How tough is IRONMAN 70.3 St. George – really? (Part 2)
Before I started my training, the furthest I’d ever swam was to catch a wakeboard handle. I realized my inexperience and found someone that could help me.
A good friend agreed to meet me at the pool in the mornings a couple times a week. It saved my race. I had only known one gear in swimming – ALL OUT!! Of course just like running, you can’t sustain that pace of swimming for very long. The good news is, by learning some breathing and stroke technique, I was able to find a gear that I could go the distance with. I made sure I could swim 1.2 miles in under an hour and felt like I was good. As a first timer, my goal wasn’t to win the race, just learn how to push my body to go the distance.
The IRONMAN 70.3 St. George starts in one of my favorite lakes to wakeboard on – Sand Hollow. It is a wetsuit swim – and you’ll need it. The water temp is usually around 60° in May. I just went with a TYR Hurricane 3 wetsuit and it totally did the job. There were some sleeveless wetsuits on race day, but all the pro’s had full length suits, so I decided to follow their lead.
Probably the best advice my friend gave me on the swim, was simply to enjoy it. I know that sounds dumb, but try not to look at it as a hurdle or chore, but take time to admire the sunrise, the red rock views of Zion National Park off in the distance and the reflections on the smooth water. And then just get out there and paddle around the red rock island. The beauty of the area really served as a calming agent and amplified my overall experience.