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How To Make Swimming Laps Fun

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How To Make Swimming Laps Fun

Old 01-19-21, 03:06 PM
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CanadianBiker32
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How To Make Swimming Laps Fun

Considering focusing on Triathlon in the future. Right now can't swim as no swimming pool is open in my area due to "19" And lakes and rivers are frozen over since it is winter.
Just doing running and cycling lots.
I have not swam in 2 years. In the past though I love swimming in water. But doing laps back and forth in the lane pools always got boring and seemed long. What can I do to mix things up and make it interesting?
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Old 01-19-21, 04:34 PM
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Iíve always been a strong swimmer. But since Iím not able to run much any more...Iíve been doing considerably more swimming (and cycling) the past few years. In the summers Iím in the open water much more (I live in coastal RI just a couple blocks from our town beach). In the past two summers, Iíve trained up for and swam in a few 6Ĺ-7 mile open ocean races. Swimming for those long distances along the shoreline, or around mooring fields isnít quite so boring as hours of laps in the pool. But in the winters when I go back to the pool Iíve started Ďcountingí laps less. Instead, I just go by time. If I want to swim a certain distance I just swim at my average pace for approximately however long itíd take me to swim that distance. If Iím off...itís only by a lap or two...so no big deal. Not counting laps allows me to ponder so much more while I swim. Also...instead of just swimming long, slow, boring distance...do some speed work occasionally. If I go to the pool and want to swim 1Ĺ (2400 meters)...sometimes Iíll do a 400m warmup, 16x100m repeats @ 2:00, and then a 400m cool down (Your personal time interval between the sprints may differ). Youíll be surprised how doing regular speed work will make you a faster swimmer. Or maybe Iíll do repeats of 400m to equal a mile or two. Obviously rest between 400s is longer. Another thing you can do is practice the other strokes. As a triathlete...you should have a grasp of swimming breaststroke anyway. Itís frequently useful at the start of the swim, or when it gets crowded at turns during the swim. Backstroke and butterfly arenít really useful to a triathlete. But you can use them to break the monotony of constantly swimming crawl stroke. IMO swimming is swimming ... meaning that swimming those strokes can still help build endurance and speed. Every now and then Iíll go to the pool and swim a 1-mile (1600m) Individual Medly...400m butterfly, 400m backstroke, 400m breaststroke, 400m freestyle.

Dan
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Old 01-19-21, 05:38 PM
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Like Dan said, swim for a block of time, don't bother counting laps.

I am addicted to one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/FINIS-Underwa...dp/B0169RSNPG/
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Old 01-19-21, 06:19 PM
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You know what's boring?

Running on a treadmill is boring!

Riding a bike on a trainer is boring!

I swim 2000 meters in the morning at my local YMCA six days a week. I don't find it boring. There is a lot of stuff to work on.

I will forever be trying to perfect my flip turn. I have to go into a tight tuck. I have to be the perfect distance from the wall to get a good push off. I have to exit the turn facing the ceiling.

I will also always be working on my proficiency at breathing on the right, on the left, and bilaterally.

I keep track of my laps by varying the side I breath on. I do this in groups of five. I breath on the right for laps one and three, on the left for laps two and four, and bilaterally for lap five.

I have friends who bring all manner of swim toys - pull buoys, shorty fins, kick boards, centerline snorkels .... They do all the exercises, but it doesn't seem to make them faster.

I prefer to just swim my laps. My counting system works well enough that I can let my mind wander without immediately losing count.

Regarding the boredom of riding a bike on a trainer, try rollers instead. That's always exciting, especially when you fall off.

I regret I don't have a good solution for the boredom of running on a treadmill.
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Old 01-31-21, 09:04 AM
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Try to mix it up a little bit.
Start with a warm up.
Then some technique sets. Arm drills, legs, combi’s, ...
Then some longer sets. 1 w/o any tools; then a set with paddles, and a set with paddles and zoomers.
finish with a good cooling down.

This will give already some variation in the complete training, and you can change sets per week, ...
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Old 02-13-21, 07:40 PM
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I was a swimmer first then moved on to triathlons. Like _ForceD_ above, I've done a lot of long distance open-water swims. For training, I have always found swimming alone was difficult (I had 1 year where almost all my swims were in the pool by myself, as there wasn't a group to swim with). The easiest way, in my opinion, is to swim with a group. The best is with a coached workout. With running and biking, just training more (and smart) helps a lot. With swimming, form is so critical. Swimming at a coached workout provides both some people to swim with, but also feedback on technique.
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Old 02-14-21, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CanadianBiker32 View Post
Considering focusing on Triathlon in the future.
BTW...you didnít really mention it in your OP...but if you arenít accustomed to swimming in open water you need to do that as soon as possible. I know itís frozen or too cold right now...so continue swimming in the pool. But get some open water swims in as soon as possible. It may surprise you, but swimming in open water is really different from the pool. I have seen very accomplished high school, and even collegiate swimmers completely freak out in the open water. They decide to give triathlon a try and think ďIím an experienced swimmer. No need to focus on the swim portion of the tri.Ē And then then get out there and there arenít any lane lines, they canít see the bottom, have trouble navigating to swim in a straight line, canít deal with the brine, water is rougher than the pool, the start and turn are Ďfull contactí swimming, a piece of seaweed touches them and they think theyíre being attacked by a shark. And thatís all if they have the nerve to continue swimming.

Dan
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Old 02-23-21, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by _ForceD_ View Post
BTW...you didn’t really mention it in your OP...but if you aren’t accustomed to swimming in open water you need to do that as soon as possible. I know it’s frozen or too cold right now...so continue swimming in the pool. But get some open water swims in as soon as possible. It may surprise you, but swimming in open water is really different from the pool. I have seen very accomplished high school, and even collegiate swimmers completely freak out in the open water. They decide to give triathlon a try and think “I’m an experienced swimmer. No need to focus on the swim portion of the tri.” And then then get out there and there aren’t any lane lines, they can’t see the bottom, have trouble navigating to swim in a straight line, can’t deal with the brine, water is rougher than the pool, the start and turn are ‘full contact’ swimming, a piece of seaweed touches them and they think they’re being attacked by a shark. And that’s all if they have the nerve to continue swimming.

Dan
This, 100X. Open water in a group(open water, period) can be downright dangerous. I think there should be some kind of Noobie Tri where the first timers all swim in a roped off area back and forth under lots of supervision. They swim for a period of time and get the same time for the swim portion. A whistle blows and they head off for the first transition. A couple of those before they graduate up to a standard tri. Just my opinion.
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