If you’ve been online ever, and you don’t live under a rock (although nowadays I’m sure you’d be able to find a way to surf the web from pretty much anywhere, so I doubt the rock would get in your way), I’m sure you’ve seen multiple blog posts about workouts you can do in your hotel room. In case you haven’t, those posts are pretty much everywhere.
But what about swimming when you travel?
It’s not the easiest thing to do when you’re in a place you don’t know anything about. But it’s something you definitely need to keep up with when you’re in the middle of your training.
When it comes to swimming, I can lose my conditioning faster than two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
Do people still say that? Does me saying that make me not-cool?
But because of that, it has always been incredibly important to me to keep up on my swim training when I was away from home. Otherwise, taking three days off from the pool would put me way behind in my training. And I would lose a huge chunk of the benefits I had already gained from the work I’d been putting in.
The easiest way to stay up on your swim training is to look up a local masters team. Most, if not all, masters teams have an open door policy and will let you join their practices for free.
You can take a look at the USMS Club Team Finder to find teams in the area you’ll be visiting. Just input the city, state, or zip code and it will generate a list of the masters swim teams in the area. Once you find a team, you can click on the link and find a general breakdown of their practice schedule.
If you don’t have any luck finding a local team, your next best option is to make use of everyone’s favorite part of hotel amenities: the amoeba shaped 4 ft deep pool that’s most likely set to 93 degrees. Toasty.
How do you do a workout in that pool you ask?
Well, you don’t, really.
But what you can do is use it as an opportunity to practice technique and drill work. Since most hotel pools are about 10-15 meters in length, they are a tool to do sets focused on proper movements and specific drills.
Or, if you’re like me and look for every excuse in the book to avoid drills (don’t tell my husband), a hotel pool is the perfect place to use a swim tether.
If you’re not familiar with a swim tether don’t worry, you’re not alone. I didn’t know what one was until about three months ago if I’m being honest. Anway, it’s a bungee cord with a waist belt on one end and an attachment loop on the other end that allows you to swim without actually moving anywhere.
You take the swim tether and tie the attachment loop to the pool ladder, buckle yourself into the waist belt, and then swim. Simple and easy.
The bungee cord allows you to swim in place and get a workout in even in the smallest of pools. It might get a little dull at times, but at least you won’t have completely lost your conditioning.
One way to keep swimming with the tether interesting? Use it as an excuse to do some interval sprints. Interval sprints are a great way to raise your heart rate and switch up your workouts from solid state cardio.
Both of these options seem pretty easy to me. So I don’t want to get emails telling me my suggestions are too hard to put into practice. You can do this!
A cap, goggles, swim suit, and a swim tether don’t take up much room at all when you’re packing. So there’s really no excuse for not swimming when you’re travelling and away from home.
Lissa Henderson, Tri Swim Coach