Swimmers, and triathletes especially, are often obsessed with the distance of their workouts.
There’s often this notion that, unless one does over x amount of yards or meters that day, the workout doesn’t even count!
“I NEED to get 3000 meters in today!”
And, although the workouts in our Tri Swim Success program do include the total number of meters/yards, our philosophy is to de-emphasize that number.
It’s MUCH more important as to the quality of the workout.
Did you practice technique and try to get 1% better?
Was this a sprint workout that required a lot of rest, thus a low number of yards/meters?
Was there some “play” or time to screw around a little in your workout (for example, kicking with a board and chatting with a friend)?
There are many aspects to a quality workout, that total distance needs to not be the ultimate measurement of your accomplishment for that day.
Yes it’s nice to be able to brag to others who understand, i.e. “Did 20,000 meters this week!”
But those kinds of contests are really no more than…. spitting matches 🙂
We’re all at different levels, and training for different events (or not even training).
A swimmer training for a sprint triathlete doesn’t need to swim as much as someone training for an Ironman.
But the quality is equally as important.
Think about these guidelines the next time you want to feel good about your swim workout, or when you’re about to brag to your friends:
- Show up. This can be your only goal and the way you “check the box” that day. You show up, get in the water, and the rest is easy.
- Be mindful of your stroke. We all daydream a bit when swimming, but if you can focus in on each stroke you take, you can make micro-improvements consistently in the water.
- Swim fast & rest. Make sure you are swimming fast when the workout calls for it, but equally as important- be sure to take the rest needed. Sprint days come to mind here.
- Drills daily. Many triathletes want to get right to the “meat” of the workout, and will often skip over drills. But a quality workout will always consist of at least some drills, even if you are an advanced, elite athlete.
If you round out these 4 points in each workout, the total you do is almost irrelevant.
So let’s skip the useless tradition of comparing number of yards and meters we do time, and focus on the things that matter the most!