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Written by Jaci Arnone

What do an ailing runner, a student, a busy stay at home mom, a former collegiate swimmer getting back in the pool after 20 years, and a handful of triathletes have in common?

They make up our Breakfast Club of swimmers, more formally known as ‘the 8:30 group,’

I like to characterize myself as a Reluctant Swimmer.  In all honestly, if triathlons didn’t include a swim leg I would probably steer clear of the pool all together. But after six seasons of swimming in the back of the pack, I knew I had to make some changes in my off-season training.

I was intimidated to join a traditional Masters Program, mainly because with no formal swim training I knew I couldn’t keep up with the seasoned veterans.  But with encouragement from a couple of training buddies and some shallow promises that I wouldn’t be the slowest one in the pool, I gave the 8:30 Triton session a try.

It turned out I probably was the slowest one in the pool that first morning, but it hasn’t stopped me from going back. Within the first two weeks, coach Michael Sever taught me important basics like flip turns, simple drills, and proper breathing. I’m even learning the backstroke….slowly I admit, but a far cry from the person who claimed I had no use for anything but freestyle (I imagine this is on the top 10 list of things triathletes say that drive coaches crazy).

The 8:30 Group is a small mix of seasoned swimmers and reluctant types, triathletes, runners, fitness swimmers, and the occasional swimmer from the 5:30am group who decided to sleep in.  For those of us who need it, there’s plenty of opportunities for technique work.  On the other hand, there’s enough intervals and endurance work to make the experienced swimmers happy (and tired). The program is flexible enough to accommodate us all.

We would love to see more swimmers in our 8:30 session.  Come on in, the water’s fine