Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Well, This isn’t Wordless at All!

But it does include a fun picture of me in the pool with a tether around my waist.

Tether Swim 004

I’m taking a three-pronged approach to swim training for my upcoming tri:

  1. Getting my butt in the water several times a week.  Yes, this is Swim Training 101 right here – practice, practice, practice.  I should be perfect aaaaaaaany day now.
  2. Positive Self-Talk.  Oftentimes, my clients will approach a new exercise with the attitude of, “Oh, I can’t do that.”  It drives me crazy, so I make them do burpees and listen to me lecture them about negative self-talk.  And then they still have to do whatever exercise it was that they thought they couldn’t do and they always discover that they can do it.  Imagine that!  Well, not too long ago, I realized that I do my own Negative Nelly with regard to swimming and I really need to reverse the damage it's doing to my swimming self-confidence.  So I’ve started my own personal campaign of Positive Swimming Self-Talk.  Basically, fake it ‘til I feel it.  Now, every time I think about getting in the pool, I say to myself, “I’m a good swimmer.  I like to swim.”  And gosh darn it, people like me.
  3. Tethered swimming.  It’s the poor man’s endless pool, swimming on a rope, and it’s sure not doing my form any good by being anchored at the waist, but it is helping with my biggest fear – not being able to breathe.  When I swim laps, I grab onto the edge of the pool and frequently take more than one breath before heading back in the opposite direction.  I’ve always known this was lousy training for open water, but whaddya gonna do?  Short of practicing in actual open water, this seems like a good first step.  I’ve been working on calming my water fears by counting my strokes and closing my eyes while on the tether.  It’s strange to swim for time rather than distance, but I’ve worked my way up to 20 minutes without touching my feet down.  That’s pretty huge for me!

Do you ever have to bolster your confidence with forced positive self-talk?

Have you ever tried swimming on a rope to train for open water?

11 comments:

track coach and adorable wife said...

I should do more Positive self talk, I often tell myself my goals aren't attainable. The tethered idea is brilliant, now to find a pool!

ratherthecouch said...

Holy crap, I really have to work on the positive self-talk...especially these days. This post is a good reminder to do that. Thanks for that!

ajh said...

I'm finding out my open water fears revolve around what is in the water with me!

misszippy said...

Good for you! You'll get there with all this dedication. I've never tried a tether like that, but what a great way to make a smaller pool into worthwhile training ground.

Alma said...

That is dedication. I always take a moment at the turn-around and I know it doesn't serve me well for preparing for that open water where there is no turn-around. yikes.

coach dion said...

I can remember training from ironman in the pool at home, I was swimming 100-200 lengths every day. Never tried a tether, but when I was injured last year I was aqua jogging and then I would tether myself...

I'll try it next summer...

Johann said...

I do lots of positive self talk and often while running. I train alone and find it good to do it then. I've never done the swim on a rope thing.

Amber said...

I've never thought of tying myself to the side of a pool. I don't currently have access to a lap pool but my parents have a round pool that I could probably tie myself too. :) Of course my parents will think I'm nuts when I show up with a rope and a swimsuit.

Char said...

Twenty minutes continuous swimming is huge! This is coming from a person who only gets wet if they absolutely have to but I'm incredibly impressed.

I use positive self-talk all the time but not just to do with running. I use it to bolster myself in every area of my life.

Kate said...

I'd never have thought of tethered swiming. Brilliant!

I definitely get caught up in negative talk. I'm trying to be nicer to myself.

Lancer!! said...

When I'm working out with my trainer, I'm usually too focused on executing the exercises using good form to think about the self-talk.

I'll have to check the pool at my gym to see if there are tether points for tying a rope. That looks like a good idea.