show your work

Show Your Work: Why You Should Be Tracking Your Workouts in the Pool

If you are serious about wanting to make progress in an area of your swimming, whether it is swimming less strokes per 50, having better breakouts, or the broadest goal of swimming faster, then measuring it is critical.

Saying that you want to be the best swimmer you can be is one thing, but how important can you claim your swimming to be if you aren’t actually tracking what you are doing in the pool?

For instance:

  • Swimmers who say they want to be more consistent in practice, but don’t track how many workouts they are actually attending.
  • Swimmers who claim that they want to have a more efficient stroke, but don’t count the strokes they take per lap.
  • Swimmers who say that they want to swim a particular time, but don’t monitor how fast they are swimming in workouts to gauge progress.
  • Swimmers who say that they want to eat healthier, but don’t write out what and how much they are eating.

show your work


This isn’t a case to journal and monitor every last little thing in your training.

You don’t need to write out the number of steps you take on a daily basis, or the precise caloric intake of your diet, or the stroke count of every single lap of swimming you do. Whether you are using an old-school notebook to monitor your training or one of the latest and greatest swim watches, there is such a thing as too much data.

(But hey, if that is what works for you, than all the power to you.)

On the other hand…

You definitely should be noting the couple of things in your swimming that will make the most profound impact on whether or not you achieve your goals.

If you’re serious about making substantial and profound improvement in your swimming, and you are going through the motions of your training, not bothering to stop and see what is working, and what is not, than you are leaving a lot of precious information and motivation on the table.

After all, if you are truly down to improve a facet of your swimming, you oughta be measuring it.

So sit back, think about the 1-2 things that will have the biggest amount of impact on your training, and starting logging it.

Not tomorrow…

Not next week…

But at today’s practice.

And when you are ready, join a heap of former and current Olympians, national champions, and top level Division 1 teams that are using YourSwimBook to log their workouts.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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