Tri for the Y Swim Clinic

Somehow the triathlon  that I thought of as months away is now just weeks ago. All that swimming I was going to do this winter? That coaching I was going to get? Yeah, that didn't happen.

So when I found out that the Tri for the Y was offering a free swim clinic before the race I pounced. And then when it fell on a Friday night after a terrible work week, I considered skipping it and going to happy hour instead. But I used my good sense for once to convince myself to go to the clinic.


The clinic was held at the Freeport Y (which is way nicer than Portland BTW). We spent the first 30 minutes in a conference room where they described the logistics of the swim (divided into heats by projected time, 2 swimmers per lane, 325 yrds.) I really wished I'd gone last year, my first year doing the race, because it made everything super clear.

pool, you are not my friend
Then it was time to hit the pool. They had us all swim a few laps while they analyzed our strokes. I was shocked that they said my stroke was generally pretty darn good. I lift my head a little high when breathing, which is probably because of doing a lot of ocean swimming). The one thing they had me work on is my turn. I can't do a flip turn, so we worked on touch turns.

Grab the wall with one hand
Partially turn and lift both feet up and plant them on the wall
keep your top arm close to your head
push off the wall with both feet, don't worry about being fully turned around, your body will naturally do this as you push off
keep your hands together out in front of you
you should be about 2 body widths below the surface to reduce drag

This was hugely helpful- keeping my arms together and staying further under the surface of the water really helped reduce drag and I found I was getting much farther off each push off.

Then they offered to time us if we wanted to do a time trial. Despite my goggles filling up with water and then completely falling off, I finished in 6:19 which is more than a minute faster than the race last year!

I still can't say that I love swimming, but this definitely helped me feel more comfortable.

How do you feel about swimming? Do you have any good tri swim tips?


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