Swim Faster by Streamlining Your Life Outside the Pool

Michael Butler
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What areas of your life outside of the pool are causing you resistance?

Life can be messy, to say the least. We’re all busy. But it’s possible to create a space and time for our swim training without making our lives super hectic. The secret is streamlining.

It’s about focusing on the things we want instead of being pulled in all directions by the commitments we don’t want. Are you spending sufficient time on things you enjoy that will contribute to your health and fitness? Are you overcommitted in areas that you don’t like and that are holding you back?

Refocus your attention on what matters, and you’ll be surprised how much more energy and time you have to devote to your goals. You can splurge on things to eat that contribute to your fitness such as fruit, vegetables, healthy snack bars, and whole food smoothies. In turn, you can eliminate the energy drains in your life such as watching TV, and going out to eat.

It’s a simple scientific law that your body will respond to what you pay attention to. So, if you feed yourself lots of energy-enhancing foods, you’ll be more energized than if you make a habit of dieting and drinking black coffee.

In Summary

Here are a few key points to remember:

Endorphins and dopamine are the chemicals in your brain that are responsible for making you feel good and wanting to do more of the same activity. Learning to recognize when you experience these feelings is a tool that can help you re-direct the energy used to fuel your procrastination into more positive and productive channels.

Recognize the source of your resistance to exercise.

Ask yourself which part of your resistance is based on the Habit vs. Willpower battle. This will help you understand why you feel unmotivated to exercise.

Create a few different ways to reward yourself after you exercise.

Create a few different ways to reward yourself after you exercise.

Reward yourself with non-food rewards for exercising.

Reward yourself with non-food rewards for exercising.

Reward yourself with non-food rewards for exercising.

Reward yourself with non-food rewards for exercising.

Reward yourself with non-food rewards for exercising.

Reward yourself with non-food rewards for exercising.

Reward yourself with non-food rewards for exercising.

Reward yourself with non-food rewards for exercising.

Take Your Swimming to the Next Level

Swimming fast is a combination of mental and physical toughness. As a competitive swimmer in high school, I relied on drills to help me get faster and stronger. The key was focus. When you’re swimming with a group, everyone is going to be pushing (literally and figuratively) to get faster. Even though you’re not racing, it’s the team’s goal to have all the swimmers swimming as fast as they can.

My dad was my swim coach, and after weighing in, he assigned an individual drill for us to work on. By the time you got to the “Everyone On Your Head” drill or the dreaded “Towel Drill,” you knew you were in for a tough practice. Towel drills always made the muscles around my shoulder blades knot up, and I’ll never forget the pain. However, I never once considered quitting.

Your swimming won’t get better without a bit of pain. Beating your PR isn’t a cakewalk, and it won’t happen overnight. It will take a lot of hard work and consistent training.