What is a swim block anyway?

My alarm BUZZES blinking “5:00AM” and I roll over to slap it like it’s about to attack – yet my body can barely move. I know I better hustle as I’ve left no extra time to get my butt to the pool for 5:30AM swim. And at Texas Ford Aquatics, you better not be late!! I’m new and I’ve already learned the hard way on that one…I start out of bed and wander in the dark, careful not to wake Paul and jump into my swimsuit and warm ups. As I get ready in the dim-lit bathroom I ponder again about sleeping in my swimsuit? I quickly shake it off and think, “Really Jules, that would save you two minutes more sleep? Not worth it – right?”

I head downstairs to ensure I have my bag and swim gear (so much crap!) and take two sips of coffee before heading out the door. “Only two more weeks” I mumble to myself and hop in the car carefully driving down the dark streets of Frisco still half asleep… (PSA: watch out for a white 4Runner Frisco friends!)

This January I started my official membership at Texas Ford Aquatics and my 4-week swim block swimming 5 days a week. For the first time ever, my pool time will be structured like a swimmer, not as a triathlete.  I have specific sets that focus on distance per stroke, drills, pacing, technique, efficient body position and other personalized objectives such as breathing on BOTH SIDES!! Yes, I hate to admit but I can only breath to the right.

That’s right, I cannot go left – I have the Zoolander complex! But Head Masters Coach Richard Garza has been working with me every.single.day to “get back to basics” and rotate my body position properly to breathe to my left efficiently too. In the meantime, I’m slow, choking a lot and pretty frustrated. It’s not pretty, but I’ll get there 🙂 

My last few triathlon seasons I’ve hit decent swim times – but haven’t improved one single bit! I’ve been at the EXACT same swim splits since my first half Ironman at Austin fall 2014… so, I’m looking to breakthrough this plateau and learn from some of the best. (Even if it kills me and I have to get up at what feels like the middle of the night!)

They say you aren’t going to win triathlon in the swim, but you can definitely lose it.   So, I’m re-learning the swim in hopes of better efficiency and an improved swim split come 2017 tri season. And thanks to my lane line buddies for welcoming this tri-nerd to the group … I promise to suck “a little less” soon 🙂

“It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!”

My first day at TFA — 100×100’s Xmas Eve Challenge!

Julie SimonWhat is a swim block anyway?

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