasions on days that the pond I was swimming in was mirror smooth. The morning of the race, the wind was howling and it was raining. The water was cold and the lake was being whipped into whitecaps. On the advice of the medics at the race, they shortened the swim from a mile to about a half mile. That was still quite too long.

It took me over 45 minutes to struggle my way through the half mile swim course. Despite my very best efforts, I simply couldn't breathe. By a third of the way through, I'd pretty much given up on freestyle and resorted to finishing the swim in any way possible. Through a fair bit of backstroke and a modified sidestroke, I dragged myself out of the water in second to last place. The only reason that I wasn't the last one out of the water was that I refused to be last.

I caught a lot of people on the bike, especially when you consider that the person out of the water in front of me was nearly twenty minutes ahead and a lot of folks were more like half an hour ahead. I was really feeling pretty sick, though. While trying to breathe, I had swallowed a lot of air and a lot of the dirty, muddy, full of pasture runoff (yuck!) lake water.

Biking doesn't jostle the guts around much, though. The run does. It was really uncomfortable. Through more stubbornness than is probably healthy, I finished my first Olympic tri (my first tri, period, but adding the "Olympic" makes it sound more impressive). It wasn't pretty, but I did it.

My next triathlon is in two and a half weeks. It will be better. I've spent a lot of time improving my technique and practicing in open water since then. I'm not as good as a lot of folks, but I'm a lot better prepared for this tri than I was for the last. It should be a blast!
Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2011
afbcpa afbcpa is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 8
Default My First Triathalon

Did my first mini this weekend at our local swim club (500 meter swim, 6 mile bike, 2.5 mile run). Like many, I have cycled and exercised forever. I couldn't swim 25 meters without breathlessness a year ago.

Six years ago, my friend, I'm 48 he's 76, gave me the TI book as a gift. I never really followed up but last year I was reinvigorated and bought the self-taught workshop. What a change!!! After a year in the pool, I routinely swim a 1/2 mile (in a pool) without any effort. When I have more time I even swim longer distances with no effort. My professional life and family limit my workout time to about 4 days a week and a about an hour each session.

Anyway, yesterday was great. I panicked a little (too much excitement) at the outset and felt breathlessness for the first time in 6 months. I went out too fast and wasn't focused. I calmed down, really focused on my rhythmic breathing and cruised through the swim. By the way, I used the same mindful focus and applied it to the run, which I am not a big fan of, and it worked.

My advice to anyone doing this the first time or anytime... Calm down, focus, focus, focus, and remember what you are capable of doing. You must really concentrate on something small (like breathing, streamlining, whatever) and it will come to you. If I could do this, anyone can.

Thanks Terry and everyone on the forums. I know it's only a mini, but my health has improved dramatically with swimming and I look forward to getting better and better. And participating in more events.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2011
krulich krulich is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4
Default End to End

My first triathlon swim took place in a 25yd. pool in the mid-eighties, yes, way back in the early days before triathlon was cool. I was an experienced runner and biker, but had never swam for distance. The race distance was 500 yards. It was a comical swim in that it took over 20 minutes to complete, the result of having to stop and rest at each end. That's right, I would swim to one end, hold onto the side, rest and then swim back, rest again...until the distance was finished. As mentioned, that was a long time ago. The story ends better though, because after much practice, I completed the 1992 Hawaiian Ironman, 2.5 mile swim and all.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2011
aquabikenewb aquabikenewb is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Default Redman Aquabike

I did my first triathlon event, a half ironman distance aquabike this past Saturday, 9/24th which also happened to be my 57th birthday.

I didn't start swimming until June 5, 2011 and since that day I'm happy to report I've spent more time swimming since then than I have since I was 11 or12 years old. I didn't have a lot of time to get ready for my 1.2mile swim so after some online research I found TI and immediately read everything I could find as well as watch and study the videos.

My time for my 1.2 mile swim wasn't fast by any stretch, but I'm very happy with it - 52:12.

My 56 mile bike was 3:27:37, transition 10:53 and overall time: 4:30:40.

I loved the challenge and the training - and especially the swimming. I've been a cyclist for 20+ years but I'm rediscovering my love of the water.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2011
rbs24h rbs24h is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Southern Cal
Posts: 104

My first Tri was in March of this year at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Never knew they had an Aquatic Center there. A reverse Sprint, mini Sprint really, with 15O yd swim in pool to finish. Started with the 5K run which was one loop, a 4:3O transition, couldn't get helmet strap snapped, then froze on the bike. It wasn't that cold out but I was for some reason. I remember a volunteer trying to cheer me on saying "come on you can do it, it's a race!!" which gives you an indication of my pedaling cadence. I thought the bike was time to rest. All through run and bike I could only think about saving my energy for the 15O yd swim. I honestly did not know if I would make it considering I could only go about 4O yds in training pool swims before I had to stand up. But I took a little rest at each end of the pool and made it in about 5 minutes and was very happy to finish. Note:
Started TI in July and just did my first Olympic Tri last Sunday. 1.5K ocean swim to start. Who woulda thunk it.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-27-2012
tritri tritri is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 34

I did my first tri this weekend. 250m swim, 10k bike and 3k run.

They said the water would be crystal clear, but it's what they remembered from 1 year ago, when the artificial rowing facility was built! Instead, the water was all dark and murky, and 19°C. There were dense clouds, it was raining and the wind was howling (about 40kts!). Jumped in the water, no wetsuit, it actually didn't feel so cold because the weather was so bad.

I started the swim relaxed, swam good freestyle to the first buoy, only got punched once in the nose by a breaststroker and was so happy that I decided to go veer right a bit to have a clean path and accelerate. When I lifted my head after 20 strokes a guy in a kayak was yelling at me "left! left!". I was 25m off course, in an area where thick algae had grown and my googles were completely fogged up. I had to breaststroke my way out of the algae and lost a lot of time trying to sight the buoys as the main pack of swimmers was now too far ahead for drafting. But the most important thing for me is that I never panicked, always felt relaxed and always knew I would finish the swim.

The bike was miserable. I had a crappy mountain bike, everybody else had carbon race bikes lol. The run was good, I had enough energy to sprint the last 500m to the finish line. Got a bit confused and stopped 5m before the actual finish line

That was a great experience. My objectives were to finish, learn as much as I could and enjoy. All checked. Can't wait for my next triathlon. My ultimate objective is to become an Ironman finisher.
Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2012
Starrfam Starrfam is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 3
Default Father and Daughter first Tri

I've been cycling pretty regularly for the last few years, and used to run pretty well in my 'younger' years (i'm 40). So, when my 14 year old decided to sign up for her first sprint distance triathlon, and asked me to train and join her, i figured why not. I have always been pretty athletic, and felt i was a decent swimmer when i was a kid, so how hard could it be to swim 400 m in a pool? I know, i hear you all grinning. The tri was in july, and i agreed to join my daughter in 'training' with just 3 weeks to go! I was shocked when i couldnt swim more than 1.5 lengths of a 25m pool, without gasping for air. my daughter is a great swimmer, and it kind of stung when she, in her innocent youthful grin, 'come on dad, its not that hard...just swim'! I realized that breaststroke was my only chance at my first tri.

I found TI online, read up all i could, and started studying the videos. Of course, with only a week left till our first tri, i knew there was not a chance in the world that i could learn something that would help me in my pathetic freestyle. so, i had to just use my breaststroke in that first tri, and it was fine. Did pretty well too.

Next tri was in the Potomac river, here in MD/DC area, also a sprint, but the swim was an open water 750 m swim. I had about 2 months to get to work, and i pretty much lived in the pool for those two months. Of course after the first few weeks of learning TI, and i showed all the material to my daughter...she was swimming near perfect form in just a few trips to the pool! ugh....SUCH a difference in a child's brain and an adults! What takes us 100's of hours and months of training, they can pick it up in a fraction of that! I can fully appreciate Terry's words of wisdom and necessity of 'imprinting'. Its such a great feeling to have it all just click together. The key as you all know is to relax, focus and stick to your technique. The rest is easy; efficient, graceful, effective and of course effortless swim stroke...that you can breath well through. I never fully understood what Terry meant about 'enjoying the swim'. I really love swimming now. so much, i feel like a little kid when heading to the pool; giddy with excitement! The potomac river tri was great, and once i calmed myself, controled my pace and breathing it was great. I think my 750m time was 19 minutes; not too shabby for 'an old guy'. water temp was 62 degrees, and my wetsuit helped quite a bit. took a little getting used to, and a few swims in the pool suited up,bu went well. actually, kind of like cheating. you are SO bouyant with wet suit on. Just takes a little getting used to being 'slippery' in the water; kind of like walking on an ice rink with shoes for the first time. you have to get a feel and a grip on the water. once you do, its fun and easy. Bike and run felt great as well.

My next tri is in Naples FL in jan, and i'm trying to get ready for the olympic distance; which has a 1500m distance swim in the gulf of mexico. I decided to write this post tonight, because i just attempted and completed my first 1500 m pool swim. took me 42 minutes non stop, and i felt pretty good thoughout the swim. my fook cramped twice near the end, so i had to losen it a bit while doing half a length breaststroke to shake it out. otherwise, it was ti freestyle all 60 lengths (of 25m) and smooth!

THanks a ton Terry...i really DO love to swim now. I never thought i would, but i just do!
Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012
Rhoda Rhoda is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 402

My first triathlon was a sprint event last June. I wasn't worried about the swim (500 meters, in a pool) or the bike (15k, loop course), but the run training hadn't gone at all well as I kept getting tendonitis behind my knees.

The swim didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped, being so short. I guess I didn't warm up enough, but then I'm not really a short distance person, 2500 - 3000m is more my style as I tend to speed up as I go along. Still, I wasn't out of the pool very far behind the others in my lane, only 5 seconds or so. (We started 10 seconds apart.)

The bike portion went pretty well considering the fierce wind that was blowing from the west. There was only one portion of the 3k loop course where it felt safe to take a drink, the rest of the time there was a considerable cross wind. I used my new road bike, a Look 566, and felt it handled very well, although being in the drops so long made my back ache a bit. (In those cross winds, tri bars would not have given much of an advantage) I probably went too hard, passing about a dozen people, but I knew the run wouldn't go well and thought I might as well give it my all.

Sure enough, all the people I passed on the bike course passed me on the run, where I mainly walked with short spells of jogging. I got second in my age group, which isn't really saying much considering there were only three of us. My swim was two minutes slower than the group winner, my bike leg only one minute slower, the run a lot slower.

I'm not sure I'll ever do another triathlon, but it was an interesting experience. Mainly, the swims are too short and the runs too long for the events to hold a lot of interest for me, but you never know... I might be tempted again.
Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2012
ian mac ian mac is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 194
ian mac
Default Father and Son first tri...coming soon

Although i have never competed in an official tri race, 15 years ago i decided to train for my own personal tri on my 40th birthday. Arbitrarily, i chose to do a 5km swim, 100km bike and 10km "run" (apologies to real runners). Upon completion, my suspicion was confirmed - YOU GUYS ARE NUTS! It had been my pleasure to do swim training with both great Ironman (Ironwoman?) champs Lori Bowden and Melissa Spooner previously and my admiration and respect increased exponentially toward them and all triathletes from that day forward.

Recently my heart was extremely saddened when i learned that my 13 year old son had been bullied at school for an ongoing period over several weeks. Realizing that my initial desire to rip the tongues out my son's persecutors would be counterproductive to the code i try to live my life by, i looked for another avenue to cope with this dilemma in order to bring a positive to something that was devastating to both my son and myself.

We decided to undertake our own personal triathlon in 12 weeks from now. My son is an ok swimmer from years of our playing in the water and YMCA lessons, however he had never shown a desire to participate in "sports". I was both surprised and pleased when he so readily agreed to the challenge.

After 2 weeks of preliminary training prior to our 12 weeks of focused tri training that started today, i was pleased to the bottom of my heart when my former couch potato woke me up at 6am on a Saturday morning with a cup of tea, ready to get to the pool.

We did a 200m warmup, a classic TI "4321" and a 50m cooldown in about 40 minutes. When he was informed that this was a half mile on his first day, it was great to see the sense of accomplishment he felt. Tomorrow- weight training.

By the way, you guys are all still nuts. Happy laps.
ian mac
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:06 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.