The best swimmers in the world use a swimming log to monitor their performances. You know these people, they are the ones scribbling in a notebook after workout, or the first to check out their splits after a race.
These high-performing athletes know something the rest don’t– that there is a tremendous amount of valuable information that can be extracted by taking a bird’s eye view of their performances. Having a swimming log provides this objective overview.
SEE MORE: YourSwimLog — the Ultimate Swim Log
Just imagine the incomparable advantage you would have over your fellow swimmers when you get your hands on a tool that gives you the exact reasons why you swam awesome one day and horrible the next.
Your swimmers log can be as basic in its detail or as comprehensive as you like. This is the magic of your swimming log– it is totally yours.
It goes without saying that when you make simple entries in your swimming log you are going to limit yourself in the amount of feedback you can pull from it. Conversely, when you carefully scribe all the variables of your workout (diet, sleep, stress levels, etc) you can mine a huge amount of information that will explain your performances.
SEE ALSO: 8 Reasons to Keep a Swim Log
Here are three quick factors to keep in mind when using your swimming log:
1. Choose Your Goals.
My favorite part of using a swimming log is that you can assign daily and weekly goals to your practices and/or competitions. This is a fantastic way to stay focused and to improve the little things in your swimming.
Goals for an Individual Workout: No breathing in and out of the walls for the main set. Stretch for 15 minutes after practice. Drink protein shake immediately after to enhance recovery.
Goals that Stretch Over the Course of a Week or Longer: Make it to every single practice. Do 300 abs before every workout. Do an extra 300 meter warm-down.
Season Long Goals: Qualify for the traveling team. Break:55 seconds for 100 yard breaststroke.
2. Note More Than Just Your Workout.
What this means is, is that it isn’t enough to simply write out what you did for your workout that day in your swimming log. If you simply want to track mileage over a course of time this works just fine, but it you want to find trends and reasons behind your practices you will want to also note:
* The results. Make note of some of the times you put down on the main sets. If you can remember them note your stroke counts, and heart rate as well.
* How you were feeling in the water that day. Were you gliding along, or were you really struggling to get a hold of your stroke?
* The effort that you gave during the main set(s). Did you give it your all, or did you leave some in the tank?
* Your level of focus. Were you “in the zone” or was your mind bouncing with thoughts of outside matters such as school or relationships?
* Your levels of stress. Were you feeling overly stressed that day? Or not at all?
* Your diet for the day. Did you fall prey to convenience food or did you stick to your diet plan?
* Your recent sleeping habits. Have you been getting a solid 8 hours, or have you been having poor sleeps?
* Any other factors that may have any effect on the performance you give.
3. Log Your Workouts ASAP.
You should make notes about your workout when they are the most fresh in your mind. Sometimes waiting to get home can skew the memories of exactly what happened. Have your swimming log in your swim bag and you will have instant and ready access to it.
Using a swimming log is a proven and time-tested method to improve performance. The best part is that it is you can start doing it immediately, and it’s not something that requires learning some new swimming technique or taking some miracle supplement.