"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
Magic Number for Swim Warm-UP
Dear Tri Babes - Forget stuffing your dollar bills down Magic Mike's thong, I want you to stuff this
intelligent Tri Tip down your bathing suit: create and count upon a "Magic Number!!!"
In order to comPLETE your event, you MUST develop the tools which you will need to get you through
your triathlon event. If you are unwilling to develop these tools during training, they will not be at your
disposal on Event Day when you need them. One thing you need to realize is that things that come easy
on training days, will present huge challenges on Event Day. Problems that are small and annoying
during training will become monstrous and overwhelming on Event Day. This is Reason #485 why YOU
SHOULD DO WHAT I TELL YOU TO DO!!!
And, what I told you to do yesterday is to create a "Magic Number" when you swim that you know when
you are properly "warmed up." After yesterday's swim, I asked one of you, "so, what is your Magic
Number?" The response was "I don't know." I was positively perplexed; all the Pink drained from my
face. When I asked, "why didn't you count your strokes as I had suggested," I was told, "because it is
too hard. I get distracted and start looking at the scenery." At this point, I was positively puzzled; all the
Pink drained from my soul. Clearly, I had not done a sufficient job explaining the importance of this
Magic Number technique. Hence this email in which I shall tri, tri, tri again to explain exactly WHAT your
"Magic Number" is and WHY it is so important.
Here is something of which I am positively certain: on race day, when you begin the swim, you are going
to feel like crap and it is going to create some level of "freaking out." For some of you, this "freak" will be
mild; for others, this "freak" will be fully fledged. But, ALL of you can substantially manage this "freak"
with one simple technique: counting to your Magic Number!!! I am serious, you can literally count upon it
to minimize your "start of swim freak out!"
This Magic Number is effective, first and foremost, because it works with your body's natural processes.
The human body does not go from no movement to movement easily; the human body requires a
"warm-up" period. During this "warm-up period," your heart and lungs are working to increase your heart
rate from your "resting" rate to your "active" aerobic heart rate. Unfortunately, this process feels like C R
A P! And, what you need to realize is that no amount of training, time, or fitness will change this
process. Even elite athletes must endure this C R A P phase each and every time they engage in
physical activities. Everybody and every body must "warm-up" before being able to perform optimally at
physical exercise. And, the perverse physiological truth is that the more fit you are, the LONGER it
takes your heart and lungs to "warm-up" into this optimal heart beat zone.
This "warm-up" period occurs not simply when you swim but when you do ANY physical activity. The
issue is that you don't get as freaked out when it occurs on dry land. But, I beg you to notice that when
you start to ride your bike, the following "cycle" always occurs: at first you feel like C R A P; then you
feel better; then you feel like C R A P again. When you run/walk: at first you feel like C R A P; then you
feel better; then you feel like C R A P again. This is because in the beginning you are "warming up" your
heart and lungs and that feels like C R A P. Once they are warm-up and you are working in your optimal
heart rate zone, you feel a little better. But, once you have exhausted your current level of fitness, you
feel like C R A P again. You seem to accept this cycle, without question, when you are performing dry
land sports. But, when you are swimming, you "freak out" when you feel like C R A P. However, you
need to accept that swimming, like every other physical activity obeys the natural laws of the body.
Therefore, an integral part of the process is that YOU WILL FEEL LIKE C R A P!
When you are training, you tend to handle this feeling of C R A P a little better than on Event Day. While
training, without even realizing it, you slow down; without being told to do so, you are patient with
yourself. However, on Event Day, when you feel like C R A P, you "freak out." So, take a cue from every
"Elite" Athlete I have ever encountered and realize that it takes a L O N G time to "warm-up."