One of my common sayings is “I am slowly getting faster.” Improving my speed in swimming and running is based so much on aerobic strength as well as endurance. Muscle strength is a part too, but not as much as in cycling. I also can not use tools in racing to get faster on the swim and run like on the bike. My aero helmet and Zipp 808 wheels sure help on the bike, but won’t do me any good in the water. I have to strengthen my lungs and improve my endurance to see improvement. Thanks to genetics, I wasn’t created with the natural abilities of Michael Phelps or Meb Keflezighi. So I have to work hard at getting faster and this is a slow process. But it is working.
It is always encouraging to see my improvement based on my times when I do the same workout. It is even more encouraging when other swimmers I swim next to comment that they can see my improvement. (Apparently they are not passing me as fast as they used to.) Today I swam the endurance swim I did last Friday and definitely saw an improvement in my pace. I had to cut it to 3,000 meters instead of 3,400 due to time constraints, but I could tell the entire time I had improved. I noticed an improvement in my body. I didn’t feel the burn in my arms, and I lifted last night. I didn’t feel exhausted, and I swam 3,000 meters yesterday too. I am still not up to the target paces my friend suggested, but I am getting closer.
In so many aspects of life, the hardest things to do, the most difficult lessons, and the most challenging experiences are the most meaningful. Sure, I wish I could take a supplement to instantly get faster, but it would be taken for granted. I know I will continue to train and compete in triathlons and running events as long as I am able. I have worked and continue to work so hard, I don’t want to lose my momentum. Of course I will continue to keep and seek balance in my life. In training it is not just the workout, but also proper sleep and diet. I won’t always see improvement day after day, but I know there is room for improvement and I will get faster – however slowly it takes.