by Carl O’Donnell: Former New Zealand Swimming Champion and 2012 London Olympian
It’s easy to get stuck in a boring training routine that leaves you lacking motivation by the end of the season. Sometimes we all need to step back and remember why we’re doing this. It’s meant to be fun! Changing it up in training will help continue the fun and maintain your motivation right through the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series season and beyond.
Swimming with friends is much more fun than slogging it out alone. In addition, you’ll find that you are more likely to be motivated to turn up in the first place and once you’re there, you’ll swim faster and longer with company. Friendly swimming groups can be found on social media or by word of mouth and most are happy to welcome swimmers of any level. It’s always nice to know someone on the start line so put yourself out there and find some training buddies.
Most of us focus on improving our freestyle and increasing fitness for an event. Training doesn’t always have to be endless lengths. Mixing up your strokes keeps training interesting and still benefits your fitness and freestyle technique. You can also add drills, games and races to brighten up a boring programme. Next time you are out in the open water with some friends, challenge them to a butterfly race to the next buoy.
The Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series gives you the opportunity to try all kinds of water; from choppy harbours to surf beaches and fresh water lakes. We are spoilt for great locations for open water swimming, so why not take advantage of these for your training? Training in different locations gives you more open water experience, ups your confidence and keeps things exciting.
My last tip (and personal favourite!) is to go for coffee after your swim. On those really tough training days, it might just give you that extra motivation you need. It’s also a great way to get to know the people you swim with and have a chat to other swimming enthusiasts.
Good Luck with your training for the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series and remember to always keep it fun!
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Carl was a competitive swimmer for 20 years. He was number one in New Zealand in the 100m freestyle for 3 consecutive years and represented New Zealand at the London Olympic Games in 2012. After a break from swimming, Carl was challenged to an ocean swimming race by a friend. He has been hooked ever since and now competes in the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series each year. Carl’s passion for swimming has lead him to start his own swim coaching business, SWIM360. SWIM360 offers swim coaching and squads to swimmers of any level looking to improve their swimming.