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Sticking to your swimming routine is hard. Sometimes it’s harder than your actual swim workout!
But if you can train consistently, swimming can change your life in just a few short months.
Habits are the key to making swimming a non-negotiable part of your life. Check out our top five swimming habits that will help you keep going even on the days you aren’t motivated.
Swim Faster With These Swimming Habits
1. Finish Every Workout on a Good Note
Many of us have busy schedules, which can make it easy to rush the end of our workouts so we can get back to work or family.
When you finish your workouts in a rush, there’s a chance you’re ending your swim with poor technique. And sure, you’re tired, but reinforcing good technique at the end of a workout can be a game changer for your feel of the water.
Think about finishing your workout the way you want to start the next one: Smooth, strong, with great form and an even better mindset.
We recommend swimmers finish each workout with Silent Swimming to build mind muscle connection. Take a few laps to notice how your body feels in the water. Feel your fingers enter the water. Notice your rotation. Think about your distance per stroke. Try to make as little noise as possible with each stroke.
When you become more mindful of your stroke, you’ll notice a better connection, not only to your muscles, but also to the water.
2. Swim All Four Strokes
If you really want to improve your feel of the water, mixing up your strokes is a must. In fact, we recommend that you swim all four strokes during every workout!
Each stroke engages your muscles in a slightly different way. Switching between strokes can help ease discomfort in your shoulders that often comes with swimming the same stroke too much.
Instead of opting for a continuous, 1,600-meter pull set, try an IMX focused workout that will help you get in shape to swim a 200 or 400 IM:
- 4×50 IM Order
- 3×100 IM
- 1×300 Pull
This set is still 1,600 meters, but you’ll work your body and challenge your aerobic capacity in a completely different way. When you swim shorter reps and take more frequent breaks, you’ll be able to maintain a higher intensity for the duration of the workout than you would during a continuous swim.
You don’t have to do intense IMX training if you don’t want to, but adding different strokes to your warmup, switching to another stroke as active recovery between sets, or adding a few IM-focused sessions to your training each week can be very beneficial for your overall fitness.
Mix up your distances, equipment and effort levels for even more variety and challenge.
3. Sign Up for Events
Signing up for an event is a surefire way to motivate yourself and stay accountable. You have a deadline to reach your goal and can make a plan to get there.
Remember: A goal without a plan is just a wish! Focus on improving one small thing every day, and follow a customized Training Plan in the MySwimPro app to reach your goal more quickly.
Find a local swim meet, open water race, or triathlon in your area and commit to it! You don’t have to shoot for the stars here – signing up for just one event at a swim meet is a great goal to work toward.
After you complete your event or reach your goal, you’ll be hooked. Set your next milestone, rinse and repeat!
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4. Prioritize “Me Time”
To show up as your best self at work or with your loved ones, you need to take time for yourself. And swimming is a great way to do just that!
If you know swimming helps you feel more relaxed, focused and happy, make swimming a non-negotiable part of your week. Schedule it into your calendar!
Whether you swim every day or twice per week, do everything you can to make time for your workouts. And remember, something is always better than nothing! After a few months, swimming will feel like a regular part of your everyday routine.
If you don’t make swimming a priority, you won’t improve and you won’t experience the myriad of health benefits.
5. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
This final swimming habit is arguably one of the most important: Don’t compare yourself to other swimmers.
Swimming is an individual sport, and everyone is at a different point in their journey. Sure, maybe you wish you were as fast as the person in the lane next to you, or you wish you could swim as far as your friend.
But where are those comparisons getting you? They might be soiling your mindset. You need to block out the noise and focus on yourself!
When you stop worrying about other people and pay attention to the variables that you can control, you’ll start to level up. In reality, your only competitor is yourself. Let go of limiting beliefs and work on getting 1% better every day.
Remember why YOU love swimming, and use that as your north star when these feelings of comparison come up. It can take a while to train your brain out of these thoughts, but trust us: It’s worth it!
Whether you choose to start with just one of these habits or you decide to tackle all five, consistency is the name of the game. Consistent training, consistent habits and a positive mindset will change your life.
For daily, personalized swim workouts designed just for you, download the MySwimPro app and start training today!