October 3, 2016 by Soo Ee
I did my first triathlon pool training session yesterady.
When I arrived at the pool, I noticed a group of people in what seemed lik pro swim wear get ups. I was the only one in shorts and sports bra, the others with their professional looking swim caps, goggles and upmarket swim attire (aka triathlon gear). I don’t get intimidated easily but I was. Was it even a good idea to do the session?
After the coach’s introduction and what was to be expected for the day, I went over to the coach to introduce myself
Hi, I’m Soo, the noob swimmer.
He asked me “Can you swim 100m without stopping?” “Do you know your timing for a 100m swim?” I had no idea to both questions. I told him I haven’t swam a full 100m non stop before, I haven’t timed my swims and I wasn’t even sure if my front crawl could make it across the length of the pool.
He assured me that it was all good and pointed to the other end of the pool, “go over to the lady in red and tell her you’re in middle C”
C for civilian?
I looked over to where he pointed and saw another group of people gathered at the other end of the pool. They looked less intimidating.
When we were told to get into the pool for our warm up, the first thing I noticed when I jumped in was that the water was uncomfortably cold and the rope burn on my shin stung. I felt nauseous and a little beaten. I wanted to run to my bag, grab my towel to wrap myself before running to the car to go home. I was thinking about my half eaten roasted chicken wrap. “Damn,” I thought, regretting the crossfit session I did an hour ago, “Did I burn too much calories just and now I don’t have any left to stave the cold off now?.” Red alert was sounding in my head “oh my gawd! omg! This water is too cold. Am I going to die?”
Of course not 🙄
“Swim 3 laps easy and one lap faster” said the coach. I abandoned all hopes of escaping and started my swim. Surprisingly, after 50 m, I started to warm up and didn’t feel as cold.
Got to get used to this cold and swim more in the evening.
After a few different types of speed and distances the coach says “Soo, you rest for this set.” I think she noticed that I was not stroking the water proper due to fatigue and switched my style to breast stroke on and off and seem to be swallowing a lot of water. I was glad to rest but after a while (maybe one minute) I started to feel the same bone chilling cold I felt at the beginning. When they came back on the 2nd round of the set, I followed them out.
So nice the warmth.
The group of people who was with me were good with their swim. They went out when the coach said go. They came back fast. They seemed less serious but they put in their best. There was this lady, in her 60s maybe. When she went out, her strokes were smooth and she glided in the water really well. She was very nice and encouraging. She told me it was difficult for her too in the beginning but after a few sessions, she got better. She answered the many questions I had – why did she change goggles, how long has she been doing this training, is it always this cold, is the intensity always this fierce. So many questions I had. I spoke to this 10 yo girl in the group too. A ten year old training for a tri wasn’t surprising in this age and time but I was nevertheless impressed that she was doing the same training and intensity as the rest of us.
After I completed the training, I went to the coach to thank her and started chatting with her about how cold the water was, what the different gears were for blah blah. A lady (first timer to triathlon training) came over too to thank the coach and she asked how much distance did we cover. The coach said, proud as a Mother hen, 1km. Wow. I survived swim training omg! I only learnt to swim when I was in my twenties and have never swam more than 30 minutes at this high intensity before. We did a pure 60 minutes of splashing. This was awesome! The adrenaline was awesome.
I couldn’t help but felt a little proud of myself. Good end to a Monday!