The long dreary months of January and February are now behind us, and it is time to spice up your training routine either to get ready for the competition season or just to add some more fun to those long boring sets during the winter.
1. Practice all the different strokes including the fifth one: the streamline underwater. Constantly mix and match. Swim your best stroke, swim your worst stroke, practice the individual medley, kick, pull, scull, experiment, invent new drills, have fun.
2. Watch the clock. Swimming up and down the pool at the same speed may become boring. Add some interval training with different send-offs. Note that send-offs are better than, for example, 15 seconds rest, as the send-off will definitely tell you when you are slowing down. Take more rest. Increase the intensity and the speed, especially if you are gearing up for a meet. Your body needs to be ready and used to going fast. Have fun.
3. Keep working on your technique in all four strokes. It keeps you thinking and focused. It is also very rewarding to feel stronger and more efficient in the water. Practice, experiment, have fun.
4. Swim with others. Group therapy works wonders for your enjoyment. It will give you the drive to finish the hard set. Moreover, the therapy does not end at the pool. Our teammates are our best friends in and out of the pool. We share the same love of water and it is a wonderful support group. When prompted by a swim buddy, how can you refuse to go? Have fun.
5. Play with the toys: fins, kickboard, paddles, pull buoys, snorkel. Have you ever swum on top of your kickboard and practiced the correct arm movement in a complete horizontal position? Have you ever kicked with the kickboard in a vertical position for resistance or done a kicking war with a swim buddy. Do an all-out sprint with fins on, it gives you an exhilarating feeling of going so fast. Be a kid, do handstands, jump in the pool, do a cannon ball contest. Have fun.
Swimming is fun and is a lifelong sport, better enjoy it.