This is the first part of a three-part blog on what I love about swimming, biking and running. We have had a number of people in here that have pondered about what the letters ‘ SBR’, stand for in our name, SBR Sport. Triathletes will know that they stand for the three tri disciplines of Swim – Bike – Run. I happen to love all three disciplines, and so it’s time for me to record what I love about them.
I love swimming. I feel very at home in water. I love the repetitious sounds that take place when you swim. Breathing in, the sound of bubbles as air leaves your lungs, the splashing sound as your hand enters the water. The sounds and motion of the water become a form of meditation I guess. I have tried to meditate before but am a bit too ADD to get it right. My mind flits from thought to thought and when I do relax I find myself falling asleep. However, in the water, it’s a different thing. I have done some long swims where my mind has drifted into a wonderful place. A place of peace and rhythm, a place where it feels as if the water is nurturing me.
Some important points regarding swimming.
- You need to go for stroke correction. There are two types of swimmers, those that fight with the water, and those that respect the water and work with it. Water is too dense a substance to fight with. It will win every time. A large wave can rip seemingly indestructible structures down. You need someone to help you work with and respect water.
- You need a strong core and you need to stretch out your lower back and hamstrings regularly. Many who suffer from lower back pain have been advised to take up swimming, only to find that they are worse off after the swim. Lower back pain and swimming.
- Swimming can be monotonous, and so I find that I swim better when in a squad.( I run a squad from Wahoo. You can read more about it here, SBR Swim Squad).
- Many people are afraid of water. I am of the opinion that you need to face your fears. Climb into a pool with goggles on. At first, take a breath in, hold it and then lower your head into the water. Take a look around, blow some bubbles out and pop your head up again. Repeat until you begin to feel at home.
- Swimming is tiring. Your cardiovascular load is huge. Your heart and lungs will need to supply oxygen to calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, abdominals, shoulders, arms and neck. You might feel as if you are dying after 75 meters during your first swim. That’s ok. I did too: keep it up and you will get stronger.
- Swimming will help your running and cycling, in that it will strengthen cardio vascular system.
I recently had the privilege of becoming the 33rd person to have completed 5 Midmar 8 Mile events. The moment will live on in my memory as one of the most wonderful moments of my life.
Hope to see you in the water soon,