I just signed up for my first Tri in August 2013 even though I don't know how to swim. I'm already a runner (I'm a turtle but I have ran a few Half Marathons this year), and I'm about to purchase a bike in a couple of weeks. My problem... the swim. I see that DC Tri has a Masters swim program but unfortunately you need some basic swimming under your belt before joining.
Any suggestions on were I can get some inexpensive, but quality private/semi private swim lessons? I need to get them in sooner than later so I can join everyone in the Masters swim program.
I live in Waldorf MD and I'm looking for early morning Monday and Friday morning lessons. Again, inexpensive and quality is key :)
Have you tried the local YMCA, swim classes at a community college, or local community rec centers? They usually have adult swim classes of various levels. That's your best bet for inexpensive and quality, if you are afraid of the masters swim classes.
If you are looking for individualized lessons, you are going to have to pay for it. Coaches who give their students quality will have plenty of business. They won't be had on the cheap. I've seen people try to be economical with lessons by recruiting 2-3 of their friends to do small group lessons with a coach. You can try that route if you can recruit a few friends to join you.
You might tri the Total Immersion classes at AU. (Formerly called Curl-Burke) They've been known to do wonders in two inexpensive classes. You might also, being from Waldorf, contact the folks at the MontCo branch of DCT, for ideas: http://dctrimoco.ning.com/
As you get started, I would highly suggest getting the Total Immersion basic video and doing a little pool work on your own with the videos as your guide. That way, once you start taking lessons, doing club swimming, etc, you have a little understanding of good swim technique under your belt.
It will make your money go farther, believe me.
Using Total Immersion technique, I coached a friend of mine from zero swimming ever to 2.4mi (successful Ironman) in the space of 3 months. It's remarkably effective, and I often recommend it to my patients.
Noah Raizman, MD
Office of Orthopaedic Medicine and Surgery
1850 M Street NW, Washington, DC // 202.835.2222
I'd listen to anyone named Noah for advice on anything related to the water. :) It might raize you up to the heights of swimming prowess...Then again, Tuan much dropped his swim time at IM Copenhagen last year...
Thanks for the advice....
Hi Sylvette -
Welcome to the club! We offer a masters program that ranges in skill from beginner to advanced. We'll also be providing beginners/stroke clinics in 2013 that will be priced very competitively for the area. Check out our swim offerings here: www.dctriclub.org/masters and if you are interested or need additional information, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our wonderful coaches will follow up with you.
President, DC Tri Club
As Tuan said, I'd suggest taking a swimming class at a Y or a community pool. When I started I took two swim classes at my local gym (Wayne Curry Sports Learning Complex) just to learn how to float, breathe, and some of the strokes (mainly freestyle, but learned backstroke, which came in very handy during one particular race when I could not put my face in the water and had to backstroke the entire way).
Once you're pretty comfortable in the pool and can do laps, get in the open water ASAP. Swimming in the open water is NOTHING like swimming in a pool and I recommend lots and lots of practice. My first OWS attempt failed miserably at Peasantman (awesome race for newbies! mark your calendar for 5/5/13), but it was the best learning experience in that I realized I needed to get in whatever open water I can get to and swim. I went to Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis for practice as well as DC Tri-supported OWS at Lake Anna State Park in VA. I also went to several Happy Hour OWS put on by WaveOne (http://feelthewater.com/) as I got closer to my race in September this year.
I also decided to get a swim coach. Luckily, I found someone who is a triathlete herself (and a DC Tri Club member!), so she understood swimming in the context of OWS and multisport race. I started working with her in mid June and by September I did the Olympic distance Nation's Tri.
As for the DC Master's program, there might be a beginner's one that may be a good fit for you. The one I'm in now through DC Tri Club is pretty intense. I'd say you should know how to swim (at least be able to do a couple of 200s) before signing up. It's definitely an intermediate level program and I'm confident that my speed is going to improve because the workouts/drills are intense and the coaches and other swimmers push you to go further. But I wouldn't recommend it to someone who's just learning how to swim.
Feel free to drop me a note off line if you have more questions. I spent most of this year working through swimming/OWS so I'm happy to share whatever I can if it's helpful.
Miki, can you inbox me? I tried to email you through here but it hasnt worked for a few days.
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President, DC Tri Club