UmYazan's Blog

Finally Broke the First Barrier!

Posted on: January 26, 2014

Transition after a 1km swim, 30km bike.

In my Betty Designs kit after the 1km swim and 30km bike ride.

So as many of you know I’ve been training for Abu Dhabi International Triathlon The ADIT is celebrating its 5th anniversary with winners from the past 5 years participating. It’s the iconic event in the triathlon calendar making it a ‘just-do once’ in any triathlete’s calendar, an accessible event, the short-course competition is the ideal entry point into the sport for those who have never competed in a triathlon before. The short distance I’ve been training for is a 1.5km swim, 100km bike, 10km run.

And in my training I would say the toughest part, hands down, is the swim.

So I’ve been reading about swimming, had a few private lessons from swim instructors. Have been listening to my coach, Sylvie from NRG Performance Training and had one very productive swim session by NRG Performance Training Head Coach Nigel Gray. And while my swim has improved significantly, I was still struggling with trying to complete 50 meters without losing my breath, struggling and resorting to breast strokes for 50% of the distance.

So on Friday (day before yesterday) just after an 86km bike ride and short run off the bike, I was getting ready for a 1.9km swim. I was feeling just a bit tired but I thought to myself, you can do this Wajeeha. You KNOW you can. So I consciously decided that I would go slow. Usually I just jump in like superman and try to finish my drills while at the same time trying to focus on technique. This time was different. So I went slow.

Nigel told me to try and take a breath at every stroke. I was trying before but I never could figure it out. But when I went slow, it finally worked. A breath at every stroke. And a full exhale under water. I swam one length breathing on one side and return length breathing on the other side. And I went slow. And something just clicked! My roll improved, my catch finally caught on and it felt almost robotic! And I swam 1.9km continuous. No breast stroke. Wasn’t out of breath. Didn’t suffer an asthma attack and I finished in good time! I couldn’t believe it! To quote my friend when I told him what I did.. He said ‘Congratulations. You broke the first barrier’. And I did!

Great sense of achievement and excitement. The following day, I was participating in the GMC Tri-Series in Doha. Three quarter Olympic distance of 1km sime, 30km bike and 8km run. And I did the same thing. I went slow in the swim. I swam it all freestyle, without stopping and in a time I was very happy with… Finished fourth overall! I’m really excited and looking forward to Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. With a bit of focus, advice from your coaches (that you should TAKE), you can accomplish anything you set out to do…


1 Response to "Finally Broke the First Barrier!"

[…] persistence and training, I was swimming for up to an hour without any problems (see my blog on Breaking the First Barrier), I was running under 6 min per kilometer and my cycling had improved tremendously. Sylvie taught […]

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