"You can swim until the day you die. You can't run until the day you die. Swimming is so easy on your body." That's the line of reasoning that Linda H.'s husband used to convince her to get an Endless Pool®.
That was in 2010, when she'd only been racing triathlons for a few years. She wasn't certain that she'd stick with multisport, but she's now glad they made the investment. "I really, really love the pool," she says from her Nevada home. "It's done more for me than I imagined."
Just a simple garage setting for a world-class training pool: that's all Linda needs to do some serious Endless Pools training for the three-day, 320-mile Ultraman triathlon. "I really, really love the pool," she enthuses. "It's done more for me than I imagined!"
From Running to Triathlon
"I started doing triathlon about 10 or 12 years ago," she recalls. "All my friends run. I was afraid it was going to tear my body up. I was already having joint pain. I started doing triathlon to get endurance without beating myself up" from the high-impact pounding of running, by incorporating low-impact cycling and swimming.
In 2010, she completed her first IRONMAN® triathlon, crossing the finish line in under 14-1/2 hours. "I've never been fast," she admits to explain why she focuses on endurance training.
That year, she was lucky enough to make it to the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, gaining entry with her first lottery. It was at the event's expo that she first tried the Endless Pool®.
Tri Training at Home
"I was a terrible swimmer," Linda confesses. Initially, she couldn't even put her face under water. "I could not possibly have trained without my Endless Pool."
"I wanted to train up to four and a half hours" for Ultraman events, a series of three-day, 320-mile triathlons that kick off with a 10-km swim. "I don't know of any pool within any reasonable distance where I could swim long enough to see my time in a 10K," says Linda.
"Normally, I swam an hour at a time" in the public pool because that was the maximum allowed; once she had her Endless Pool installed, she could push her limits. "I started adding 5 minutes a week to a long swim."
5 Reasons to Swim at Home
- Convenience: "I love it because I can go any darn time I want to! Right now, we have a foot to a foot and a half of snow outside, and I'd have to drive 15 miles to the nearest pool."
- The Open-Water Feel: For a triathlete, the most direct perk of the Endless Pool is its signature swim current. "For open water swimming, it is much more realistic in how you feel without all of those turns, especially when you do many thousands of yards."
- Low Chlorine: "The wonderful thing about the Endless Pool is you're not exposed to all the chemicals in a regular pool," Linda notes. She recalls swimming in a chlorinated 50-meter pool while wearing a popular brand of black kinesiology tape. She swam for over three hours, during which "the Rock Tape went from black to light gray!"
- Stroke Efficiency: The current is fully adjustable, but at any given setting, she finds it provides all the discipline she needs. "Since the pump is [at a] constant speed, I have a constant reminder of my pace. I don't tend to drag later in the long swim."
- Recovery: Her husband, John, who's also a triathlete, "loves the pool. After a long run, you get in the pool, swim for an hour, and you feel better."
With the Endless Pool as part of her training arsenal, Linda shows little sign of slowing. "I've done 15 full Ironman and Ultraman, and I've been to Kona three times – twice were lottery slots, and the third time, I won my age group in Lake Tahoe."
She's currently in training for the Florida Double ANVIL, a double iron-distance event that kicks off with a 4.8-mile swim. Linda can cycle in place in her garage just steps from her Endless Pool. With her 20 to 30-hour weekly training schedule, augmented by at-home convenience, she's confident she'll be ready for the challenge.