I Had My First Swimming Lesson As An Adult — Here’s What I Learnt

So I finally took the plunge (pun intended) and had my first swimming lesson in anticipation of completing my first triathlon next year. I’ve been really putting it off as I know running and cycling inside out, but swimming is a complete unknown for me. Like many people, I never learnt to do the front crawl when I was younger and so whenever I go swimming (which is extremely rarely) I just do breaststroke. I am confident in water and learnt to swim as a child, just not properly. I could happily float and bob in the sea on holiday for hours, or do some light breaststroke in a hotel pool, but swimming competitively with proper technique is something completely different. This meant I needed proper swimming lessons from someone who really knows what they’re talking about, so I had a 1–1 swimming lesson with a professional swimming coach.

Just like when learning to ride a road bike, there are so many things you just don’t consider when you first start. For example, whenever I have been swimming before I breathe out of my mouth and wear a nose plug to stop water shooting through my sinuses (very painful, would not recommend.) The instructor told me straight away we wouldn’t be using the nose plug and instead I practised breathing out through my nose with just my head in the water. What a revelation! It’s so much easier! I just never knew that’s how you do it because I’d never been taught.

The private pool is kitted out with cameras and a mirror on the bottom meaning I could watch back my technique in real-time on the screen which was amazing. This is a fantastic feature and benefit of getting private lessons as it means you don’t pick up any bad habits and you can tweak any things you have maybe misunderstood or perhaps things you thought you were doing right but actually weren’t working as you thought. I’m so glad I went for a private lesson and not to a generic swimming class as I think I would’ve picked up some bad habits and it wouldn’t have been tailored to my specific needs.

I had an absolute blast and really enjoyed the lesson. I’d been putting it off for so long and almost dreading it, but swimming is great! Well, when you do it properly! It’s amazing how different it is to learn to swim with proper technique like an athlete for a sport rather than flailing around just to stay afloat. Front crawl is incredibly simple in reality and if you’re knackered after a few lengths, it definitely means you’re doing it wrong.

I’ve got my drills to practice in my local pool and then I’ll be back for my next lesson to learn some more. I’m really confident about the swimming element now which means I’ve got a great chance of having a successful triathlon!

Originally published at www.sundried.com.

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