It’s clear by now that swimming isn’t necessarily my strong sport.
However, since I’ve been sidelined from running and cycling until my knee gets its act together, the pool and I have become quite familiar and I’ve been swimming about five days a week. Before this increased swimming stretch, I was swimming maybe two to three times per week and this quantity was just fine with me. I’ve grown to like swimming, but nothing will every replace running’s spot in my heart.
I’ve been hearing for a while about the benefits of Masters swimming. What is Masters? Think of it as an adult swim team, open to all levels, but you don’t necessarily have to compete. You can just go to the coached swim workouts however often you want.
Knowing that I train harder and stronger when I’m with other people, I thought I’d take Masters up on their one-week free trial offer. Let’s see what all the hub-bub is about.
I arrived at the same pool I usually go to, but earlier than I had ever been before. The pool only opens its gates at 5 a.m. for Masters. Once again, I found myself feeling like the new kid going into sixth grade. It was pitch black, I didn’t know anyone, nor did I know how this whole Masters thing would even turn out.
But of course, I made my way in, introduced myself to the coach and instantly said, “I’m new and have no idea where to go.”
The coach couldn’t have been sweeter and asked me about how fast I swim. In Masters, the lane lines are arranged from slowest to fastest and the lane eight people looked FAST. Broad shoulders, no butt, 2 percent body fat. I’ll stay in lane one thank you very much.
I don’t know why I always get so nervous about being the new kid. I jumped in and was immediately greeted and welcomed by the other swimmers in my lane. We began our warm up and about half way through, the coach told me I needed to move up some lanes – thank you for the confidence boost!
The workouts last about an hour and a half (much longer than my other swims) and include a variety of drills, main sets, stroke work and more. Speaking of stroke work, apparently I’m doing freestyle all wrong (CHIN TO SHOULDER, PEOPLE!), but the coaches have been great about providing constructive feedback that is quite welcoming.
Oh, and don’t ever ask me to do butterfly. It’s horrifying.
I swam with masters four times last week to get the most out of my free week and it was fantastic. The time sped by, I met really nice and encouraging people and I pushed myself more than I would have alone. My coach and I decided that I would swim with Masters twice a week and then have workouts by myself focusing on endurance.
After tweeting about some of my first successful Masters workouts, Peter tweeted this gem to me and it makes more sense than ever:
I’ve excited about Masters and what this means for my swimming!
Tell me, have you swam with Masters before? What was your experience like?
Happy Running (& Swimming)!