Friday, July 2, 2010

The Warm Up discipline

I need to post about my terrible KL half, that can wait though this comes first...
I was told in no uncertain terms a few weeks ago to stop (insert) 'expletive' thinking about my swim. Just get in there do the time, get and and forget about it. Take whatever rest you need, forget about splits and do it. The swim is your warm up for the bike and run.
When I first read that I thought coach had finally given up on me. It is true. The swim is my warm up. I shall never be a fishy but I know I can go into every race with the confidence that I am supremely 'swim fit' NOT swim FAST just swim fit. That helped me a lot in Langkawi when the tough swim caught up with some other athletes later in the day. You never realize until later how much it can take out of you.
So it's my warm up. Last year I swam more than I ever have in my life. I got in there did the stuff and never saw any real improvements. It was mentally mind numbing, confidence shattering and at times I wondered what the hell I was doing. How, I mean HOW an earth can I ever improve? Why, I mean WHY am I not going faster?
I struggled with these questions day in day out. Up and down the swim lanes when I was going along like a tank I would be thinking over and over and over, I feel fit, I am fit. I have swimming muscles even. So why is it not translating :(
I have stuck at it. I have switched off from comments many close and not so close friends have thrown my way. I have had offers off free coaching, offers of a coach being paid for me. Guidance, advice, thoughts, everyone has given me their two cents and some. I appreciate all of the thoughts because it shows you care. It shows you want to see Emma swim faster :)
But, I am stubborn and loyal. I put my trust in one person and no matter how hard it got I never budged and stayed put with what I was told to do. 
It's very weird how when it comes to triathlon and training I do as I am told - to the T. Part of this comes from the respect you have for the guidance a person gives. I believe in this guidance, I respect the person giving the guidance and that is enough.
Now every time I get in the water I am knocking chunks of time off previous weeks sessions. I know I have a lot to knock off but when I say chunk I mean HUGE chunks, so much it is almost unbelievable.
So I get very excited about this and report back to the coach. And he says, there you are, you have stopped over thinking.
I cannot think because I am trying to breathe on my sets. Sometimes I think I will drown because I am so puffed and think I may not get to the end. During this time I think gosh this is going to be a mighty slow set. But I get to the end and my watch reads another PB. 
I know I still don't look right to the perfect trained swimmers eye. I probably look rather clumsy, I know I make a hell of a noise as I smash the water. But I really don't care. And I don't care about understanding how I am improving. When I cared about all those little things they stopped me and held me back from just swimming. So now I just swim. And you know what, I really look forward to it, and that is THE biggest improvement that will trump any PB I can ever do.
How will this translate into a race situation? I have no clue. I know I will still suffer with my anxiety so I guess I still have quite a lot of work to do with the head side of things!!
So to all you non-swimmers out there. If I can improve ANYONE can, just apply some patience and hurry along slowly :)


plee said...

Nice! Thx for sharing... i need to stop over thinking too. But 1st I need to get more amphibious!

sofiantriathlete said...

we are all cheering your every lap

the Wongstar said...

LOL you and me both Emms, you and me both. I read this and thought "this could be me writing the exact same thing". except the improving part. back to paddles PB and tube for me too now. I too shall not think and just do!

Emma said...

Hey thanks guys and THANK YOU Jocelyn...Bob, formally known as Herman is well used and appreciated :D I owe you some supplies of Hell Panda cookies!! X