4 Tips for the Perfect Training Trip

Photo Courtesy: Seren Jones

By Will Manion, Swimming World College Intern

Swimmers around the world are returning to their respective universities to begin class and train for the upcoming season. One of the most anticipated points in a swimmer’s season is the training trip. After fall semester and just before spring semester, college swim teams will travel south to seek outdoor training options, relaxation on the beach, and a way to improve physically and unite as a team. Any upperclassman knows the tricks of the trade when it comes to a training trip, though a freshman could use some pointers.

Looking back and collaborating with seasoned swimmers, below is a list of some of the top pointers we use to get the most out of a trip.

1. Take it one practice at a time.

Training trips can be grueling. Yardage will go up. You will be doing more practices than you were last month at school. It is important to stay in the moment. Mid-set on a Thursday morning can be daunting knowing you have a lifting session in a couple hours, as well as an evening sprint workout. Make every effort to keep focused on the moment and training hard in the present. We will get to recovery below. Staying in the moment allows you to focus in on technique and speed, thus allowing you to get the most out of each practice.

2. Recovery, recovery, recovery…

You’re going to need it. Make sure you are eating and drinking plenty following practice. If you are accustomed to a snowy winter climate like I am, make sure you are consuming far more water than you typically would. The sun shining down on you at practice and at the beach can absolutely drain you. Further, any injuries should be given immediate attention. If your team brings along a member of the sports medicine staff, keep in contact with them throughout the trip. Also, ice bags and ice baths are your friends.


Photo Courtesy: Albright Athletics

3. No naps!

Do. Not. Nap. Enjoy the summer sun and your tropical paradise. I’ve found that the most successful swimmers are the happiest. Our happiest swimmers are the ones who leave the hotel and get on the beach during the day. Napping between practices instead of enjoying the weather makes the trip depressing. I never felt like I got that break from swimming lap after lap if I went back to the hotel and hid from the fun outside. If you are overtired, consider going to bed a little earlier. It is important to take advantage of the fun a training trip can offer.

4. Team bonding

William and Mary head coach Matt Crispino details how he works to ensure the team is closer after the trip:

“One of the major goals of our training trip is for the team to forge even tighter bonds than they had during the fall. By now, the new swimmers have adapted to their surroundings and teammates. But in order to bring the team even closer together, we do a few things. First, we mix up rooming assignments so swimmers see new different faces than they see at home. Second, we schedule some team outings for people to enjoy the weather, the surroundings, and especially the culture if we’re outside the US. Third, we try to mix in the rare, but occasional fun game or activity at practice to break up some of the monotony of training trip. Our goal is to leave the trip as fit as ever, battle tested, tight-knit, and ready for the stretch run of the short course season.”

Best of luck to those returning for another year of collegiate swimming. Incoming freshman, enjoy the journey and study hard! A solid foundation of training this semester will prepare you to have a fun and successful training trip come January!