By Coach Chris Hague
For me, there are only two hard parts of every workout. The first: getting in. I do not know about you but I find it difficult to get into the pool. I usually arrive at the gym ready to workout and hit those swim splits. I am super motivated and charge into the locker room, quickly change into my Speedo, and walk (I would run but the signs say to walk) out onto the pool deck. Then the great slowdown begins: my motivation drops and I spend at least 10 minutes trying to find the perfect lane, doing arm stretches, and debating whether I really want to do this workout. Negative, dark thoughts begin to percolate in my mind: “I could just skip the workout and no one would know,” “The water is really cold today, and “I think I will just get on the trainer instead.” It is a struggle to take that first leap, and some days I do it. However others I just stand there stressing.
When I asked my fellow swimmers and triathletes about whether they had the same problem, the majority of those “polled” said “Yes!” Many said, that they would delay getting up out of bed, conveniently forget their swim trunks at home, dally in the locker room, and engage themselves in lengthy conversations with the attendant at the front desk about the meaning of life. The more you procrastinate getting in the water, the more opportunity there is for the negative thoughts to get you and the more likely you are to skip the workout altogether. To nip these bad habits, I created a schedule to ensure that I got out of bed, into the water, and ready to swim without wasting any time. Here are my top 4 tips:
1) Get Packing!: To prevent procrastination at the house, lay your clothes out the night before, pack your gym bag with everything that you need (including towel, goggles, cap, and your work clothes) and set your coffee maker to brew when you get up. I actually get changed into my bathing suit at home before I get to the gym to save time and prevent me from “forgetting” it at home.
2) Prepare for the worst: Just in case I do forget something either the night before or in my mental fog of the wee hours of the morning, I have an emergency kit in the back of my car with an extra swim suit, two or three pairs of goggles, an extra towel, some emergency energy bars, and a change of clothes.
3) Get pumped up: To keep my motivation high, I listen to music up to the moment I get in. The music raises my heart rate a bit and gets me excited to do the workout.
4) Dive in: Instead of easing into the water I find it easier to get started if I just dive in and do it!
Once I hop in, I am fully committed and I know I can do the workout. What’s the other hardest part of the workout: getting out.