One of absolute favorite things is to jump into an empty pool and just swim. The water is peaceful and I just get to enjoy the sensations of the swim. The pressure against the toes and hands, deep breathing and weightlessness of your body.
Sounds like a romanticize version of swimming, and I know for most triathletes swimming is not like that. Swimming is something of a nuisance that you need to finish prior to getting to the bike or run. We are here to change that or at least help you approach swimming differently to set you up for a more enjoyable experience. Through the years of coaching triathletes my favorite feedback is something along the lines of you made swimming fun, swimming is now my favorite discipline, or I can’t wait to get back into the pool. We are in the process of finishing up a short E-Book and it has a short chapter on how to enjoy swimming, and no the answer is not "getting faster", its the mindset and approach with getting faster as a byproduct. Here is a short overview of what we talk about in that chapter.
The first question to ask yourself is what is your thought process when you come into the pool? Is it negative? Do you want to be there? If you answered, anything other than, "I am pumped to come to the pool and improve", then you have an opportunity to improve your mindset.
There are multiple factors in this mindset that we will look at
- Past Experiences
- Many times athletes have had years of negative thoughts about the water, whether it is self doubt, shame or flat out fear. When swimming hasn’t been part of your past athletic careers those thoughts prevail and are there every session. So how do you deal with that? I have found when coaching people with those backgrounds the slow and steady approach is key, providing manageable objectives and successes along the way.
- Depending on your personality, learning style and confidence there will be a training environment that matches your desires. Keep looking until you find it whether it is private lessons, large group sessions, single training partner, or lane swim.
- Let’s address the obvious first prior to discussing coaching. I am not the right coach for everyone, no coach is. A great coach should be able to adapt their process to be able to meet the majority of individuals’ needs but it won’t work for everyone. I have had a bunch of different ‘coaches’ in my life time from, swim, basketball, cross country, math, dance, science, physics, speech and probably many more that I am forgetting about. All of them have had an impact on who I am today and especially how I coach and relate with my athletes. Find one that works for you, whether its in person, online or some combination.
- Workout Plan
- Having a workout plan that is mentally engaging, purposeful and clear is important to your enjoyment. Swimming endless laps without reason or purpose is a good way to shut your brain off and be bored in the water. Here at swim focused we want to provide you workouts that you understand the 'why' you are doing each lap. Athlete understanding is extremely important in the enjoyment of any swimming program.
- Technical Focus
- Here at swim focused we believe in technical changes will help increase swimming speeds. Each one of our workout plans are designed around making technical changes. Knowing what you need to work on each and everyday makes swim practices much more fun because each stroke becomes important.
- When it comes down to it, we train to improve and get better. Getting faster will always make the training more enjoyable. We find having test sets during training cycles are a great way to break up the winter months when triathlon racing is not as prevalent. Try tracking these results to see how you are improving every 6 weeks or so. A great test set result can invigorate you for the next 5 weeks of tough training.
Keep an eye out for our E-Book to be released at the end of the first quarter of 2020.