Most swimmers have experienced it: Boredom sets in while swimming lap after lap. It can get so dull that you just want to get out of the pool. If you’re having trouble spicing it up, take control of your workout! This guide contains useful ideas on how to rejuvenate your time in the water.
Focus on Your Stroke
Whenever you’re swimming a set, have a focal point. You never want to swim mindlessly. Otherwise, time will go incredibly slow, and you won’t get much out of your workout. If you’re doing drills, think about what the purpose of the drill is. Try to feel if you’re performing it correctly.
Feedback from a Coach
If you work out with a team, ask your coach for feedback. He can give you something to concentrate on. This way, you’ll have something to improve during a set. After you’ve worked on it for a while, ask your coach if your stroke is looking better.
Feedback from a Friend
Feedback is a great way to keep you focused. If you don’t have a coach to help you out, ask a fellow swimmer to take a look at your stroke. Often, an error in your stroke can be really obvious to an observer — even if you can’t feel it.
[mental-SR][mentalcontent-S]Many swimmers have trouble keeping track of how many repeats they’ve done. If you find your mind wandering, switch up the way you count. Instead of counting by 25, try counting by 75. It’ll help you focus, as well as challenge your mind. [/mentalcontent-S][/mental-SR]
If your friend is unsure how to help you, have them take a video of your swim. This way you can watch your stroke and try to spot what to improve. You’ll might be surprised at what you see. Sometimes you’re the best critic of your own stroke.
Listen to Music
Music is a fun way to invigorate your workout. There are a ton of waterproof mp3 players on the market these days. Put on some fast-paced music, and you’ll likely feel inspired to move a lot quicker in the water. Listen to some music with a steady beat to help pace long sets. After a few songs, you’ll be surprised at how many yards you’ve swum.
Switch It Up
Don’t just swim lap after lap. Break up your swim into sets, and vary the type of workout you choose. Try throwing some drills, fin-work, and pulling sets into your routine. Have a different focus for each day. One workout can be dedicated to Individual Medley. The next workout can focus on mid-distance. The day after that can be a specialty stroke day. If you switch up your routine, your workout will feel much fresher.
Also, think about sets you don’t usually do. If you know your worst stroke is breaststroke — and you usually avoid it — dedicate a set to that stroke. Even though it might not be your favorite stroke, you might enjoy the change in your routine.
Invite a Friend
Swimming alone can get awfully lonely and make time move slowly. Invite a friend, and time will start to fly. You can choose sets together, chat between repeats, and even do some social kicking. Working out with a buddy is a fun way to make time go by quicker.
Challenge your friend to a race! Or, make a friendly bet with your friend that you’ll get betters on the next set than he will. The both of you can bring out your competitive sides, and have fun doing it.
Join a Team
Sometimes knowing that a coach is watching you can motivate you to stay focused and work hard. If you have something to think about, time will go by much faster than if your mind is wandering. Coaches also do a great job of changing up sets, keeping workouts interesting, and challenging you. Swimming with lane-mates and getting to know other people on the team can make swimming feel like less of a chore and more social.
Do Something Different
In order to make your workout more interesting, you need to do something different. Break your regular routine and think about what else you could do. Change up your sets, swim with a friend, or join a team. You’ll feel refreshed and inspired to swim!