6 Ways to Spice Up Your Summer Training

Swimming
Photo Courtesy: Kayla Riemensperger

By Kayla Riemensperger, Swimming World College Intern.

We’ve all been there – that moment when swimming becomes more of a chore than something to enjoy. Swimming back and forth with only a solid black line for scenery can get tedious. Staying motivated and engaged is important to taking the next steps in training, and it’s difficult to make progress in races if you’ve lost interest.

Kylie Riemensperger, former swimmer and current water polo player at James Madison University, suggests that the number one reason swimmers lose interest and quit is due to boredom in the pool. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of dragging your feet across the pool deck, dreading the moment you have to dive into the freezing water, use these six tips and tricks to spice up your summer training!

1. Always Plan Ahead

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Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr / Swimming Australia Ltd.

Plan your workout ahead of time! Swimming becomes much more pleasurable when you have a workout right in front of you. You’re less prone to talking yourself out of the practice, and you don’t have to waste any mental energy during the set. You might end up loving writing workouts and could collaborate with your coach!

2. Utilize the Buddy System

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Photo Courtesy: Kayla Riemensperger

Use the buddy system! Why swim alone when you can swim with fellow teammates and friends? Having a swim buddy to keep you company decreases the chance of boredom during your workout. Plus who doesn’t love a good and long social kick?

A study completed by the Society of Behavioral Medicine found that working out with a partner can enhance aerobic exercise performance, especially if you perceive your workout buddy to be faster than you.

3. Tunes, Tunes and More Tunes

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Photo Courtesy: Kelly Lennon

Crank up the tunes! Swimming isn’t the same if you don’t have any jams to rock out with. You can create a fun playlist full of your favorite songs to play while working out. Typically, you can’t hear the music when your head is underwater (unless the pool has underwater speakers), but it’s always a good time when you can have a jam out session at the wall between sets.

Music is one of the biggest motivators and distractions when working out. Whenever coaches play music, practice instantly becomes exponentially more fun! Create a playlist on Spotify and share it with your teammates and friends. They can even add their own songs to the playlist to create a shared playlist.

Several research studies have concluded that exercising to music has measurable performance benefits. A study conducted by Costas Karageorghis and David-Lee Priest, published in the International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, concluded that exercising to music can boost performance and lower the perceived difficulty of the workout.

4. Get Some UV Rays

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Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

Go swim outside! Outdoor pools aren’t available for everyone, but if you can find one, it truly makes a world of difference. The air is fresh, the breeze is cool and the reflection of the sun on the water makes for a really unique goggle tan-line! Plus, every swimmer should experience looking up at the clouds while swimming backstroke.

Not to mention the beautiful sunrises and sunsets you can watch depending on lap swim times – they are absolutely breathtaking!

5. Switch it Up

Swimming Girl

Photo Courtesy: Kayla Riemensperger

Change up your sets! Try practicing your off events and strokes. No one really enjoys swimming the same things over and over again. Pick some of your favorite sets to do, whether it’s a 100x100s challenge or a simple 4x25s underwater dolphin kick. Try to allow yourself a variety of sets that will keep you smiling the entire time you’re in the water!

6. Become a Go-Pro Star

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Photo Courtesy: Kayla Riemensperger

Finally, try to experiment with filming! If you or a friend have a GoPro or underwater camera, now is the time to break it out and film yourselves in the water. It’s up to you to decide what to do with the videos. You can study your stroke or make a beast-mode music video. The possibilities are endless!

Now it’s up to you to take these options and incorporate them into your practices. Good luck with your summer training!

Commentary: All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.