Training for the London Triathlon & Ironman
The reason for taking swimming lessons was to learn how to swim properly so that I could compete in the London Triathlon. In looking for someone to teach me how to swim my physio recommended Strictly swimming. He had said that they had a very good reputation for beginners and advanced swimmers.
My goals were very simple, to ensure I had the swimming proficiency to complete a swim in an Olympic distance triathlon. My aim was to go under 30 minutes in the race, I ended up doing just over 26 minutes. My level was very basic, I was certainly in no place to complete the swim part of a triathlon in any of the distances.
Under Pauls guidance we really worked on my technique and from there built strength and endurance. Therefore from the beginning my focus was to ensure I was swimming properly and maximising every stroke. From being a very basic level swimmer I swam just over 26 minutes in my first triathlon which was about 4 months after my first lesson with Paul.
My swimming level now is much stronger, in terms of Olympic distance triathlon I have a personal best of 20.01 however I have seen huge improvements over longer distances. Having recently finished my first Ironman (Ironman UK) I did the swim in 53.45 coming out of the water in 16th in a field of 1900.
Without doubt the Ironman swim was my biggest swimming achievement. Given that at the beginning of 2009 I could barely swim to be able to put in a sub 55 minute swim in an Ironman 4 years later was amazing. The basics of my swim were all put in place by Paul and are the key reason for my constant year on year improvement.