Margaritas or Lap Swimming?

I pulled out my HomeSwimmer last night, for the first time in awhile and realized just how much I missed using it!  The resistance of the spring really added a lot to the short workout and I could feel my shoulders really working.  Plus, it was such a treat to swim outdoors and in a 2-piece suit.  (Both of which I can't do at work.)  I used it before I went on my 4-mile run, but I think I'm going to start switching that up! A post-run swim sounds much more refreshing.

Back to the HomeSwimmer story, though.  When I first started training for triathlons last year, I didn't know how to swim freestyle. I've always felt comfortable in the water and love snorkeling, but typically my pool experiences were relegated to floating on a lounger with a margarita in hand.  In high school, I was a diver. The extent of my swimming was from my splash in the pool to the ladder.  I don't think I even attempted to swim a length of a pool.
Last April I didn't have a membership to the gym at work yet, so I was trying to figure out how I was going to go from lounger to Phelps-fish style-swimming in a couple of months. We have a great pool in our backyard, but the length from end-to-end didn't allow for much practice. Maybe three to four strokes and you were at the other end.

So, after a little internet research, I found the Home Swimmer.  For $89, I ended up with my own lap pool at home. I love this thing. So much that I even sent a review to their company and they published it on their web site.  It's an ingenious, portable little contraption, that I would highly recommend.  (And no, they're not paying me to do it either.) It's just one of those finds that I like to tell people about that might not know it exists!

I ended up getting a gym membership at our hospital, which gave me access to an indoor 25-yard lap pool. I asked a lot of questions of the swimmers there and ended up with a great swim coach, when I hired our web manager- (he's a high school swim champ..) and watched a lot of YouTube videos.  I went from barely being able to swim one lap to being able to finish over 1.2 miles without being exhausted.  But, I have to give some credit to the HomeSwimmer, because it really allows you to focus on your stroke, kick and breathing properly and I know that using it made me a stronger swimmer.

I was thinking that I might just have to start using it in the winter to get used to swimming the longer distance (2.4 miles to be exact) in my wetsuit.  Whether or not I'll be able to talk myself into getting into the cold water - when I really don't have to - that's a different story.  Brrr..  I'll continue to enjoy my warm pool for the time being.


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