Monday, April 4, 2011

For the very first time today

I swam an entire mile.

I started swimming semi-regularly about a month ago in an attempt to get into better shape. I figured swimming would be a good way to get a full body work-out and would come in handy if I ever fell overboard or competed on Wipeout.

My first time at the pool I swam 6 laps and was completely exhausted. I did two laps of front crawl and barely kept from drowning, then switched to two laps backstroke and then decided to do one more of each before retiring, completely draining.

I decided that swimming a mile would be a fine goal and looked up how many laps were in a mile. The internet told me that a mile in an Olympic-size swimming pool is 16 laps. That was encouraging news! I was already swimming a third of my goal on my first day out.

I held this belief because the RB (BYU's athletic facilities) 's website stated that their facilities included two Olympic-size swimming pools. I wish I had read this excerpt from Wikipedia before shouting for joy. "Pools claimed to be "Olympic pools" do not always meet [Olympic regulations], as FINA cannot police use of the term."

As it turns out, BYU is going around claiming they have Olympic pools when really their pools are HALF THE SIZE of official Olympic pools. I was shocked. And discouraged. A mile in a BYU pool was actually 33 laps. Shocking, I know.

That seemed like an impossible amount of laps. A lap is two lenghts. There and back. I had done six. And I had nearly died.

I kept going though. I swam 10, then 12, then 14.

Before I knew it, it was getting easier and I had swam 22 laps. Two thirds of a mile. The problem was that it was taking me longer and longer and I had trouble finding time since the pool only holds open swims in the early morning and in the evening.

Finally tonight, I did it. It took me nearly 70 minutes, and the last third took me nearly half of that time, but I swam a mile. I did it! And it feels great. I think I would like to complete a triathlon someday in the near future. Anyone out there done that and can share any pointers?


  1. IMPRESSIVE! Are you going to do a sweet before and after photo in your speedo?? (I'm asking because I'd like some warning beforehand so I can skip your blog on that particular day) :)

  2. Way to go, Peter!!! I had to swim a mile once in a triathlon and nearly died. You should totally do a triathlon--and Olympic one would be hard (1 mile, 25 bike, 6 run), but the spring ones aren't bad at all! (750 meter swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run).

    Brock and I did the Bear Lake Brawl a few years ago up near Logan, UT. It was SO fun. We camped along the lake the night before, and gorged ourselves on Garden City's famous raspberry shakes afterward!

    The BLB this year is on August 27th, so you'd have tons of time to train.

    And there's a TON of websites that can give you easy training plans, you can fish around for whatever you like. Here's one I found right off the bat:

    Also, when you do the triathlon, splurge and rent a road bike for it. We just used mountain bikes and it SUCKED. EVERYONE else had road bikes and they were flying past us--it seriously made the biking portion soooo miserable.