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Swimming improves with practice.
A pool workout spent swimming length upon length at the same modest tempo may build stamina, but it can also numb your mind. If you're so bored that you skip your sessions, the substantial fitness-building benefits of swimming elude you. There's so much more to swimming than staring at the black line as you count laps. Strategies that alleviate boredom also improve performance.1.
Vary your workouts rather than swimming at a moderate pace with the same stroke every time. Look online or in swim and triathlon training books for swim workouts that involve intervals, distance and steady-state training. During intervals, for example, you'll be busy trying to swim your laps in a specific time rather than focused on the monotony of lap swimming. For example, after a light free-style warm-up, do 200-yard swims in three minutes and 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds, and then repeat four to seven more times for a complete workout.2.
Mix up your strokes to minimize boredom. Learn a new stroke and spend a few minutes during each pool session practicing it. You'll be inspired by the progress you see as you improve.3.
Add tools to your swim to break it up and hone form. Alternate between kicking drills using fins and a kickboard, pulling with a buoy between your legs and using hand paddles. Do 200-yards with each and then freestyle swim for 200 yards. Repeat the circuit two or more times for a complete workout.4.
Invest in a waterproof music player so you can listen to tunes as you swim to help pass the time. The distraction music provides is key in breaking up the repetitive nature of lap swimming, notes clinical sports psychologist Dr. Carol Seheult in an interview with "The Telegraph" newspaper.5.
Join a swimming group. Many pools offer master's swim programs that consist of a coach with four or more swimmers. Your coach provides a workout plan and gives you tips on technique. Swimming with other people ups your motivation and the planned workouts give your session a purpose. If you can't join a group, swim with a friend who can keep you motivated.
- Pull buoy
- Waterproof music player
- Swim in an athletic swimsuit when doing laps for exercise. Board shorts and teeny bikinis are for the beach or lounge pool.
- Always swim at a facility with lifeguards to help you in event of an emergency.