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Founder of Total Immersion Swimming

30 Minutes With: Terry Laughlin

We know: you have a recurring dream where you fall off a yacht and can’t swim back to shore. First, drop the extra Champagne. Second, remember Terry Laughlin. The former West Point swim coach and founder of Total Immersion Swimming writes books, publishes DVDs and teaches seminars, all on how to swim more like a fish. We caught up with him for a few words.

limits-promo-logoThis article is part of a new original series, LIMITS, dedicated to exploring the physical and mental borderlands of human capability. And beyond.
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Floaties optional

Kit: Swim Practice

Tell people you begin the day with a swim and they’re bound to reply with a look that’s equal parts envy, bewilderment and awe. Who swims, for exercise, in the morning? Who risks certain athlete’s foot and doesn’t mind going to work with goggle eyes? How many people pee in the pool? Old people and triathletes, that’s who. And everyone. But the reality is that swimming is the perfect impact-free sport for long-term fitness and short-term ripped abs, and while you can do it with nothing but a pair of Speedos and a smile, having a stocked duffel can make the experience more fulfilling than a philosophical conversation with Ryan Lochte — much more.

limits-promo-logoThis article is part of a new original series, LIMITS, dedicated to exploring the physical and mental borderlands of human capability. And beyond.
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Relax into weightlessness

Tested: Total Immersion Swimming

It made me angry that the obese woman could swim faster than me. In my bubble of intense training for my first triathlon I’d fashioned an idea of justice that allowed fit people to just naturally be better than other people at everything. I raked and windmilled my arms through the water in the windowless, basement-level pool at the local YMCA. 5:30 a.m. to avoid the crowds. By 5:45 a.m. I’d be winded, exhausted. Have a Gu. Adjust my goggles. Stretch the lats out. Out at 6:00 a.m., even more angry. There had to be a better way to learn how to swim.

limits-promo-logoThis article is part of a new original series, LIMITS, dedicated to exploring the physical and mental borderlands of human capability. And beyond.