3 Ways to Make Your Swim Workout More Interesting

Swimming by yourself can be a challenging activity. Swimming laps can quickly become monotonous. On top of that, it can be difficult to gauge your improvement and keep motivated throughout the year. With these challenges in mind, I hope I can provide a few simple ways to stimulate your daily workouts so that you are doing more than just “swimming laps”.

  1. Set goals for your swimming
    It doesn’t matter how serious you are about your swimming! Whether you are trying to swim 30 laps tomorrow or break the World Record next summer, goals can be set at all levels of swimming. Instead of setting distance goals, try setting time goals. Time goals are very beneficial because they give you a better gauge on improvements.

    To start, try swimming a 50 or 100 (2 or 4 lengths in a 25 yard pool) of your favorite stroke at full speed. Get your time using a pace clock, wristwatch or stopwatch. Then set a time goal for your 50 or 100. How fast do you think you will be 3 months from now? 

    Test yourself by swimming the full speed 50 or 100 twice a month. Gauge yourself on your previous swims, keeping in mind the goal you have set for the future. Track each test time in a log or spreadsheet so you can compare all your swims and monitor improvements.

  2. Use Intervals
    Instead of swimming 20 or 50 laps straight through, try swimming set distances on specific time intervals. Intervals help you get some rest during your workout so that you can continue to push your body harder while you swim. Intervals also give you some variation throughout your workout so your mind is constantly engaged. Don’t know where to start? Try this online resource of 50 workouts for some ideas.
  3. Use Equipment during your Workout
    Equipment is a great way to provide some variety during your swim workouts. Try something simple like using a kickboard during part of your workout to focus on kicking. It gives your arms a rest and lets you work the legs. 

    Or try putting on fins or Zoomers for part of your workout. Fins will allow you to swim faster and cover more distance more quickly.

    When I’m swimming by myself, by far my most valuable piece of equipment is my SwiMP3. Listening to music keeps me interested and motivated during my swim and makes the laps go by a lot more quickly.

What helps keep your swim workouts more interesting?

- Paul