Swim racing takes a lot of time, dedication, and practice. It’s not unusual to have periods of inactivity when it comes to training, though. Racing takes a toll on the body and mind, so it’s important to have time out to rest and recuperate. This can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. When you do eventually head back, you may feel like…well, a fish out of water. To prevent overwhelm, we’ve put together a list of our top tips for getting back into it. Read on to discover our best advice for athletes and amateurs alike returning to the pool.
Treating yourself to a new bathing suit can be a great motivator for the upcoming season. A bright color or fun pattern can elevate your mood and get you looking forward to that first swim. Even if there’s nothing wrong with the suit you have, it’s great to have a spare, especially on laundry days. When shopping for a swimsuit, look for styles made from chlorine-resistant fabric. These swimsuits are extra durable for training in pools.
Returning to the pool is also a great reason to go through your swimming gear and make upgrades, if necessary. You may want to invest in a new cap or goggles, for example, or get a spare of each for your kit. It’s also a good idea to stock up on beach towels since you can never have too many. If your pool has showers, you’ll want a pair of flip-flops or slides, too, to protect your feet.
While it can be tempting to take up right where you left off last season, it’s important to start slow. Focus on drills for the first few sessions. Your body needs time to adjust to a new training routine after a long period of inactivity. Taking it easy in the pool will also help reduce your risk of injury. Just listen to your body as you go and you’ll be back to tip-top shape in no time.
Before each swim session, it’s important to warm up the body. This will help get your muscles ready for training, reducing the risk of injury. Be sure to do a few arm and shoulder rotations, but also pay attention to your legs. And don’t forget to cool down with a few stretches after your swim, too. It’s not a bad idea to keep a pair of swim shorts in your swim kit. That way, if space is limited at the pool, you have something to pop over your swimsuit for doing warm-ups elsewhere.
Setting short and long-term goals for swim training is a great way to motivate yourself in the pool. This can be anything from beating your best time to swimming a certain number of times a week. And when you meet your mark, don’t be shy to celebrate the accomplishment. After all that hard work and dedication, you deserve it.
Short periods of rest in between training are just as crucial as your time off. As you plan your new training schedule, be sure to mark some days off on the calendar for chilling out. And when those days roll around, take them seriously. Throw on your robe, get a massage, take an ice bath, enjoy a nap, and eat well. Taking care of your body in this way will serve you well throughout the season.
Swim training shouldn't be all work and no play. It’s important to enjoy yourself and have fun with it, especially when getting back into racing. A great way to do this is to build a community of swimmers you like and trust. Now you have people to share all the highs and lows with. After a long day of training, you can swap out the swim trunks for denim and discuss it all over a meal. There’s nothing better than sharing your passion with people who feel the same way about it as you.
Returning to the pool after a long period can feel overwhelming. Don’t let that stop you from smashing your swim goals, though. By doing a little prep, it’s easy to get yourself ready for the upcoming season. Take the opportunity to go through your swim kit and make any necessary upgrades or replacements. When you do visit the pool, don’t be afraid to start slow with training. Incorporate warm-ups and cool-downs, and set short and long-term goals to keep yourself on track. Set aside time to rest in between sessions and try to have a bit of fun. Even better, do it with friends. You’ll be back to your best swimming shape before you know it.