I heard from fellow triathletes about a great lake swim in Orlando called Luckys Lake Swim, and decided to give it an try about a month ago. At the time, I was swimming three plus days a week in the pool averaging over 2000 meters per workout, so I thought I was ready for a 1000 meter lake swim. I was wrong. I freaked out as soon as I got into the water. I just got a new wetsuit a few days before the swim, so I blamed the wetsuit for being to small. I got out of the water, took my wetsuit off, and tried to swim again. I freaked out again, but I continued to swim on with my head out of the water the whole time. I swam for only a couple of minutes and decided to turn around before I become food for the gators.
I felt horrible after the failed attempt and it got my really questioning my ability to do the Half-Ironman in May. If, How am I going to complete 1900 meter swim on race day, when I could not complete 1000 meters in a lake? It put a dent into my swim training for the following two weeks, only doing two works for a little bit more than an mile total.
Five Essential Swim Drills
I decided then that I had to change my swim training so I could complete my Half-Ironman without drowning. I watched a couple of youtube videos on swim training and found a great video on swim drills that change my prospective on the way I swim. I also started to swim with a coach to help improve my technique and get planned swim workouts.
All this improved swim training showed during my Frogman Triathlon last weekend. The triathlon gave my a huge boost of confidence for swimming, but I still freaked out, swimming with my head out of the water the whole time. I decided to try and tackle the Luckys Lake Swim again to work on keeping my head in the water while I swim.
Enough side tracking and on with my main story. The weather this morning was great and there was a large number of people doing this swim today. I do not know the lady in the blue tri-top in the picture above or why she is making such a weird face and body gesture at me. I assume she was talking about something to the lady next to her, but it just looks funny. Lucky made a couple of announcements and gave his warning to us about the danger of this lake swim. His dog barked, and the swimmers started to enter the water.
I decided to wait some to let most of the people start and then got into the water. My main focus from the start was to stay calm and not freak out. I keep telling my self this is only an 2 x 500m swim and should be a piece of cake. I started swimming with my head out of the water due to all the people around me but when the crowds thinned out, I started to swim with me head in the water. The water visibility was very clear and I was able to see people swimming about 10-15 feet in front of me. I started out breathing every two strokes and calmed down enough to start breathing the usual every three strokes. I was surprised by the number of people I was passing, I always thought I was a weak swimmer. My arms started to get tired but I arrived on the otherside of the lake with no problems. My biggest issue was every once and awhile, I would get a mouth full of water when I lift my head out of the water to sight.
All the swim training is really paying off. I did not feel dead after I got out of the water and I probably could have done another lap, but I wanted to sign my name on Lucky’s Wall of Fame.
There was no more space on the main wall to sign due to the popularity of this swim, so I had to sign the ceiling of the wall.
I also got the famous “I Survived Luckys Lake Swim” bumper sticker and “Enter The Food Chain 1K Swim” patch.
This swim gave me a huge boost of confidence in open water swimming. I can now keep my head in the water and swim with proper technique, unlike before where I swam with my head out of the water and was just thrashing my arms around. I am also able to use less energy during the swim which will help me out while I am hammering it out during the bike and run.
There were a couple of sponsored athletes from Mix 1 giving away free Mix 1 after the swim. I started to drink these after I received a bunch of free one from my Cross Florida Ride. I found it as a good recover drink after I swim in the mornings and before I get to work to eat my breakfast. I am pissed that I now want to buy it because I had a bunch of coupons for Mix 1 from the Miami Marathon Expo that just expired.
What is your best recover drink after a workout?