Swimming with grace the Total Immersion way

Perhaps if more people new to the sport of triathlon and in particular, swimming in the open water, learned the power of swimming with grace the Total Immersion way it would not seem like such an insurmountable challenge.

This is especially true for those new to swimming with aspirations of taking on the challenge of their very first 2.4-mile Ironman open water swim

The definition of grace as a noun is Simple elegance or refinement of movement.

When I think about it, I don’t think there is a better word to define the ultimate front crawl swim-stroke for maintaining a controlled heart-rate, conserving energy, and instilling confidence in a new swimmer.

swimming with grace the total immersion way

Developing a smooth, efficient swim stroke is not as hard as new triathletes might think.


I write a lot of articles on swimming for my IronStruck website, and it’s not because I am an amazing, accomplished swimmer.

It’s because for my first six Ironman races the 2.4-mile open water swim of the Ironman Triathlon filled me with dread and every single race was a repeat of the one before it.

I had a swim-stroke from Hell and the Ironman swim was all about survival for me. For days and even weeks leading up to an Ironman the fear would build and build to a heart-pounding, energy-sapping, and never-wracking crescendo by the time the gun sounded.

The swim was not something that could be circumnavigated if I wanted to reach the Ironman finish line. It had to be done.

The result was always the same. I would virtually stumble out of the water with half my total allotment of energy for the day already gone. I had lost it to poor swimming form and a sky-high heart-rate driven by fear and anxiety.

It was the day many years ago now when a fellow triathlete stuck a copy of Total Immersion written by Terry Laughlin in my hand and said I just had to read it.

Effortless, graceful swimming. This is the key to having a great Ironman Triathlon swim.


I took his advice and read the entire book that night and the next day my new, improved swim stroke was born. I simply followed the guidelines in the book and re-built my stroke and within a few days I was swimming smoother and more controlled than I ever had in my triathlon career.

I could hardly wait until my next Ironman swim because I knew I finally had a proper swim stroke figured out and the pre-race apprehension simply disappeared.

Not only did I have a personal best swim time, but I felt full of energy when I stepped out of the water and it changed the complexion of my entire Ironman career for the better from that day forward.

That’s the reason why I will always have a link to Terry’s Total Immersion website on Ironstruck. It’s the same reason I just had to have Terry write an excerpt about swimming when I wrote my book Triathlete In Transition for the beginner triathlete.

It’s because I believe in the Total Immersion program and know first-hand that it works.

It has always been a big challenge to find a way to convince people how important it is to relax in the Ironman swim and what a relaxed swim stroke actually looks like, but now I finally have it!

The video you about to watch is nothing short of astounding.

At 94 years old, Paul Lurie took his first Total Immersion lesson.

In eight 30-minute lessons totaling four hours of instruction Paul developed an amazing swim stroke.

For those of you who think it’s too late in life to learn how to swim efficiently and with confidence, watch this video and view 62-year-old Total Immersion creator Terry Laughlin and 95-year-old rookie swimmer Paul Lurie swimming in sync, side-by-side and see if you can tell who is who.

If you would like to learn how to swim like this, Terry is giving all my IronStruck visitors a 10% discount if you are interested in purchasing his instructional books or videos and many other products. Simply follow the instructions in the Total Immersion link on the top right of this page and use ironstruck
(all in small case) in the coupon box.

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About Ray

Ray hasn’t stopped since his first Ironman in Kona, 1984. He has since run 14 more Ironman races, authored 5 Triathlon books, and is now bringing together a passionate community of triathletes. Contact Ray at ray@ironstruck.com

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