In the process I have surveyed hundreds of triathletes and asked them questions to find out how I can best help them love the portion of triathlon that most people struggle to get through.
I have received so many great questions which is confirmation that the book I am writing is NEEDED!
Most who have responded tell me they don’t even like swimming and only do it because it’s part of the triathlon.
Since my book is designed to help triathletes who don’t love to swim learn to tolerate it, or better yet, even enjoy it, I probed further and asked what it is about swimming they dislike so much. Surprisingly, I got answers I was NOT expecting!!
I thought people would say it was too hard, or they were slow, it was boring, or their technique was poor, all of which I will cover in my book. But many could be grouped into the following 5 objections which I will ATTEMPT to answer.
The reason I say “attempt” is because these objections are very personal and require the swimmer to potentially make some changes in their attitude and lifestyle. So I may not be able to help with THESE specific issues…but I’m sure going to try…
1. I hate the smell of chlorine
Hmmmm! Maybe pick a different sport!!
Or…just train/race in the summer (or in a warm climate year around) so you can do all of your training in a lake or ocean. Other than that, maybe you can wear a nose plug. Or eat lots of garlic to overpower the smell of chlorine?
One great thing to look forward to is that fewer and fewer pools are using chlorine, many are moving toward salt water or other chemicals that don’t smell like the old-school chlorine pools.
2. I get too hungry when I swim so I just gain weight because I eat so much afterwards
I learned a trick back in the day from my HS Swim Coach who wanted all the girls to lose weight. I’m sure we were all super fat in High School so it was understandable (UGH!).
He said the reason we get so hungry is because the pool water (typically around 80 degrees) cools our core body temperature so our metabolism increases to get our core body temp up. So his “secret” was to sit in the hot tub, sauna, or steam room immediately following your swim. If you don’t have one available, a long hot shower will help as well. When you are 16, you have time for that.
As an adult, it’s typically ‘get in/get out’ so what I do is immediately after a swim (like IN the shower when I am rinsing off), I drink a healthy meal replacement shake to give my body some protein, carbs, fat, and nutrients which takes the edge off until my next scheduled meal. Plus…standing in the hot shower for several minutes will start to raise my body temp! BONUS!!
3. I don’t like having to take multiple showers in a day
Then don’t. No one says you have to shower after you swim. If you get itchy, do a quick rinse with a swimming soap. If it’s because you care what other people think you may smell or look like, get over it.
You can rinse off and then shower when you get home, at the end of your day, or after your other workouts for the day. For me, showering is one of my favorite calming and self-care activities so I take full advantage of the pool showers (keep in mind I live in an RV so our showers at home are not so calming) so I am more than happy to shower.
And as you read above I drink my lunch in a matter of minutes while IN the shower, so apparently I would rather spend a few extra minutes in the shower than eating a meal. Priorities!
4. It takes too long to do my hair and make-up after I swim
This is a great time to simplify your life and change up your look at the same time! I’m a little biased because I think 100% of people look better with no make-up and natural hair. If you know me, I typically toss on a hat, but I know most people can’t do that, especially if you are heading to work or a business meeting.
I find when I put my hair in a loose ponytail on top of my head and then take it down right before I get to where I need to be, I have a wavy cute hair style. There are also fun and tasteful ways to wear a low pony or bun that take only minutes to produce and look very nice and professional.
And if you MUST wear make-up, I’m sure there are 2-3 stoplights in between your pool and your office!!
5. It gets so expensive when I have to buy swimsuits constantly
Now this IS a valid excuse! I typically go through a suit every 2 months. I’ve done some experimenting with this and no matter how EXPENSIVE a suit I get, they all last about the same amount of swims for me.
So here’s my solution…I buy the cheapest possible suit I can find. I order all my suits from www.swimoutlet.com/iheartswimming and I search women’s competition suits and then order them by price.
Personally I get 2 piece suits because they fit me better (I have a long torso and my top is much smaller than my bottom) and I can typically get the entire suit for around $10. Yes, they may be mismatched, yes I have had some seriously ugly designs, but for $10 I’m not complaining!!
I’m not saying you HAVE to have an ugly suit to save money, my current one is SUPER cute and was on sale last month. Top was $5, bottom was $8, pink and camo…WINNING!! I bought 2 of each!
I sincerely hope these answers help you at least CONSIDER swimming more often or help you enjoy it more.
Swimming is an amazing sport because you can do it your ENTIRE life. I used to be a lifeguard and I remember every morning, M-F at 5am, a taxi would pull up in front of the Y and a little old lady would slowly climb out. Using her walker she would make her way through the front door, into the locker room and eventually into the pool area. It would take her 30 minutes to finally get into the pool, but as soon as she did she was a machine. She would swim non-stop for 30 minutes. I was so impressed, especially when I found out she was 93 years old! AWESOME!!!
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