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Make Me Enjoy Swimming?
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Ive been swimming for about 1.5 years. I did an IM and a couple HIM's last year.

In training, I have no problem getting up at 3am and riding on the trainer for 2+ hours w/ a Trainerroad screen and nothing else, not even music. I have no problem getting up and running multiple hours. But when it comes to swimming I dread it the entire night before.

I typically swim a 3500 or 4000 yard set. I just do them without stopping. I have tried various intervals to break it up, but I hate starting. In my mind, Id rather start just one time instead of multiple times.

Once in the water I am fine, Im just bored. Sometimes, I count minutes and sometimes instead of doing intervals, I just pretend to do them in my head. So I might do a 3500 yard set, but in my mind I am doing 2x500, 2x400 2x300 2x200 2x100.

How can I stop dreading having to go to the pool?
Last edited by: Spartan420: Feb 7, 19 9:44
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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Have a structure. Do things other than just swim. Do different strokes. Swim with other people.

Pretending to do intervals in your head? That’s not actually doing them.

Add structure, add variety, add training partners. —> get faster, faster is more enjoyable than slower.

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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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God. That sounds horrible. Why would anyone do that to themselves? 3500 straight? Ugh.

I enjoy improving. I don't care what it is... I enjoy getting better. Swimmimg intervals allows me to measure progress.

Swimming short intervals allows me to focus on specific improvements. Swimming short intervals allows me to maintain a high quality stroke. It keeps my brain engaged.

I don't like going to the pool when I know I'm not going to improve. (tired, fatigued, sore, etc). But, when I'm feeling good I look forward to it.

I don't know what motivates you.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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As part of practice the other day, I did an 800. That was the longest interval I’ve done in a really long time, and although it was ok, I wouldn’t want to do that every single practice. Shorter intervals let me focus better, I can work on speed, maintain form better, and swim faster.

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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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I've always struggled with motivation for swimming. Partly because it's my weakest sport (a self perpetuating cycle obviously), partly because it is more hassle getting to and from the water, dealing with wet kit, etc then just going for a run or ride, and partly because for many years my nearby swimming facilities were crowded public pools with too much chlorine.

I'm better now and it's a mix of :
- structured training. Got to have some intervals to both break it up and measure progress
- group training. An hour flies by in a masters class
- moving to a place where I have much nicer pools, nearer by, and live half a mile from the ocean so can open water swim regularly. Also a better climate so much more outdoor swimming
- have also considered swimming headphones but haven't pulled the trigger yet.

Like everything in tri, swimming regularly is a virtuous circle. The more you do the more the habit becomes ingrained, the more improvement you see and the more motivated you are to do more.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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The only times I’ve really enjoyed swimming has been when I was swimming at least 3-4 times a week and had seen some good improvements and felt I was getting some decent speed. Currently, I’m swimming 1-2 times a week and simply swim because I know it needs to be done to get my fitness in the water back. As the season gets closer (first race in June) I’ll try to swim more and will probably gain some speed and maybe start looking forward to my swim sessions.


Blog: http://262toboylstonstreet.blogspot.com/
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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A lot of it is a mental game too. Tell yourself that you are dreading going to the pool, that you'd rather be doing ….. and you'll dread it. Tell yourself all of the things that you are looking forward to, and you'll enjoy it.

____________________________________
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Winner of the 2017 50 fly east coast Smackdown. http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...ost=6294538#p6294538
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
Shorter intervals let me focus better, I can work on speed, maintain form better, and swim faster.

I would agree with this especially. If you are doing one long continuous swim your form is going to break down and could lead to bad habits and possibly injury.
Breaking it up has really helped me with my speed. Play with some varying speeds. Long (300-400) easyish intervals followed by short hard (50-100) intervals are some of my faves.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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Doing a long continuous swim is the most boring thing ever.
If you are improving it is fun so I’m betting you’ve plateau’d.
Video yourself, post it here or show it to someone who knows swimming, and work on something to improve.
Something like 2 sets 3x100@75%, 3x100@80%, 3x100@85%, 300 very easy makes you focus on getting through the sub sets and before you know it, that’s 2400 of swimming.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
Shorter intervals let me focus better, I can work on speed, maintain form better, and swim faster.
Jason speaks the truth. A lot of swimmers (and swimmers turned triathletes) try to tell the AOS triathletes this but they largely ignore it and I don't know why. Always doing long swims ingrain poor technique and teaches your body a slower speed. There are times for long swims. But doing more short swims at faster pace with better technique will carry over many positives to your longer swims.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [ripple] [ In reply to ]
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Lots of great points in this thread. In addition, you can try using some swim aids like paddles and fins to break the monotony and help you focus on technique.
Paddles help get a better feel for arm position and help build muscular endurance (its like low cadence work on the bike)
Fins are a good way to get speed without adding effort so gives you a way to work on your form at higher speed where you'r body position, arms rotation is different
But the best thing for me is the floaty-pants (jammers made of wetsuit material) - changes the body position to be much more like wetsuit swim and really allows you to focus on arm technique.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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I got nothin' really, except experiencing improvements. I do not enjoy swimming and I am not a very good swimmer. I used to do continuous sets of 4K yards. Then, I broke it up into intervals. And, I started trying to do a little research to figure out my stroke and experiment with changes. The moment I started to realize improvements, I got highly motivated. The night before my swim workouts, I would lie in bed imagining my stroke with eagerness in the morning to work it out.

So, I would:
  1. Watch swim videos or hire a coach to get your free speed
  2. Stop doing long continuous swims and do intervals. You may shorten the total length by 500 to 1,000 yards to do the intervals with rests in about the same total elapsed time. But, your quality of workout will improve greatly
  3. Enjoy the speed improvements and dream about further improvements

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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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Along the lines of introducing toys (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) you can get a pair of drag shorts.
Do a 100 with them on and really focus on your stroke technique. You'll be working hard, so a strong pull will be essential. Then take them off and do a nice slippery 300 at a smooth relaxed pace all the while feeling quicker.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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The problem with swimming is that there is virtually no interaction with anything or anyone else, while you are swimming. So it is boring. ( I hum)

Swimming with a group, doing sets is about the only way it works, as long as the group has some interaction. It also helps if there is a little competition.

I have also always been a fan of multiple stroke sets. Because in learning all of them, you also learn better control of the parts that make a whole stroke.
The other thing I am a fan of is getting outside of just plain swimming. Try water polo, it teaches acceleration, body contact (and getting over the fear of it) and makes you better at dealing with crowded turns at buoys.

You already know how to swim 3800m, but swimming lengths doesn't teach you how to deal with the race. Unless you are first, everything else is different.
As a pool swimmer, I'm ok and I make no boasts about my swimming prowess, in open water, however I get out in good enough shape to take on the rest of the race.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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I love swimming, and there are some great suggestions here. Paddle/pull buoy is a nice toy combo, but start easy with limited yardage. Good equipment helps: A mesh training suit over a brief--ditch the jammers and swim in a brief like a real swimmer. A good set of practice goggles, like Speedo Vanquisher. Find some interesting sets that will make the yardage fly by. My swimming buddy and I like this one, which we call The Fastest 1000 because of how quickly the yards go by; adjust intervals appropriately. In a short course yards pool: 25@:20; 50@1:00; 75@1:00; 100@1:30; 150@2:00; 200@3:00; and then back down 150@2:00 etc. In general, I think up and down ladder sets with variable pacing make the swimming a lot more interesting.

Adam Butler
Cedar Falls, IA USA
Strava
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [kornpett] [ In reply to ]
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kornpett wrote:
...which we call The Fastest 1000 because of how quickly the yards go by; adjust intervals appropriately. In a short course yards pool: 25@:20; 50@1:00; 75@1:00; 100@1:30; 150@2:00; 200@3:00; and then back down 150@2:00 etc. In general, I think up and down ladder sets with variable pacing make the swimming a lot more interesting.

Are those supposed to be PACES or Leave-intervals? What's the expected "rest interval"? Also, the 50 and 75 pace/intervals seems out of line with the rest (50@ :45 seems more similar, but 75 @1:00 seems pretty sporty).
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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You need to do something other than just swim straight! Your swims need to have a purpose. Can you join a masters team? Even if that isn't an option, doing "sets" within a workout breaks things up.

Ladders are often a good thing to do and they add up quickly:

4x25 @ :30
5x50 @ 1:00
6x75 @ 1:30
7x100 @ 2:00
6x75 @ 1:30
5x50 @ 1:00
4x25 @ :30

There is 2300 yards (if my math is right!) all in one shot. Warm up and cool down and you're done.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [JasoninHalifax] [ In reply to ]
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JasoninHalifax wrote:
As part of practice the other day, I did an 800. That was the longest interval I’ve done in a really long time, and although it was ok, I wouldn’t want to do that every single practice. Shorter intervals let me focus better, I can work on speed, maintain form better, and swim faster.

Just curious, what was your pace time on the 800 and, do you kick 2, 4 or 6 beat on distance sets?
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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Tom_hampton wrote:
kornpett wrote:
...which we call The Fastest 1000 because of how quickly the yards go by; adjust intervals appropriately. In a short course yards pool: 25@:20; 50@1:00; 75@1:00; 100@1:30; 150@2:00; 200@3:00; and then back down 150@2:00 etc. In general, I think up and down ladder sets with variable pacing make the swimming a lot more interesting.


Are those supposed to be PACES or Leave-intervals? What's the expected "rest interval"? Also, the 50 and 75 pace/intervals seems out of line with the rest (50@ :45 seems more similar, but 75 @1:00 seems pretty sporty).

Those are the leave times. You get the 50 as an ez. With the exception of the 50, this is basically a ladder set alternating 1:20/1:30 100y pace. Times are easily adjustable up/down depending on your skill level. If you are doing it 1:20/1:30, start on the :40--makes it easier to track.

Adam Butler
Cedar Falls, IA USA
Strava
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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Ummmm, why would you do something that you do not enjoy? If it was just some funk that you are going through and looking for ways to spice it up, sure that is one thing.

But, you've been doing this for 18 months and still dread a swim the night before? Is the identity of a triathlete so important that you will suffer through something you despise? That sounds terrible.

Scour your local races and find a duathlon. Race that. See how it tickles your fancy.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [NealH] [ In reply to ]
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I didn’t actually time it (I’m so out of shape for the swim it isn’t funny). Plus I injured my knee, so it’s nithing but pull right now. I’m at the docs office right now waiting to get it checked out.

That said, for distance swimming I’ll typically switch between a 2 and 4 beat, bringing in a 6 beat for the last 50 or so. When I’m in shape I can do 10:15- 10:30 for the 800 in practice.

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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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Find a pool that has a temperature that is comfortable for you...Not too hot and not too cold! Then sign up for Tower 26, do the swims, listen to the audio files, and participate on the message board!

Scott DeFilippis
Professional Triathlete
Coach and Co/Founder
KIS Coaching
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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Don't go to the pool! You have plenty of open water nearby. It's way more entertaining. Especially when you start to wonder about what you don't see!

strava
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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Join a masters group. Makes it more fun and time goes by quicker.
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Re: Make Me Enjoy Swimming? [Spartan420] [ In reply to ]
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You need to get over not liking to start, or you will lose your mind, not to mention stifle your improvement as a swimmer. Get a workout from any number of places and bring it with you to the pool. [Plug: I have Swim Workouts in a Binder for sale in the Classifieds] If you don't have a workout and say to yourself "I'll just do 20 x 100" or whatever, that's a recipe for bailing early. If it's written down and in front of you, quitting actually seems like quitting instead of some compromise you come up with in your head because you're unmotivated. As you improve and see your times dropping, that's pretty good incentive to keep after it.

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