Swimming - how do you keep motivated?

Hi All,

In what rates as one of my less sensible decisions I've entered Ironman Melbourne in March. The last big event I did was Outlaw, which I finished in a smidge over 13 hours, and I've not really kept up the same level of training since.

 

I've restarted the Fink plan, which calls for 3.4k swims for the next 10 weeks, but I am really struggling to stay motivated. I'm fine when I'm in a masters swim session, or with the triathlon club, but I really struggle with swimming in a pool. I just get bored. 

I was running out of time before the pool closed today, and just called it a day at 1700m.

What do you guys do to keep up the interest when you're stuck in the pool on your own?

Can I just cut down the distance and swim every day?

Comments

  • I break it up into intervals with some variety just to break up the monotony and add in 'toys' for extra interest.



    Cutting down session distance but adding more sessions in isn't a bad idea, if the shorter sessions are higher quality then you see the benefits, as they say 'fitness is what you get when you practice perfect technique'. Just make sure that every now and then you do a long session, ideally race distance, just as a confidence booster that youve got the endurance
  • I find having a plan to follow helps me massively.  If I just go to the pool to swim it is a real fight to get to the end but things move along much quicker when I have something to follow.

  • Tough Love coming up....

    TOM

    HTFU and get it done ... if you want to do this thing do it. ... Surly you can maintain your attention span for the 60-90 mins it takes 

    on a plus side have a look at 'Workouts in a Binder - for Swimmers' loads of longer sessions to help maintain interest

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Workouts-Binder-Swimmers-Triathletes-Coaches/dp/1931382743

  • Really helps me to swim with a club or attend local swim fit sessions.  Having set sessions and lane swimming in a group makes the time pass more quickly and pushed me.

    Aside from that its knowledge that once the first 4 weeks are out the way I start seeing improvements and that motivates me.  Also developing the habit/routine of swimming on x day/time.

  • GraemeKGraemeK ✭✭✭

    Routine, it's Monday it's swim day. Thoughts of getting on bike on race day exhausted or struggling to finish the swim. Putting my session on Strava or Facebook or something and knowing I've lied/only done half etc.

    The only bit I really struggle to complete is if it says 200m cool down. I'm tired, want to get home to see the family, the water feels colder, I've moved out of the fast lane and I'm dodging some heads up breaststroke swimmers and more than once I've thought aah stuff it after 100m cool down.

  • I'll echo the ringbinder session plan suggestion. If you're feeling a bit more flush and subscribe to their school of thought about swimming mechanics, then swimsmooth do a few iron man training programmes in a handy waterproof binder.

    My training plan then simply says "Swim day 1 - session 1, Swim day 2 - session 2" etc. I don't actually know what i'll be doing until I start the session which adds a bit of spice and variety.

  • The best thing I found for making the long distance solo swim sessions less monotonous was getting a watch which counted the lengths for me.

    This means I could mentally break it down into sets of 10 or 20 lengths. Starting counting from 1 again for the next mental 'set' made it seem a bit easier than being on 80 knowing I had to get up to 1**.

    Having the watch meant it didnt matter if I lost count so could concentrate on stroke / what I was going to have for dinner etc rather than just counting.

  • Bouncing Barlist wrote (see)

    Really helps me to swim with a club or attend local swim fit sessions.  Having set sessions and lane swimming in a group makes the time pass more quickly and pushed me.

    You don't need to go to SwimFit session as the plans are on here.  Also, there is SwimPlan which will send you customised workouts

  • I find its good to *not* think about anything for an hour or so !!    Concentrate on what you are doing, focus on the right stroke and technique, be aware of your body, make minute adjustments and see how they feel ... make use of the time wisely  image

  • Schmunkee - The List Fairy wrote (see)
    Bouncing Barlist wrote (see)

    Really helps me to swim with a club or attend local swim fit sessions.  Having set sessions and lane swimming in a group makes the time pass more quickly and pushed me.

    You don't need to go to SwimFit session as the plans are on here.  Also, there is SwimPlan which will send you customised workouts

    Yea but no but yea, actually no.

    It only really helps if im in a lane with others having to hold a certain pace and the choice of taking it easy or making It up as I go along is removed.

    My improvements over the years have come from this,

    Me thinks you're forgetting that I competed in the UK Masters Championships image

  • I go to two masters sessions a week, which I pay for in advance. that is motivation enough for me. Plus not wanting to be shit.
  • Bouncing Barlist wrote (see)
    Schmunkee - The List Fairy wrote (see)
    Bouncing Barlist wrote (see)

    Really helps me to swim with a club or attend local swim fit sessions.  Having set sessions and lane swimming in a group makes the time pass more quickly and pushed me.

    You don't need to go to SwimFit session as the plans are on here.  Also, there is SwimPlan which will send you customised workouts

    Yea but no but yea, actually no.

    It only really helps if im in a lane with others having to hold a certain pace and the choice of taking it easy or making It up as I go along is removed.

    My improvements over the years have come from this,

    Me thinks you're forgetting that I competed in the UK Masters Championships image

    Yea but no but yea, actually no.

    This thread isn't about you. It's about giving the OP options and ideas that may work for him/her

    Me thinks you are forgetting there is no hard and fast rule regarding the training for any discipline.  What works for one person may not necessarily work for someone else

    Remind me again about the UK Masters competition.  Is this the one where you were competing alongside 70 - 80 years olds and some of them whupped your ass image 

  • one of them didn't image

     

     

  • Having re-read the initial post, rather than skimmed it as I did before, I now notice FerrousTom wanted to know what we do to get motivated when in the pool on our own.

    Other than my response of making it a habit and finding satisfaction from seeing progress I cant add a lot more. 

  • Thanks for all the feedback. Even the HTFU one. image



    I think I'll just stick to masters/tri club sets. Not sure why, but I don't seem to do so well if I'm on my own. It's the same with running on a treadmill and spinning on my TT. I prefer to be outside otherwise I get bored. No way I'm attempting open water swimming in the uk now though!



    i may try tacking the odd 1k swim on the end of a morning masters session. That would take me up to 3.5k.
  • >> ✭✭✭
    Swimming is fun when you are learning technique and drills and you are getting faster in the club sessions. After a swim I always feel amazing image



    I am awful in the public pool though - I can't motivate at all. I get bored and lazy. Club Sets is better.
  • I agree with Barlos, swimming with others be that a masters session or swimfit will always be good for you as there is the competitve element, your issue as I read is being able to get the session done when you are on your own and for that my friend I think the HTFU advice stands stead   image

  • Well I did a masters swim session at WTF o'clock this morning, arriving about 5 mins late due to cycling, so I missed a part of the warm up. Cranked out the rest of the set and then tagged on a bit at the end for a total of 3k.

    There's 2 masters swim sessions and 1 tri club session I can get to per week, so I think I'll just knock the Fink swim sets on the head and do those instead, adding a bit on the end here and there to slowly build up to 3.8k.

    I'll save my HTFUing for freezing my knackers off with a 4 hour bike ride on Sunday.... image

  • If you are doing 4 hr bike rides this weekend then I am assuming your IM is in February some timeimage

    some of us are just crawling out of hibernation image

  • I reckon it's IM Melbourne in March.image
  • Wow schmunkee! It's almost as if you read my mind. Or at least the original post. image
  • Presently, swimming is the king of health. I am a beginner. So this thread is helping lots of ideas.
  • As a founder member of the "Sh!t swimmers are us" group, it was all about learning. From Zero to Hero is perfectly possible. Your training has to have purpose, and an expectation.

    I've done one, maybe two sessions per week since I started.


    - Session one - with the club, was all about technique and whatever coach said.

    - Session two - solo - was endurance training. Either building up the distance, or doing the standard distance against the clock, or trying to do the distance whilst concentrating on the latest bit of technique improvement.

    Anyway. Sod the pool. It's summer. The lakes are lovely.

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