I know Michiel will agree, this is his weakest of the three sports. Having never swam before this year, his confidence needed some work in the water.
Although Chile has some amazing beaches and lakes, none are very swim friendly, and I know Michiel needs to feel confident in the water before we tackle any other challenges of natural, outdoor swimming. We have had some great pools, (a lot super cold! See Ice Man part 1 and 2…) so we have managed to make major improvements in his swimming whilst here, which I am really happy about – base training is all about getting used to the new techniques and endurance.
Swimming uses so many muscles in the body, your heart and lungs must work extra hard to supply them all with oxygen, making it a great exercise. It is also amazing if you struggle with impact training (running etc) due to bad knees or joint pain, as the water works as a cushion for your body, increasing heart rate – with less impact!
Luckily, the hotel we stayed in in Vina del Mar – had a great pool! It was warm, empty, and the perfect size (and views) for some training. We spent time in the water working on techniques, and also gaining vital confidence. Once Michiel drops the consciousness of being in the water – his technique improves, he finds a good space in his head, and he is able to carry on much longer, with less frustration. Once we have nailed this, and increased duration of his swims, we will move on to more challenging places to swim, with people, and natural swimming outside, so he is fully prepared and ready to conquer the iron swim! Watch this space!