Off-Season Swimming Tips for Swimmers and Triathletes
Posted by Ryan Sollars on
The winter off-season is the time of year where it is much more enticing to curl up on the couch with a hot chocolate and a movie than it is to continue training at your local indoor spot. However, if you’re looking to hit the ground running later this year, the off-season is a great time not only to keep up with, but also to hone in on your swimming technique. It often helps keep your progress on track, and keeps you in the groove for when it gets to crunch time. If you’re looking to sneak some more swimming into your lazy winter, here are some tips on how you can stay productive:
Don’t think of it as the “off-season”
Most professional atheletes don’t take breaks, no matter what season it is, and if you’re truly trying to push yourself, then you shouldn’t take off-season swim training any less seriously. With an “it’s optional” mindset, it’s all too easy to fall off and let skipped days turn into skipped weeks. Keep to a practice schedule. It doesn’t necessarily matter how leisurely or rigorous it is - the important part is to stay committed to it as if it weren’t the off season.
Focus more, not less
Many people, because it’s the off-season, practice swimming without any particular focus on what they are practicing, either because the pressure is off, or because the motivation just isn’t there. Regardless of the reason, that is lost opportunity to really zero-in on whatever issues you had during last season. Instead, take some time to reflect on your performance last season – especially on areas that need improvement – was your pacing off? Do you need to work on stroke efficiency? Whatever it may be, the off-season provides a couple of months with no true commitments to focus on your weakest areas. It can often help to set goals and benchmarks for tracking your progress on any weak points and keeping the focus.
Make it social!
Let’s face it: everyone is hard-pressed to find productive winter activities to begin with, so why not make swimming an excuse to get together with a buddy or two? Oftentimes, making a promise to a pal helps keep each other committed to a practice schedule, and on days where your motivation is missing, your buddy can keep you on track. It is especially helpful if your friend is an experienced swimmer, or even a swim coach, so that they can watch you in the water and offer points of improvement. Even if they aren’t a much better swimmer, you can have them record video of you and vice versa, keeping practice fun while also constantly working on improvement.
Sometimes it helps to just get yourself something to keep you going. Whether it’s a high-tech new swimsuit, or one of our PoolMate lap counting watches, get yourself a tool that’s both useful and truly has that “cool factor” that will get you excited to get in the water. Winter is the season of giving – don’t forget about yourself! What do you do to keep yourself motivated in the winter? Add your tips to the comments below!