Warm-down: Why it’s important and how to stay motivated
Warm-down, sometimes referred to as “cool-down,” is a period of easy swimming after a harder swim workout. This loosen period allows the body to actively recover from your swim.
Interestingly enough, warm-down is the most dreaded part of the workout for many swimmers. The coach has already thrown everything at you and you’re ready to hit the showers and call it a practice. That’s when the coach tells you to swim another 800 yards of “loosen”.
So what are the reasons for warming down? Here are just a few:
- Active recovery promotes the breakdown of lactic acid that is built up during the course of the swimming workout and ultimately aids the body’s ability to recover after training.
- Lactic acid must be removed from the muscles before recovery can begin; warm-down quickens this process and gives your body more time to recover.
- Warm-down provides an easy swimming environment in which to work on stroke technique.
Given the benefits of warm-down, it makes sense to do some loosening after every workout! Here are a couple ways to make warming down more interesting and effective:
- Work on Drills
Warm-down is a great time to work on perfecting your technique without the pressures of trying to maintain certain intervals or speeds.
- Swim with Music
I guarantee that your warm-down will fly by when you have your favorite tunes to listen to on the SwiMP3.
- Gear Progression
Begin with Zoomers, a Swimmer’s Snorkel, and paddles such as the Freestyler Hand Paddles. Gradually remove your gear throughout the warm-down period. Play with some toys that allow you to work on perfect technique as you finish your swim.
Final Note: While at a meet or competition, a proper warm-down is even more important after a race. At least twenty minutes of warm-down is recommended after each race. This often feels like a long time, especially for younger swimmers, but hopefully you can utilize some of the points mentioned above. For example, listen to 4-5 songs on the SwiMP3 instead of setting a watch for 20 minutes. I guarantee that the time will go by much faster and your recovery will be that much more effective.