"I've been swimming competitively for 13 years. My competitive swimming however, has been within the context of triathlon, and for some odd reason, I waited 12 years to seek swim instruction! Indeed, for 12 years I believed my swim splits were 'good enough,' so why fix what doesn't appear to be broken? Also, whenever I'd look at sample swim workouts online, I found them overwhelming. I didn't know what it meant to do, '100 w/pull buoy on the 1:30', or to do '3 x 200 descending'. This sort of verbiage made me cringe, and I believed any attempt at understanding it would take the fun out of triathlon, or at least the swim component. I was mistaken.
Once I had progressed from a 13-hour Ironman Finish to a 12-hour to an 11-hour to a 10-hour, I was no longer focused on taking hours off of my time but, instead, "minutes." This meant it was time to learn how to SWIM FASTER. I was intimidated by U.S. Masters Swimming Programs, and I was fearful of making a fool of myself. So, I very sheepishly emailed Coach Christine of Competitive Tri-SwimMasters (CTSM) LLC, asking her if she'd consider providing me with one-on-one Personalized Coaching. She agreed, and I found myself glued to every single word as she explained to me; where my right arm was entering the water, what my left leg was doing, where my alignment was, how low my butt was, where my head needed to be, and how I need to engage my lats instead of my forearms. I am a slow learner, but with Coach Christine's help, I was able to slowly put the pieces together. She provided me with hand-written 'drills' that I could do on the days when she and I were not meeting. I did these drills. I was committed to these drills, and once I felt confident enough, I began attending the CTSM Masters Swimming practices on Monday and Wednesday mornings, at Covina High School.
Finally, my times started to improve significantly. In approximately eight weeks, I'd gone from 1:37/100 yards (Ironman Race Pace) to 1:25/100 yards. I continued to show signs of improvement! I had been swimming a 1:37/100 yards Ironman Race Pace for 10 years. Then, after eight weeks with Coach Christine, I'd shaved 12 seconds/100 yards. That's 8 minutes and 30 seconds off of my Ironman Swim!! I was searching for a way to do a sub-10-hour Ironman, and Coach Christine equipped me with the skills to do so. After having only worked with Coach Christine for three months, I raced Ironman Cozumel, had a stellar swim, and at the end of the day, I reached my goal.
Thanks so much Coach Christine and CTSM!! I am now committed to doing Masters three days a week, and I am excited to see how much more speed I can develop in the water."