Swimming Sucks



WEEK 12 – Monday 5/20/19 – Sunday 5/26/19


The pool is open and ready for swimming!  Yay me!  But I have a problem.  I hate swimming.  It sucks.  It’s hard, it gives you cramps, it makes me sleepy for some reason, it makes me hangry, and I could drown.  So there’s that.  It’s the activity that kept me from being a triathlete for years until I finally took the time to learn to be decent enough to get through a sprint distance swim.  I’ve always thought that swimming is just the necessary evil that is required to get to the two sports that I actually enjoy.  A prerequisite of sorts.  But it’s soooo boring.

I can’t believe that it is Week 12 already of my 30-week training plan and I’m just now starting to do my swim training for Ironman number 4.  My last training for Ironman was in 2017 and my buds and I did Ironman Louisville, a course known for a pretty generous swim.  I decided that the plan I follow is way too heavy on the swim training.  Three swims per week, starting with 2500 yards per swim and progressing to 3500 yards per swim a week was too much for me, and I figured that if I can easily swim 45 minutes, how difficult is doing another 30-45 minutes?  I gambled a little and it paid off.  My swim times went from 1:30 at IM Wisconsin in 2013 when I followed the swim plan very closely, to 1:18 at IM Lake Placid in 2016 in which I was following the plan pretty closely but was starting to rebel, to 1:09 at IM Louisville in 2017 swimming only 45 minutes twice a week.  So, if Louisville could produce a personal swim best my thinking is Ironman Chattanooga will be about the same or quicker, seeing that it is a downstream swim.  That is if they don’t cancel the swim like they did last year.  Which would be just fine with me.

On Tuesday I jumped into the pool after an hour-long run to cool down a little and begin my first 45-minute swim.  It sucked.  It wasn’t long until I could feel my arms getting sore and by 20 minutes into it, I was getting horrible foot and leg cramps.  I stopped at 30 minutes and decided I had had enough.  I got out, ate lunch, mowed the ever growing grass, and then to my credit I jumped back in and finished the last 15 minutes of my swim.  It felt good not to give up on that swim, even if I had to break it into a couple of sessions.

When Thursday came around I figured I would do my swim after my hour-long bike.  I fully expected to have a similar swim to Tuesday’s, but it actually went okay.  No cramps and I was able to get the 45 minutes done.

So I will keep at the two swims per week, figure out a time when I can get to up to Minocqua and do a few longer open water swims this summer, and hopefully build my swimming confidence as the summer rolls along.  I have lots of time to get better and maybe even start liking it a little.

I thought I had figured out my bike issue last week and was pretty sure I had it licked, but on Saturday’s long ride I could hear the rubbing again and for some reason, my rear brakes were really making a horrible scratching type noise.  I stopped mid-ride and checked the wheel out and it looked like there might be some rubbing of the tire on the brake mechanism itself.  I didn’t spend much time diagnosing the brake noise because there was a storm coming from the west and I was 22 miles from home, so I got back on the bike, limited myself to mostly using the front brake, and got home as quick as I could.

After a thorough wash down of the bike, I put it on the bike stand and tried to diagnose the issue.  My son Ben was supervising and he pointed out that the tire was actually rubbing on the frame.  I looked at the tire and could see that it wasn’t seated as far down on that portion of the wheel, so I let the air out of the tube and reinflated it.  That worked and the wheel and tire spun just fine after putting it back on the bike.  As for the brake, one of the brake pads had a little chunk of metal embedded into it, which explains the horrible noise I was hearing when braking.  I dug it out with a metal probe and, voila! no more noise.  I should probably replace the pads soon, they are getting pretty worn down.

On to Week 13!

Week 12 Training Totals:

Swims: 2 total / 4100 yards > Rides: 4 total / 90 miles > Runs: 5 total / 23 miles




Lots of training left, lots of swimming to do!  






Author: Ironman Chris

Family, running, triathlon and drumming are my things.

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