Don’t Chicken Out Of Those Critical Early Morning Swims


Hi folks,

Ice on Scooter's water bowl as I head off for my early morning swim.

Ice on Scooter's water bowl as I head off for my early morning swim.

The early morning swim is an interesting journey on a cold winter’s day. Your alarm wakes you up around 5:00 am, and then the internal debate begins. Stay in my nice warm bed? YES!!! Go jump in a cold pool? NO!!! But I really want to have done that swim. Note the focus on the past tense – to have done that swim. This is the key to motivating your way out of bed. Don’t think about how warm and tired you are. Don’t think about how cold it is outside and in your car. Definitely don’t think about sliding into the cold water and knocking out a couple of miles. THINK ABOUT HOW GOOD YOU ALWAYS FEEL AFTER YOUR SWIM AND HOW GREAT BREAKFAST WILL TASTE. Keep this thought in mind as you drag yourself towards the pool.

Oh! Yes! Don’t provide excuses. Gas up your car, have your swim gear and a small breakfast/carboload ready, arrange to meet a friend there (they get kind of pissed or disappointed if you don’t turn up, another motivator). And finally, if you start to use the old argument that the pool will be quieter later in the day, remember that there is nothing quite about a 7:00 am Ironman swim start, so you better get ‘your ass in gear.’

Enjoy (I did today, and it felt great – afterwards!).

-k @FitOldDog



  1. I could never be an Ironman because I don’t think I could ever win that argument with myself…

  2. Is that pool heated? That’s the big question.

  3. Pauline Watson says

    Do you swim a “couple of miles” continuously every morning? Impressive. I always wondered how much swimming was required to complete the Ironman swim.

    • Hi Pauline,

      I do the swims proscribed by my coach. Here is what I had this morning (started at 5:30 am, and now I’m back in time to take kids to school).
      Duration: 01:15:00
      3900 (yards) – 500 wup every 3rd length kick – 400 every 3rd length catch up – 300 every other length head up freestyle drill – 200 pulling – 100 non free – 500 long cruz – 400 whereby middle 200 is fast – 300 100 fast, 100 ez, 100fast – 200 kick – 100 non free – 500 pull – 400 breathing odd side
      The swims will slowly increase up to 4500 yards, usually three per week. Lot’s of swimming is necessary to make the swim leg a nice refreshing warmup to the race.

      Hope that helps.


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.