- Human Interest
A long-time goal-oriented swimmer goes the distance
Kristin Irish, 49, of Greenwich, Conn., started swimming when she was 6. Her three sisters swam as well, but Irish is the only one of them still swimming, after having taken a break from competing during college. Irish swam on her own for many years and joined U.S. Masters Swimming in 2003. For the past eight years, she’s swum with the tiny nine-person Tribeach club.
A typical day for Irish starts in the pool with a coached workout at 5:45 a.m. Her very busy coach—whom she credits for swimming as fast as she does—focuses on speed and stroke work. Irish swims five times a week, averaging 3,600 to 4,000 yards each workout. Irish swims mainly sprint freestyle and backstroke events, and she likes to compete so that she can keep track of her progress. She has participated in a few open water events, but prefers short course pool events. When she hasn't been in the pool as much as she'd like to be, Irish will add a 6,000-yard Saturday workout.
Irish learned about Nike Go the Distance four years ago, and liked it because it was a terrific way to keep track of all the swimming she was doing. Her goal this year is 300 miles, and she has about 60 miles to go.
Irish advises GTD participants to set a goal just slightly higher than they think is possible, and then strive to meet it. She feels fortunate to be able to swim, and is encouraged by swimmers she sees in the pool. She looks forward to swimming for a long time to come.