It's Just The Way You Look At It

Swimming is always the first session I tend to drop. It is also my weakest discipline. I'm sure there's a link there. While I was at the pool today I got to thinking about why I tend to miss so many swim sessions. The first few ideas that popped into my head were that I makes up the smallest portion of an ironman, you can't win the race in the swim, I've swum well on limited training before and you only get limited returns for your investment in time. I soon realised these were excuses, not reasons.

Swimming doesn't come as easily as running and cycling do. While I often talk about training hard to achieve my goals, if I'm really honest, I tend to skip swimming because I find it difficult to do well. I find it easy to find an excuse to get out of driving to the pool and once I'm there I find my mind is trying to find a reason to shorten the workout. Maybe it's the lack of changing scenery, the black line just doesn't stimulate the senses. Maybe it's seeing kids a quarter of my age swimming twice as fast. I'm not sure.

I tried a different approach today. I narrowed my focus, and applied a line I heard in the film Layer Cake, "meditation is the act of focusing the front part of the mind on a mundane task, so the rest take a break," or something similar. By focusing on just a very small aspect of my swimming on each length, and aiming to achieve perfection on each small task, I found that the laps ticked by very quickly. I did not aim for any specific times, but I did check the clock every now and then. Things were, working, again I was swimming faster at the same effort level by the end of the session. Maybe I'm getting into the right mindset for swimming.

"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." - Lou Holtz


  1. Sounds like you just need to get into the zone and lose yourself in it.

    Well done though, when I take my floaty belt off after deep water running I sink :-(


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